What To Do If Your Child Is on the Low End of the Growth Chart

When children are young, many parents measure their success by the growth they see in their height and weight at their regular check-ups. When you head to the doctor and hear that your little one is low on their growth chart though, it might feel like something is wrong. Before you panic, take a few deep breaths and find out a little bit more information. Check out the steps below for what to do if you find out your little one is on the low end of the growth chart.  

growth chart
Image via Pixabay

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Ask whether your child is still on their curve

When you hear that your little one is on the low end of the growth chart, it might feel like there’s something wrong with their size. The reality though is that kids come in all shapes, sizes, lengths, and weights. And bigger doesn’t always mean healthier. Instead of automatically worrying, ask your doctor if their child is still on their growth curve. If your child has always been small, it’s no surprise (and generally no cause for concern) that they’re still small. If your child’s growth has slowed down or stopped, their pediatrician might want to learn a little more about how they’re eating and offer some advice to get them growing again.

Make a plan

If your child has always been on the low end of the growth chart, it’s likely that your plan will simply be to keep doing as you are. If your child has recently slowed in growth or dropped off their curve, your doctor might want to talk about increasing their calories in one way or another. If they’re nursing or eating formula your doctor might want you to add in an additional feeding session or add ounces to each feeding session. If your child is already eating solids they might recommend adding healthy, high-fat foods or drinks to their diet.

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Follow up

Hearing that your child is low on their growth chart might feel a little jarring but after asking lots of questions and making a plan, it’s important to follow up. If you’re planning to increase your kiddo’s calories you may want to check in with their doctor after a few weeks to see how they’re growing. It’s also important to remember that you’re doing a great job mama!

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What To Do If Your Child Is on the Low End of the Growth Chart

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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