Health Buzz: Constitutional Growth Delay

What percentile is your child for height and weight? Why do growth charts matter? Well, while we shouldn't obsess about them, it can tell us a few things when a child starts varying from their normal growth curve.

When my oldest was born, he was big and long. Around the 90th percentile for both height and weight. But as the months went by, his height started dipping on the charts. After he turned 1, his weight started tanking too. Now at 2, he is hovering between the 3rd and 10th percentile.

Now, Keegan is vibrant and active. He's just teeny and looks young for his age. I've talked to the pediatrician about it a few times. Right now she is thinking he may have something called "Constitutional Growth Delay". That's a good thing!

Constitutional Growth Delay is the MOST COMMON cause of short stature and it is reflected with slow growth in the first 3 years of childhood. Instead of maintaining or going up in the charts, you will see the child's chart go lower and lower until 2 to 3 years of age. Then growth should resume at a normal rate, but they will remain in the lower percentiles until they hit puberty.

Now, here is the kicker. When other kids are going through puberty, the child with the Constitutional Growth Delay WONT. So they will once again tumble down the growth curve. They will go through puberty, just later. The final result will be a normal adult height though!

I think that it is tougher for boys (and parents of boys). There is that stereotype that it is okay for girls to be petite, but boys should be "big and strong". But, honestly, I am okay with it. I get my baby longer! He is so tiny and cute! And as he gets older, we just have to listen to any concerns he may have .. I am sure it will come up! But in the end, he should be somewhere between 5' 6" and 5' 10" ... or taller!

Anyways, if your baby or toddler has taken a nosedive in the charts, check out these sources of information on Constitutional Growth Delay.

Magic Foundation
Teens Health