What does it mean if my baby’s head is measuring small?

Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected. During pregnancy, a baby’s head grows because the baby’s brain grows. Microcephaly can occur because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, which results in a smaller head size.

When should I be concerned about my baby’s head size?

If your baby’s head is measuring small or is not growing: Your baby’s doctor may be concerned about failure to thrive (when a child doesn’t take in enough calories or is unable to utilize them and doesn’t grow properly as a result).

Should I be concerned if my baby’s head is small?

Chances are your doctor will detect microcephaly at the baby’s birth or at a regular well-baby checkup. However, if you think your baby’s head is smaller than normal or isn’t growing as it should, talk to your doctor.

Can babies have small heads normal?

Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than normal. It is most often present at birth (congenital). Most children with microcephaly also have a small brain and intellectual disability. Some children with small heads have normal intelligence.

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What does having a small head mean?

Microcephaly is a condition in which a person’s head size is much smaller than that of others of the same age and sex. Head size is measured as the distance around the top of the head. A smaller than normal size is determined using standardized charts.

What is abnormal head circumference?

Macrocephaly refers to an overly large head. It’s often a symptom of complications or conditions in the brain. There’s a standard used to define macrocephaly: The circumference of a person’s head is more than two standard deviations above average for their age. Or, their head is larger than the 98th percentile.

Will my baby’s head round out on its own?

In most cases, your baby’s head shape will resolve on its own. Given time and a little effort, your baby’s head will grow and return to normal as they begin moving and doing more. Wearing a helmet is also a good way to correct large malformation or flat spots on your baby’s head.

What happens if head circumference is small?

Severe microcephaly is a more serious, extreme form of this condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected. Severe microcephaly can result because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy, or the brain started to develop correctly and then was damaged at some point during pregnancy.

Is a small head a sign of Down syndrome?

Height and weight — Babies with Down syndrome are usually smaller than other babies, and they have smaller heads. They may also grow more slowly and may never reach the same heights that typical children do.

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Are small babies healthy?

Some babies are small because their parents are small. But most babies who are small for gestational age have growth problems that happen during pregnancy. When the unborn baby does not get enough oxygen or nutrients during pregnancy, they don’t grow as much as normal. The condition is often suspected before birth.

Can you tell if your baby has microcephaly?

There are no specific tests to determine if a baby will be born with microcephaly, but ultrasound scans in the third trimester of pregnancy can sometimes identify the problem. There is no specific treatment for microcephaly.

How do you know if your baby has microcephaly?

After birth, a baby with microcephaly may have these signs and symptoms: Small head size. Failure to thrive (slow weight gain and growth) High-pitched crying.

Can babies with microcephaly live normal lives?

There is no standard life expectancy for microcephalic babies because outcomes depend on so many factors, and the severity of the condition can range from mild to severe. Babies with mild microcephaly may still meet the same milestones like speaking, sitting and walking as a child without the disorder.

Does a small head mean a small brain?

Preliminary studies have suggested links between brain size, head size, and IQ, but head circumference isn’t directly correlated with intellect. Among the many things that expectant parents hope for in a newborn is, a big head — maybe not so much at birth, but shortly thereafter.

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