When our babies are first born there is a LOT of focus on growth. I remember my pediatrician having to give special dispensation for Max to leave the hospital as he'd actually lost weight his first few days. To me this made sense as he was not coordinated enough to suck properly initially so we were syringe feeding him. Seemed logical to me that he would need time to put on some pounds. Fortunately the Doc agreed.
Similarly the health nurse drove me crazy with Joe as he apparently wasn't putting on "enough" weight. He fed every 2 hours for 4 1/2 months so it was not for want of trying. He was tall but because he was under 5th percentile for weight he kept ringing alarm bells. He is still tall and still super slim and still wants to eat every 2 hours! His height/weight chart just was not telling the "right" story.
Now I understand that height and weight charts can give us a good overview of how children are growing and can be a great resource for catching possible issues.
However, IMO they are also not the only important factor for determining whether children are developing. Never is this more true than when it comes to eating.
We can have a child that eats a handful of foods. But if those are carb heavy (which they tend to be) then our child is likely to gain weight according to schedule.
What the height/weight chart is not recording is the fear around food. The discomfort about going to new places to eat. The worry about sleepovers/camps. The limited and repetitive diet.
It's also not looking at nutrient levels and whether there is something crucial missing or not being taken at an appropriate level. Now our bodies are amazing machines and can compensate shockingly well even when not given the right fuel. However, a better diet has been proven to give us better long-term outcomes.
What it's also not seeing is the pressure placed on families when there is a child who struggles to eat. The extra meals, the worry, the guilt, the frustration.
This is why I believe it's important to look at the individual and their specifics rather than looking just at growth charts.
If you feel there is something wrong you are probably right. Most parents intuitively know when there is a problem. You are the best judge of your child's needs whatever the chart says.
Judith is passionate about good food and is even more passionate about enabling other people to enjoy the wide variety of fresh food available today.