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small in height

16 replies

assumpta · 10/06/2004 14:36

My dd is nearly 7 yrs old and 111cm tall (3ft 7.5". She is smallest in her year by at least a head, and probably the year below. Does anyone think this is a reason for worry, or has anyone had a dd who has been smallest and then shot up? Please advise.

OP posts:
noddy5 · 10/06/2004 16:00

My ds is the smallest he is 10 and 131cm I have finally had to stop worrying myself sick as he is full of energy and as happy as anything.Some people are just little.How tall are you and dh?

Northerner · 10/06/2004 16:05

Hi Assumpta. I was very small as a youngster, when I started secondary school at 11 I was 3ft 10''. The school nurse was concerned and I had to be measured every month to moniter my growth rate. Everything else was OK and I was perfectly in proportion. Must add I am now a respectable 5'4''!

LIZS · 10/06/2004 16:10

Were you and your dh smaller than others as kids. I was always among the smallest in my year until about 12. dd is still tiny (90cm-ish at almost 3) but ds started off on the smaller side but is pretty average now at 6.

Miaou · 10/06/2004 16:24

Are you and/or dh smaller than average, or close family members? If so, probably no reason to worry. Your HV should be able to tell you.

My gran is tiny and passed it on to me. Can't remember how small I was when I started secondary but I was among the 5 shortest out of an intake of 200.

I'm now 5'2" and really like being small (except when trying to get things out of cupboards) - it isn't necessarily a disadvantage!

(Mind you, I did once break up with a bf because he kept patting me on the head )

Janh · 10/06/2004 16:32

I always trot out dd1's statistics on these occasions! At 6½ she was 110; at 9 127; at 11 138; at 13 150. She seemed to grow quite steadily at about 6cm a year. She was the smallest at school right up to about 15 but went on growing long after most of the others stopped and has ended up at 171, 5'7.

Mind you we obviously have very funny genes in our family. My mother's side are all very tall, but my father's mother was under 5', so mine are very mixed (I am 6'!); DH's mother is also tiny (just over 5' ) and his father was not a tall man.

DD1 (22), under 10th centile throughout, now 5'7.
DD2 (19), over 75th centile throughout, also 5'7.
DS1 (nearly 16), dead on 50th throughout, only just shooting up, now nearly 6' and climbing
DS2 (11), close to 90th, over 150 atm and sprouting, already taller than tiny grandma.

So even if you look at immediate family there's no way of predicting it. (DD1 always had tiny feet too and with that and the centiles the HV said that meant she would definitely be under 5'3. Ha!)


assumpta · 10/06/2004 23:10

Thank you all so much. How reassuring to hear what Janh has to say. I am 5' 4" and dh is 5'10". It is just when everyone keeps saying how small and cute she is (which she is), but it gets a bit grating after the first 20 times or so, and she is also beginning to notice it as her sister is catching up on her and is 2 1/2 years younger. People have even asked me if they are twins, you can actually see, if you look, that there is a difference of about 6" or so. I was beginning to get paranoid and about to cart her off to the doctors for various tests etc., but now I'm not in such a panic. She is however only on about the 3rd or 4th centile. When I went on to some height prediction sites they predicted 4' 7" and some could not even predict because she is on such a low centile at the moment. Should I just monitor, or take her for a check up to G.P. anyway?

OP posts:
Canadianmom · 11/06/2004 10:54

Try not to worry as there is precious little that you could do to change her growth pattern. I was in the same state about my ds (still the shortest in year 2) as our dd has been about 3-5 cm shorter than him for years and they are 23 months apart. My biggest concern has always been more for his emotional well being as he is healthy, bright and full of energy.
I put all of my worries to rest when we were filling in his 'about me' book on his fourth birthday and the question was: Are you tall, average or short? My eyes filled with tears as he replied, "tall". I hesitated to fill in his answer and the confusion must have shown on my face because he quickly added, "I have never been this tall in my whole life."
Does your dd seem to mind? Our ds seems to think that he is always being asked if his sister is his twin because they both look very much like their father whereas their younger brother looks more like me. He doesn't seem to mind that dd wears the same size clothes as him and he is right in thinking that it has as much to do with her being huge as him being slight.
Much like Jahn, our families are all over the chart having men as tall as 6'4" and as short as 5'6" (paternal grandpa). The women are all extremes as well; both granmas are tall for their generation at 5'8" but great grandmothers were very short (stretching the truth at 5'!) One of the more frustrating things is that dh and I are on the tall side at 6' and 5'10" so people often comment about how 'strange' it is that ds1 is SO short while dd and ds2 are SO tall. Even the health visitor used to get on my nerves whenever he was measured. I am actually not certain of his exact height but suspect that he must still be less than 116 cm and he was 7 in April.
As I said: there is not much that I can do to alter his height so I just concentrate on the things that I can do to help him 'grow' as a person. Hope this helps.

Janh · 11/06/2004 11:11

Canadianmom, you are obviously doing a fantastic job on his self-esteem - that comment brought tears to my eyes too

assumpta, I think the thing to look at is whether your dd is growing steadily and staying on the curve - as long as she is then there is nothing to do, and she may well be a late grower like my dd1. (And me come to that - I was 5'3 at 14 and then grew another 9" between then and 18. Growth patterns are infinitely variable and unpredictable. And small slow-growing children are very cheap to clothe and shoe! )

assumpta · 11/06/2004 16:18

It is true that I don't have to shell out a lot of money on shoes etc., but when she sees her sister wearing clothes that would fit her I feel bad that she isn't growing quite so fast. I do impress on her that it doesn't matter what size she is, as everyone is different, and she can still be whatever she wants to be.

OP posts:
noddy5 · 11/06/2004 16:33

You seem to be doing a great job-stop worrying!My son is tiny but has the personality of a giant!Every time my parents see him they comment on how big he is and he really believes them!He started eating a bowl of cereal before bed and he thinks he has grown loads since starting this 2 weeks ago!

mummytosteven · 11/06/2004 20:27

I remember a girl in my class at school was always by far the smallest in the year - until she was 17, and went up to about 5 foot 2 ish. So even if dd remains tiny for years and years, she could shoot up at a surprisingly late stage!

zebra · 11/06/2004 21:14

How do you know when to get referred, when it might be Turner's syndrome or growth hormone deficit?

DD is 2y+8 months, but still in 12-18 month trousers (well, mostly). I'm waiting with baited breath to see if by her 3rd birthday in October she at least fits into 18-24m trousers (they are both too long and too big in the waist for her, right now). There is a family history of people being the smallest in the class until early-teens who then grow up to be taller than average, or I think I'd be really worried by now.

SofiaAmes · 11/06/2004 23:48

Can they actually do anything???? besides put them on a rack and stretch them. I really think there is far too much emphasis on the "norm." At his 2.5 year check my ds was average height, but above average weight (even though he's really skinny) and the hv said I should keep an eye on his height. I'm not sure what she thought I was going to do? And then when my dd had her 8 mo. check she was so long that she was off the chart. Hv suggested that someone must have measured her wrong at the last visit (when she wasn't off the chart)...I didn't quite follow this logic as she was the one that had just measured her that time when she was off the chart and it was irrelevant what her measurement was last time. Anyway dd is still "too long." I dread to think what they will say when she has her 2.5 year check and they find out that she is wearing 4 year old clothing. Maybe I should put her in the dryer and shrink her.

Anyway, Don't worry. There is nothing wrong with being small and for girls there is really not much of social stigma to it (like there is for short men). As long as she is healthy and happy I wouldn't worry. And as others have described, she may well shoot up one of these days and it'll probably be when she's 16 and she'll be demanding a brand new wardrobe and you'll be wishing she had stayed short.

assumpta · 12/06/2004 09:20

Zebra this is what my worry has been. Turners does seem to have a lot more that shortness connected to it though and she has none of these other symptoms.
I know there is nothing I can do anyway, unless growth horomones, which sounds too frightening to think about, but as a Mum you never stop worrying. I have started to look at adults and wonder how tall they are if they look smaller than average, and even though they are small they still look happy.
I hope I am worrying for nothing.

OP posts:
LIZS · 12/06/2004 09:30


Our dd is a month or so older and sounds similar. She has only just starting to wear 92cm trousers although has been in the tops for a while. In fact the 18 months Next t shirt from last year fits her nicely today and she is just able to squeeze her (now nappyless!) bum into her aged 12 months shorts! With both I've had to put extra elastic in some waist bands or the clothes would never get worn !

We were both small until senior shcool so am not too worried yet.

Wallace · 12/06/2004 09:39

Another tiny here - dd is 89cm tall and she will be 3 in 2 weeks! I was also small, I was 100cm when I was 5 - in contrast to ds who is 111cm at not quite 5!
Anyway, I grew to be a respectable 5 foot 4 ish, and my best friend who was always taller than me, stopped growing at 5'2!

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