How tall is your child going to be?

June 8, 2015

While height is determined by a mix of genetic and environmental factors, you can guess your child’s adult growth a few different ways. Results are not guaranteed.

How tall is your child going to be?

Parents worry about lots of stuff they might pass on to their kids. Dad’s genetic legacy to his daughter might be his bulbous proboscis. Mom may worry about giving her son her weak mole eyes.

Height is among these big concerns. Parents may look down at their little of bundle joy who never seems to eat a full meal, worrying that baby will never attain his or her parents’ height.

What determines height?

A person’s final height is determined by a complex combination of genetic and environmental factors. Other factors that can contribute to a child’s grownup height include nutrition, health condition, sports activities, well-being and age of the mother during pregnancy, amongst others.

However, there is no guaranteed, accurate method of determining what your child’s height will be.

There are a variety of calculators online where you can input the child’s age, height and weight, as well as the parent’s heights, to come up with an indication of how tall junior might grow.

Just double it

One easy way to estimate a child’s adult height is to double a boy’s height at age two or a girl’s height at age one and a half.

But please keep in mind that children grow at different rates. Some children begin to sprout early, while others are late bloomers. So the numbers you come up with aren’t official.

Do the math to calculate it

With a little simple math, you can average the heights of the parents, adding or subtracting inches to take into account different growth patterns of girls and boys.

So, for example, you can take the height of Mom, add five inches, and add it to Dad’s. divide by two to get your son’s growth potential. Or, for your daughter’s, you would take Dad’s height minus five inches and add it to Mom’s, and then average the two figures.

So, for example, if you have a son and Dad is 6'0 and Mom is 5'3 , the formula would be:

(6.0 + 5.8) ÷ 2 = 5.9

So your son might grow to be five foot nine.

Go to the doctor

If you have real concerns about your child’s growth pattern, then take them to the doctor. There, the doctor will have access to all sorts of growth charts that act as a comparison against your child. Don’t despair even if your baby is at the bottom of a predicted growth pattern because this early stage of growth, especially with babies born preterm, is a poor predictor of final adult height.

Also keep in mind there are genetic wildcards. Your great uncle Bob’s tall genes may have skipped a couple of generations, but could be expressed through your offspring.

If, for some medical concern, a doctor wants to get a more exact height prediction, they’ll obtain a hand and wrist X-ray (for “bone age”) when your child is a little older. They’ll compare the growth plates in the left hand and wrist to set standards, indicating whether your child is an early or late bloomer, and by how much.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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