Why does my baby have a small head?

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?

Macrocephaly means big head, and it is the name for a condition in which an infant or child has an abnormally large head size. For a doctor to diagnose macrocephaly, the measurement of the head around its widest part needs to be larger than the 98th percentile.

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.

Does a small head always mean microcephaly?

Some children with microcephaly are both with normal intelligence and have normal developmental milestones, but their heads will always be smaller than normal children for their age and sex. Microcephaly in children is a rare and genetic condition.

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What causes a small head circumference?

Microcephaly is a condition where the head (circumference) is smaller than normal. Microcephaly may be caused by genetic abnormalities or by drugs, alcohol, certain viruses, and toxins that are exposed to the fetus during pregnancy and damage the developing brain tissue.

Should I worry if my baby has a small head?

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.

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.

What does baby head size indicate?

Another measure of infant growth is head circumference, or the size of your baby’s head. It’s important because it can indicate how well their brain is growing. If your baby’s brain isn’t growing properly, they may have a condition known as microcephaly.

Are babies with small heads less intelligent?

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.

How do I know if my baby has microcephaly?

You may find out your baby has microcephaly during pregnancy or after he’s born.

After birth, a baby with microcephaly may have these signs and symptoms:

  1. Small head size.
  2. Failure to thrive (slow weight gain and growth)
  3. High-pitched crying.
  4. Little appetite or problems with feeding.
  5. Muscle spasms.
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Is a small head circumference bad?

Our results (see details in Table 4) confirm that fetuses with a small or extremely small head circumference are at an elevated to high risk of perinatal mortality (0.6% and 14.3% respectively) and a high to very high risk for major malformations (3% and 26% respectively), as compared with fetuses with subnormal or …

What is the life expectancy of microcephaly?

The prognosis for a child who has microcephaly depends on the other medical conditions the child has. In general, life expectancy for children who have microcephaly is reduced, and the prospects of attaining normal brain function is poor. Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/09/2019.

Do babies with microcephaly smile?

Marques said that head control, the ability to lift and support the head without help, in babies with microcephaly was “quite rare.” Having a social smile and eye contact is less rare, he said, depending on the type of visual damage and on whether they receive enough visual stimulation to strengthen their ability to …

When should I worry about my head circumference?

From 4 to 6 months of age, the head circumference or head growth slows to about 1 cm per month. Now, these are just guidelines and every baby is different so do not become concerned if your baby’s head is growing a little faster than normal.

What is the normal percentile for head circumference?

Data Table of Infant Head Circumference-for-age Charts

Age (in months) 3rd Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters) 50th Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters)
31.48762 35.81367
0.5 33.25006 37.19361
1.5 35.78126 39.20743
2.5 37.5588 40.65233
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What is a normal size baby head?

The average newborn’s head circumference measures about 13 3⁄4 inches (35 cm), growing to about 15 inches (38 cm) by one month. Because boys tend to be slightly larger than girls, their heads are larger, though the average difference is less than 1⁄2 inch (1 cm).

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