A growth chart is a brilliant way to compile a baby’s physical development in detail. It primarily serves as a guide for parents to know if their child’s growth is within the normal range. Instead of keeping the growth chart in paper, here a great idea: digitize it! You don’t need to be a computer expert to turn your child’s growth chart into a piece of digital art. You can gather the data for the growth chart yourself or you can just copy from the baby’s monthly check-up record.
Here are the steps to computerize a growth chart:
1. On your computer, open Microsoft Excel or any other similar spreadsheet program.
2. Label the first column with ‘Age’. Then, label the next columns with your gathered data such as weight, height and head circumference. Convert all measurements into the same system (metric or English).
4. To give the line graph a better look, combine the axes of numbers in the same range. For example, the weight and the head circumference can be combined in one axis because their numbers range between 13-30. The number range for the height is only between 3-11, so the graphs would look too scattered if you combine, say, the height and the weight. See the difference on the samples here:
To combine the axes, right-click on the line of the graph you want to edit, and select ‘Format data series’. Under the Series options, select whether you want to place the graph on the primary axis or the secondary one.
5. Using a photo editing software, create a background picture for the growth chart. You can create a photo collage or hand-draw your own design. If you are not keen on using a photo editing software, you can utilize online collage-making sites like picture2life.com.
6. When your background picture is done, go back to your line chart and insert the photo collage. To do this, right click on the background space of the line graphs and select ‘Format plot area’ from the menu. Under the Fill option, select ‘Picture or texture fill’.
7. Grab your collage from your file by clicking on ‘File’ under ‘Insert from’. You can play with the other formatting options on this box to make your chart look better. Adjust the size of your graph to better fit the collage photo.
8. To print your finished growth chart, click on the chart and go to the file menu and select ‘Print’. On the ‘Print what’ option, make sure the radio box for ‘Selected chart’ is clicked. This option will not appear you don’t click on the chart first before going to this menu.
9. You can add your finished chart to the baby book or display it on a photo frame for the baby’s visitors to see.