Girls stop growing in height when they reach puberty, the second fastest period of growth in your child’s lifetime.
Puberty varies for each girl. Some girls go through puberty earlier and some will enter it later. Girls reach puberty faster than boys so they reach their adult height sooner. Girls will grow at a faster pace between ages 10 and 14 and most girls will stop growing by age 15.
The timing of puberty reflects nutritional status, genetics, general health, exercise and the effect of environmental chemicals.
In this article, you’ll learn the norms of puberty in girls and how to identify when girls stop growing in height.
Height for Girls Based on Age
You can get a good idea of how your daughter is growing by following her growth chart.
The following is the average girl’s height by age, based on the CDC Growth Chart for Girls, age 2-20. These averages are based on the 50%ile height for age, and we calculate the range based on the 5%ile and 95%ile height for age.
Average Girl Height
- Average height for a 9-year-old girl: 4′ 4″ (the range is 48.5″ to 56.5″)
- Average height for a 10-year-old girl: 4′ 6.5″ (the range is 50″ to 58.5″)
- Average height for an 11-year-old girl: 4′ 8.5″ (the range is 52″ to 61.5″)
- Average height for a 12-year-old girl: 4′ 11.5″ (the range is 54.5″ to 64″)
- Average height for a 13-year-old girl: 5′ 2″ (the range is 57″ to 66.5″)
- Average height for a 14-year-old girl: 5′ 3.5″ (the range is 58.5″ to 67.5″)
- Average height for a 15-year-old girl: 5′ 4″ (the range is 59.5″ to 68″)
Height Predictor for Girls
While it’s always hard to say exactly how tall a girl will become, there’s an equation to help you get a general idea.
First, you can use a mid-parental height estimate by combining the height of mom and dad, subtract 5 and then divide by 2.
Let’s use my family as an example. I’m 5’8″ and my spouse is 5’10”.
To predict my daughter’s height, I would add these two together, subtract 5 and divide by 2 like this:
68″ + 70″ = 138″
138″–5″ = 133″
133″ / 2 = 66.5″ or 5′ 6.5″
Now to keep it real, as these things aren’t 100% accurate, my oldest is 5′ 5″, my middle daughter is 5′ 6″ and my youngest daughter is 5′ 5″.
Take these height predictors with a grain of salt and know that they are only ballpark estimates.
Here’s a downloadable height predictor tool you can use at home (this also works for knowing when boys stop growing).
Normal Development in Girls
As a pediatric dietitian, I’ve seen a wide range of normal growth and development among girls. My own three daughters started and ended puberty at different times. I, myself, was what many would call a “late bloomer.”
Puberty is defined by sexual organ development, at the end of which, complete adult maturation is achieved.
Puberty begins between ages 8 and 13 years in girls, and 9 and 14 years in boys.
The Tanner Scale includes a female puberty chart and is used to determine the normal progression of puberty. Your pediatrician uses this to document and track the developing characteristics of sexual maturation, such as the presence and size of breasts.
In girls, pubertal development marches on with breast buds appearing first, followed by pubic and underarm hair growth. Then a growth spurt, followed by the start of menses (or the first period).
As a parent, you may not notice the subtle details of your girl’s development. It may seem like it’s all happening at once!
Physical Changes for the Growing Girl
There are a lot of changes happening for girls during puberty.
Let’s look at some transitions that are part of normal development.
Breast Development in Girls
The earliest sign of puberty is the development of breast buds, or small bumps under the nipple. Development can begin in either breast, or simultaneously. Breasts can be tender during this stage. This is all considered normal.
Girls experience the greatest growth rate in height after breast development begins and 6 months before they get their period, according to the AAP.
Body Hair Growth
Hair grows in the pubic area, on the legs and in the armpits. About 15% of girls will see hair growth in the genital area before the development of breast buds (a sign of premature pubarche, as noted below).
The First Period
Many girls get their first period about 2 to 3 years after the initial signs of puberty (breast bud development). In the US, the average age of the first period is 12 ½ years.
Once the period starts, the growth rate slows down. Your daughter may gain another inch or two after her period begins, but much more than that is uncommon.
Emotions & Moodiness
Of course, all the above changes mean that hormone fluctuations are in full force. You may see some moodiness and emotional outbursts.
Again, all of this is normal.
While you may recognize these changes, your daughter may be confused.
My co-author of Fearless Feeding, Maryann Jacobsen, has a new book out for girls called My Body’s Superpower. I encourage you to read it with your daughter or give it to her so she can learn how her body is changing and better relate to the process.
What Age Do Girls Stop Growing?
A girl reaches full adult height once she reaches full maturation, which is by age 15 or 16 for most girls.
When your daughter reaches Tanner V between the ages 12 ½ and 18, you’ll see the ultimate signs of maturation and complete growth.
The following signs let you know this growing phase is over:
- Maturation of breasts
- Adult pubic hair distribution
- A regular period
Why Is Puberty Happening Earlier for Girls?
Puberty is occurring earlier in children, by about 12 to 18 months, according to a 2019 review in Frontiers in Pediatrics.
Researchers suggest that puberty is happening earlier for a variety of reasons that are still not fully explained. Some experts believe weight status and the prevalence of extra, unhealthy weight instigates early puberty, especially in girls.
A higher body fat (ie, high BMI) may lead to the onset of maturation, but the reasons why body fat composition triggers this early development are not clear.
Other experts suggest endocrine-disrupting chemicals, such as those found in pesticides, may be at play. These chemicals may interfere with hormone activity like estrogens, shifting puberty timing.
Genetic tendencies will influence the onset of puberty, too. For example, if you were an “early bloomer,” your child may be one, too.
What Is Precocious Puberty in Girls?
Precocious puberty is puberty before age 8, or before the average timing (8-13 years) and includes the following signs:
- Breast buds before age 8
- Increased height growth and skeletal maturity
- Enlargement of the ovaries and uterus
- Increased levels of hormonal levels
What Is Pubarche?
The presence of pubic hair (called pubarche) before age 8 is a form of incomplete puberty. About 3% of children will have early pubic hair. And, studies show that 10-20% of these girls may be carrying extra weight.
Other signs of premature pubarche include:
- Underarm hair
- Oily skin and hair
- Adult body odor
Late Puberty (AKA Constitutional Delay)
Late puberty is defined as the absence of breast development by age 13 in girls.
Inadequate nutrition, as well as hormonal imbalances may cause delayed height growth, a common cause of delayed puberty
When do girls stop growing in height?
The simple answer is that growing ends when puberty and full maturation are complete.
While genetics is the main predictor of height, good or inadequate nutrition can affect your child’s adult height.
Be sure to follow your child’s growth chart and discuss any dips or stalls in height growth with your pediatrician. You may need to pay attention to nutrition more closely, or use other ways to support your girl’s growth spurt such as making sure your child gets enough sleep and physical activity and eats plenty of nutritious food.
Has your girl stopped growing? Where is she in her development?
Need More Help with Feeding Your Child?
Check out our flagship program, The Nourished Child Blueprint®, to learn what to feed pubescent kids, how to do it, and why it’s important to support their changing development.