Growth Charts

From birth, your child's weight and length/height should be measured regularly by your health care provider at all well-child visits.

Putting a child's growth measurements on a growth chart is a good way to see how a child is growing. A number of measurements taken over time may be used to check a child's growth pattern.

It is your child's growth pattern over time that shows if your child is growing properly.

NOTE: It is more important that your child follows a normal growth pattern for them than to be at a certain place on the growth chart compared to other children.

For more information about monitoring your child's growth using growth charts, visit the Canadian Paediatric Society, Caring for Kids website.

What growth chart should my health care provider use?

Dietitians of Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and Community Health Nurses of Canada recommend the use of the World Health Organization (WHO) growth standards for 0-5 year olds and growth reference charts for children 5-19 years to monitor the growth of children and adolescents.

The WHO growth charts have been adapted for use in Canada and are available on the Dietitians of Canada website.

Another important resource from Dietitians of Canada is: Is My Child Growing Well with questions and answers for parents.

NOTE: The growth standards for children 0-5 years are based on information collected from children who were breastfed, so these growth charts give a better indication of the expected growth of breastfed infants.

You can find more information about the WHO Child Growth Standards (2006) and the Child and Adolescent Growth Reference Charts (2007) on the World Health Organization website.

Special considerations when using growth charts

In the case of premature babies and babies with special needs, such as Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, etc. talk to your healh care provider about the growth chart that should be used to monitor your child's growth.

If you have any concerns about your child's growth, contact your health care provider.