Big jump in head circumference - should I worry? — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Big jump in head circumference - should I worry?

at DS's 9 month appointment he jumped from about the 20th percentile to the 70th percentile in head circumference.  The pedi said not to worry unless it kept increasing at that rate, and I didn't think much about it.  But now I'm starting to worry a little since we have 2 more months until our next appointment.

Did anyone else have their LO's head increase in size like this? 

I might just start measuring his head to see if it's changing - I'd like to think I'd notice but we didn't realize it grew that much between 6 and 9 mos.  DH thinks I'm being too worried, but I've never heard of kids jumpin in head size that much so I wanted to check with you guys :)

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Re: Big jump in head circumference - should I worry?

  • I know that at my pedi's office, it can vary somewhat based on who does the measurement. One time, the head circumference dropped drastically from one check-up to the next. The doctor said it was obviously a mismeasurement. Can you try to re-do the measurement yourself to see if it was accurate? If they accidently measured a half in or so higher than what it should be, my guess is that it could make a difference in the percentile. Like maybe he only went up to the 50th percentile or something like that?

     


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  • My DD had a big jump in head circumference between her 9 and 12 months appointment.  The doctor actually remeasured because he couldn't believe DDs head was that big - she went from the 75th to the 99th percentile.  At her 15 month appointment she was back down to 75th.  Look at what qualifies as a percentage jump, they are really small increments of measurement.  My guess was that DD was going through a growth spurt.  My brothers have really big heads so it just amused me more than anything.       
  • image vtkendra:

    I know that at my pedi's office, it can vary somewhat based on who does the measurement. One time, the head circumference dropped drastically from one check-up to the next. The doctor said it was obviously a mismeasurement. Can you try to re-do the measurement yourself to see if it was accurate? If they accidently measured a half in or so higher than what it should be, my guess is that it could make a difference in the percentile. Like maybe he only went up to the 50th percentile or something like that?

    This. We've had this happen with height too - they just don't measure these quite as accurately as a scale does with weight, and since it does take so little to have a shift in head circumference percentage, that could be it. And even if you're measurement is the same, the one from 6 months could have been a little off. DS did have a jump like this (I just can't remember when exactly!) but came back down later, so who knows if it was measurement error or just a growth spurt.

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  • Thanks ladies - I didn't even think about the measurements being off, lol.   

    I looked at the chart and you're right, there less than an inch difference between the 25th and 75th percentiles so a small mismeasurement could mean a big jump in percentiles. 

    thanks again for your logical thoughts and reassurance :)

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