Being tall is a trait that we Indian mums have always looked at favourably. Be it a boy or a girl, being tall is an attribute that is often seen as a sign of good growth and development. A proof for this would be the scores of matrimonial advertisements that get published in newspapers every day. 'Looking for a tall, handsome/fair, groom/bride for our daughter/son (respectively)' is a common line in most of them! Truth is, being tall or short is a result of multiple factors, and being on the shorter side definitely does not mean that the child is unhealthy in any way. However, as moms we continue to be curious - just how tall will our baby grow up to be?
While you can do several different things to increase your baby's height – from feeding them foods that will increase height, to making them participate in sports like swimming, basketball, etc. – these things will affect your baby's height only to a certain point. Height is primarily a function of the baby's genes, and there are several things you can look at in your newborn baby to find out just how tall he will be!
5 Methods To Determine Your Baby's Future Height
Here are 5 parameters you can monitor to determine how tall your baby will grow. They will help you get a realistic picture of your baby's future height.
1. Your Baby's Birth Height
A full-term newborn baby will be 18inches (45cm) tall on an average. So if your baby is taller than 45 cm at birth, it could be an indication that he will grow up to be a tall fella!
A baby's height at birth is a function of the mommy's diet too – another reason for you to take care of what you eat for those precious and all-important nine months!
2. It's in 'dem BONES!
Paediatricians can use a particular method to determine your baby's 'bone age' that is based on X-ray. The doctor will make an X-ray of your baby's left hand – palms, fingers, wrist, and the whole hand. This X-ray is then used to compare to a standard atlas of bone development. The comparison will help your doctor evaluate how long your baby's bones will continue to grow. Your baby will in effect keep growing taller for that duration! If you want to go for this bone examination, have a discussion with your paediatrician for further guidance.
3. Activity Levels & Diet
The more active a baby is, the more tired he is going to become, the hungrier he is going to get, the more he is going to eat, and the bigger and taller he is going to grow! This point further supports an important point we all already know – physical activity is important right from day one! Make sure you give your baby enough exercise (paediatrician-approved, of course!), and see to it that his diet is comprehensive, not lacking in any nutrient. If your baby's diet is rich in the following foods, there are strong chances that his height will see good growth:
See the complete list of height-boosting foods here.
4. Growth Charts
This is one thing you can do at home, without any kind of intervention from any doctor. It is an activity that can keep both you and your child occupied for years to come! Maintain a growth chart in one of your diaries. You can track your baby's length on a monthly basis, to assess whether he is growing at a normal pace. Some of the other parameters you can track in your baby's growth chart are:
See a reference growth chart for kids aged 3 months to 18 years here. It will help you compare your baby's height with the reference and see if there are any major lags. NOTE:
- Head-circumference (up to 1-year of age)
- BMI (in the light of growing childhood obesity)
- Calcium and Vitamin D (stronger bones means stronger babies!)
- Iron (in the light of the fact that it is one of the most common dietary deficiencies all over the world)
Do not obsess over this activity! Some babies grow slower in their initial years, and real fast later on. Some babies on the other hand, keep growing steadily since the time of birth till a couple of years after puberty even! Be patient. Do not stress over growth charts – instead, use them as a fun personal project for you and your child!
5. Its in 'dem GENES!
Finally, this one is perhaps the most well-known and accurate method to predict the child's height: the height of his parents! It is a no-brainer that tall parents can expect to have tall children. However, did you know there is a fun formula you can use to determine the height of your adult child?
- For boys: (mother's height + father's height) / 2 + 2.5in
For girls: (mother's height + father's height) / 2 – 2.5in
Here's another thumb-rule you can use to get a fairly accurate height prediction:
- Height of adult = 2 x height at 3-years of age
So those were some easy ways to tell how tall your baby's going to grow! Did you use the formulae given above? Tell us in the comments below how tall your baby's going to be!