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Newborn baby's length

(32 Posts)
Pandora88 Wed 04-Jan-17 12:31:27

DS was born two weeks ago and no one took his length measurement since, whenever I ask midwifes or health visitor they all say that is just "not something they routinely do." I've got a family in Italy and Germany and over there it is one of the very first things they check - together with baby's weight etc. Also it seems that there are percentile charts for length contained within the red book, so one would think this stat is supposed to be tracked?

What are your experiences with this? Is it normal in the UK not to track baby's length from birth? If I wanted to have him measured who should I turn to? (I asked one of the midwifes and she's done some sort of a measurement but DS was kicking and screaming at the time and she herself said "my measurement is probably as good as yours" :-/ )

HeyRoly Wed 04-Jan-17 12:33:58

It's not something they routinely do, no. It's not exactly indicative of newborn health in the same way that weight is.

They take it at birth and again by the HV at the one year check.

SleepFreeZone Wed 04-Jan-17 12:35:30

Yeah I agree, it's not a health sign. In the early stages they want to be sure the baby is growing well all over, putting on weight and getting nutrition from their feeds.

AmberEars Wed 04-Jan-17 12:35:35

It's surprisingly difficult to measure a newborn baby's height accurately, which is why it isn't typically done. They will start doing it when he is a bit older.

WellErrr Wed 04-Jan-17 12:35:54

Mine have all been routinely measured, youngest is 5 months. Seems odd!

AmberEars Wed 04-Jan-17 12:36:16

Are you concerned about his height, OP?

SleepFreeZone Wed 04-Jan-17 12:36:24

Plus as you correctly state, trying to get an accurate length measurement is pretty damn impossible, so why bother unless is actually important?

Pandora88 Wed 04-Jan-17 12:36:46


But they didn't even measure him at birth sad

SprogletsMum Wed 04-Jan-17 12:37:45

My first 2 dc were measured at birth and then regularly. Dc3 was measured at 2 weeks by the health visitors, they don't do the birth measurement anymore.

crocodarl Wed 04-Jan-17 12:38:10

They measure them routinely here, every month from birth up until 1 year.

crocodarl Wed 04-Jan-17 12:39:15

My youngest is 2 months, so they're definitely still doing it!

Pandora88 Wed 04-Jan-17 12:39:44


People tell us DS seems really tiny etc. I'm a little paranoid since DH's dad is very short. I guess it would give me some reassurance to know he is in the normal range.

HeyRoly Wed 04-Jan-17 12:41:24

Are you sure they didnt measure him? I didn't see it happen but found it written in the red book later.

I still don't think it's a massive deal, even if they didn't.

YokoUhOh Wed 04-Jan-17 12:42:46

They don't measure babies in our part of the country. They're only concerned with weight.

alltouchedout Wed 04-Jan-17 12:43:07

Ds1 was in 2006 (Norfolk) . I don't think ds2 was in 2009 (Cambridgeshire) and ds3 definitely wasn't in 2014 (Manchester).

You could always measure him yourself if you think it would help.

Bjazzle Wed 04-Jan-17 12:45:21

My ds was born September just gone and wasn't measured at birth or since by anyone.

TeaCakeLiterature Wed 04-Jan-17 12:50:25

Our baby wasn't measured at birth and we were told afterwards that that's because they don't do it anymore.

They did measure him at a HV appt at our house once but since then I've had to ask at the clinic and they seem surprised when I ask - no one else seems to ask or be bothered!

Popskipiekin Wed 04-Jan-17 12:52:40

DS1 born 2014 camden, length measured at birth and tracked whenever I took him for regular weigh-ins. DS2 born 2016 Lambeth, length not measured and midwives looked at me like I was batty for wanting it done. You could try to do it yourself but - as has been pointed out - it's pretty tricky so you might not get accurate result! If he's little he's little. As long as he's putting on weight on a consistent centile then he's all good. And there's no knowing what will happen in later childhood, puberty etc. Cousin of mine did not grow in line with peers until he was 17! He's now 5'11 so all fine in the end.

AlcoChocs Wed 04-Jan-17 12:54:08

Babies used to be measured from birth routinely. It took 2 people, one would hold the head and the other would stretch the baby on a measuring mat as straight as possible and measure to the baby's heels.
Sometimes when the baby was measured 6 weeks later by different HCPs, who maybe didn't stretch the baby quite so much he/she was found to have shrunk, resulting in worry for parents and visits to GP.
Routine measuring doesn't serve any purpose and could do harm, trying to straighten a newborn's legs probably isn't good for the hips.

bookgirl1982 Wed 04-Jan-17 12:54:43

My son was measured at birth and at his recent one year check. The don't do it in between, only weight here.

But you can try and do it yourself if it is just for family interest.

SquedgieBeckenheim Wed 04-Jan-17 12:55:16

DD is now 2.6. She had length measured at 6 weeks then at 1. She was growth restricted, so if they were concerned about any babies size you'd think that's the group to check! They went purely by weight.
Reason I was given is that it's too difficult to get an accurate measurement when they're that young.

PotteringAlong Wed 04-Jan-17 12:58:09

None of mine have ever been measured for length - I had their height done at 1 year and 2 year checks but not before.

LatinForTelly Wed 04-Jan-17 17:51:19

My youngest (born 2010) wasn't measured at birth. In fact, I don't think my middle one was either (2007). I have spoken in the past to US and French doctors about growth issues and they think it's batshit of the UK, but yes, the accepted wisdom is it's not very accurate so why bother. It isn't that accurate but it's better than nothing surely for identifying growth problems?

katiegg Wed 04-Jan-17 18:04:33

Both of mine were measured at birth and HV measures them at each review, possibly ds1 was also measured at hospital appointments but I can't remember for certain. I don't recall community midwives or GP measuring length.

sleepy16 Wed 04-Jan-17 18:17:15

My two youngest 11 months and 2 have never been measured length, only had their head done at birth as well.

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