A practical guide for parents to monitor their child’s growth at home
The purpose of this article is to help parents and carers to perform growth measurements on children, whilst access to healthcare professionals and services is limited due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. There is also guidance on how to assess your child’s growth in with relation to the World Health Organization child weight and height growth charts, as well as how frequently to monitor.
Important note: this article is provided as guidance and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice.
When measuring equipment is available at home
Weight and length/height measurement if your child is <2 years
Weight and length/height measurement if your child is >2 years
Assessing your child’s growth
After completing weight and height measurements of your child, follow the link below to learn more about interpreting the measurements against standardized World Health Organization child weight and height growth charts.
Growth monitoring: frequency of measurements
Where there is a concern regarding growth – measures should be repeated regularly (table 1).
Table 1: Frequency of anthropometrical measures where there are growth concerns
|Growth measurements||Preterm infant ≤ 37 weeks gestational age||If < 1 month old||1 – 6 months||6 – 12 months||From 1 Year|
|Weight||2-3 x week||2 x week||Weekly||Fortnightly||Monthly|
When measuring equipment is not available at home
If you do not have any measuring equipment e.g. tape measure or scales, consider the following points:
- Was there concern about your child’s growth before? This is important to assess the level of concern.
- Do you think that your child is not gaining weight/your child’s clothes are looser than they were and/or you are not changing to new clothes as anticipated?
- Does your child have a poor appetite/refuse meals more than usual or is tiring more easily during feeds and not finishing milk/refusing milk?
- Does your child have more frequent vomits/ loose stools?
If you have answered yes to one or multiple of the above questions, contact your healthcare professional via phone/video consultation to assess what services are available to help.