Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What kid's growth charts tell you

I love this CNN article about kid's growth charts. It explains what the doctor may think you already know. I think it's a good reminder for those of us with more than one child. I am sure I researched like crazy with the first child, but I don't have time now and I don't have a photographic memory. I did do the measurement at two years old to determine the height of my two oldest kids (the 3rd child isn't two yet.) The oldest was 6'4" The youngest was 6'1". That is determined by doubling their height at two years old. The height calculator listed below puts all my kids at 5'11". So we will see. I can't imagine they will all be the same height.

Here's just a little part of the story:

What influences growth

At birth: A baby's size when he's born is based partly on genetics. Firstborns tend to be smaller than subsequent children because the uterus is smaller and tighter in first-time moms. Boys are larger than girls, and multiples, boys and girls, are smaller than average. Some environmental factors that can influence a newborn's size:

-- The mother's weight -- very heavy women tend to have larger babies

-- Weight gain during pregnancy -- a very low gain (under ten pounds) usually means a smaller baby

-- Whether or not Mom smokes or drinks a lot of caffeine -- both of which can limit an unborn baby's growth

-- A mom's chronic illness -- diabetics, for instance, often have very large babies.

Height Predictor: Calculate Your Child's Adult Height

During the first two years: A baby's growth is based on a combination of her birth size and the size she's genetically programmed to be: A small newborn who's going to be a big child will grow faster in the first two years than a big baby who's going to be a small child. Laura Hileman's son, John, was 23 inches long when he was born -- the average newborn is just 20 inches -- and his pediatrician joked that he might be seven feet tall as an adult. "But based on my height and my husband's, the doctor didn't think that would happen," says the Nashville mom. Sure enough, by the time John was 3, his growth had slowed and his height was just average for his age.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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