Tiny Life - Life at Home - Our baby’s growth & development

How premature babies may differ from babies born at full term?

Babies born prematurely have a different growth pattern than babies born at full term and your healthcare provider may use a special growth chart for premature girls or boys.

Your baby’s healthcare team will measure your baby’s growth and plot it on a growth chart. They may adjust your baby’s feeding based on how they are growing. There are e of growth for approximately 50% of all babies, for the largest 10% of babies, as well as the smallest 10% of babies. Since no baby is actually “average” these benchmarks are just used as a guide.

You can find preterm growth charts online.

How do I know if my baby is growing properly?

What is most important is how your baby’s growth changes over time. Does it go up in a smooth curve following one of the centile lines? Has it dropped or increased dramatically over a short time? If there has been a major change in your baby’s growth their healthcare provider will want to investigate and may make recommendations for feeding or for therapies.

Tiny Life - Life at Home - Our baby’s growth & development
Tiny Life - Life at Home - Our baby’s growth & development

What to do if you are worried?

If you have concerns about your baby’s growth be sure to discuss them as often as you need to with the healthcare professionals involved in your baby’s care including your GP, health visitor, physiotherapist or neonatologist or paediatrican.

This section was written by Professor Linda Franck

For more advice

NHS Growth Charts

  • Positive developmental experiences can play a very big role.

  • Most babies will begin to “catch up” in growth and development to near their chronological age by the end of the first year.