Understanding Baby Growth Percentiles
How does your child measure up?
Pediatricians in the United States began using government charts to measure babies’ growth in 1977. The National Center for Health Statistics created the first set of charts to give doctors a simple tool they could use to monitor normal baby growth development, but the charts were based on a small study of formula-fed babies in one area of Ohio—and some of the statistics came from as early as 1929.
In 2000, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new-and-improved baby growth percentile charts. These updated charts—currently used in most American pediatric offices—are based on a national survey of children from various regions and ethnic groups, and babies fed through breastfeeding as well as formula-fed babies are included.
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