Infants who fall below weight-for-age or weight-for-length percentile or whose rate of weight gain declines across 2 major percentiles (ie, 90th, 75th, 25th) should be assessed for growth faltering.

  • Percentiles of weight for age or weight for length may or may not indicate abnormal growth depending on clinical circumstances.
  • Growth faltering is more likely in children with abnormal patterns of weight gain over time, though some children with adequate nutrition fall into the extreme tails of standard distributions.
  • Z scores (standard deviations from the mean) are the most accurate way to assess growth faltering.
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American Academy of Pediatrics