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Head growth?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Should I be concerned if my son's head growth jumped from ~ 10th percentile at 6 months to ~19th percentile at 8 months...?  I don't want to run to the ped with him for no reason as they may tell me I'm overreacting so figured I'd ask here first...


He was born with a "normal" sized head, i.e. 13.75" at birth, it was then trending down, which the ped said was ok:


at 1 mo 25%,

at 2 mo 15%,

at 3 mo 12.5%,

at 4 mo 15 %,

at 5 mo dipped to 10%,

at 6 mo 9.5%

and now at 8 mo went up to 19 %...???


All of these were taken at the peds office but the last one which I took myself...  should I be concerned if he's not trending on a particular % the whole time?  Reason I'm concerned is I heard possible link to autism if there's an increased head growth between 6-18 mo.... am I being paranoid ahead of time?...


Everything I've read said that autism link is for "significant" head increase... but I don't know if significant means .. .is it above the normal ranges i.e. over the 100th %  based on the WHO child growth standards? or can an increase within those ranges signal something?   When do people (peds) generally indicate to worry about this stuff.. ?   and by stuff I mean autism or anything else as a result of increased head growth... TIA

post #2 of 8
Okay, relax! Babies grow in fits and starts and it's the norm to see them up or down many percentiles. Another thing is that different people measuring can result in anomalous readings, as can a fussy or active baby who wasn't cooperating that well. In fact at one point my DD's head "shrunk" - not in percentiles but inches!- because of measurement error. The numbers you are showing are not very statistically significant. If your baby was consistently between about 10% and 25% and shot up to 50% at the next checkup, that would be more likely to be significant. The numbers you have given indicate normal variance. There are practically no babies that pick a percentile curve and stick to it perfectly in height, weight, or head circumference.

I don't know about indicators of autism but being linked to increased head growth dOesnt mean that a baby showing increased growth has autism, just a higher than usual possibility. Relax and enjoy your baby. If the milestones are on track, I wouldn't worry at all unless the next checkup shows a big spike.
post #3 of 8

At my son's 9 month visit the MA measurement his head as having jumped 10 %ile points (from 85-->95, he's a big boy) and the PNP came in all concerned, talking about hydrocephaly and ultrasound vs. CT scan to diagnose it. After she's finished giving the scary talk, she re-measures and lo and behold, his head was totally consistent with his growth curve. The first measurement was like 2 inches off. eyesroll.gif  


Here's the thing, numbers aside, is your baby hitting milestones? Is he acting "sick"? If not, and your pediatrician isn't worried, screw the numbers. He was probably either extra wiggly or extra still at the last appointment and the measurements were thrown off.

post #4 of 8

First, the measurments could be wrong....we had one nurse that messed up my DD weight...put her in the 95% for weight and then when it dropped down to the 10th, we had some big concerns....(we pulled her chart and found a calculation error)....so like one mom said, enjoy your baby....if you are still worried, just keep a little notebook of  things you notice/concerns and bring it to your doctor at his next well visit........most peds can't do autism testing till 2 years...

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

I thought about the measurements possibly being off too, but when they were trending lower around the 3-5 mo mark I was taking them myself after the visits as well and came up with the same or close.  The differences aren't in inches for him, but more like going from growth per month of up by 1/2" to up by only 1/4", then in 2 months up by 3/4".... I think that's because he's on the lower end % wise so they won't be as large a difference than for an 80 or 90%'er correspondingly.  Now thinking about it though he technically went up by 3/4" in 2 months time so that's less than a 1/2" per month which is probably not a big deal, but still it's more than the trend for a few months prior.  I think that's what got me a bit worried.. just seeing it not slowing down per the way the curves look on the trend graphs.


Milestones all appear to be good, he's very and I mean very happy to see different people, he looks at strangers everywhere we go and smiles at them constantly so perhaps I'm overthinking things.  It's reassuring to hear that your kiddos having had similar differences in % were ok, it eases my mind.

post #6 of 8
Even with very accurate measurements, kids don't grow smoothly. They will level off for a few weeks, then seem to jump overnight. DD had a hat that fit the same from oct to dec, then early jan I couldn't get it on. Growth spurts happen to their heads too ;-)
post #7 of 8

I'm going to go with the measurements being off... which I why I don't put a whole lot of stock into any measurements. From what I've seen, the people who take the measurements at my Baby's Dr's office are not very careful about it. If he's squirming and fussing they are really quick (and probably inaccurate) about it. Like last time the nurse didn't even put the tape around the largest part of his head... so I measured later and got almost an inch bigger!

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Sometimes I think it will be so much easier once he's 1 or 2 or 5 or 20! lol.... but of course I know I will miss the days now.

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