Children’s growth is an important marker of their overall health and development. It is important to remember that each child grows and develops at a different pace. Your Maternal and Child Health nurse will use growth charts to see if your child is growing and developing in a healthy way.
The most important thing is that your child is healthy, responsive and happy, not how she or he compares with other children on a growth chart.
Babies to toddler stage
Maternal and Child Health nurses use percentile charts from the World Health Organisation for children between 0 and 24 months of age, which measure:
At each Maternal and Child Health visit your baby’s growth will be measured. You can record the measurements in your ‘My Health, Learning and Development Record’ booklet (the Green Book).
Toddler to preschooler stage and beyond
Maternal and Child Health nurses use percentile charts from the Centre for Disease Control for children between two and 18 years of age, which measure height, weight and Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated using height measurements, then used to compare a child’s weight relative to height with other children of the same age and gender, using BMI percentile charts.
The following equation can be used to determine BMI: BMI = Weight (kg) / Height (m).