Tipat Chalav Finally Adopts Growth Charts Based on Breastfed Babies

Tipat Chalav new growth chart for girlsIn 2006 the World Health Organization published growth charts based solely on breastfed babies who received solids at age 4 to 6 months. The Israeli health ministry has finally gotten around to providing them to Tipat Chalav, Israel’s well-baby clinics.

The babies measured for the new charts were healthy singletons, living in a safe and affluent environment where their growth wouldn’t be compromised.

Breastfed babies grow at slightly different rates than bottle-fed babies, and tend to be leaner. This is important for monitoring obesity, which begins early. Now parents of bottle-fed babies that are growing too quickly can take steps to watch their babies’ intake. Similarly, the moms of breastfed babies told in the past to supplement with formula, would find their babies following the curve and continue breastfeeding exclusively.

The new  charts also include developmental milestones, an important indicator of proper nourishment along with weight gain. Previous charts measured a cross-section of American babies, with the proportion of breastfed babies similar to that in the general population.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association points out that formula companies will try to suggest that the new charts should not apply to bottle-fed babies, since those babies weren’t included.  But breastfeeding is the norm, and thus the growth model for all babies.

According to Ynet, the solely breastfed babies are heavier at some points in the chart. Until about 2 months, all babies grow at a similar rate no matter how they are fed. But at 3 and 6 months, breastfed boys are heavier on average than a group of breastfed and bottle-fed babies. At 9 and 12 months, all breastfed babies are slimmer. Breastfed girls are slimmer than the combination group from 3 months and on.


Australian Breastfeeding Association, Ynet

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Tipat Chalav: What New Parents Need to Know

Child Put in Foster Care When Parents Refuse to Offer Junk Food

Breastfeeding Posts at A Mother in Israel


  1. Thank G-d! Now if they can give some of these nurses a brain transplant to switch the “bubbemaisa” section with some modern advise about nursing and not exposing your kids to second hand smoke.

  2. I am really happy to see this… it comes just a bit late for us. After being frightened into cramming my 6-month-old with solids and supplementing with formula, my once-wonderful sleeper now wakes up every 2 hours.

    • Not to rush to defend tipat chalav, but how your baby is sleeping probably has nothing to do with what your baby is consuming (unless it’s causing gastric distress)….Many decently sleeping babies have “hiccups” of bad at certain points (4 months, 6 months, 8-9 months, 13 months, 18 months) for various physical and psychological/emotional reasons.

  3. Great news. This definitely fits my son’s growth pattern.

    Yosefa, I’m still laughing over the “bubbemaise section.”

  4. This is a good development. But at the end of the day, I think what matters more is the attitude behind the growth charts, not the charts themselves. If nurses still freak out every time a baby drops below the tenth percentile, then one in ten mothers of healthy babies are still going to be harrassed and wrongly advised to supplement. If nurses apply good sense to their analyses of the data, then it doesn’t so much matter which chart they use. I have to say that the heading on that chart, loudly proclaiming “which percentile will your child be in now?” seems to indicate that tipat chalav’s attitude towards growth charts could still use some, er, growth.

    • Channa, you can blame Ynet for the heading and not Tipat Chalav.
      The milestones along with the chart are meant to emphasize the importance of looking at the whole picture. But you’re absolutely right–charts are only as good as the people using them.