When your baby’s head is measured during normal check-ups, health care professionals are monitoring one part of your baby’s growth. This measurement is then plotted on standardized growth charts and can give a general idea about your baby’s overall growth.
For example, a head circumference at the 10th percentile means that out of 100 infant girls, there are only 10 girls with head circumferences smaller than the baby.
Do measurements matter ?: A small head circumference can mean several things. You as parents may tend to have smaller than average (the 50th percentile) head sizes, so that the baby’s head measurements simply reflect his or her genetic heritage. However, it may also mean that the baby’s brain is not growing well during this crucial period of the brain growth spurt that lasts until 2 years of age. This is called microcephaly, or a failure of brain development.
If the baby is preterm, it would be the ideal that the head circumference moderately exceeds the growth percentiles for weight and length, indicating that her brain was experiencing “catch up growth” after the challenges his or her early life in the hospital.
A large head circumference can also indicate some things. As with smaller head sizes, genetics can also play a role in larger head sizes. In the worst case, a large head size may signal hydrocephalus, or an excessive amount of fluid in the brain’s ventricles. This results in compression of the normal brain tissue and impairs the brain’s neurological function and growth.
(From material found in Wikipedia and the JAMA)
Last 15 posts in Babies
- 4Moms Mamaroo Infant Seat - January 24th, 2013
- Space Saving Easy Handling Stroller - January 23rd, 2013
- A Space Saving/Easy To Handle Stroller - January 19th, 2013
- The disturbing diary of a modern midwife - August 26th, 2008
- Folate Intake May Help Father Conceive Healthy Children - June 29th, 2008
- Weight Gain During Pregnancy - June 29th, 2008
- Couple Abandon"Wrong Sex" IVF Babies - May 29th, 2008
- High-calorie diet linked to boys - April 24th, 2008
- Older names popular again for newborns - April 20th, 2008
- Let babies learn to think for themselves - March 26th, 2008
- Most Popular Baby Names Of 1950 - March 5th, 2008
- The most popular baby names of the last century - March 5th, 2008
- Make Your Own Baby Wipes - March 2nd, 2008
- Bringing Along Baby Food? Not Too Much, Rules Say - February 21st, 2008
- Scores of babies left to die - February 4th, 2008