Babies: 3 - 6 Months
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Worried sick.... (XP - December 2011)

LO had his 4-month well-child appointment on Friday. They took all measurements as usual, and although his height and weight were perfectly proportionate (both right at the 25th percentile) his head circumference was very large for his body (94th percentile). He has always had kind of a big head (it was 82nd percentile at his 2 month visit) and the nurse practitioner said she thinks he's probably fine because the measurement hasn't crossed 2 standard deviations yet, but she is having him come back in a month early to have another measurement done. If it has grown more, they will do an ultrasound of his fontanel to make sure there isn't too much fluid in his cranium.

So....I am now totally neurotic about it and I think the next month is going to kill me. DH and I don't have any family history of any of the congenital conditions of which a large head is a symptom, and LO hasn't really had any of the conditions that can cause excessive fluid buildup, but I am going nuts reading about all this stuff online, checking his fontanel for bulging, etc. I know that every time he gets fussy, extra tired, or seems to be behind on even one milestone that I am going to jump to conclusions.

Have any of your LOs had large heads for their body? How did your health care providers deal with it? What was the outcome?

Re: Worried sick.... (XP - December 2011)

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    I don't have any experience with this.  I just wanted to say that I hope everything turns out alright.  
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    Hope it's nothing.  Sometimes I even think nurses measure differently so they show up as different percentages.  Somehow dd's head shrunk one time Hmm because it was a different nurse.  In the meantime, I'd try to stop reading Dr. Google.  I know it's hard, but it's only going to make you worry more.
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    imageEveryNameIWantIsTaken:
    Hope it's nothing.  Sometimes I even think nurses measure differently so they show up as different percentages.  Somehow dd's head shrunk one time Hmm because it was a different nurse.  In the meantime, I'd try to stop reading Dr. Google.  I know it's hard, but it's only going to make you worry more.

    All of this. Try to stay calm. I hope everything turns out okay, too. *hugs*

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    My DD was 50-ish percentile for length, weight, and head size until her 2 month appointment, when her head went up to 75 percentile. At her 4 month appointment (she was 4.5 months old), she was still 50-75% for height, 90-95% for weight, and 95% for head size. So, she has a big noggin, but it is perfectly shaped, and the doctor didn't seem the least bit worried.

    Hopefully your LO's large head doesn't mean anything other than he is growing an extra smart brain.  Smile

    I have a friend with a son who had a giant head when he was a baby.  (I don't know the %, but man, it was huge)  He is perfectly 100% fine now, and his body caught up with his head.  Like the pp said, stay away from Dr. Google.  You'll only worry yourself more.

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    imageEveryNameIWantIsTaken:
    Hope it's nothing.  Sometimes I even think nurses measure differently so they show up as different percentages.  Somehow dd's head shrunk one time Hmm because it was a different nurse.  In the meantime, I'd try to stop reading Dr. Google.  I know it's hard, but it's only going to make you worry more.

    This.  My son's head measurement at his 2 month appointment was in the 10th percentile, but height and weight were off the charts.  I thought it was a little odd, but the nurse measured twice.  I never thought he looked disproportionate at all.  Turns out, at his 4 month, his head is in the 65th.  Pedi is fairly sure the nurse measured incorrectly. Twice.

     

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    see my reply on dec 11!
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    The only measurement I trust is weight.  At the last appointment they said DD2 was longer and had a bigger head, yet based on how pajamas and hats fit that is completely wrong.  Each appointment they have the babies switching who is longer and who has a bigger head, but DD1 is always the heavier baby.  Just as a point of reference, a small difference in their head measurements (.1 or .2 cm) caused an 8% jump in the percentile for the baby with the bigger head, so a small error in how they measure can make a huge difference in what percentile your baby is in. 
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    My cousins child has a very large head, and at i think 15mo they did a CT scan to make sure there wasn't anything serious wrong. She is totally fine, just has a large head. I'd try to relax and know that they are only doing that to be extra cautious. When DD2 was 1 mo she lost weight and they found a heart murmur, we were in the hospital for 3 days while they ran blood tests, monitored her weight gain, and did a heart ultra sound. Everything turned out okay and now shes in the 75th % for weight. So just take comfort that they are being proactive in ruling out any serious conditions, I know how scary it is when DR are concerned about anything happening with LO. Good luck, Im sure everything will turn out just fine.
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    As PP's have said, measurement is VERY varied.  My DS has always been in the 70's for percentile with his head.  At his 4 month the nurse measured him at 17th%!  When the DR went over his numbers with me she said it like that was no big deal.  I asked why his head is measuring so small now.  She said it's fine, it's when there is a BIG jump.  I told her I felt 70% to 17% is BIG!  She then said if she measures his head 6 times, chances are she will get 6 different measurements.  She re-measured him and voila, he was back in the 70's.  I wouldn't worry at all.
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    I know how you feel and all I want to say is: it is probably nothing!! It happened to my DD, at her 2 month she jumped from 50% head circumference to 90%. The pedi requested a head ultrasound and I was freaking out, because on my last ultrasound before she was born they detected an enlarged ventricle. I was a nervous wreck until she was born when they did a head ultrasound and found everything ok. The 2 month ultrasound was ok as well. I had to come back for a 3 month app and the head was still in the 90's. But the growth had slowed down. In the 4th month she was in the 70's...she is totally fine and they found nothing wrong. The problem wasn't the percentile or the percentile related to height and weight...but it was the big jump from one month to the other.

    So,try not to be nervous. It is probably nothing...I guess for us it was just a growth spurt of the head...or something like that. 

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    Thanks everyone. It is encouraging to hear from everyone who had perfectly normal big-headed babies. I just hope he is growing a big brain, but it's so hard not to stress! I never thought I would be like this!
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    My son's head is in the 90th percentile and the doctor isn't worried about it at all. He's very funny looking I guess b/c he's got a big noggin, average weight, but he's very short (3rd percentile at the last appointment).

     I'm honestly more worried about him being super short than I am about his big old head.



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    My LO just had the same issue! We went for a head ultrasound and everything. She turned out to be 100% fine. I know saying "don't worry" won't do anything to help but just know that this is common and often is ok. Good luck!
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    Dr. Google is the devil...try not to stress until you know something for certain from the doctors. Besides large measurements can be normal and fluctuate. (Maybe he's just going to be REALLY smart!) Remember he's only had his head measured a few times. Babies grow super fast! Mine started out tiny and now he's a monster!  All joking aside, try not to stress and just enjoy your sweet baby boy. T&P coming your way!
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    I wouldn't stress too much. My girlfriend's baby's head was very large for her body, the sent her to a specialist to have it checked out, there was no problem.
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    wychetswychets member
    The same thing happened to my Nephew, his head has always been in the 90th percentile...Come to find out he just has a big head, luckily he is now growing into it at 4yo:) GL!
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