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Worried about my tiny 13.5 year old daughter(19 Posts)
Hi, am looking for some reassurance
Am getting increasingly worried about my tiny 13.5 year old daughter. She has always been small for her age, but this has become far more pronounced over the last couple of years. She is only 141cm and size 1 feet. Puberty not properly started although can notice breast buds if looking closely, only recently though. All her school friends tower over her, children in Year 6 (she is Year 8) tower over her. She looks like a 9 or 10 year old and it is affecting her self esteem as she would love to dress in older clothes and not look like a "little kid" as she puts it. She is barely above the 0.4th percentile and she has practically not grown in the last 3 months! (Her brother has grown a cm) - I measure them both at regular intervals. From about age 1-5 she was on the 2nd percentile and then it dropped after that. The last few years she has grown less than the standard 2 inches a year, and no growth spurt seems to be happening. Things are getting worse as younger and younger kids catch up and overtake her.
I am seriously considering taking her to the doctors, but before I do would like to hear if anyone with older children have had a similar experience with their daughters, which turned out all right?
By the way, my husband is 5 foot 10, I am 5 foot 2 and I started my period at age 14 and 2 months, if that helps.
If both DH and you are quite small it may just be her natural frame.
Does she eat well?
I would first speak to the School Nurse who can refer if any concerns.
I'm sure it's nothing to worry about, some people are just tiny! Like Kylie xx
My mum is the same height as you and I am 4'11 and have size 2.5 feet. I wasn't noticeably smaller in primary but stopped growing at around 12. If your dd is otherwise fit and well then I don't think there is much to worry about. Maybe give it 6 months and see the gp if your dd continues to worry about lack of puberty signs
So long as she's eating healthily and not on any medication then I doubt there's much a doctor can do.
If dd hasn't started puberty she may still grow quite a bit once she starts - that's sometimes when the growth spurt takes place. I would see the gp and ask for a referral to a child/adolescent endocrinologist - they can do tests to see if puberty's on the way and so on. Sometimes it can be a growth hormone issue as well. You may have to push for the referral - but it is worth looking into.
My dd is also small, 14.5 and 150cm, started her periods over two years ago now so not much growing left I suspect especially as im only 5'2 1/2 (dad is 5'10). Most kids her age are much taller.
Some kids are just small but not having her periods yet means shes probably due a growth spurt, as you yourself didn't start your periods until later on and she has tiny feet, it often starts there!
DD doesn't seem too bothered by her height as far as I'm aware, she's matter of fact about it really as she's always been small and plays on it sometimes
It does sound normal and a growth spurt is on the way but if there are any other issues then a trip to the GP may be in order, there are treatments for growth but they aren't that pleasant and need to be started before puberty.
One of my best friends is 4'11 - my 9 year old towers over her. Nothing wrong medically though, just a short parent passing on short genes!
I'd speak to the GP if you are worried but wouldn't expect anything to be wrong.
Good nutrition helps to reach full growth potential - meat and dairy especially, and lots of it. Otherwise I don't know much else, sorry, except that some growth treatments can cause osteoporosis which is not great. I would have a chat with her GP or school nurse yourself to see if they think it is worth a check.
If she's not gone through puberty yet - and she is still within the normal window for that - then she is likely to grow a fair bit more and her shape will change with that too. She is within the normal age ranges just at the slightly older side of it that's all.
She sounds a lot like me when I was younger (except I had huge feet!). Friends towered over me, I didn't need a bra until I was 15, started my periods a week before my 16th birthday. I also looked very young (I only stopped being id on a regular basis when I hit 30).
If it's any consolidation I had a growth spurt at 17. I'm still friends with one of my school friends and now tower over her (i'm 5'5 now so average height - still big feet though ).
My mum is smaller than you and my dad about the same as your dh. My dd is on 25th centile and much smaller than friends toddlers.
She sounds exactly like me at her age.
I had a spurt into adulthood. Grew to be 5'1" size 4 feet, 8 stone.
Period started at nearly 16. Looking back can't say that's a terrible thing. If you're worried go to the GP though x
This was me at about that age
I was tiny, the smallest person in the whole school year at end of year 11 whole year photo!
I left school with size 2 feet and started periods at 14.
I am a healthy 5 foot tall, size 3 feet woman now.
My parents took me to dr from a young age about growth issues and I was part of growth studies for years which involved stays in hospital, blood tests,X-rays all sorts of other tests but there was nothing wrong I am just a small person! Haha.
My daughter is 13 and 130cm, she had 2 friends over yesterday and the towered over her!!!
hampshiremum I have a DD who used to be tiny - she was a bit taller than yours at 13.5, but still grew unbelievably slowly.
I've got some figures which I will post later.
The only way to know if she's still got growth potential is by having a bone age Xray of the wrist. Has she been monitored for growth at any stage? If she hasn't had a puberty growth spurt yet, she may well have a late surge, which usually happens when breast buds develop and finishes just after periods start. Lots of girls stop growing at 12 or 13 but late developers (with constitutional short stature) go on growing till 16. Your GP can refer her for an appointment with an paediatric endocrinologist. The Website, Child Growth Foundation has lots of useful information.
One of ours is tiny - big advantage for years of dancing but infuriating for her when at 18 she still gets given children's menus and offered colouring. She's just touching 5ft with size 2.5 shoes - heels are a problem with tiny feet. We were still buying shoes from Russell and Bromley children's department in sixth form - so no VAT. Lots of bargains in the sales too but we did have real problems getting size 6 petite formal black skirt suits for school.
She's accepted she is little, uses it to her advantage and plays cute/helpless very well. Her boyfriend is 6' 4" but neither seem worried about this. If she's not through puberty she'll probably grow a little more but unlikely to end up tall so might need reassurance that small is good.
OK, have dug out my figures
DD was 5.11 at birth & stayed on a very low centile throughout childhood. She was one of the 2 smallest in her year all the way through primary school & for most of secondary. Late puberty though I don't remember exactly when. Tiny feet most of the time (one pair of shoes lasted 18 months aged 4-5).
For perspective, I'm 6' & half of my family are very tall; the other half are small to average, & my grandma that side was under 5'. DH is only 5'10, his entire family are small to average, & his mum was barely 5' - so with tiny women on both sides she could have stayed tiny.
However: DD's adolescent heights (which we only have because we measured against a door which we subsequently replaced but kept the plywood facing)
12.0 - 144
12.3 - 145
12.11 - 150
13.4 - 154
13.6 - 156
13.10 - 157
14.0 - 158
14.5 - 160
15.1 - 165
No more measurements or records, but went on growing slowly & is now (over 30!) 170 with size 7 feet.
So your DD could easily keep on growing similarly & achieve a reasonable height in due course, especially as she sounds to be some way off puberty.
However, I think in your position I would go to the GP in an attempt to get some reassurance (if possible), especially as her self-esteem is beginning to be affected. (fwiw at 13+ I was only 5'3; I grew another 9" after that!)
Thank you everyone for the responses. It has been reassuring to realize she is not alone and that hopefully everything will work out. I somehow suspect that doctors aren't going to be able to do much and that the short gene runs in my family. My mother is my height and my father was only about 5 foot 4. Both my grandmothers were tiny. One half of husbands family - his mothers side - also very short. I suppose I was just going through a panicky mum moment when I saw she hadn't grown since December! I keep telling her that one day she will be pleased to look younger than her years. She generally eats well although I have to keep an eye on her and make sure that she does eat properly. Thank you again for the responses....
I wondered how it turned out for your daughter development wise in the end? I notice this post was over 2 years ago and I have a daughter in similar circumstances and am interested...
Hoping you are at a stage where you are less worried. Xx
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