What Is Normal Growth?

Three stages of growth"Normal growth" is not the same for every child. Healthy children of the same age might be many inches taller or shorter than one another. Because different children grow at different rates, there is a range of height that is considered normal for children of the same age.

Healthy children grow in three stages: infancy, childhood, and puberty.

  • Infancy: The stage right after birth, when your child grows the fastest
  • Childhood: After the age of two, growth continues, but at a slower rate
  • Puberty: Starting sooner in girls than in boys, this stage is normally when full adult height is reached

It is useful to compare your child's height to the height of others his or her age. This is the best way to find out if your child is within the normal range of height. Using growth charts to track your child's height over time is a more exact way to see how your child compares to other children of the same age. Ask your doctor to show you the growth chart for your child. It is a good idea to have a copy for your own records.

Many things can make a difference in your child's growth, from nutrition to overall health to underlying medical conditions.