Pregnancy and Parenting Features

How To Measure Your Baby At Home

While your pediatric health care provider will certainly take measurements of your baby during office visits, many parents like to keep track of baby’s measurements at home. The measurements that pediatric health care providers and parents are generally concerned with include length (or height, once your child can stand), weight, and the circumference of your baby’s head. You can then use these measurements to plot your baby’s growth on a growth chart.

Your baby’s length can be measured in a variety of ways. The simplest way to to this at home is to use a simple tape measure. To do this, you will first lay your baby on her back. position her head against a wall or other flat surface. Then, you will need to hold your baby’s knees together and press on them gently so her legs stick straight out. You can then use the tape measure to calculate the distance from the wall down to the baby’s heels. This is often easiest to do when one person holds the baby and another holds the tape measure. Use inches or centimeters, whichever you prefer, to record your baby’s length.

To calculate your baby’s weight, you can use either a pediatric scale or a regular home bathroom scale. While pediatric scales give a more precise reading, effectively measuring down to the ounce, home bathroom scales are typically sufficient for most parents. To figure out your baby’s weight using a bathroom scale, first weigh yourself and jot down your weight. Then, climb onto the scale while holding your baby. Subtract your weight from this second number to get your baby’s weight.

Measuring your baby’s head can be somewhat tricky. The best method is to use a fabric measuring tape. Place this measuring tape around the largest part of your baby’s head. This should be just above the eyebrows and ears, and will go around the entire head. This measurement is known as the occipital-frontal circumference, or OFC, and is generally taken in centimeters.

There are a variety of growth percentile calculators and growth charts that you can the, if you wish, use to see where your child falls in comparison to the average baby.

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