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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices

Your (Constantly) Growing Child

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All parents know the fascination of watching their children grow. They also know the concerns about whether or not their children are growing at the right rates. Most parents, at one time or another, wonder if their children are too fat or too thin, too big or too small. Infants are a special concern because they are so small. Every ounce or quarter-inch seems very important.

Our children grow in many ways— physically, emotionally and intellectually. Researchers have studied the growth and development patterns of thousands of children—collecting weights, heights, results of developmental and intellectual tests, and numerous other aspects of growth. From this data has come norms— values that are considered normal. Every value has a range, and if the measurement falls within that range, it s said to be "within normal limits.*"

Growth During Infancy

Average Birth Weights



weight 3.27 kg 3.23 kg
length 50.5cm 49.9cm
34.8cm 34.3cm

These values, especially the length and weight, reflect the mother s nutrition during pregnancy and not the infant s potential for growth. In other words, a big baby will not necessarily be a big child or adult.  Most infants lose a small amount of weight in the first few days after birth. A weight loss of less than ten percent of the birth weight is within normal limits. Most infants regain their birth weight within ten days.

Average Daily Weight Gain



0-3 months

26 gm

3-6 months

18 gm

6-9 months

12 gm

9-12 months

9 gm

Average Monthly Weight Gain



0-3 months

1 kg/mo

3-6 months

1/2 kg/mo

6-9 months

1/3 kg/mo

9-12 months

1/4 kg/mo

The infant should double her birth weight by five months, although many do this by the fourth month, or even sooner. By one year the infant s weight is usually three times her birth weight.

Growth During Preschool Years

A child's rate of growth, which has been decreasing during her first year of life, continues to decrease (and so does their appetite) during the second year and levels off through age five.  

Average Yearly Growth



ages 1-2 2.5 kg/yr 12 cm/yr
ages 2-3 2.0 kg/yr 7 cm/yr
ages 3-4 2.0 kg/yr 7 cm/yr

One way to roughly guess your child s adult height is to double the height at two years.

Growth During Early School Years

Average Yearly Growth

weight length
Boys 5-12 3 kg/yr 6 cm/yr
Girls 5-10 3 kg/yr 6 cm/yr

Girls have a pre-adolescent growth spurt at around age ten. Boys mature later, having their spurt at about age 12.

Growth During Adolescence

Growth during Puberty


Girls 3.4 kg/yr 7.6 cm/yr
Boys 4.8 kg/yr 12.5 cm/yr

During this time both boys and girls increase their growth rates. As their hormones begin to act they grow faster and begin to mature sexually. Girls are about two years ahead of the boys—so they often catch up and pass the boys in growth. Since the boys growth spurt is longer and faster than the girls, they eventually overcome and pass the girls. The onset of the adolescent growth spurt can vary by as much as three years. Little growth normally occurs after age 18. The final adult heights are approximately 3.5 times the birth length and 20 times the birth weight.

*"Normal" is a difficult term to define when talking about many aspects of medicine. What s normal for one child may be abnormal for another, or two different values may both be normal.


As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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