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can anyone explain these centile charts to me in simple terms ?

(19 Posts)
robinredbreast Wed 22-Aug-07 23:28:44

or tell me where to find the info ?

i cant seem to make head nor tail off them

normabutty Wed 22-Aug-07 23:30:31

Basically whatever centile your LO is on, that percentage of babies is lower. So if your LO was on the 25th centile for weight then 25% of babies are at that weight or below (on average)

SlightlyMadStar Wed 22-Aug-07 23:31:38

You should have a chart in your red book. You babies weight at birth should be plotted on it, and will be close to one of hte lines (doesn't matter at all which one).
When you weigh your baby, ther weight should be plotted and when a chart is drawn the line should broadly follow the line that he/she started on. It is acceptable to move gradually to the neighbouring line over a period of time.

Doesn't matter if they don't exactly follow a line. It is the trend that is important.

Twinklemegan Wed 22-Aug-07 23:34:51

They are charts plotting the growth of babies, weight against age. The 50th centile is the average. Out of every 100 babies, on average 50 will be below the line and 50 above the line. Anything below the 50th centile line is below average. Anything above the 50th centile line is above average. The law of averages is that not everyone can be average, so there will inevitably be babies whose growth is above or below the line and yet still normal.

Does that help at all? Probably not.

robinredbreast Wed 22-Aug-07 23:35:58

bloody hell i really am thick i just dont get it
if say for example there born on the 50th line they should stay on that line ?

Twinklemegan Wed 22-Aug-07 23:37:11

Yes and no. Some babies are born heavier, relatively speaking, than they will end up. My DS was born just above the 50th line. He's now closer to the 25th but perfectly healthy and normal.

Twinklemegan Wed 22-Aug-07 23:37:58

The best advice would be ignore the charts. If your baby's happy and healthy and thriving then the charts don't matter one bit.

SlightlyMadStar Wed 22-Aug-07 23:38:23

They should follow it.

They may dip below it some weeks, poke above it others.

Some may even gradually move to next line up or down.

I think it becomes a concern if they move 2 lines more than 2 lines.

normabutty Wed 22-Aug-07 23:40:58

No matter what happens your HV will find some reason to complain and worry you stupid...chuck the charts out the window and go on your instincts

kiskidee Thu 23-Aug-07 11:16:06

as simply as possible:

if your dd is on the 25% as mine is, it means that out of 100 children of exactly the same age, 75 of them will be heavier than yours and 24 of them will be lighter than yours. (75+24+1 (your precious)=100.

another example: if you are on the 9th, 91 children out of 100 are bigger than yours and 8 out of 100 is smaller. (91+8+1=100)

That is all the percentile charts tell you. it doesn't say how healthy or not so healthy your child is.

It is also not something to try to get all babies to be on the 50th That is impossible. it is an average of all the babies of the same age.

aloha Thu 23-Aug-07 11:17:28

Lots of children end up on a differnt line to the one they were born on. Their birth weight can have almost no correlation with their subsequent size.

oliveoil Thu 23-Aug-07 11:20:26

both mine were big at birth and stayed on the 98 or more

now they are about 75

(also, these charts are based on ff babies, not b/f, so that is why some b/f babies seem 'low' on the charts)

pistachio Thu 23-Aug-07 11:23:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArtistFormerlyKnownAsSOH Thu 23-Aug-07 11:24:15

Yes they don't necessarily follow the line they are born on, they are more likely to find their natural curve and stay on that one.

DD is 14wks, born on the 50th but follows the 91st now! She is happy, healthy and developing well.

I'd ignore them really. Happy and healthy is something you will recognise in your child not in that dratted book.

Pruners Thu 23-Aug-07 11:24:17

Message withdrawn

aloha Thu 23-Aug-07 11:24:33

I have no idea what 'line' my dd was on - because I never got her weighed. Best decision of my life. No worry, no hassle.

ArtistFormerlyKnownAsSOH Thu 23-Aug-07 11:25:11

And dd is exclusively bf, so a glutten obviously!

prettybird Thu 23-Aug-07 11:26:33

It's not the line a baby is born on that matter - they can drop (or gain) lots of centiles, while they adjust to "their" natural growth curve.

My ds was born on the 91st, dropped to just below the growth curves and then gradually moved back into the charts before following roughly the 25th centile - and ultimately (towards a year old, I think - i was no longer getting him weighed) moving on hp to the 50th centile, where I think he still is (but I don't know, as I don't weigh him any more - he is now 6 and looks healthy and in proportion, if slim, compared to the others in his class).

The consutlant paediatrician, who was reffred to at 6 weeks, told me to stop worrying abut the chrats and to just enjoy my baby. He could see that dsw as happy, healthy and alert. Their weight is only one inidcator of a child's health - you need to look at the baby as a whole.

Remeber - these are only averages, so that is why the curves look "smooth": babies don't alwys follow the "rules"

bigmouthstrikesagain Thu 23-Aug-07 11:28:40

Agree with what has been said below - I will also add that I hate the bloody charts as my dd was at the top of the chart for weight and height and then went totally off the charts (105%ile or something!?) and a wholly unnecessary concern was raised by my hv about it. She is a big baby from a family of tall people - she has 12 cousins none of whom were much below the 90th %ile as babies. That is what I told the gp as well - it is very difficult to rid yourself of the nagging worry that something is wrong once it is implanted. Suffice to say now she is 16m and I have not weighed dd for months - she could be 200th %ile for all I know - but she climbs like a monkey and runs everywhere - so I don't think I need to put her on a diet!!! sorry I had to vent there - I will get back in me box now!

Look to your relatives for what is normal and keep an eye on your charts but don't be a slave to them. Don't ignore your hv but don't panic if your baby is healthy, happy and active.

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