Measured DD's height this eve and she's extremely short - going slightly mad with worry now

(54 Posts)
EagleRay Fri 11-Apr-14 22:35:47

Hi - DD is nearly 15mo and doing ok developmentally. Had her weighed for the first time in ages this week and she's around the 50th percentile, and has pretty much followed this line since she was very young. Her head has always been extremely large since she was born, but it's growing consistently and GP confirmed there are no issues.

So tonight we have a tape measure handy and decide to see what height she is - she stands supported so stood her up against the doorframe, made a mark and measured. Then I entered it on the chart and thought I'd made a mistake - the measurement was 68cm, which is pretty much what she was at 8 months shock

I just don't understand it - as far as I know, we measured fairly accurately but her height isn't even on the bottom of the chart! Surely if she was extremely short for her age, it would have been pointed out by someone at nursery, relatives, friends, GPs, nurse, health visitor etc, who have all seen her several times recently? Unfortunately, DP got really snappy and defensive about it and said well of course she's normal height, so didn't pursue it, but I'm really worried now.

She's in age-appropriate clothes and we're both of average height (actually DP is well over 6').

What on earth is going on? Has anyone else failed to notice their DC have stopped growing? I'm going to try and measure her again tomorrow - if anyone has any advice about how to take a reasonably accurate height I'd be very grateful.

I think my horror and panic stems a little bit from starting full time work in Jan - life is really full-on now and I'm always worried I'm going to miss something fundamental as there's no time in the day to do things properly sad

Polonius Fri 11-Apr-14 22:37:33

Are you or any immediate family short?

EagleRay Fri 11-Apr-14 22:40:50

No - I'm 5'5" and DP 6'3" - DFiL is a bit on the short side but that might be down to old age!

Martorana Fri 11-Apr-14 22:43:08

Are you sure the tape measure's OK? If she's in age appropriate clothes she can't be the height of a baby half her age!

ReallyTired Fri 11-Apr-14 22:43:20

I think you need to ask your health visitor about height. It is really hard to measure the height of a baby accurately. I suggest you take your child to the baby clinic and get the health visitor to measure height accurately.

Children often appear to shrink when they are old enough to be measured standing up. Generally health visitors are more interested in weight than height.

My daughter is very petite and we had the health visitor fussing about her height and wieght. We had her coming to my house every month to weigh dd. (At a year old dd was below the 0.04th centile for both weight and height, she is now on the 2nd centile for height and 9th centile for wieght according the school nurse.)

However dd looks healthy and her development is fine.

cravingyorkiebar Fri 11-Apr-14 22:43:52

I did the same as you but actually you're meant to measure length rather than height until they're two... Try it- ds gained centimetres!!

Greenandcabbagelooking Fri 11-Apr-14 22:46:04

Have a look here for avergae heights at various ages.

If you are worried, you could always ask the HV or GP.

fizzly Fri 11-Apr-14 22:46:47

I agree with Martorana. Both my DCs are pretty short (8th or 15th centile or something) and have always worn clothes well under their 'age' range. I.e. at 15 mo would have been in 6-9mo max 9-12mo clothes and they still wear well under their actual age now. And neither of them are abnormally short, just on the short side of things. Obviously if you're worried, go and talk to GP/HV about it, but please don't let it be something that worries you over the weekend!

Under 24 months children are ALWAYS measured lying flat - I live abroad where all children have a schedule of paediatrician check ups (7 of them between birth and 24 months) and they always measure height, always lying flat even if the baby/ toddler has been walking confidently for over a year. Lying flat they tend to measure a good 2-3 cm taller than standing... also measuring in the eve they measure shorter standing especially. Measure her in the morning lying flat, go to doctor if still worried after that!

cravingyorkiebar Fri 11-Apr-14 22:48:48

Sorry to be clearer, I mean measure her length lying down rather than height standing up!

cravingyorkiebar Fri 11-Apr-14 22:50:01

Cross post with Mr Tumble!!

HowBadCanThisGet Fri 11-Apr-14 22:50:06

Children grow in spurts, so she may not have grown for a while, and just leap up. I agree that you should measure her length, small children sort of squash up when you measure them (or mine did anyway).

My DH and I are both 5'10", and have very petite girls. With my PFB I worried, funnily enough I don't with my second....

pepperrabbit Fri 11-Apr-14 22:50:36

DH and I are the same heights as you and your DP. Our DS's are both normal height, maybe a bit below mid centile, DD is absolutely diddy! She was a normal 8lb weight at birth, I never measured her height (DC No3..) she is much smaller than the rest of her class now she's 5 1/2 but she's absolutely fine. Just small! I haven't managed to find a pair of school trousers either short enough or that will stay up but that's the most serious issue wink
If you're worried can you ask your HV?

Sirzy Fri 11-Apr-14 22:50:47

DS is on 9th centile for height and is wearing 2 sizes behind his age appropriate.

I would get her remeasured as it sounds like it's not the most accurate measurement

EagleRay Fri 11-Apr-14 22:52:35

Tape measure seems fine - it's the same one I use to measure my vital statistics and thought it was over measuring, not under hmm

That's an interesting theory ReallyTired and Craving about the measuring standing up. Unfortunately the HV has never been any help with anything other than weight as apparently they're not allowed to do heads or height! When I had concerns about DD's head in the early days she said she wasn't allowed to help with head measuring and told me I had to see the GP.

I will try measuring her lying down tomorrow - we still use the changing table and I had noticed she barely fits on it now - there always seems to be body parts dangling over the edge, which is why I was so shocked and puzzled at the 'height'. Even with a few cm gain, I think she would still be shortish but would be happy if she was on the chart at all!

EagleRay Fri 11-Apr-14 22:59:04

Gosh - just seen the rest of the replies - thank you so much everyone for posting!

It's funny - I chatted to the HV for ages yesterday and she never said a thing, which makes me think even more that the measuring standing up must have made a big difference. However, the HV's aren't allowed to get involved in height things...

I normally don't really worry much about DD, apart from the occasional fleeting panic like this!

schoolchoicesdrivingmecrazy Fri 11-Apr-14 22:59:49

If she is in age appropriate clothes then she is fine and it is your measuring technique which is wrong!

This is why one should never look at a chart ;)

Sleep well!

Hobnobissupersweet Fri 11-Apr-14 23:00:49

My ds4 seemed to stop growing for ages. I am not sure when this happened ( he was ds4!) but he was on the 95th centile when he was born but dropped right down to below the 5 th for ages between ( very approx) about 8 months to 18 months, he then slowly climbed back up towards the 50 th. The Hv were fab and held off intervention and we just went with monitoring, as he was eating well and running around happily. He still looks slight and not very big compared to his rugby playing peers but you would not notice it unless you were his paranoid mum

EagleRay Fri 11-Apr-14 23:06:00

I will try measuring lying down tomorrow and report back smile

And I promise not to have nightmares now - thanks everyone for your kind words and help

I'm pretty sure that the reason HVs don't measure height is that it is extremely difficult to do accurately, isn't useful for screening for growth problems and is likely to cause worry over nothing!

Do you think your dd is longer than she was 8 months ago?

I'm sure you'll get a reassuring measurement if you try with her lying down. Good luck!

You'd really notice if she were atually tiny. DD2 was on the 0.4th centile for a while and I definitely noticed (and brooded). Now she's somewhere around the 5th centile and I'm unconcerned, but she's still wearing 18-24 month clothes at age 3. If your DD is in age-appropriate clothes then it's probably the length/height thing.

ReallyTired Sat 12-Apr-14 00:05:09

lol... dd is nearly five and still fits in some of her 2 to 3 year old clothes.

Portlypenguin Sat 12-Apr-14 09:44:47

Hiya,
My DS is 2.9 and was on 0.4th centile for height until the last 4mo when suddenly he has grown to the 9th centile. His weight is also 9th. I wouldu't worry about it!
Also i think it is really hard to measure toddlers accurately.....

RandomMess Sat 12-Apr-14 09:51:25

Also dc don't grow steadily they really really do grow in spurts, hence measuring too often can be a bad and stressful thing!

naty1 Sat 12-Apr-14 10:35:42

I still ask hv to measure length, they have a measure with a head end.
I do have to ask though.
I would also measure her head circ as that would show up a huge diff if say 50% etc
Especially stood up would be wrong if they arent even walking as they wouldnt be holding themselves the same way.
I think its important for hv to measure height too as i dont think weight means much eg 1 baby commented on for being 90% weight and told to reduce milk etc but if they had measured height im sure that would have been 90% too.

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