Healthy Growth

How do I know my baby is growing well?

Growth charts are used to track your baby’s growth pattern and should be done by trained professionals who can accurately plot baby’s measurements on percentile charts, so any problem’s with baby’s growth and development are identified.  Your baby’s length, weight and head circumference are  measured routinely at check ups, then plotted on a graph. This helps show if your baby is growing in a healthy way. These measurements (height/length, and weight) continue to be obtained and charted all the way through adulthood to see if your child is ‘tracking’ or following their own growth pattern. Remember, single or ‘one off’ charted measurements are less meaningful when looking at the overall growth trend. It’s a good idea to be consistent with how and who performs your baby’s health checks and growth measurements. 

Healthy growth can be affected by many things such as, environment, feeding, physical activity and parents height. Growing too fast or too slow can be a sign of issues with health or nutrition. If you’re concerned, be sure to chat with your local Child and Family Health team.  Your local Child and Family Health team are trained health professionals and registered nurses who provide support to new parents on topics including; Breastfeeding, coping with sleeping and crying problems, immunisations, safety, and baby’s growth and development (including checking weight,length/height, and head circumference).  Find your local Child and Family Health Clinic

Babies grow at different rates but generally follow a growth pattern that’s right for them.

What growth chart is used?

WHO (World Health Organisation) charts are recommended for all infants 0 – 2 years; whether breastfed or formula fed, and for all ethnic groups.

What if my baby is too thin?

If you’re baby is below the 5th or even 3rd percentile, it’s generally OK as long as they’re tracking on their own percentile growth curves.  A drop in percentiles or faltering growth can be indicative of a problem though and it’s best to chat to your local Child and Family Health team about your concerns.   Refer to our section called Feeding Roles to learn more about division of responsibility when it comes to feeding your bub in a healthy way. 

What if my baby is overweight or chubby?

Every baby grows in their own unique way. Don’t worry if you’re baby is tracking higher on the growth charts as long as they’re following their own growth patterns. Refer to our section called Feeding Roles to learn more about the division of responsibility when it comes to feeding your bub in a healthy way. 

Example growth charts can be found on Royal Childrens’ Hospital website , see ‘Examples of growth charts.’