Anthropometric measurements in babies make it possible to monitor their health status to prevent and / or detect diseases early.
The most used measurements are:

  • Weight
  • Length (height)
  • Circumference: brachial (upper arm) and cephalic (cranial).

Assessing the weight, length, and head circumference help identify the normal and adequate values and if the infant is growing properly. The upper arm circumference helps to determine the nutritional status.

Measurement Techniques for Babies

The measures are evaluated with the reference tables offered by the WHO, always according to the age of the infant. 

1.Zero the Scale

  • If the scale has a tare function, zero the scale

2. Preparation

  • For baby safety, up to 2 years it should be done on an infant scale. 
  • The infant must be without clothes and without a diaper, should be placed carefully in the tray of the baby scale.

3. Place the Baby

  • Gently place the baby on the scale. Make sure the baby is centered and still.

4. Read the Weight

  • Record the weight shown on the scale.
  • For more precision take the measurement several times until they give two equal measurements.

1. Preparation

  • Up to 2 years of age this measurement must be performed in an infantometer.
  • Place the baby on the infantometer, ensuring the baby is lying flat.

2. Straighten the Baby

  • Align the baby's head with the fixed headboard. Ensure the baby’s legs are straight.

3. Measure

  • Two people are needed to perform it: One person must properly position the baby's head on the upper base and the other person must support the baby's feet helping to stretch them, placing the movable part of the equipment on the soles of the feet.

4. Read the Measurement

  • It is one of the most complicated measurements to take, so it must be carried out several times for more precision and safety in the measurement.
  • Note the length in centimeters or inches

1. Identify the Midpoint of the Upper Arm

  • Have the child stand or sit comfortably with their arm hanging freely at their side.
  • Locate the tip of the shoulder (acromion process) and the tip of the elbow (olecranon process).
  • Measure the distance between these two points.
  • Mark the midpoint of this distance with a pen or marker.

2. Wrap the MUAC Tape Around the Midpoint

  • Ask the child to relax their arm and let it hang naturally.
  • Wrap the MUAC tape around the arm at the marked midpoint. Make sure the tape is snug but not tight, and not causing any indentation on the skin.
  • The tape should be parallel to the ground and evenly wrapped around the arm.

3. Read the Measurement

  • Ensure the tape is properly positioned and the arm is relaxed.
  • Read the measurement where the tape overlaps the zero mark. Note the measurement in centimeters.

1. Prepare the Baby

  • The infant must not have ornaments or caps on the head.
  • Ensure the baby is calm and can be gently positioned.
  • You may want to do this while the baby is lying down or sitting in someone’s lap.

2. Position the Measuring Tape

  • Place the measuring tape just above the baby’s eyebrows (supraorbital ridge).
  • Wrap the tape around the head, ensuring it passes over the most prominent part of the back of the head (occipital prominence) and just above the ears.

3 Align the Tape Properly

  • Make sure the tape is level all the way around the head and not twisted.
  • The tape should be snug but not tight; it should not compress the baby's skin.

4. Read the Measurement

  • Note the measurement where the tape overlaps at the forehead.
  • Record the measurement in centimeters or inches.