Growth chart is a graph which compares the growth of the children with age. Having a growth chart is very helpful. It helps to figure how exactly the child is faring in terms of their height and weight ration as well in achieving the milestones. If the child is lagging it would be visible and steps could be taken to look at the cause and correct. Anything treated early is easy to cure than at a later stage.
The paediatrician could help with general guidelines for preparing the growth chart. They could give a photocopy of the growth chart that they use to assess the child’s growth. It can be prepared even without their help.
To prepare a growth chart, the requisites are
- Three ring binder
- Three hole paper punch
- Red pen or marker
- Green pen or marker
- Blue pen or marker
- Photocopied chart and/or blank graph paper
On the graph paper, months should be marked across the page. It should begin with the current month or year. On the left hand side, the current weight of the child should be marked at the center and weight should be marked as a pound increase above this and a pound decrease below.
Similarly, on the right hand side, current height of the child should be market at the center and the height should be marked as one inch increase upwards and an inch decrease downwards. Each of the markings of height and weight should be in different colors. Each month the child’s height and weight should be plotted on the graph as a dot or a circle. This graph could be compared to the chart (if any) provided by the pediatrician. If not, the graph could be shown to pediatrician while visiting them to ensure that the child is growing normally.
Another graph could be prepared in the similar way for the milestones. Instead of height and weight, milestones would be plotted against age. Milestones could be simple one like first words, continuation of adding words, putting two words together to form simple sentences, responding to commands, such as go get the ball, responding to questions with yes and no replies, etc.
Once the chart is done it could be filed in three hole ring binder. A ring binder is suggested as it would be easy to add pages for every year and it’s portable too.