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Raising a Taller Than Average Toddler

Updated on October 29, 2019
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I am a mother of two that has spent over 10 years working with developmentally delayed children.

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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.

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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. 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.


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