Doctors use growth charts during a baby's checkup to measure height, weight and head circumference and compare these statistics to other babies the same age. These charts, which are released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also help doctors track whether your child's height and weight is in proportion and to ensure he is growing at a steady rate from month to month, then year to year. If you want to keep your own records, you can track your baby's height at home and keep an eye on his statistics in between doctor's visits.
Strip your baby down to his diaper and lay him on a flat surface with his head flush up against the wall.
Press down gently on his knees to encourage him to stretch his legs out straight.
Hold him still while your assistant measures from the wall down to his heels, or have your assistant hold him steady while you take the measurement.
Items you will need
- Tape measure
- Don't try to measure your baby when he's hungry, tired or agitated. He'll be less likely to stay still, and the measurement might be affected by his movement.
- Compare your child's growth with the charts published by the CDC to determine which percentile he falls into and to see how he compares to others on the growth curve.
- Be aware that there is a wide range of "normal" when it comes to a baby's length. If you have any concerns, be sure to bring them up with your baby's pediatrician.
- Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images