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Q: My three year old is quite a big girl. Should I worry?? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: My three year old is quite a big girl. Should I worry??
Category: Family and Home > Parenting
Asked by: johnfrommelbourne-ga
List Price: $7.09
Posted: 05 Jul 2002 06:25 PDT
Expires: 04 Aug 2002 06:25 PDT
Question ID: 36724
My three year old daughter is already 1.1 metres tall, (not too sure
in  American feet but certainly that is a dood deal past three foot
tall).She weighs just over 21 kilograms which is around 47.5 pounds I
think, but again not 100% sure of old imperial measures. My wife 
continues to tell me that she is still within normal range but a
couple of things worry me that I have come across lately. Firstly I
heard on an American TV show that at three years old a normal person
has just reached half their final height. I am hoping I heard wrong
and that the speaker actually said 2 years old as that would mean we
can expect to see a 2 metre+ daughter in 15 years time. Even so our
daughter was about 21 kilos just before she turned  3 and was only a
fraction shorter then than what she is now at 3.6 years old.  The
other worrying aspect is that my sister has an eight year old boy who
currently weighs only 20 kilos!!
 Am I worrying about nothing and is there not going to be a monster in
the family in the future. Please advise with the truth and available
evidence regardless of what that is. A couple of things that may help
are that both my wife and I are  both small to normal. My wife is 
about  five feet three and I am 75 kilos and 5 foot eight. Also I am
caucasian(i.e Anglo-Saxon) and my wife is Asian being from
Malay/Chinese stock.
Subject: Re: My three year old is quite a big girl. Should I worry??
Answered By: cobrien-ga on 05 Jul 2002 09:32 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi johnfrommelbourne,

First of all, I’d like to say that every child is different. 

As a child, I was referred to a hospital by a school doctor, who
thought I was too small for my age - I was much smaller than other
girls in my class. There wasn’t anything wrong, it is just that I
didn’t fit into their projected growth targets for five year olds. The
hospital visits didn’t turn anything untoward, and I am now a healthy
22 year old (if a little on the short side at 5’). My younger sister
is taller and slimmer than me, and has been since I was 12 years of
age. A friend's ten year old son is almost the same height as me, and
my 15 year old cousin is a couple of inches taller than me.

What I'm trying to say is that everyone grows at different rates -
your sister's eight year old could suddenly have a growth spurt, while
your daughter remains growing at consistent rate.

A  child’s adult height depends on many things; the most influential
of these is genetics. Take a look at your family history – remember
that some traits can skip a generation. Environment and health also
play a part.

If you want to take a look at average heights and weights for
children, perhaps these sites might prove useful.

The Centre for Disease Control in the US has drawn up new growth
charts for children. These are available in PDF format, but are based
on US children.

Regarding the American TV show you saw on predicting your child’s
adult height, any research I could find indicated that it is not
possible to predict a child’s height with 100% accuracy. An ‘educated
guess’ is how predictions of this kind are described, mainly due to
the many differing factors that can affect adult height.

The standard way to predict your child’s height is to use something
called “mid-parental height”, which is the average of the parents’
height. However, new research from the Department of Child Health at
the University of Newcastle has cast doubt on this.

This Website takes a look at the different methods used to predict
your child’s height. The paediatrician states that the methods are, at
best, a ‘reasonable’ guess.

“Unfortunately, physicians can really do no better. We do know that
genetic factors are of the greatest importance and influence the final
adult height the most.”,10338,240231_101021,00.html

“Remember that your child is an individual and will develop at her own
pace. These measurements are only a general guide to help you and your
doctor assess your child's developmental progress. The most important
thing to watch for is consistency — is your toddler growing steadily?”

This site will also give you a formula to check your child’s
development, plus instructions on what the results mean. This formula
is used by doctors in the US – you will need her height, weight and
circumference of her head.

These sites also include height calulators:

 “There is no such thing as the normal weight for a child. At any
given age, there is a range of weights which most children fall in
between. Most pediatricians use the range of weights that covers 9 out
of 10 children (90 percent) as their definition of "normal." The same
thing goes for height and head size, the other two main things we

“A child's adult height is influenced by a number of factors,
including genetics, sex, and overall health and nutrition. Genetics
and the child's gender account for 70% of what goes into deciding how
tall a child will be. The other 30% comes from environmental factors,
such as nutrition, exercise, and any underlying health problems.”

See also:

Please remember that many children fall outside so called average
height and weight charts. And I’m sure you’ll agree that as long as
your little girl is healthy, that is all that matters.

If you have an serious worries about your child’s development, the
best option is to check with your GP.

Enjoy your daughter's childhood - I'm reliably informed they are the
quickest to pass, and impossible to get back.

Search terms used: 

“Toddler physical development”
“Toddler growth charts”
“predicting adult height”

I hope this reassures you. If you have any further queries regarding
this question, please post a clarification and I will do my best to
address it.


Clarification of Answer by cobrien-ga on 05 Jul 2002 09:35 PDT
Sorry, I posted that link twice. Please ignore the second entry!

johnfrommelbourne-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
In regards answer I say I could  not have expected any better(and in
fact did not expect as much) as answer was more than comprehensive and
gave me a lot of different options to follow up at different websites.
Certainly a credit to the searchers abilities, who obviously put a
decent amount of time and effort in.  Also I should add that some
beautiful comments were added first of all by  Weisstho which was very
uplifting(thanks Weisstho) then, on a similar theme,  by other notable
GA people such as Missy the Domestic Engineer and Chromedome both of
whom continued with their trademark quality respones
again with touching and uplifting comments.  Once again special thanks
to cobrien for terrific job

Subject: Re: My three year old is quite a big girl. Should I worry??
From: weisstho-ga on 05 Jul 2002 06:37 PDT
Dear John, 
I have no idea of the answer, but may I make an observation:
I am a 6' 5" male which is tall enough that when someone my height
approaches me, it is unusual and I really take notice. And one thing
that I have noticed is that tall women, almost without exception, tend
to be BEAUTIFUL, carry themselves extraordinarily well and their very
presence seems to demand some sort of respect.

Another unscientific observation:  My three sons, all adults in their
twenties now, as infants were always in the "98th percentile of growth
blah-blah" and would be "7 feet tall" based upon the growth charts.
No. The tallest is the same height as me (6 foot 5 inches) and the
other two are around 6 foot 3".

I am sure you won't have a "monster" but rather a beautiful young
woman who will carry herself with pride. And with a caucasian/malay
complexion, she will be all that more beautiful.

Relax and enjoy your little girl.   :-)
Subject: Re: My three year old is quite a big girl. Should I worry??
From: missy-ga on 05 Jul 2002 09:49 PDT
Hi John,

Relax, you seem to have misheard the speaker.  The "rule of thumb" is
indeed that at 2, one has reached about half of one's adult height.  I
say "rule of thumb" because it does vary.  Kids grow in uneven spurts,
it's really difficult to take a child's current height and predict
exactly where it will go in the future.

My own sons are at opposite ends of the "normal" growth scales - the 6
year-old is a little short for his age, the 10 year-old a little tall.
 The pediatrician expects they'll both even out around puberty, just
as all of their cousins have.

Try not to worry so much.  If she's a little taller than you expected
she would be for her age, it's most likely because she's being well
nourished and well taken care of by parents who obviously dote on her.

Subject: Re: My three year old is quite a big girl. Should I worry??
From: chromedome-ga on 05 Jul 2002 14:48 PDT
Relax, John, my wife and I could never make any sense out of that "age
two" business either.  Right at the second birthday?  Some indefinite
time between the second and third birthdays?  I dunno.  Don't really
care, either.

There's a lot of height in my wife's family, and some in mine (skipped
a generation, in my case).  Based on our daughter's proportions, and
family history, we project that she will top out at around 6 feet,
like most of my wife's people (my wife's a relative munchkin at 5'8").

And, in furtherance of weisstho's comment, she'll be dazzlingly
beautiful as well (says the proud papa modestly).

So, again, relax...and cut yourself a stick for a few years down the
road when all the boys start flocking around.  You'll want it to be
well seasoned......
Subject: Re: My three year old is quite a big girl. Should I worry??
From: chromedome-ga on 05 Jul 2002 14:49 PDT
PS: your daughter is no taller than mine was at the comparable age.
Subject: Re: My three year old is quite a big girl. Should I worry??
From: authorshelper-ga on 06 Jul 2002 10:19 PDT
I've already thanked weisstho privately for his lovely comment, but
will repeat it here.  To paraphrase dear Ann Landers:  "Bless you! 
You will never know how many people you helped today with your

I was always the tallest girl in school (and taller than most of the
boys, too) and thanks to the encouragement of my parents and extended
family I usually considered it a fabulous gift to be tall. At some
point I think my mother planted the notion in my head that I *WAS* The
Girl from Ipanema, and my self-image has remained positive to this

Not familiar with the song?  Oh, boy...look it up and add it to your
family playlist!  "Tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from
Ipanema goes walking, and when she passes, each one she passes goes,
"Aaaaaaaahhhh........" that last "Aaaahh..." breathed out like a
longing's simply beautiful audio imagery).

But I digress!

If your daughter does, indeed, continue to be taller than average, you
and your wife could do no better for her than to consistently provide
the message, directly and indirectly, that tall is GOOD, that she is
not only NOT A FREAK, but attractive in a rare and special way, and
that everyone has something about their physique that they feel
awkward about at times and this is one that actually has some
advantages, unlike many others.

As an adult, my only complaint regards the inconvenience of finding
clothing long enough for tall women; aside from that I *love* being
tall, and all my statuesque aunts, cousins, and friends agree.

Best wishes to your family --

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