Growth charts for children (2023)

Babies and toddlers (0-3)


Read the full fact sheet
  • Most babies and young children will grow and develop normally if they receive good nutrition and are not sick for a long time.
  • Growth charts for children, including the BMI centile charts, are intended only as guides.
  • Always see your doctor if you are concerned about your child’s growth.

On this page

  • How growth is measured
  • Growth charts in Australia
  • Body mass index (BMI) for children
  • Growth charts are guides only
  • See your doctor if you are concerned
  • Where to get help
  • Things to remember

The easiest way to measure a young child’s growth is by plotting their weight and height over a period of time on growth reference charts. Babies and young children who receive good nutrition and are not sick for long periods will have healthy growth and development patterns.

Many things influence growth including genes, nutrition, good health and sickness. Babies and young children do not usually grow in a perfectly smooth way. They usually grow in ‘bursts’. A change in height and weight can occur in a short amount of time.

For babies, the first year of life is a time when they grow very rapidly. On average, a newborn baby will more than triple its birth weight by their first birthday. Growth slows down in the second year with, on average, two to three kilos added each year until the next major growth ‘spurt’ at puberty.

How growth is measured

Doctors, nurses and other health professionals use a variety of ways to assess growth in children. The most common ways include:

  • Basic body measurements including weight, height (length) and head circumference for male and female children from birth to three years of age
  • Standards called growth references or growth charts are used to help interpret these measurements
  • Calculation of BMI (body mass index) and child-specific BMI charts for children over 2 years.

Growth charts in Australia

Growth charts are used to plot children’s growth. Your doctor or nurse can track your child’s growth from one measure to the next and also compared to the reference. This makes it easier to identify a developmental problem when it occurs and take early action.

(Video) Pediatric Growth Chart

Growth charts are taken from studies of the population as a whole and reflect the normal range of measurements for a particular group (The charts are divided into sections, called ‘centiles’, which show the proportion of the group that is above or below a particular measurement. For example, a baby who is on the 85th centile for weight is heavier than 85 per cent of other babies (of the same age and gender) but weighs less than 15 per cent of other babies. Although babies may be very different in size, the majority are somewhere between the third and 97th centile for weight, length and head circumference.

In 2005, Victoria adopted a recommendation of the National Health and Medical Research Council to use the United States Centre for Disease Control growth charts to assess and monitor the growth of children. There are a number of different charts available. These include weight-for-age, height-for-age and head circumference centile charts for children aged from birth to 36 months and two to 20 years of age. In 2011, the World Health Organisation growth charts for infants from birth to two years were adopted in the Victorian child health record book. These charts are based on the growth of healthy, breastfed infants measured from birth in a growth study from six countries. There are separate charts for boys and girls whichever the growth reference used.

Body mass index (BMI) for children

The BMI is one way to assess whether a child is underweight, healthy weight or overweight. The BMI is a single number that interprets a child’s weight in relation to their height. It is calculated by dividing the child’s weight in kilos by their height in metres squared.

BMI =Weight (kg) / Height (m2)

If a BMI calculation is used for a child (or for an adolescent), it must be compared against age and gender centile charts. This is because, as children grow, their amount of body fat changes and so will their BMI. For example, BMI usually goes down during the toddler/preschool years and then increases during the school years and into adulthood.

For children over the age of two, BMI percentile charts can be used to assess weight and obesity. The charts use centile cut-offs as a guide only. BMI above the 85th centile and below the 95th centile suggests the child is overweight. The 95th centile and above indicates obesity.

Try our body mass index calculator for children and teenagers.

Growth charts are guides only

Growth charts for children, including the BMI percentile charts, are intended only as guides. Weight and height generally increases during infancy and childhood. If there is a change from the usual growth pattern, this can indicate when to seek further guidance from a doctor, maternal and child health nurse or dietitian.

See your doctor if you are concerned

Always see your doctor if you are concerned about your child’s growth. Your doctor can use a range of charts and other measures to help assess whether or not your child is growing at the expected rate.

Where to get help

  • Your local doctor
  • Maternal and child health nurse
  • Dietitians Association of Australia Tel. 1800 812 942
  • Maternal and Child Health Line Tel. 13 22 29
  • Nurse-on-call Tel. 1300 60 60 24 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • The Royal Children’s Hospital Tel. (03) 9345 5522

Things to remember

  • Most babies and young children will grow and develop normally if they receive good nutrition and are not sick for a long time.
  • Growth charts for children, including the BMI centile charts, are intended only as guides.
  • Always see your doctor if you are concerned about your child’s growth.

  • Child growth standards charts, Multicentre Growth Reference Study (MGRS), World Health Organization (WHO). More information here.
  • Growth charts [online], Raising Children Network, The Australian Parenting Website. More information here.
  • Key questions around introduction of new and revised growth charts for Victorian children (CDC 2000 growth charts), The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victorian Government. More information here.
  • Child Growth Charts, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More information here.

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:

(Video) Growth Charts/ Percentile Curves; Are You Tall Or Short?

Growth charts for children (2)

(Video) Tracking Growth in Children – Pediatric Endocrinology | Lecturio

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:

Growth charts for children (4)

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(Video) Explaining growth chart

Content disclaimer

Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances. The State of Victoria and the Department of Healthshall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website.

Reviewed on: 31-10-2011


What is my child's growth chart? ›

A baby's growth chart is a tool that tracks a child's growth over time. It typically includes a graph or table that plots a child's height, weight, and head circumference at various ages, and compares the child's measurements to the average measurements for children of the same age and gender.

WHO growth charts should be used for children? ›

The WHO growth charts should be used with all children up to aged 2 years, regardless of type of feeding. The CDC growth charts are a national reference that represent how US children and teens grew primarily during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

What is normal range for growth charts? ›

Basics of growth charts

Standard growth chart has 7 percentile lines and include 3rd, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 97th percentiles. These percentiles are standard for height and weight charts. Any individual who is below 3rd and above 97th percentile is considered out of normal range.

What is the age range for the pediatric growth chart? ›

Girls and boys are measured on different growth charts because they grow in different patterns and at different rates. And one set of charts is used for babies, from birth to 36 months. Another set is used for kids and teens ages 2–20 years old.

What age is a good predictor of height? ›

A simple method to predict adult height is to double the child's height at age 2. Girls develop more quickly, so doubling their height at 18 months old can also be used as an estimate of how tall they will be as adults.

What is the best predictor of a child's height? ›

What's the best way to predict a child's adult height?
  • Add the mother's height to the father's height in either inches or centimeters.
  • Add 5 inches (13 centimeters) for boys or subtract 5 inches (13 centimeters) for girls.
  • Divide by 2.

Which growth chart is best? ›

Recommendation. CDC recommends that health care providers: Use the WHO growth charts to monitor growth for infants and children ages 0 to 2 years of age in the U.S. Use the CDC growth charts to monitor growth for children age 2 years and older in the U.S.

Do pediatricians use CDC or WHO growth charts? ›

The WHO growth standard charts should be used for children younger than 2 years of age. The CDC growth reference charts should be used for children aged 2 to 19 years.

What is the best way to monitor a child's growth? ›

The simplest method is measuring their weight and height and comparing them to the Child Growth Standards or by looking at skills or behaviors that indicate developmental milestones by month.

What growth percentile is concerning? ›

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends cutoff values of +2 standard deviations, which correspond to the 2.3rd and 97.7th percentiles, to define abnormal growth. For the WHO growth charts modified by CDC, these cutoff values are labeled as the 2nd percentile and the 98th percentile.

What age is a 50 lb child? ›

What is Normal Growth for a Child?
AgeHeight Females in InchesWeight Males in Pounds
642 to 4936 to 60
847 to 5446 to 78
1050 to 5954 to 102
1255 to 6466 to 130
7 more rows

How old is a 40 pound child? ›

An average 4-year-old weighs about 40 pounds and is about 40 inches tall. Preschoolers are still developing and refining their gross motor skills (using their arms and legs to move and play), as well as their fine motor skills (working on arts and crafts and puzzles).

How old is a 30 pound child? ›

Size Chart
9 months26-28 in.16-20 lbs.
12 months28-30 in.20-24 lbs.
18 months30-32 in.24-28 lbs.
24 months32-34 in.28-30 lbs.
5 more rows

How much should a 6 year old weigh? ›

Your 6-year-old now

The average 6-year-old is about 45 inches tall and weighs approximately 45 pounds. Your child will double that weight by the time he reaches adolescence and grow to five feet tall or more!

What should be the height and weight according to age? ›

Weight and height guide chart
HeightNormal weight BMI 19–24Overweight BMI 25–29
5 ft 1 in (61 in)100–127 lb132–153 lb
5 ft 2 in (62 in)104–131 lb136–158 lb
5 ft 3 in (63 in)107–135 lb141–163 lb
5 ft 4 in (64 in)110–140 lb145–169 lb
15 more rows

Does height come from mom or dad? ›

The genetics of height

If they are tall or short, then your own height is said to end up somewhere based on the average heights between your two parents. Genes aren't the sole predictor of a person's height. In some instances, a child might be much taller than their parents and other relatives.

At what age are you exactly half your height? ›

The average height at age 2 is, in fact, about half of the average adult height, and the correlation between height at 2 and height in adulthood is about 0.75 for boys and 0.65 for girls—about what the chart would yield at that age.

At what age are you half your height? ›

(2) Try this: Girls are half of their adult height at 18 months of age, while boys are half of their adult height at 24 months of age.

Can short parents have a tall child? ›

It is possible to have a tall child from relatively short parents. Whilst genetics play a major role, other modifiable factors can help increase such a child's height.

Do tall toddlers become tall adults? ›

Particularly for boys, kids who are tall when they're 4 years old will likely be tall as adults. However, when it comes to puberty, those number start to be all over the place, given that puberty starts, ends, and affects height in so many different ways for children. Again, clearly this is not a surefire predictor.

Are child growth charts accurate? ›

Those lines you see on the growth chart don't represent a single child's growth — they're an amalgam of measurements of millions of kids at different ages. So while they might give you the impression that children are supposed to follow them (or stay on the curve), there's no reason to think that's the case.

Why use Fenton growth chart? ›

The Fenton growth chart for preterm infants has been revised to accommodate the World Health Organization Growth Standard and reflect actual age instead of completed weeks, in order to improve preterm infant growth monitoring.

Why is the growth chart better than CDC? ›

Whereas the WHO charts are growth standards, describing the growth of healthy children in optimal conditions, the CDC charts are a growth reference, describing how certain children grew in a particular place and time. However, in practice, clinicians use growth charts as standards rather than references.

Why are growth charts helpful in children? ›

Pediatricians use it to compare your child's height, weight, and head size against children of the same age and sex. Growth charts are also personalized – a boy will have different chart parameters when compared to a girl.

How do you speed up a child's growth? ›

Nutritionists recommend that children and young people eat a varied, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. This will ensure that they get all the vitamins and minerals they need to thrive. Protein and calcium are particularly important for bone health and growth.

Do growth percentiles matter? ›

A healthy child can fall anywhere on the chart. A lower or higher percentile doesn't mean there is something wrong with your baby. Regardless of whether your child is in the 95th or 15th percentile, what matters is that she or he is growing at a consistent rate over time.

What percentile is considered normal? ›

Any number between the 5th percentile and the 95th is considered "normal." Whether the measurements are high or low, they should follow a consistent curve on the growth chart over the first year.

What is a healthy height percentile? ›

Rady Children's Specialists suggest that average height for any age or gender is at the 50th percentile. However, it's important to consider your child's height percentile in relation to you, the parents.

At what age is a child 80 pounds? ›

Child Growth Statistics

A child in the 50th percentile for weight would reach 60 lbs somewhere between ages 9 and 10. That same child would reach 80 lbs somewhere between ages 11 and 12.

What should a 5 year old weigh? ›

At this stage, children are active often quite good for their development. According to statistics of the World Health Organization WHO on the weight norms of children in different ages. Accordingly, the weight of a 5-year-old girl: 18.2 kg, the weight of a 5-year-old boy: 18.3 kg.

How old is a 45lb child? ›

Big kid weight and height averages
Height3 ft 7 in (109.2 cm)
6 yearsWeight45 lb 14 oz (20.8 kg)
Height3 ft 9.5 in (115.7 cm)
7 yearsWeight51 lb 2 oz (23.2 kg)
8 more rows
Feb 15, 2022

At what age is a child 35 pounds? ›

Toddlers And Preschoolers

Once the child passes 35 lbs, which is usually around two years of age, you should start thinking about a front-facing safety seat, or a harness, that will keep your child safe and comfortable.

At what age does a child weigh 20 lbs? ›

Average Baby Weight at One Year

By one year, the average weight of a baby girl is approximately 19 pounds 10 ounces (8.9 kg), with boys weighing about 21 pounds 3 ounces (9.6 kg).

Is 40 lbs heavy for a 2 year old? ›

Staiano says, "a two-year-old girl who has an average height (37 inches) would be considered underweight if less than 29 pounds, overweight if between 35 and 37 pounds, and obese if over 38 pounds.

How do you calculate growth rate of a child? ›

Taking regular measurements of your child's height, weight, and head circumference and plotting them on a growth chart are a good way to see if their growth is normal. Your pediatrician takes these same measurements and uses them to assess your child's physical development.

How can I calculate my age growth? ›

The formula is Growth rate = (Current value / Previous value) x 1/N - 1. Subtract the previous value from the current value: Get the difference between the previous and current values by subtracting the previous value from the current one. The formula is Current value - Previous value = Difference.

How do I find my growth chart? ›

Reading the lines
  1. Step 1: Find your child's age at the bottom of the grid. ...
  2. Step 2: Find your child's weight on either the right or left side of the grid. ...
  3. Step 3: Draw a dot where the two lines intersect.
  4. Step 4: Find the curve that is closest to that dot. ...
  5. Repeat: Find your child's length on either side of the grid.
Jan 7, 2022

How tall will my child be next year? ›

Another way to predict height is to take the average height of the parents and then, for boys add 2.5 inches or 6.5cm and for girls subtract 2.5 inches. Nutritious food is an important determinant for the final height of a child.

What is the growth percentile chart? ›

If a child's weight is at the 50th percentile line, that means that out of 100 normal children her age, 50 will be bigger than she is and 50 smaller. Similarly, if she is in the 75th percentile, that means that she is bigger than 75 children and smaller than only 25, compared with 100 children her age.

What are the three child growth assessment? ›

Three charts are used most commonly: one for weight, one for length/height and one for head circumference. There are separate growth charts for boys and girls as growth rates differ slightly between genders. Of these, weight is most often used by parents and HCPs alike, as the measure of growth in infancy.

How tall is average 6 year old? ›

The average 6-year-old is about 45 inches tall and weighs approximately 45 pounds. Your child will double that weight by the time he reaches adolescence and grow to five feet tall or more!

Does height genetics come from mother or father? ›

Which parent passes height genes? Most Children Get Their Height From Their Father and Weight From Their Mother, According to a Study. Scientists claim that a diet based on whole, nutritious food helps make your baby get the most from their genes and grow taller.

What is the ideal weight and height for a child? ›

Average Height to Weight for Female Children - 2 to 12 Years
Female Children: 2 - 12 Years
4 Years34.0 lb. (15.42 kg)39.5" (100.3 cm)
5 Years39.5 lb. (17.92 kg)42.5" (107.9 cm)
6 Years44.0 lb. (19.96 kg)45.5" (115.5 cm)
7 Years49.5 lb. (22.45 kg)47.7" (121.1 cm)
8 more rows
Oct 16, 2022

How much should a 4 year old weigh? ›

Kids at this age are still very physical, but they learn in a more focused and less hectic way than when they were younger. These kids typically gain about 4–5 pounds (2 kilograms) and grow about 2–3 inches (5 to 8 centimeters) per year. An average 4-year-old weighs about 40 pounds and is about 40 inches tall.

At what age are you half the height you will be? ›

The average height at age 2 is, in fact, about half of the average adult height, and the correlation between height at 2 and height in adulthood is about 0.75 for boys and 0.65 for girls—about what the chart would yield at that age.

How accurate is the 2 year old height predictor? ›

The genetic potential height predictor has a 68% chance of being within 2 inches and a 95% chance of being within 4 inches of this predicted height. Another limitation is that you have to know how tall a child's birth parents are for this calculation to work.

How tall will you be if your parents are 5 4? ›

Add 5 inches to mom's height and average this with dad's. Ex: if mom is 5'4” you would add 5 inches to make 5'9” and then average with dad's height of 5'11” and your little boy's predicted genetic height is 5'10”


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2. JM - #007 Growth chart
(Jurre Mattheeuwse)
3. How to Plot Growth Charts?
(Pakistan Academy of Pediatrics)
4. Growth Chart Basics in 3 minutes
(Pediatric Education)
5. Growth Charts: First With Kids - Vermont Children's Hospital, Fletcher Allen
(The University of Vermont Medical Center)
6. Extended BMI-for-Age Growth Charts for Children and Adolescents with Severe Obesity
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))
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