It is very common for a concerned mother to come to my consultation because her son or daughter is the shortest in her room, or because she is thinner than the rest of her age friends. He always explained to them that although it is true that there are percentiles for the pediatric population that help us guide us about the ideal height and weight for a child according to their age, we must also take into account the race, the size of the parents and the background of each child, since a full-term child is not the same as a premature child and even a child of extreme prematurity, eating habits, among other factors.
I always tell them the anecdote of some patients from the southeast of Mexico where the mother was 150 centimeters and the father 148 centimeters; which had a girl who at one year was in the lowest percentile for her age, but according to her parents’ height, she was at the expected size for her. To properly address a child with short stature, we must take a complete medical history and preferably measure the parents in consultation, as well as measure the child properly: without shoes, with a correct position and a stadiometer.
As for weight, we are used to a healthy child being a chubby child, which is not true at all, many times the “thin” child they take me is at his ideal weight, and nothing needs to be supplemented.
Therefore, remember that your child is unique, that your obligation is to take him to his well-child review appointments at the pediatrician (the first year every month, and subsequently three times a year), where pathologies will be detected early. But beyond that, you must stop comparing your little one, each one will speak, walk, run in due time; children do it a little earlier, some a little later. Give him his space and his time. Educate him with proper eating habits and stop worrying about the children around him.
Enjoy your child, every moment, every stage, because by being worried or worried about others, you stop seeing the wonders that your child performs. You miss his first smile, his first steps, his first words. And those moments will never be repeated.
Dr Estela Velazquez