34 answers

Weight for a 4 Year Old???

My 41/2 year old daughter went to the doctor last week and the doctor said she was on the verge to get overweight. I am really perplexed because she looks GREAT and is just Solid like most of my family(My grandpa is 7'2). Now she was born early so growth charts have never matched up for us. She is 43 inches and weighs 42 lbs. She is in the 100th percentile for height and 95th for weight. Now she was underweight for a LONG time she had undiagnosed reflux and ENT problems for almost a year at age 2-3. She was placed on medication for the reflux and had surgery for the massive ear infections(tubes and adenoids) It is a miracle she can eat again. She put on 9 lbs since the surgery and eats a variety of foods, healthy stuff for the most part. She gets occasional candy or cake from the birthday events we attend. She is Active with swimming and gymnastics. I was floored everyone thinks she is 6 because she is so tall. I just don't know what to think any advice what are your thought how much does your 4.5 year old weigh????

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Thank you thank you! I was thinking she seems just fine, and my husband and I think so also. I am thinking that maybe what he is seeing is the huge increase in the last year due to her medical problems being corrected. When I say my child was sick I mean SICK she barely ate for about 8 months due to reflux and massive ENT problems since the surgery and the 6 months of prevacid she is able to enjoy food again. I think that doctors forget things like this and I think he needs to be reminded of this. If I EVER hear him say anything to me about her weight in front of her again I will find a new doctor and will let him know he had better watch it. I think they pay WAY to much attention to the charts and forget to look at the kid. She looks GREAT! My mom and I are both tall she is 6 feet and I am 5'10 and we HAVE never been able to be super skinny! Take a lot to carry this height around!

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I'm in the same boat with my son. He will be five in May and is already 52 inches tall and 61 pounds. He is also solid. He has always been way off the charts in growth and very high percentile in weight. As long as you are watching what she eats and limit the other stuff (as most people I think do) I wouldn't worry about it. Its great she is tall - help her embrace it and love it!!!

I too come from big people and you cannot use charts on us. She is fine as long as she is eating healthy foods and getting her exercise. Celebrate her height! I am glad to know I am not the only "Amazon" left. cb

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I wouldn't be concerned. The fact that she's in the 100th percentile for height and 95th for weight tells you that she's a large child. We are concerned about childhood obesity now. It's getting alot of attention in the press. I suspect that he's just suggesting that you watch that she doesn't become overweight.

Often, what the doctor talks with us about, is based on the average person and what is of concern within the general public. (S)he is speaking in general terms and not intending for us to be more than interested in the knowledge. As long as your child's weight is at or below the same percentile as their height they are fine. If their weight starts to creep up past their height then it's a good idea to more closely monitor their diet.

I would relax. Everyone is on this obesity in kids bandwagon. You seem to be doing the right things for her- sports, good,healthy foods. I would not worry about it one bit. I find it really hard to say a 4 year old is over weight unless they are obviously obese. They are often still carrying that "baby fat" that they will shed soon.

If you are really concerned, watch her portion sizes and snacks.

Well, my son is 3.5 year old, and weighs 40 pounds. HE is not overweight, nor pudgy, nor chubby, nor fat. He has no fat on him, but he has "muscles." He is lanky and tall for his age (taller than some 5 year olds), and people think he is in Kindergarten. But he is just 3.5 years old. Our Ped has never had a problem with his weight or height or girth or physique. He is solid. He has always been in the upper percentiles for everything, since birth. He is proportionate.

Maybe ask the Ped, "why" he thinks she is on the verge of being "overweight." Ask him to clarify that... and tell him about her activities/diet/lifestyle which does seem very healthy. And she participates in physical activity too.
I would really ask the Ped to clarify that... per HER situation. Not just numbers generically on a chart.

Ultimately, you don't want a girl especially, to get hung-up on their weight/appearance/physique/figure... since girls can get hung up on their body image too, even at a young age.

All the best,

My 4 year old son is also just a tiny bit over 43" (and also gets mistaken for an older child). He is very strong and solidly muscular. He only weighs 37 or 38lbs, however. You know your daughter and if you are comfortable that she is leading a healthy lifestyle that's what I'd go with. I will say, however, that we as adults tend to dismiss a couple of lbs here or there as insignificant, but if you only weigh around 40 lbs, 4lbs is 10% of your body weight, so being over or under weight by that much would be like a grown woman being up or down by 15lbs... just trying to put it in perspective.

Did you get a chance to ask the doctor what exactly he meant and what, if anything, he thinks needs to be changed? Sometimes when I'm actually at an appointment, I don't have my thoughts together enough to actually ask my questions or voice concerns about things that surprise me. It's probably worth making phone call back to him.

Hope this helps.


I guess I would be more worried if she were 95% for weight and something like 50% for height. But her weight and height seem proportionate. Plus, kiddos grow in such crazy spurts. At her next check-up, her %tiles could look very different. If you know she eats healthy foods and is an active, happy child, then set aside the charts for now.

BTW - I have a 4 1/2 yr old. He is 37 lbs and and 39 inches (he's a shortie!) and he looks good to me and that will have to be good enough for everyone else. In fact, to my eye, he looks "sturdy" but compared to his classmates he looks the same or thinner.

This should make you feel better - my 23 month old daughter is 34 lbs. She's always been big (tall and heavy), and our pediatrician has no concerns. Her 3.5 year old brother is 38.5 lbs. Different kids, different builds.

Have you checked the growth charts? Google "pediatric growth char girl" and plot her height/weight on the chart to see what percentile she falls into.

I'm guessing if her weight were a concern for your pediatrician, you would already now.

Good luck.

I have always been told by my doctor that you want the growth chart to be about even. My daughter, for example , has always been 75% in height and 95% in weight. So yes, mine is overweight. But if yours is 100/95, and she looks healthy then, I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about it. If she eats healthy and is active then she's good! Hope this helps.

We called that sqare. My son was 43 in tall and weighed 43 pounds. THen he was 50 some odd inches and weighed the same in pounds.
I also think it may be a good idea to look for a different Dr. What you don't want is a pediatrician saying things like this when she is 10 or 12 and very self conscious about everything already. Then you have an eating disorder.

One of the things I tell my girls is this. Your grandmas and I weigh this much and we are this tall. It is in your genes to be like this. The best thing you can do for your body is exercise and eat healthy foods.
If the weight starts to get out of control and she is way off the charts on weight then have other tests done, but she is 95% and 100% on weight and height, that doesn't sound too outrageous to me.

I'm in the same boat with my son. He will be five in May and is already 52 inches tall and 61 pounds. He is also solid. He has always been way off the charts in growth and very high percentile in weight. As long as you are watching what she eats and limit the other stuff (as most people I think do) I wouldn't worry about it. Its great she is tall - help her embrace it and love it!!!

That doesn't seem that big to me. My daughter is almost four and has always been at the 50th percentile or under. I would say she is 34 lbs and 38 inches maybe? Did you tell him about your family's size?

It sounds like she is tall and big for her age not necessarily overweight. My son was in the 95th percentile until he was 6 or 7, now he is evening out. He is still tall for his age, but his weight is good. I'm sure your daughter will even out and catch up. I say go with your instincts. As long as she is eating plenty of healthy foods and getting exercise don't worry about it!

I wouldn't worry about it. You know your family better than your doctor. Just make sure she eats healthy and stays fit. If you are taking care of her then don't worry. Some kids are bigger when they are little and then get lean. Doctor's just follow charts etc. If sounds like she is doing great!

just make sure she eats good.. like veggies and fruit... kids love fruit.. don't over feed... in between meals... stay to 3 meals.. and one snack... drink a lot of water, milk and only some juice.. good luck

I totally agree that we have too many over weight children in this world. AND it is a really sad thing because I don't believe it is all the parents responsibility, I also belive the government should demand that healthy food to be made more affordable, and prepackaged food,(or fast food) should be made healthier.
But I also believe, that most of those weight charts are INCORRECT and can set a bad example for our children. They want these charts to be extreme in either direction. Either overweight, or underweight. They usually have a unrealistic happy medium. If you truly believe that your child is healthy and within the weight range of being healthy, then I think you should just not always take the advice 100%. These weight charts can give people some serious complex issues. Just feed healthy foods and watch your babys exercise.... she will be a wonderful beautiful baby. My oldest is also in the 90 % weight bracket... but she is SOLID and her body has about 20% body fat... so don't always go by just the weight. Hope this helps. God Bless.

My daugher is also 4 1/2 and she weighs 33 pounds and is 37 inches tall. However, I am only 5'2'' and my husband is only 5'10''. We aren't big people and so her being small seems to fit her genes. If people in your family are tall than she will likely be tall too. I agree that as long as she is healthy, getting plenty of exercise, and eating well then at 4 you shouldn't worry. As she approaches puberty and is still above the 90% for weight then you may need to make a change. I would let her be and make sure she has a good body image as she grows (never let her think being big at 4 years old is a bad thing).

I would think that if she were in the 100th percentile for height, she should also be pretty high up there for weight. My daughter is consistently in the mid to upper 90th percentiles for height and weight and she looks proportionally perfect (she's tall, too - people have asked if she and her sister, who is 2 years older, are twins). I'd start to worry if my kid was in the 50th percentile for height and in the 90th for weight or vice versa. If I were you, I wouldn't worry a bit about the numbers. Because you give her good food and plenty of physical activity, your daughter is probably one strong, healthy little girl!

My daughter is the EXACT same way!!!! People ALWAYS think she is at least a year older than she is!!!
She is also very solid, and like you, we don't let her eat many sweets. She is in gymnastics and swimming.
At her 4 year appt, she was 4 years and (3 days old), on 4/2 (of last year), 42 lbs and 42 inches! haha!!! I thought all the 4-2's were funny, and it makes it easy to remember.

Anyway, she is going to be 5 at the end of this month, and I just measured her... she is almost 45 inches and 47 lbs!!! Her percentiles were around 90% i believe, according to pediatrics.com

If she looks ok to you, I wouldn't worry about it. I am also solid, and those BMI indexes are just not right for my body type. I think for my height, it says I should be 125 lbs at the most, but I think 145 is a better weight for me.

I too come from big people and you cannot use charts on us. She is fine as long as she is eating healthy foods and getting her exercise. Celebrate her height! I am glad to know I am not the only "Amazon" left. cb

My daughter is 4 1/2 and is the EXACT same height and weight ... her doctor has never told me anything about her being overweight! I'm glad to hear that your daughter is feeling better from her illnesses!

My daughter just turned 4 and weighs 42 lbs. Pediatricians today are overly concerned about childhood obesity. My friend was just told that her 4 year old son has a BMI in the "overweight" category...but this boy is certainly not overweight! These children are still going through major growth spurts at this age. You know, better than anyone else, how healthy your daughter's diet is and how active she is. Simply continue monitoring her diet and activity like you always do.

she is perfect. our daughter is 2 years old and is 36 inches and 28 pounds. my thought is as long as they get enough exercise and eat healthy they are probley just fine. plus it sounds like she is going to be VERY tall!

I am so sorry your doctor told you that. Your child has a BMI of 15.94 and it is considered to be a healthy weight. Your doctor should not be relying only on height for age and weight for age, those measurements only tell you how your child is doing compared to other kids, not how both measurements together reflect her overall weight status.

Here is a link that you can use to calculate your child's BMI: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/index.html

Good Luck to you and your daughter! :)

My 4.5yr old is 42" tall and 40lbs. I don't think your daughter sounds overweight at all! Our son is very healthy and not even the least bit chubby!

I do'ntk now what your doctor is thinking. As long as she has a healthy diet and is active, she's fine!

As an old grandma, I think those growth charts were created to drive parents crazy. It sounds to me like your child is perfect for HER. As long as she is active and eating a good variety of food just enjoy her childhood. It is kind of like those "one size fits all" things, there is always an exception.

My daugther just turned 5 but at for she was the exact same size and weight, and her doctor thinks shes great. I don't know what your doctor is talking about. Just do what you tinhk is right.

My son is 42lbs and somewhere around 40", he is 5 years old. I don't understand how/why the doctor feels she is on the verge of being overweight...maybe if she showed signs of large increases over a period of time. Maybe a new doctor would be the right answer. Otherwise if the doctor says it again try asking if he/she feels that your daughter has gained an abnormal amount this past year/months. (You draw these kinds of conclusions based on past history.)
And yes, everyone is different. I know a 6 year old boy who is very solid...just like his father's side. I also know a 2 year old girl who is almost the exact size her mom was at her age, very small and petite...who is now a healthy woman. And another boy who at 2 years old was wearing size 6 clothes because he was measuring at a height around 40+"...his father and mother are both 6+'. All these children are doing just fine. Just trust your gut, do whats comfortable for you and your daughter.
Good Luck.

My just 4 year old is 43 inches and 41 pounds. My doctor isn't concerned at all. What you really need to look at, this is what my doctor says, is what the height is to the weight. It sounds like she is porportional and there is no problem. If she was say 80% in height and 100% in weight then that's not porportional and you would want to be concerned. My son, at 43 in. and 41 lbs. is 50% when you put the two together. Meaning his weight is on target for his height. Sounds like she is going to be really tall, and she is going to be above the curve all the way along. My boys have very tall grandparents and uncles and are expected to stay above the curve. If I were you, I wouldn't be at all concerned with her weight. Sounds right on target. The other thing to keep in mind is that kids always plump out before shooting up. I wouldn't change a thing. She sounds active and healthy to me.

Wow, 7'2", that is tall!

I have twin 4 year olds. One is 45 inches tall and weighs 39lbs, the other is 46 inches tall and weighs 59lbs. The 59lbs boy is >97% for his height and weight. He does not look overweight at all. Solid, thick legs, lots of muscle tone for a little boy, but you can still see his ribs from the sides. Just a big, solid boy. The doctor agrees that his weight is not an issue because he has a lot of muscle and muscle makes him heavier.

As far as your daughter goes, she sounds normal to me. Maybe her body is making up for lost time after the reflux. I would just keep feeding her healthy food with occasional snacks and exercise. When she hits a growth spurt, she'll stretch out. And with your family history, she'll stretch out A LOT!

I would not stress over this an I would not put any pressure on your daughter for this. I would suggest that you continue to engage her in healthy physical activities that she enjoys and lots of playing outside. Keep her eating healthy and include lots of fresh raw veggies and some fresh fruit in her diet every day.

I would monitor her weight and progress but not stress yourself or her. Like you said, her grandpa is 7'2" she is probably going to be bigger than her peers. She will need a healthy diet and lifestyle as all people do and she will need confidence and high self esteem to wear her height with confidence and honor.

I don't have a little girl, but I just wanted to reassure you that it sounds like your daughter is doing FINE! If her height and weight are moving up the scale at the same rate (like 100th and 95th percentile), I can not understand why the doc said she's on the verge of being overweight. I have a 2.5 year old little boy who already weights 34 pounds, but because he is so tall, the docs have always told me not to worry--as long as the weight and height are in balance, there shouldn't be a problem.

She is fine! My son just turned 5 at the end of February and he is 40lbs and 43 1/2", Don't let them tell you she is over weight, she is just fine.

my 5 year olds are 44 inches and 41 lbs, and i am always told they're underweight. almost every time we go to pediatricians i am told to consider giving my 5 year olds pediasure. so your doctor says she's overweight and my doctor says underweight and they're a year apart.
to me, your daughter sounds right on target with weight and tall for her age.


does she have the fat crease on her wrist? my son does and he was 9 lbs when he was born. he has remained in the 90 percentile. the above link is for bmi for chrilden. the pedi should have caculated the height and weight together to determine that indeed she was overweight or almost there.

I would find a new doctor. I know that childhood obesity is a hot topic right now, but your daughter sounds well proportioned. I think that weight issues are bordering on ridiculous, she's only four!!!

Keep her active (which you already are) and keep letting her have the occassional treat (which you already are) and I'll bet she continues to be a perfectly normal girl!

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