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Raising a taller than average toddler

Updated on May 25, 2012
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Jacob at 10 months of ageJacob-not yet oneJacob at 11 months with his 6 ft. tall daddy
Jacob at 10 months of age
Jacob at 10 months of age | Source
Jacob-not yet one
Jacob-not yet one | Source
Jacob at 11 months with his 6 ft. tall daddy
Jacob at 11 months with his 6 ft. tall daddy | Source

No he isn't slow-he is young

I am a proud momma, a happy momma to a smart, vibrant, funny, tall toddler. My son has always been at the top of the scale in height-the first thing the doctor said when he was born was "Well he isn't going to be in the ballet". He had a few sit backs at first, including a trip to the NICU, but he never had a size issue. Don't get me wrong-he isn't heavy by any means-he hits the midpoint of the weight chart. Sounds great, doesn't it! And it is, except everyone assumes he is older than he really is.

I often get asked his age followed by, "Wow, he is tall". We get strange looks when we are out and he isn't speaking, or listening, or sometimes decides it is a good time to forget how to walk and takes off crawling. Nobody would look twice at a normal size almost two year old who is having a severe, non-lingual temper tantrum-but one who looks like he should be three is a different story. People sometimes assume he is a brat, "special" ,"slow", or not developing correctly and feel the need to comment.

If he was any of those things I would still be proud to be his mommy, but he isn't and shouldn't be labeled especially at such a young age-no child should be. I worry that if he is treated as being slow by others, will this affect his development and sense of self? How could it not negatively impact his self esteem. I was tall for my age- was hit on by adult men while in middle school, and stopped trick-or-treating after I was told I was too old while in 6th grade. I don't want my experiences to affect my view and cause me to be oversensitive, but I also don't want to ignore the fact that even I expect my son to act older at times and have to remember he isn't yet two.

I worry that in another year we will have to use depends, because the baby diapers will not be long enough. The size 5's already ride low in the front, and size 6 is the largest I can find. He is wearing 4T pajama's and 3T clothes. The waist of his pants are too big, but the length is just right. His shoes are 7.5 to 8 and growing by the day. Designers of baby clothes haven't caught on that as the population gets taller so do the kids. I would love for them to start making a tall option on the sizes, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. Time to break out the sewing machine.

Are you guilty?

Do you use size as a way to determine age?

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What the experts say is average

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization) put out height and weight charts,, to help determine normal ranges for people of all age; for a 2 year old boy it is 32 -36. 5 inches tall. Jacob was near 35 inches at 21 months.Height is both a mixture of the genetics inherited and the environment. A person can fail to reach their destined height if they receive poor nutrition, lack of exercise, or have certain medical conditions. Information obtained from the following sites:

Several studies of adults have shown a link between height and income stating that taller individuals earn more money over their lifetime. Studies have also shown taller people are promoted more, considered more competent, and have higher self esteem. Unfortunately, done wrong a study can and will show whatever you want it to. Without seeing the scientific method used in the studies, the size of the group studied, and statistical difference I am hesitant to believe everything they claim.

Final thoughts

So, should a mom worry that being tall with have a negative effect on their child? Should they be happy that being tall will be a built in bonus for their child? I have yet to find a study saying that being tall will negatively affect their development, but I know how it affected me. Was I really accident-prone because I hadn't grown into my body? Will this happen to Jacob, and is it just natural that we all go through an awkward phase?

It is something I can't control-sorry malnutrition is off the table in this home. I will protect Jacob when I feel he is being treated differently due to his height. Teach him diversity is beautiful-no matter if you are 2 feet or 10 feet tall. I will love him no matter what. He is my son.

Please share your thoughts or comments.

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      My 27 month old is well over 3 ft and of course everyone assumes he's older. Right now it may seem difficult to explain to people he's still a "little guy" on the inside, but I just remind myself of all the advantages being tall has! Being tall has presence and stature! Why do you think we have high heels or that the phrase "tall, dark and handsome" exists. Being tall is a blessing, maybe not when you're a toddler so much but I'm sure tall kids will appreciate it someday

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thank you. Moms of tall kids need to stick together. My son is 2.5 and is 3'3". He's a giant. And I too get the stares. It's nice not to feel alone.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      My Lucas G. is only 21 months but he's over 36 inches. Most people think he's a slow 3yr old. It's getting really old explaining to them that he's not even 2, and that I'm a bit tall as well (I'm a bit over 5'9" and his dad is 6'6"). However, he's also thin (barely 27 pounds).

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      My daughter is 19 months and she wears 3t clothing she's twice the "normal" height and weight. People are always shocked when I only tell him she's a year and a half. I don't like the looks strangers give us. I say us because they look at her like why aren't you talking yet and they looked at me like why aren't you being a good parent and teaching your child. It is frustrating but I know my baby developing just fine and doesn't matter what anybody else says.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Great comment. my 2 year old is 41 inches and 38 lbs. He wears a 4-5T and no longer has the baby fat cheeks that are the mark of a toddler. I often get dirty looks in public when he acts like a (gasp) 2 year old. He is well spoken and has a rather complex vocabulary and sentence structure which compounds the misconception regarding his age. On more that one occasion I have had some one comment that I should work on his manners.

      As far as the diapers go, start teaching him about the potty. Even if he doesn't want to use it right away. I started talking about potty training with my son about 6 months ago (when he outgrew size 5 diapers). About a week ago he told me he is a big boy now and needs underwear. He has only had 2 little accidents all week. It is such a relief to not have to find size 7+ diapers.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      My son got a physical today at 21 months and he came out to 37 1/2 pounds and 37 inches. He won't stop growing either!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      My middle son just turned 3 in August. He is 53lbs & 3ft 6in. That makes him 10lbs heavier & 1in taller than his older brother (who is 4 1/2). He is off the charts on height & weight & has been since 6months old. I can relate to the worry of people treating him fairly because of his size or others thinking him to be "slow" or having special needs! This is a constant topic of conversation with my husband when we go anywhere. I always hold back the urge to announce to those around us, "he's only 3!" He doesn't seem to realize he is taller or larger than his peers. Thankfully, he is unphased by snarky comments & bounces back quickly. I am more frustrated with the reality because he grows out of his clothes/shoes/diapers so quickly! What I have found helpful during his development is visiting sites for parents of special needs children-best tips on diaper brands (since he out grew size 6 shortly before turning 2)!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      My little girl will be 3 in July and she is wearing 5 and 6 clothes! My husband and i are both really tall, but i am worried that she is too big for her age. My neice is 6 and they are the same height. I get dirty looks when we go shopping and she is in her stroller and has a soother. I can see it on peoples faces..... omg, that woman has that 6 year old in a stoller and she has a soother!!!!! I am just worried there might be a medical problem even though my dr thinks she is ok :(

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      My son is 27 months old, 41 inches and 41pounds. Right now, only 2 things seem be a result of his height. 1. He's very careful and won't do some of the physical activities at gymnastics that the other kids do. Mostly jumping on the trampoline. He just bounces or gallops. Also, he is scared to hand in to anything and dangle or swing. I think it's because it hurts his hands because he's so big. 2. Other children who are 3 and up will go up to him and start talking and he just babbles back. (I understand him) but most kids don't. So they ask me why he can't talk. I say, be side he's only 2! But that's it. Adults seem to be able to tell from his behavior and chubby cheeks that he's still a young toddler.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Our almost 3 year old is 3 ft 4 inches. He is very thin, but still towers over the others. I dread the check up appointments because they always come in with their little charts and tell me how he is average weight but off the charts for height - like I am doing something wrong with my son. You can't control your child's height. Me and his dad are average height, but we have some tall people in our family so it makes it even worse, like something is wrong with our child for being so tall with average sized parents. All I can say is that it does get easier, just find a good community (preschool, school) that your child can go to consistently.

    • Jessica Dietz profile image

      Jessica Dietz 

      6 years ago from Thomasville, Pennsylvania

      My 3 yr old is like that too. Hes over 3ft tall, and people always ask me if hes 5 or 6. Im like nope hes 3! Its tough sometimes, people say we feed them too much or blah blah blah. My 3 yr old might just be tall like his daddy, and I got big men on my side of the family as well.


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