Post a Question
Your question brief (optional)
Choose a topic

Newborn Head Circumference: Why is it Important?

Newborn Head Circumference: Why is it Important?

A newborn head circumference is very important to measure. That is why doctors measure it during your routine check ups. Doctors do so because it helps them understand your baby’s growth and development. If you are wondering about this, here you will learn more on why this is important. And what is the accurate way to measure a baby’s head circumference. 

Why do doctors care about newborn head circumference?

From birth and up to two years old, a baby’s head and brain grows about 80 percent in total. By measuring a newborn’s head circumference, doctors can track and record the baby’s growth. And that is why this measurement is so important. Because it helps doctors understand the baby’s growing speed and tell if it is average or not. 

In addition, it is very normal that a newborn’s head is bigger than the rest of his or her body. Usually, that is due to some genetic factors. That is most likely to happen if one of the parents has a bigger head. So, there is no need to worry about such a thing. 

Also, keep in mind that measurements tell doctors about your baby’s growth. So, what those measurements ential is more important than how much they are. They also tell doctors about the baby’s growth speed to make sure it is average. Not too slow nor too fast.

What is the average? 

The average newborn’s head circumference is around 34.2 centimeters. This is when they are around a few hours or weeks old. By the time they turn 1 month old, their head circumference will be around 36.9 centimeters. It is worth mentioning that baby boys’ heads are slightly larger than baby girls. Though the gap would only be 1 or 2 centimeters. Also, keep in mind that this number is not fixed, it is an average. Meaning that it is completely normal if your baby’s measurements are a few centimeters bigger or smaller.

When will a doctor measure my baby’s head circumference?

The first time a doctor or a pediatrician takes a baby’s baby’s head circumference measurements is after birth. As in around the first 24 hours. Doctors will keep a growth chart for your baby. And they will keep an eye on their growing speed along the way. Future measurements usually take place whenever you have a doctor’s appointment. They will take those measurements, while also examining your baby’s head to make sure all is well. 

How to correctly take a newborn’s head circumference?

When doctors take a baby’s head measurements, they use a delicate tape measure. They wrap the tape measure around the head, right above the ears. And in case your baby starts crying about this – do not worry. It does not hurt them, they are simply uncomfortable by having someone wrapping something around their little heads. 

In some cases, the measurements can be unusual. They can indicate unusual growth speed, whether it is too quick or too slow. If that happens, the doctors will order some extra tests to know the reason behind this. They usually do so to make sure there is nothing serious behind it. 

Remember, this is not the only growth indicator

As important as head circumference is for recording a baby’s growth. We must keep in mind that it is not the only reliable indicator for it. There are plenty of other factors that tell us how our babies are growing and developing. Therefore, it is important to stick to those routine visits without delay. So the doctors can keep a steady and clear record of our babies’ growth.

Common Newborn Health Problems

Caring for a Newborn

First Newborn Check Up