Thursday, February 11, 2010

Can you predict how big your child will be just by the birth weight and height?

Just like adults, newborns come in a range of healthy sizes. Most full-term babies (born between 37 and 40 weeks) weigh somewhere between 6 pounds, 2 ounces and 9 pounds, 2 ounces. Their average length ranges from 19 to 21 inches. But does this birth weight say anything to how they will grow.

I was curious about this so I asked a few friends that had babies. I asked about all their children, how big were they at birth and how big are they now.
It was all over the charts. Some people that had big babies their kids are small now. Ones that had little babies have big kids now.
For example, One friend had a 6 pound 3 ounce, 19 inches long boy. As a child he was usually between the 50th to 75th percentile for height and weight. Seems a little small but he is now 20 years old and 6 feet 2 inches tall and thinks he weighs about 190 pounds. Now in the 89th percentile for weight and 94th for height.
Another friend had a 8 pound 9 ounce, 20 inches long girl. By the time she was two she didn’t even make the charts for percentile because she was so little. She is now in her twenties and is 5 feet tall and 95 pounds.
Another baby was 7 pounds 13 ounces 19 inches she is now 3 years old and is 35 pounds and 3 feet tall. At the 75th percentile for weight and at the 10th percentile for height. Her brother 7 pounds 12 ounces and 18 inches long. He is now two years old weighing 26 pounds and is 2 feet 9 inches. He is at the 35th percentile for weight and at the 24th percentile for height.
My oldest daughter was 6 pounds 10 ounces 19 inches long.She was usually in the 5th percentile for weight and height. She is now 6 years old and about 46 inches tall and weighs 40 pounds. She is at the 10th percentile for weight and
at the 38th percentile for height.

My son was 7 pounds 4 ounces, 19.5 inches long. He was usually in the 50th percentile for weight and height. He is now 4 and about 36 pounds and 40 inches tall. He is at the 44th percentile for weight and at the 31st percentile for height.
My baby 7 pounds 4 ounces 19 inches she is now 4 months old and 11 pounds 5 ounces and 24.5 inches. She is at less than the 3rd percentile for weight at less than the 3rd percentile for height.
So as it appears from the few that responded to my question being small or large at birth doesn't necessarily mean a baby will be small or large later in childhood or as an adult. There are lots teenagers that began life as small babies, and the biggest baby can grow up to be a petite adult.
Some factors that can influence the size of your baby at birth is:
Parents Size. Tall parents may have larger-than-average newborns; short parents may have smaller-than-average newborns.
Multiple births. If you're having twins, triplets, or more, you can count on your babies being relatively small. Multiples not only have to share their growing space in the uterus, they also are often born early, which leads to small size at birth.
Birth order. First babies are sometimes smaller than brothers or sisters born later.

Gender. Girls tend to be smaller, boys larger, but the differences are slight at birth.
Mother's health during pregnancy. Factors that can lead to a lower birth weight include a mother's highblood pressure, heart problems, or use of cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs during the pregnancy. If the mother has diabetes, the baby may have a higher birth weight. All conditions that can affect a baby's weight should be closely monitored by the mother's doctor. In addition, women should not smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs during pregnancy.
Nutrition during pregnancy. Proper nutrition is essential for a baby's growth in the uterus and beyond. A poor diet during pregnancy can affect how much a newborn weighs and how the infant grows.
Baby's health. Medical problems, including some birth defects and certain infections acquired during the pregnancy, can affect a child's birth weight and later growth.

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