Child Growth and Development: What to Expect

Child growth and development is at the heart of my work with families. One of the first signs of a child’s good health is their progressive growth and overall development. Learn how to understand your child’s growth patterns, signs of puberty, and more.

I get a number of questions that center around the theme of growth and development.

Parents look at their kids growth chart and ask,

“Is my child growing normally?”

“What are the symptoms of a growth spurt?”

“How many inches a year does a child grow?”

“When do girls stop growing?”

In this article, I want to help you understand your child’s growth, the growth chart, the stages of growth and development, and how growth affects your child’s health.

What to Expect with Your Child's Growth

What is Child Growth?

Growth is the process of the body increasing in physical size. Arms and legs lengthen, torso widens and lengthens, and the head grows larger. And, of course, the internal organs grow, too.

All of these changes happen gradually over the course of childhood. However, there are sensitive periods when this process accelerates.

Baby growth spurts occur in infancy, one of the fastest growing periods in childhood. Secondly, the teen growth spurt will be the second fastest time of your child’s growth speeding up.

The Stages of Child Growth and Development

The stages of growth and development are generally broken up into infancy, the toddler and preschool years, childhood, and adolescence.

As mentioned, infancy and adolescence are when your child is growing the fastest during childhood.

During the toddler years, preschool years and school-age years, your child will grow at a more steady rate.

The Average Weight for Children

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about body weight in children. Parents have been asking about the average weight for children, and when kids gain weight, where it is placed on the body.

They also want to know what’s considered normal weight gain.

I thought I’d do a brief overview of this.

Your Child’s Growth Chart

You should have a growth chart for your child. You’ve had it since your kid was born.

If you don’t, you can get a copy of one here.

This chart will show you the pattern of your child’s growth since birth.

On the growth chart, when you look at the weight curve, you can pinpoint the average female weight based on age. This average weight is represented by the 50%ile mark.

You can do the same with your boy’s growth chart.

Kids grow at various percentiles, but they should track predictably along one percentile, in general.

Click Here to Download the Height Predictor Tool