5 Top Tips for Tracking Growth

By Jennifer Bright

March 17, 2020 5 min read

When my boys were babies and toddlers, I was so fascinated by their growth. Each time they outgrew a size, it felt like a milestone to me. I loved moving the next size from storage into Tyler's drawers, from Tyler's drawers to Austin's drawers and finally from Austin's drawers to a dear friend who has a son a little younger than Austin.

I also kept track of their height and weight diligently on a chart in my organizer. Yes, that was back in the day when I carried a paper organizer everywhere I went — presmartphones!

I was amazed to see the transformation in my sons' bodies as they grew from babies — with relatively large heads and short legs and arms — to toddlers — with head, arms and legs in better proportion.

Don't be surprised if you catch yourself looking at your toddler's face searching for the baby face that was there just a few months ago! Your child's face will change in his toddler years. His lower jaw will become more pronounced and his upper jaw will widen to make room for his permanent teeth. Your toddler's face will actually become larger, and his features will become more chiseled. The toddler years are a wonderful time of growth and change!

Here's what our mommy M.D.'s — doctors who are also mothers — do to track their own babies' growth.

"All through my girls' childhoods, they went to regular well-child doctor visits," says Cathy Marshall, M.D., a mom of three daughters and a pediatrician in private practice in Encino, California. "The nurses carefully measured their weights and heights. After we got home, I marked their heights on charts that we hung on a wall in each of their rooms. My kids loved watching their heights change and how they compared with one another. I would always reinforce them by saying things like, 'You're growing a healthy body' and, 'You've done such a good job eating your vegetables!'"

"When I took my sons to their well-child visits, the doctors always checked their growth by taking their weight and height measurements and plotting them on a standard growth chart," says Deborah Kulick, M.D., a mom of two sons, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Everett Teen Health Center and an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance. "They also wrote down the information in a small book I bring with me to each appointment so I can keep track, too."

"I am so thankful that we marked the height of our family on a door rather than a wall," says Jennifer Hanes, D.O., a mom of two and a wellness physician at Dr. Hanes in Houston. "It was wonderful because we were able to take it with us when we moved. Even at 12 and 14, my kids still enjoy marking their heights. Sometimes we mark them around birthdays, but other times, we mark them if the kids feel they've had a growth spurt."

Dr. Rallie's Tips

"I worried about plenty of things when my boys were toddlers, but fortunately, their rate of growth wasn't one of them. My husband and I are both tall, and my boys were all rather long at birth. I was happy to let our pediatrician track my boys' growth on their medical charts at his office, and he always let me know that they were following their growth curves nicely.

"That doesn't mean that I didn't have fun tracking their growth unofficially at home. We had a doorway in our mudroom that served as our makeshift growth chart, and from the time my boys were old enough to walk, I would stand them next to that door and mark their height with the date I measured them. I had planned to do this a couple of times a year, but my boys enjoyed doing it so much that I usually ended up doing it a couple of times a month. They loved seeing those little lines move up the door so they could tell how much they had grown!" — Rallie McAllister, M.D., M.P.H., mom of three, co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby's First Year," nationally recognized health expert and family physician in Lexington, Kentucky.

Mommy MD Guides-Recommended Product: See Me Grow Mat

Wouldn't it be great to see how fast your little one is growing every day? Now you can chart your baby's growth as often as you'd like with the See Me Grow Mat changing pad. Chart your baby's growth spurts with 3 feet of priceless space on this unique changing pad. Prices start at $9.95 at the See Me Grow Mat website.

Jennifer Bright is a mom of four sons, co-founder and CEO of family- and veteran- owned custom publisher Momosa Publishing, co-founder of the Mommy MD Guides team of 150+ mommy M.D.s, and co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years." She lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. To find out more about Jennifer Bright and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: 9lnw at Pixabay

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