Extra Tall Toddler - Do You Have One Too?

Updated on May 23, 2014
K.G. asks from San Francisco, CA
18 answers

My 17 month old son was just referred to an endocrinologist to rule out the possibility of a growth disorder. He is 36 inches / 92 cm tall and several healthcare providers have said he is the biggest kid they have ever seen. As you might imagine, this is troubling to me!

His weight is proportionate to height and he a sweet active boy. He isn't talking much, but is very interactive and personable. His sister is very tall is well. 42 inches at 3.5 yrs. and seems to be maintaining over 95% as well.

Please share your story with me if you have an extra large kid too.

*Some of you have asked and I should have mentioned that I am 5'9 and husband is nearly 6'3

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answers from New York on

Not me, but it was true of a second cousin, and true for a neighbor. Neither had any underlying health issues, they were just super tall. Proved a bit of a problem in the early years for both, because strangers thought the kids were older, and would express disapproval when the kids would understandably act their age.

i.e. empathy for the mother of the two year old who pitches a fit when they want candy at the drug store. a scowl for the mother of what you believe to be a 5 year old, who is pitching a fit when they want candy at the drug store.

F. B.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I wasn't good about keeping records, so I am guessing my daughter was 36.5" at 2 years old. She was always at 97 percentile for girls.

I have never had a doctor raise a brow about her height. Parents and other kids do, but never anyone in the medical field. She is the tallest kid in class and the second tallest in both 2nd grade classes.

I am 5'7" and dad is 6'2".

I wouldn't worry too much. Follow the doctors requests, but keep in mind he has tall parents. If the two of you were average height, I would be concerned.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Springfield on

My nephew is very big for his age and always has been. He'll be 9 this summer, and he's close to 5 ft and over 130 lbs. Everyone in their family is big - tall and very solid. It's hard for us, because our son was born 1 year and 1 day after his cousin and is small for his age. So the two cousins easily appear to be 3 years apart if not more.

At 36 inches he is a bit off the chart but just a bit - the chart I looked at said 34 inches. It's hard for me to believe an extra 2 inches is really that big of a deal, though I didn't go to med school. I suspect your doctor is just being cautious.

Other than shopping for clothes in the boys section sooner than other moms and possibly having some of the social challenges Fanged Bunny mentioned, I really think this is not a big deal. Your son is just going to be one of the tallest in his class.

It sounded like you might be concerned that he isn't talking much? Maybe not, but if you were thinking that at all I would just say that 17 months is very young. It's not at all unusual for boys, especially a second born, to not be saying much at 17 months. That being said, my son wasn't saying much either and I insisted on a speech evaluation. He's been going to speech since he was about 19 months old and is now 5 and doing fabulous. Not really something to be too concerned about, but something to keep an eye on.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

At 4 yrs old our son was 42 in tall and 42 lbs.
He's always been %95 and occasionally off the edge of the charts (they are only averages).
At 4, 6 and 8 yrs old he shot up 4 inches each year (the growing pains were horrible - each of those years I had to replace his whole wardrobe 3 times).
From a very early age people have always said he looks about 3 years older than he really is.
He's currently 15 1/2 yrs old and he's been 6ft 1in for awhile.
I don't expect he's finished growing yet - he might hedge up a few more inches - but he's slowed down quite a bit and a lot of his classmates are finally catching up to him.
Our pediatricians have always said he could hit 6ft 4in - which is fine (and that's 3 inches taller than Dad who's 6ft 1in).

It doesn't hurt to have the endocrinologist check things out.
Sometimes kids grow quickly at first and then slow down a bit while others grow slowly then shoot up in their late teens/early 20s.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

We're tall too and my daughters for a long time were always 99% or 97%. I certainly wouldn't worry and to be honest, I'd worry much less about a boy who was going to be super tall than a girl... But if you got a referral and insurance will pay for it, nothing wrong with having him checked out. Likely he's just tall and gets it from you guys but on the off chance there is a bit of a disorder, best to know now. It likely isn't life threatening at all. My MIL had to see an endocrinologist as a teenager and they did treat her a little. She's fine! (just tall :) My girls slowed down btw to now be more like 90% but I don't think that'll last. Puberty seems to as much of an indicator of how much they're going to grow. I see lots of girls these days who are so tall at a young age but are hitting puberty and I bet are going to end up shorter than my daughters who show no signs of it at similar ages.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

That's the size my kids were. Are you and your husband 5 ft. The maybe an endocrinologist. If healthcare people think it's odd, I think they are odd. My kids were never referred to endorse. My boys are now 6 ft 5 and my girls 6 ft. Personally I would not waste my time dragging him to doctors because he is on tall side. Very bizarre IMO.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Well, I did. But now he's a 6 ft 4 21 year old. He was always 100% + on the growth charts, but then he comes from a long line of really tall people.

I also have a 19 yo boy who's 5 ft 5.

Never know what you're gonna get!

Still, to ease your mind, make an appt with the endocrine and see what they say.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yep. I have a very tall 9 year old boy. He's 5'1. He was born big (23in. 9lbs8oz) and has consistantly stayed that way all the way through. I can totally relate to what Fanged Bunny said. People have always thought he was alot older for his actual age. When they find out they say ohhh hes huge. Poor kid, he's right here. Just like I wouldnt say ohh your kids tiny...a little rude I think. Lol Anyways, people come in all different shapes and sizes. Listen to your gut mama. If you guys are tall he will probably be too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

With both of you being so tall I would not worry. My son was always on the shorter side. I am 5'4 and his dad is 5'9. My son is now 12 and is 5'2, 5 of those inches happened in a year. He is one of the taller kids in his grade.
My husband and I both have taller family members with none of my uncles being shorter than 6'.

The numbers that they give you are averages and to be honest the kids these days are huge! You can get him checked out to be safe but with tall parents comes taller kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I come from a family of giants. I'm the "little" cousin at 6'0". My (male) cousins are 6'10", 6'7", 6'4", and 6'3". As you might imagine, our kids tend to be giants, too, right from the start. My older daughter was always in the 99th percentile for height. I'm not sure exactly where she was on the growth chart as a toddler, but she was wearing size 8 going into kindergarten (I remember the ladies at the uniform store remarking on that), and we always had to take everything in because she was as big around as the average 5 year old, but super tall. On her 11th birthday, she was 5'5". My niece is in kindergarten and is 4'3". We grow 'em big, what can I say?

Funny thing, though, my youngest is *tiny* for her age (she's turning 9 in a few weeks, and is shorter than her kindergartener cousin). We are being referred to endocrinology for the second time just to double-check that there's nothing going on with her, because her short stature is so unusual for our family! I'm sure your son is fine - you and your husband are both tall! But having the endo run through all the blood tests and bone age scans will be helpful to set your mind at ease.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

My son was a very tall toddler (always in the 100th percentile in height) and today he is between 6'4" and 6'5". He is 16 and still growing. The scary thing is he weighs 158. I'm always trying to put weight on him.

There is an endocrine disorder that I would rule out but I can't remember the name of it. You would see long limbs, fingers and face. I wish I had tested my son for this but I never did. My husband is 6'2 but I'm only 5'3.

Good luck - hopefully it's just his genes!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

All of my kids are tall. I am 6'1 and my husband is 6'3. Tall runs in both of our families, my husband is actually the shortest one of his siblings and parents! Amazing!

My 10 year old, since I just had her at the doctor, is 5;1. My boys are both tall too, both closer to 5ft as well, at 7 and 9. They will be tall.



answers from San Francisco on

Your son is just going to be super tall. I had the same problem when my son was born. He was already 24 inches at birth and they said the same thing. I am your height and father 6-4.
My son is now 12 and is over 6ft. Wears a size 13 Shoe, is very healthy and plays sports. He is going to probably be much bigger that both of us and is already taller than his dad was at his age.
There is something in the water...smile.



answers from Portland on

When my son was 20 months he was 36 inches. He is now 15 and 6ft but no health problems, just tall. He sometimes struggles to find pants at the popular stores that kids his age like. My daughter on the other hand was under 30 inches at 24 months and I was constantly pressured to give her HGH or other drugs\chemicals\hormones. Other than mild bullying and unfortunately early puberty she is also doing fine.

Don't stress the size when he is so young if that is the only problem.



answers from Buffalo on

It sounds like genetics....I have the opposite. My dd is extra small...always the smallest or second to smallest with other kids her age..again it's genetics. I'm only 5'1 and my husband is 5'11 and said he was a very late bloomer.
We have a friend's son who is also very large (he's larger than my dd and hes many years younger than her), but his dad is 6'8 (mom is average)

I've learned not to sweat it out...they are who they are. Yes, it bugs me when people have to comment on how small my kid is...like she's some kind of freak...but I've learned to brush it off and say, "yep!"


answers from Dallas on

Yes, my son is extra tall too. His 2nd birthday he was 38 inches (predicted 6'4 at adulthood). At 3y10m he is 46ish inches.. I'm only 5'7 and DH is 5'10, but I was a preemie twin. My brother is 6'3 and sister almost 6'. the rest are normal height..


answers from New York on

My kids have all been in the 75th to the 100th percentiles. All proportionate height and weight and consistent from infancy on. These are the things my ped said were important - proportion and consistency so not to worry.

I would get a second opinion.



answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter was off the charts for a number of years when she was in grade school through middle school. She was an early bloomer however and is now a respectable 5'7" at 16 yo.

It sounds to me like your kids inherited the tall genes. How tall are you and your husband?

My friend had the opposite scare. Their son was too short...the doctor wanted him to get bone scan and other testing. My friend, however is a nurse and her and her husband are short. She knew her son was fine, just short. He is now 17yo and 5'6".

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