A Quick Review Of Pediatric Growth Norms From Dr. Fox

It is critical for all physicians to be able to recognize failure to thrive in infants and children and to be able to initiate a workup for the problem.

Be sure and see Resource (2) for formal growth charts from the Centers For Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

The following are excerpts from Resource (1) Gross Growth Estimates by Dr. Fox of Pediatric EM Morsels:

Failure to Thrive?

  • An infant with failure to thrive will first demonstrate poor weight gain.
    • With continued insult, there will be reduced height/length growth and then, finally, reduced head circumference growth.
  • After birth, infants will normally loose weight initially (particularly breastfed infants).
    • Infants should regain their birth weight by 2 weeks of life.

Weight Estimates?

  • For the first 3 months, infants should gain ~30 grams a day (~1 oz / day).
  • By 6 months, they should have doubled their weight.
  • By 12 months, they should have tripled their weight.
  • By 24 months, they should have quadrupled their weight.

Other useful numbers:

  • At 1 year of age, your average child will be ~10kg.
  • At 3 years of age, your average child will be ~ 15kg.
  • At 6 years of age, your average child will be ~ 20kg.


(1)  Growth Estimates BY DR SEAN FOX of Pediatric EM Morsels· PUBLISHED MAY 13, 2011 · UPDATED NOVEMBER 21, 2013

(2) Growth Chart Recommendations From The Centers For Disease Control

  • Use the WHO growth standards to monitor growth for infants and children ages 0 to 2 years of age in the U.S.
  • Use the CDC growth charts for children age 2 years and older in the U.S.
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