Height-Weight Charts For Children

official-height-weight-chart-children-toddlers-babies-graphic As a concerned parent, it is comforting to be able to occasionally take a look at what is “normal” or “average” when it comes to child development. Even if the experts think that parents are better off not being concerned about what normal is. However, wanting to know what is best for our children is the most important parenting skill there is.

Truthfully, the experts do have a point. Obsessing about what is normal or average or “right” when it comes to baby development or toddler development isn’t always a good thing. Every child is different, and every baby is different in how fast they grow and put on weight, just as every toddler is different when it comes to how fast they walk or run, or even how big they are. However, withholding information from concerned parents is never a good idea. When people lack the information they want, they tend to infer their own data, and when it is worried parents we are talking about, we tend to assume the worst. It certainly wouldn’t send most parents into a frightful state of paranoia if we got a good look at the official height-weight charts for toddlers and the official height and weight charts for babies.

Unfortunately, the Internet doesn’t offer too much help for a curious parent who wonders if their 3-year old is taller than average, shorter than average, or bigger than average overall. Too many search engine results point to preachy articles about obesity in young children and toddlers. Most parents can eyeball their toddler or small child and have a gut feel about whether or not they are starting to get “big boned.” But, for parents wondering if little Sally is shorter than other 4-year olds, or if it just so happens that her handful of friend are all just taller than average, such articles are no help.

Trying to limit a search to reputable sources only makes it worse, because these are the doctors, counselors, and other experts who like to hold that information about whether or not a kid is average weight or average height close to their vest. Instead, they hand out patronizing answers like, “perfectly normal” and then tell us “I wouldn’t worry about it.” Like that helps.

So, it was with some excitement that I found the official U.S. government height and weight charts. These are the height-weight percentile charts with the graphs of curving lines that show exactly where your child falls with regard to how tall or short they are relative to their peers in the United States. The reason they are so hard to find is that they aren’t called what you think they are. They aren’t listed on a government webpage under height-and-weight charts or height-weight graphs, but are rather listed as Clinical Growth Charts, and they are on the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website of all places.

Is My Baby Tall Short or Average? Is My Toddler Taller or Shorter than Average?

Of course, there is, in fact, no reason to lose even one second of sleep over the fact that a toddler or baby is shorter or taller than average. The growth rates change dramatically, and a kid who is tall today can end up average or short tomorrow. However, more facts and truthful parenting information is always a good thing to have. If nothing else, it can get you to stop worrying, especially if it turns out your little one is just a tiny bit taller or shorter than average.

Ironically, at these younger ages, the percentiles for height and weight exaggerate the actual differences between the size of toddlers. That is because when dealing with a 36″ inch tall child, a full 10% difference in height is just three and a half inches. As relative percentiles to their peers, the numbers are even smaller.

For example, in 2-year old boys, the difference between 50th percentile, and 95th percentile is just 2 inches. In other words, the difference between perfectly average and taller than 95% of all little boys who are two, is just a two tiny little inches. That leaves a lot of room in between for everyone who is “a little taller” than average.


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4 Responses to Height-Weight Charts For Children

  1. Lyn mcdougall says:

    We have a 6 year old son who is up to 4 inches shorter than his friends we have had him checked to make sure that there arent any problems but everything is coming back normal.I am told that due to MY short height it may affect our son.I stand at 4’10 and my husband is 5’1.So i am taking the blame for it he is such a nice little boy and nothing holds him back.His height has been judged to reach no taller than mine.We also have a daughter who is 5 and she is 3 inches taller than him.Which only bother him abit so far.Then comes our other son who is 4 and he is bang on his brothers height which does affect him has he feels that he wont grow so tall.I have explainned that he seems to have my height gene and that may be why he isnt like his friends.We are keeping an eye on him so that he doesnt get bullied has so far a couple of girls in the lower classes have asked him how old he is has he is their height.Hopefully everything will pan out for him.

    • TheDaddy says:

      Kids almost always end up a bit taller than at least one of their parents, although not always by much. I’m not sure who is predicting his height, but I’ve been told repeatedly that it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict accurately. However, there is a lot of truth to children from taller parents often end up being tall and those from shorter parents end up being short. Either way, how you raise them and how you treat their height will have a lot to do with their perception of it. Don’t act like being short is a problem (it isn’t) and they won’t think it is a problem, even if they did wish they were taller from time to time.

  2. Justine Grecco says:

    Our problem is that we have twins aged 4 Charlie is 3 inches shorter than his sister Darcie Charlie appartently didnt get enough nutrients before he was born and it wasnt picked up that he was quite abit smaller than his sister when they were born.We do the height charts for them but we have been told that they arent too sure what his adult height is going to be till more tests have been done on him.Darcie is good had gold and looks out for him has some children can be quite nasty when they see him.He has some good mates that also look out for him but he wants to act as normal has he can.We hope there isnt going to be a problem later on while growing up.

    • TheDaddy says:

      The charts aren’t really predictive, in that just because he is 50 percentile today, that he will be 50 percentile when he grows up. Taller kids start out short and vice versa all the time. It might be that he completely catches up someday since his genetic code is programmed to make him a certain height. It might just take longer to get there. Don’t forget that girls do their growth earlier than boys, so he may fall even more behind at first.

      Either way, your consistent love and affection will go a long way toward offsetting the inevitable difficulties from other children.

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