Below 5th percentile for height/weight - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 04-06-2008, 03:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son falls under the 5th percentile for height & weight ... at 20 months, he is 30 inches, about 21 lbs, but he's reaching all his milestones, and both his father and I are relatively small.

Still, I always worry! Should I? Should he be checked out my a ped? Do you have a tiny toddler?
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#2 of 24 Old 04-06-2008, 05:10 AM
 
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our is too. but perfectly healthy. i think he's 3 percentile for weight, 10 for height, 70 for head circumference.

i'm 5'5, dh is about 5'7. DH is asian, i'm white.

pede says not to worry as long as he's on HIS curve - if he starts to lose weight or falls off his curve then s'thing could be wrong, but if yours has been at those percentiles all his life - give or take - then she seems fine with it.

ours is 16mths, weight 20lbs or so. also i looked up curves for asian babies in hong kong and for the country i come from in europe and he's on the 70-80% there..

ask what population is used for the percentiles your pede uses.
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#3 of 24 Old 04-06-2008, 06:28 AM
 
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My almost 3yo is 3rd % for height and 5% for weight. She's smaller than the 18 month old in her playgroup, but perfectly healthy and happy

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#4 of 24 Old 04-06-2008, 06:50 AM
 
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I wouldn't worry. Charts don't take into account your child's growing curve (if it actually is a curve), or the relationship between your child's height and weight usually. Also those charts don't cover the whole spectrum. Some people have to be below 5% and above 95% otherwise you wouldn't have 100% of the population for whatever age group your charts include.

I think the most important things to look for are:
-Does your child look healthy?
-Is your child happy?
-Does our child play?
-Is your child meeting milestones in a reasonable timeframe?
-Are you or your partner outside of the "normal" range of the height/weight charts for adults?
-Do either of you have a history of being "off" the charts as a child without a medical reason?
-Is your child growing at all over a three month time frame? (no growth for more than three consecutive months is considered failure to thrive)

My little one is on the small side too, and she's perfectly healthy and happy and meeting all her milestones. And she did drop off "her" curve from 50% when she was born to 5% when she was 12 months old.

I think the assumption that all people should grow at the same rate throughout their childhood is hogwash. Some people grow in fits and starts. I know I jumped up several spots on the height percentage when I was in elementary school. Or look at the example of the teenager who grows 6 inches in a summer. I'm not sure why we as a culture have such a mental block about jumps or lulls happening to smaller children. Sorry I got on a bit of a rant there. Hope that helps!

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#5 of 24 Old 04-06-2008, 11:28 AM
 
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We recently had dd in for a WCV and she was 5th for height, weight, and head. The ped asked us if we were at all concerned or surprised. Even though I'm tall like everyone else in my family, dh is half Portuguese and that whole side of the family is quite small. So it makes sense that she could be on the small side. Developmentally, she is doing wonderfully and she is very healthy. So we just have a petite daughter!
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#6 of 24 Old 04-06-2008, 02:45 PM
 
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In order to have a 50% mark on the charts, there have to be kids both above and below that, kwim? That doesn't mean anything is wrong, just that your child is a bit smaller than the other children his age. If you and your DH are on the small side, then when you think about it, it might be kind of strange if your child were topping the height and weight charts! As long as he's healthy and well proportioned in his sizes then he should be fine!
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#7 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 03:32 AM
 
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Firstly, I agree with all the above but have to say that it depends what charts your doctor is using - take a look at the World Wide Health Org site as these are the latest ones and are based on solely breast fed babies http://www.who.int/nutrition/media_page/en/

You might find that your LO moves up the scales a little on this one...
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#8 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 07:18 AM
 
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yeah that - I have a printable version of the exclusively b/f baby charts for 0-6 and 0-1 year for both sexes - but it sounds as if you have a wee baby like some of us here. Anyway I can send you the pdfs if you would like - just pm me.

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#9 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 10:36 AM
 
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If you have no other reason to think he's malnourished (i.e., lethargy, frequent illness, very pale skin), I wouldn't worry about it. Those charts don't take bone structure into account.
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#10 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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Your son is the same size my 20 month old son is. We took him to an endocrinologist and had a bunch of tests done (but only b/c metabolic disorders are in the family). Everything was normal. Henri is above average in many areas, verbal and fine motor skills being a few. He eats well, sleeps well, has tons of energy, and slowly but surely outgrows his clothing. I don't worry about Henri because we know that there is nothing wrong with him, he's just a tiny kid.

Something else you might want to consider is your own size, dad's size, and duration of breastfeeding/if you're still breastfeeding. I am convinced that Henri has grown to his *true* genetic potential. He was exclusively breastfed for 7 months and did not eat solids with regularity until about 13 months. We continued to nurse until he reached 17 months and he weaned on his own accord because I'm pregnant and I don't have any milk. He's never had a drop of formula in his life and did not start consuming cow's milk until he weaned from me. There was nothing in his diet that could have caused him to grow "more" than he would under natural circumstances. His 2.5yo brother on the other hand was switched to formula at 6 months of age because I'd lost my supply in pregnancy-and he was so young we had no other choice. He also started solids earlier than his brother. Paddy was bigger than Henri when he was Henri's age. Maybe its just because he got the "bigger genes", or maybe its because he was given things that made him grow unnaturally.
I wouldn't worry too much. I think there is too much pressure to have "bigger, taller, stronger" kids. I think Darwin was nuts and I don't agree with the whole "survival of the fittest" attitude that pediatricians seem to take with young children (or survival of the biggest, rather).
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#11 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by always there View Post
Firstly, I agree with all the above but have to say that it depends what charts your doctor is using - take a look at the World Wide Health Org site as these are the latest ones and are based on solely breast fed babies http://www.who.int/nutrition/media_page/en/

You might find that your LO moves up the scales a little on this one...
Thank you for this link! My daughter is 18.5 months, 20#, 31". She's 5%ile for weight on the standard charts, but on these she shoots up to about 35th! I'm printing these out and taking them to her doctor!
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#12 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 04:08 PM
 
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My DS is 24 m, 33 in, and i don't know weight, but he is well porportioned. we are small too, 5'2 (me), 5'5 (DH)...so i just roll with it, he is healthy and happy. But its good to know we're not the only ones with a tiny boy, cuz all the others are shooting up around him and he's still in 18-24 month clothes!
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#13 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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My DD is 20.5 months old and is 20 lbs, 31 inches. I worried for a second too, but then I realized she is just petite! She is perfectly happy and healthy otherwise- I wouldn't worry!

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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#14 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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I nannied for a lo who was officially diagnosed as ftt. She was hitting all her milestones (ahead of them, actually) but was just small and not gaining fast. Her parents are average sized people. Her dr. had the poor mom so worried, and all over nothing. The little girl is now over 5 and weights about 35 pounds. Her 2.5 yo brother weighs over 30 pounds. All kids are different.

Happily parenting our snuggly wild child since 2007 and her little brother since 2011!

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#15 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 05:27 PM
 
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Kind of OT but I printed out the WHO charts only to see they're in metric. I don't know how to figure out inches and pounds and all that. Anyone know how to convert???
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#16 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 05:54 PM
 
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Try this http://www.mathcats.com/explore/convert.html

Must admit I had the same problem with my doctor about my daughters weight but I think Europe is gradually moving on to the WHO stats now - amazed can´t get them in imperial measurement though...
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#17 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by althara View Post
I wouldn't worry. Charts don't take into account your child's growing curve (if it actually is a curve), or the relationship between your child's height and weight usually. Also those charts don't cover the whole spectrum. Some people have to be below 5% and above 95% otherwise you wouldn't have 100% of the population for whatever age group your charts include.

I think the most important things to look for are:
-Does your child look healthy?
-Is your child happy?
-Does our child play?
-Is your child meeting milestones in a reasonable timeframe?
-Are you or your partner outside of the "normal" range of the height/weight charts for adults?
-Do either of you have a history of being "off" the charts as a child without a medical reason?
-Is your child growing at all over a three month time frame? (no growth for more than three consecutive months is considered failure to thrive)

My little one is on the small side too, and she's perfectly healthy and happy and meeting all her milestones. And she did drop off "her" curve from 50% when she was born to 5% when she was 12 months old.

I think the assumption that all people should grow at the same rate throughout their childhood is hogwash. Some people grow in fits and starts. I know I jumped up several spots on the height percentage when I was in elementary school. Or look at the example of the teenager who grows 6 inches in a summer. I'm not sure why we as a culture have such a mental block about jumps or lulls happening to smaller children. Sorry I got on a bit of a rant there. Hope that helps!

I SO agree with your post (and rant ) DD was a little over 50% when she was born and went down to 10-15% when she was 12 mnd. I was super mad at my nurse here for suggesting that I was starving my child there is so little understanding and so much weight put on those curves/charts. I say look at the whole child and it's development.

BTW i used the WHO BF chart and dd shot up to the 20-30% range.

I've got three monkeys jumping on the bed!!

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#18 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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I never trust the American weight/height charts because I feel like most American children aren't eating a very healthy diet and not getting enough exercise. So, it makes sense to me that my kiddo being raised on fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats is going to be smaller and leaner than a child eating the typical american diet. By the way, I'm not saying that children closer to the average aren't eating a healthy diet, just that this could be a reason for those of us with smaller kiddos. He's usually around the 10th percentile weight but closer to "normal" for height.
As long as he isn't losing weight or having other symptoms, I wouldn't worry.
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#19 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 08:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by yoginisarah View Post
I never trust the American weight/height charts because I feel like most American children aren't eating a very healthy diet and not getting enough exercise. So, it makes sense to me that my kiddo being raised on fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats is going to be smaller and leaner than a child eating the typical american diet. By the way, I'm not saying that children closer to the average aren't eating a healthy diet, just that this could be a reason for those of us with smaller kiddos. He's usually around the 10th percentile weight but closer to "normal" for height.
As long as he isn't losing weight or having other symptoms, I wouldn't worry.
This is a great point -- I read somewhere that 1 in 5 American toddlers eats French fries every day.
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#20 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by yoginisarah View Post
I never trust the American weight/height charts because I feel like most American children aren't eating a very healthy diet and not getting enough exercise. So, it makes sense to me that my kiddo being raised on fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats is going to be smaller and leaner than a child eating the typical american diet. By the way, I'm not saying that children closer to the average aren't eating a healthy diet, just that this could be a reason for those of us with smaller kiddos. He's usually around the 10th percentile weight but closer to "normal" for height.
As long as he isn't losing weight or having other symptoms, I wouldn't worry.
Good point! Excellent point, actually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaye88 View Post
This is a great point -- I read somewhere that 1 in 5 American toddlers eats French fries every day.
And not just french fries, but mcdonald's french fries....bleah.
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#21 of 24 Old 04-07-2008, 08:52 PM
 
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I agree with what everyone else has said- as long as he is active and seems happy and healthy, that is all that matters! My dd has been in the 5% for weight but for about the last 6 months she has been staying in the 10% for both height and weight. It IS intimidating to think that she is "below average" but when I look at her, she is the happiest, smartest little girl! I don't think you have a thing to worry about!!! Personally I hate those growth charts! LOL!
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#22 of 24 Old 04-08-2008, 02:28 AM
 
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My two are tiny, but so am I, and DH is pretty short too. My 3 yr old DD is 25 pounds and by far the shortest child in her preschool. She was below 0% and we went to the ped to do all the tests, which came back normal. She is at or ahead in all developmental areas, he wasn't concerned and told us not to be. My DS is almost the same as yours - 20 months tomorrow, and 21 pounds, around 30 inches. He's also reaching his milestones, so I'm not concerned and haven't actually taken him to the ped for the tests. He's active, healthy and happy. That said, he doesn't eat a ton of solids and relies a lot on BFing - I was coming on here to post a thread about that!

Mama to my two sweet monkeys - DD '04 and DS '06
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#23 of 24 Old 04-16-2008, 10:59 AM
 
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5th percentile means that one out of every 20 kids that age is smaller than your child. That's all it means. Do we assume that all of those kids have something wrong with them? That's silly.

I know doctors like for their patients to all be above the 50th percentile, but that is not possible. Half the kids will be above 50%ile and half will be below. If one doc has all kids above 50%ile, somebody else has to have a higher amount of them below the 50%ile.

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#24 of 24 Old 04-16-2008, 07:05 PM
 
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Hi Everyone,

Mine is 23 months old, 33 inches tall and 19 lbs. She is way ahead on her milestones, is healthy, happy, super active, speaks in full sentences, etc. She is a picky eater and I was the same way as a child...so I'm not worried too much. Kiddos come in all shapes and sizes.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Specialist. Licensed in WA and OR. Mamma to a lovely doll born April 2006.
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