Charting how your toddler is growing, both in size and developmentally, in comparison to his or her own growth in these areas so far, and in comparison to other children nationwide, is an excellent way to stay on top of any health or developmental issues that could arise in your toddler’s early years.
By keeping aware of what is normal across the charts and normal for your individual child, many discrepancies can be caught early and dealt with before they become serious matters.
To make your own toddler growth and developmental chart, you should ask either your pediatrician or local health center what guidelines they follow. If they have a chart available for you to photocopy, that is an ideal way to start. Otherwise, basic graph paper will be the basis for your chart.
- Three ring binder
- Three hole paper punch
- Red pen or marker
- Green pen or marker
- Blue pen or marker
- Photocopied chart and/or blank graph paper
If starting with graph paper, make a list across the top of the paper of the following twelve months. Start with the current month. On the left side of the paper mark the current weight of your child at the center, increase the weight by single pounds upwards; decrease the weight by single pounds downwards.
On the right side of the paper mark your child’s current height at the center, increase the size in one-inch increments upwards and decrease the height markings in one-inch increments downwards. Assign a color to weight, and one to height. Each month measure and weigh your child and mark with a small circle or dot on the lines of the graph in correspondence to the correct markings on each side.
As the month’s progress, you can connect the dots to see if your child is growing at a steady pace, and keep in mind that these marks can be compared to a chart from your pediatrician or local health center. Alternatively, bring the charts with you on your next visit to the pediatrician so that they can have a visual look at how your child is progressing along with the growth and milestones you have charted.
A second graph can be completed in a similar manner, but instead of height and weight markings, make a list down each side of milestones that your toddler should achieve over a span of a year or two.
Some milestones to include are first words, a continuation of adding words that are clearly spoken, putting two words together to form simple sentences, responding to commands, such as go get the ball, responding to questions with yes and no replies, and so on. Again, for a formal list of milestones, request them from your pediatrician.
After assembling the actual pages of your charts, ready them for placement into the three-ring binder by using the three-hole punch. New pages can be easily added, and by using the binder format, you can easily carry this with you to your toddler’s appointments with his or her pediatrician.
Once you start charting and realize how simple this is to do, you will wonder why more parents do not do it, and your pediatrician will appreciate such a concise look at your toddler’s growth and development.Once you start