Head Circumference — The Bump
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Head Circumference

Hi All,

I have a question. While preparing my son's records for his first visit to the neurologist next month I was reading over his birth stats. It says that his head circumference was in the 97th percentile at birth (which actually corresponds to his height). It surprised me only, because every well visit he has ever had measured his head circumference a little bit toward the smaller end (between 10-20th percentile). And I know there is always room for human error, but that seems like kind of a large gap.

I know babies lose about 10% of their body weight after birth, but is it pretty normal to lose that much head circumference between birth and the first few well visits? He has pretty much stayed steady around 18-20th percentile for head size, except for an incident where he abruptly fell to 10th percentile when he was a few months old. It was still well within the normal range, and it came back up to the 18th percentile within the next few well visits, so his ped said all was well. 

Just wondering if anyone knows wether this drop in head circumference is common in newborns, or if it is something I should mention when we visit the neuro. 

Thanks! :-)
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Re: Head Circumference

  • I'm probably talking out of my ass here, but could have his head been swollen from coming out of the birth canal? Maybe they measured wrong? This happened to me before.
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  • Thanks ladies. I think you guys are right, and there must have been a mistake in the measurements. I can't imagine how those first numbers could be accurate. 
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  • When dd was born, she measured 19.5in. Then at her 2 week check, she was 18.5in. Those early measurements just aren't very accurate. And head is the most sensitive to errors since the slightest change makes a big difference in percentiles.
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  • I'd chalk it up to error. The way they measure is not very accurate and 1/4" can be a HUGE percentile difference at that age.
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