Should You Be Worried When the Little One’s Growth Curve is Delayed?
Oleh: Morinaga Platinum
The Little One’s growth curve or chart gives a big picture of his/her physical growth. Comparison of the size of body weight, body length, and head circumference, makes Mommy is easier to see if the Little One grows in accordance with the age of the children in general. But, it needs to be understood that Mommy needs not be too fixated on the numbers listed. When the Little One grows in a stable growth rate and normal development, Mommy needs not to worry.
Growth is a change in a person's physical size. It can be measured by units of weight, length, and head circumference. While, development is associated with the maturation and addition of organ or individual function capabilities. Both processes occur simultaneously and are interconnected with each other, yet the speed the achievements can be different.
The process of growth and development is influenced by several factors, including genetic and environmental factors. Environmental factors consist of nutritional status, socioeconomic conditions, psychosocial, and the presence or absence of a disease. In general, the Little One with a birth weight above 1500 grams should not have any problem in growing up in the future. Surely, it is beyond the external factors mentioned above.
Should Mommy be worried if the Little One’s growth curve is delayed? Mommy needs to be worried if there is a significant growth percentile change, for example if all this time the Little One is consistently in the 50th percentile for weight, but then is down to the 15th, then the doctor needs to do an evaluation to look for any medical reasons that can cause the condition.
Decrease in percentile growth can be caused by mild disease or dietary changes. If that happens, the doctor will monitor the progress of the Little One until he/she returns to be healthy. If the Little One has never been sick but the growth slows down, while his/her height increases, maybe Mommy will be advised by the doctor to increase the amount of food or milk intake.
If the Little One is short while the Daddy and the Mommy are relatively tall, or if the Little One is so thin while the Daddy and the Mommy are at an average or larger sizes, it is necessary to ensure that there is no problem with the Little One’s growth (such as hormone deficiency or genetic problems).
Conversely, if the Little One is always at above 5 percent, his/her growth needs to be monitored, maybe the doctor will make sure that he/she does not become obese.
For the size of the baby's head, if it is much smaller than the average, the doctor will ensure that his/her brain grows and develops normally because of the Little One’s brain growth is reflected in the size of the skull. Conversely, if the circumference of the head is much larger than the average, what needs to be evaluated is whether it has a condition called hydrocephalus (an excess fluid in the brain) or not.
Monitoring is not only performed on growth rates but also included in the response of the Daddy and the Mommy on the eating disorder of the Little One. Growth and eating disorders can lead to a stressed condition and affect the relationships within the family.
To ensure an optimal growth and development of your Little One, make sure that Mommy provides the best balanced nutrition as well as appropriate stimulations according to the age of the Little One. If necessary, give your Little One, milk which contains vitamin and mineral, such as choline, DHA, vitamin D, and calcium, to support the development of brain function and maintain the health of the Little One’s body.