How your child's growth is measured

Growth measurements check your child’s overall health and development. Normal growth is helped if your child has a healthy balanced diet and is emotionally secure. Other things, such as genes, health and sickness can affect your child’s growth pattern.

Your GP or public health nurse will record their measurements of your child’s weight, length or head circumference.

These checks usually take place in:

  • your local health centre
  • your GP surgery
  • occasionally in the home

These results are recorded on your child’s growth chart. This record plots the growth of your child from birth onwards and shows if your child is growing as expected.

Growth charts

Growth charts show the pattern of growth healthy children usually follow. There are different charts for boys and girls because they usually have slightly different growth patterns.


When you look at a growth chart, you may notice that it has curved lines. These lines are called centiles. These show the average weight and height gain for children of different ages. The growth of your child will usually roughly follow a centile line.

Page last reviewed: 4 December 2018
Next review due: 4 December 2021