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Old Jan 12th, 2018, 10:25 AM   1
second.time
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Baby Getting Shorter and Shorter


My son was born full-term, weighed 8 lb. 4 oz., 21 inches long -- nice big baby all around. Every visit since his newborn appointment, though, he's fallen down the charts. First it was just the 40th range at two months old, which is no big deal, then he dropped to 15th. Yesterday, at his six-month appointment, he was 3.8% for length/height and 27% for weight.

To go from 90th percentile to 4th over the course of six months seems really wrong to me. My pediatrician seems totally casual about it and hasn't mentioned any tests. I keep reading that any big drop is cause for concern. I have no idea what to do. It's such a helpless feeling because I could probably feed him more for weight, but height is a different issue. Should I push for endocrine tests?

He's a strong baby, hitting all his physical milestones well ahead of time, already crawling and pushing to standing, he's been sitting unsupported for over a month now, etc. So he seems bright and healthy and strong, but the constantly dropping height percentile feels like a red flag to me.



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2018, 10:29 AM   2
krissie328
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My son did this. He was 8lbs 9 oz, 21 inches when born. By the time he was one he was around the 10th percentile in height and 20th for weight. By two he was in the 6th for height (cant remember weight but I think it was around 10th). At three he actually has grown and is about 20th for height and 40th for weight. His pediatrician was never concerned but it does stress me a lot.



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2018, 10:39 AM   3
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Thank you, it actually relieves me to know somebody else is going through this! It's hard to find a lot of posts about it. It also comforts me to know he may bounce back and at least a little higher on the charts. I'm just so nervous about the way he keeps falling ... if he was consistently short it would be one thing, but watching him fall lower and lower is tough. It sounds like your guy is thriving now that he's a little older.



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2018, 10:42 AM   4
noon_child
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They don't even routinely measure length here, they go way more by weight. They'd only measure height if something looked off, or there were other symptoms to worry about. Nurses I've spoken to say it's because it actually really hard to accurately measure a baby and an error margin of even half an inch at birth is a whole centile different. Also babies have growth spurts, develop at varying rates etc. so they tend to use wight to find out if they are growing in general, not whether they are gaining length specifically.



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Old Jan 12th, 2018, 12:32 PM   5
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That's interesting! I think it would put my mind at ease to not know his height. I can tell he's a little short by looking at him (though he has started wearing 3-6 month and 6-month clothes), but strangers and relatives always say he looks big and seem surprised when I tell them he's actually really petite. I've started dreading his appointments because it worries me so much. Maybe I should just try to ignore it for a while ...



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2018, 14:00 PM   6
minties
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It's really hard to measure length. Everyone gets my kids wrong!

Just for example, Thomas was apparently 52cm (I think 20.5") at birth. I knew that didn't seem right as he was very short and all his clothes were too long. 2 days later my midwfe had him at 48cm, which seemed more accurate.

Then Sophie was flagged for not gaining enough weight compared to length, but they had her length centile all wrong and it didn't match with what I had at home. Her nurse had her on the 75th for length and 50th for weight, when she was measured by myself and a new nurse, she was clearly on the 15th for length which was a huge difference.

I do my own length and weight for Emma at home, and if I mark her head and foot on a long sheet of paper and measure that, it seems the most accurate way.

As for dropping centiles, all of mine have at some stage, and Emma's quite a lot smaller than my other kids and never really puts on weight. Sophie was very slow to gain any height. All are healthy and fine. With Sophie she was always dropping length centile, with Emma it is weight.

Emma was 3.4kg at birth (38 weeks) which is a very decent size for that gestation, now she's been 9.4kg for 3 months, I find kids seem to grow in weird patterns.

Is there anyone else you can take your baby to if you are worried?



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2018, 14:30 PM   7
krissie328
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I think Minties makes a great point. I'm pretty sure DS was not 21 inches at birth. He was in newborn clothes until 6 weeks old. But at the time I didn't think anything of it.



 
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Old Jan 12th, 2018, 19:05 PM   8
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I do feel like 21 inches might have been over-generous. He has a longer, narrower head like his dad, versus a little round head like mine, and I'm sure it was elongated from a full day of labor, so it probably added an extra inch or so. That's a great idea about measuring on a piece of paper! I hadn't thought of that.

Thanks for the reassurance that it can be normal for kids to bounce around the centiles. I'm short myself, only 5'1", but seeing him come so close to falling right off the charts worried me.

If he's still short enough to cause major concern later on I could probably ask for a referral. My doctor might be casual because she thinks I need reassurance; if she knew I preferred a more thorough approach maybe she'd go that route.



 
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