When Did Your Very Late Bloomer Girl Finally Grow?

Updated on May 29, 2014
J.J. asks from Lancaster, NY
16 answers

Moms of girls pre-teen or teen (or grown up): when did they finally go through their growth spurt or puberty? My dd just turned 11 and is VERY small. She has absolutely no signs of puberty and is way behind the curve compared to other kids her age. She consistently grows about 2" a year, but some of her peers are easily a foot taller. She eats a healthy diet, but doesn't eat a lot (she's not only short, but thin too)
I always bring this up with the doc at her annual appt, and since I'm only 5'1" and my husband is 5'11", and her growth is consistent, they don't seem to think there is a problem. When I was a kid, I reached my adult height in 6th grade - so she definitely has a different pattern than me.
She'll be going to middle school next school year and she'll be soooo small next to some of the older kids that I worry about her.
When did your late bloomer finally grow?

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answers from New York on

My granddaughter is 11 and not showing signs. We are not worried. She will bloom in her own time. You should be glad. Their brains and bodies do not age at the same time lol!


My granddaughter is 11 and not showing signs. We are not worried. She will bloom in her own time. You should be glad. Their brains and bodies do not age at the same time lol!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

Being female she is more likely to take after you in terms of height. She'll likely be taller then you when all is said and done, but I highly doubt she'll reach anything near her dad's height. As far as society is considered, it is widely acceptable for a female to be petite. She's not likely to be teased about her height. What she might be teased about is the lack of breasts at this point. It may be time to get her into a sport to build her confidence in herself and in her body.

I'm short and the only person who ever made comment on it was me. It took me a while to get over it, I was a self centered nitwit in my teen years.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Chattanooga on

I was always shorter and very skinny until was in high school. Seriously, I was in 10th grade when I started my period, and didn't even need a bra until I was 20. (Much to my dismay... Though I wore a sports bra for modesty issues.)

I hit a big growth spurt during the summer between my freshman and sophomore year, and shot up to be taller than my best friend (who had always been a few inches taller.) I kept growing, though more slowly, until I peaked at 21, reaching 5'7.

It wasn't until I joined the military at 18 and gained quite a bit of muscle that I finally bulked up. After I got out, I didn't exactly keep up with my physical training and all that muscle turned into chub... Which is ok, actually, because it definitely made me look more feminine. (And I finally had boobs! Yay! Lol.) unfortunately, now I have to really struggle to keep the weight off after having my daughter. Oh well, that's life.

Eta: as far as high school goes, there were negative aspects of having an "underdeveloped" body compared to my peers... But it really didn't have much of an impact. I was never miss popularity, but I had several good friends; and while I sometimes got teased about my quirkiness (which my friends loved) I never really did get teased about my body. The worst thing was that boys never seemed to be all that interested in me until we were already friends. But I was OK with that, because I wasn't all too interested in them either. I just sat back and laughed at all the drama my friends were going through with *their* boyfriends.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I would think back and remember what age you went through all of that. Your daughter is likely to be similar. I was extremely small throughout my childhood and was almost always the shortest person in my class. When I graduated 8th grade at almost 14, I was only 4'10". I am 5'4" now and probably didn't reach my full height until the latter part of high school. I didn't even get my first period until after I turned 15...talk about late bloomer...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

One of the guys I went to high school with was shorter than me our senior year. I am 5'2". In our Sierra Club group picture he is standing next to me and he's like a little kid.

While he was in college he had a growth spurt and grew over a foot. Now he's right at 6' and built like a Greek God. His body is gorgeous. He is the nicest guy you could ever meet too because he knows what it was like to be the odd one out. He said it made him the person he is today.

His wife is a short round lady and the sweetest person I've ever met. They are deeply committed to each other.

Being different isn't always a bad thing, it can be "the" thing that makes us who we end up being. Just support her and hold her when she's hurting inside. She'll grow some day.

If you suspect she has that illness where they never develop and always look like a child then perhaps you should find a specialist to take her too but I'd really research it to make sure she has some of the markers of it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

20 years ago, she'd have been right on track. She wouldn't be close to puberty/menstruation at all. The age for breast development & other sex characteristics and menarche has constantly dropped. So your daughter seems behind just because everyone else is doing it sooner. She's growing consistently, she's eating well (and maybe she's not eating a lot of foods with hormones so she's not getting "artificial" breasts and so on?), and the doctor aren't worried.

My son was the shortest but also the oldest in his class (we didn't start him in kindergarten until age 6 - lots of reasons, all turned out to be good). He didn't kick in with growth and hormones until 9th grade. He started to run track and at the same time his body started to change. He was also low on the height charts and consequently on the weight charts (although his weight was proportional to his height). The doctor thought he would be 5'6" or so, but he's easily 5'9" now and was by senior year in high school. He was very "late" in getting body hair and he still doesn't have much of a beard (which is okay by him - less shaving).

I'd just let her be petite. You are, and you've turned out okay right? And really, what are you going to do about it? There's clearly nothing really seriously wrong and her growth isn't stunted, so she's just petite or she will get her growth later on. While the other girls are feeling gawky, your daughter is doing fine.

I think, in general, we put way too much emphasis on body image, and then we wonder why our daughters (especially) are so hard on themselves as teens, never being happy with who and how they are.

Your daughter will come along in her own good time. Don't fill her up with food to get her to gain weight - she will develop an unhealthy relationship with food. Continue to feed her good things (and allow some treats too), and be sure she has the chance to have a few snacks during the day. Small people sometimes don't stay full that easily - but truthfully, all of us should eat less at each sitting and have at least 2 snacks during the day. Be sure she has a mix of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs, and let her be.

I'd give her "the talk" about menstruation and body changes (and, yes, sexuality and peer pressure and boys and feelings), and reinforce it in small doses over the next few years and into her teens, so that she is prepared for what happens to her and for what she hears about from peers. But let her know that everyone catches up eventually - she's going to be "late" in some things and "early" in others, just like kids who walk, talk, potty train and sleep through the night do it differently from the next kid. Have her prepared, but not feeling frustrated or impatient or, worse, imperfect.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Mine will be 13 next month. She has started to develop and grow, but hasn't hit the major puberty milestone.

She was always short (smaller) in the younger grades, and she seemed tiny going to 6th grade.... but so did my son. They grow SO MUCH in 6th, 7th and 8th grades... and all 3 grades are at the same middle school here. So there is a very wide range of sizes. But they are all normal sizes. Kids hit their growth spurts at various times, and grow to various heights... we aren't all cookie cutters.

She sounds just fine. Not sure why you are concerned. Or maybe you aren't concerned per se, just nervous about her being small and feeling overwhelmed amidst a large group of much bigger kids? At my daughter's middle school, the kids are mostly kept separated by grade. They all have classrooms on separate halls, and eat lunch by grade, etc. They don't really co-mingle between grades at ALL. Not a problem.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My DD is 11 and is at her adult height (pedi thinks she is pretty much done growing), however, her friends are at a wide variety of heights right now. One of her besties is 12, and is about 4'8" right now. Bestie's older sister didn't hit her growth spurt until she was 16, apparently!

One thing our pedi told us was that girls usually get their periods about 2 years after they first start to develop, and after they get their periods, they will only grow about 2 more inches (if at all). This has been pretty much true for my DD. She grew about 6" in the 6 months before she got her period. Then she got her period and stopped growing!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm not sure if my girls were late bloomers. My son, same age, was always shorter then them until 8th grade, then he just grew over night. I never really worried about them. When she goes to middle school, she may seem smaller than others but there will be 8th graders there who may have had their growth spurts. I can tell you that some of the 6th graders we see walking to school seem so small, how can they possibly be 6th graders? It will happen. If the doc is not worried and she is not showing signs of a problem, I wouldn't worry about it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Mine are too little to answer your specific question, however, I just finished doing my daughters whole school slide show. I have for days been meticulously scrutinizing photos, cropping, selecting, deleting, and trying to equally represent each if the 18 classrooms. And one thing I have noticed is that in middle school, there is much size difference. I look and think, "that can't be a third grader, she's to tall." etc. People come in different shapes and sizes and those differences seem most pronounced by about 3rd grade.

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answers from Los Angeles on

13. She'll get there. Don't stress out over it.

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answers from San Antonio on

I was "full grown" by the 7th grade. 4'10" from them thru high school I weighed no more than 90lbs. 32A
got pregnant finally hit 100lbs!
2nd pregnancy hit 110lbs and went up to a 34A!

LOL and well that's where I am now, except not pregnant 4'10" 105lbs 34A
so to answer your question I was 13 or so when I "stopped" growing/changing.
My 15 yr old is still getting taller she's 5'4" about 90lbs
My 13yr old is still also growing she's 5'3" about 50lbs (super thin!! but good healthy eater)
they each grow at their own pace, if you are "worried" about HER body you will end up making her VERY self conscious about it, and that could lead to poor self esteemed. If she is happy let her be.
People feel the need to remind me of how short I am, I'll usually say "I've been this way my whole life" or "Oh MY GOD!!! WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?!"

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Well, my kids are still young, but I didn't grow until I was 15 years old. I entered high school at about 4'10" tall and well under 100 lbs (probably in the 80s, but I don't remember). I was tiny. I didn't really need a bra till the middle of my freshman year (and even then, just barely) and didn't get my period until right after my 15th birthday. I was a super late bloomer. But, I ended up at a little over 5'3" and certainly have many friends shorter than me. She will grow eventually, but given your height, quite possibly won't ever grow all that tall.



answers from Philadelphia on

I haven't read the responses, but if your doctor is fine with her growth her growth is probably fine too. My now 14 year old is the 3rd smallest in her class. And the other two have profound and diagnosed issues (one is a "little person") She's tiny and thin. She does not have her period but is just starting to show signs of maybe one day having boobs. I'm not holding my breathe and I told her not to either. I am middle aged and had two kids and I barely have boobs. You are small. She might be small too. Middle school is off the charts for size ranges and it WILL come up. I grew my last two inches in COLLEGE! She is perfect and healthy and she is her. Support that when the problems come form the other kids.



answers from New York on

Talk to her ped again, but my understanding is that puberty is triggered by weight and % body fat. At least that's what our ped told me about my son who wasn't gaining enough weight at his 11 yr old physical (height is there-which is more genetic-but weight gain was not proportional. Personally, I was always a very thin girl and didn't truly start puberty until 12 (menses at 14). Thought it would never happen! But I'm guessing now it's because I was so slim.



answers from Phoenix on

I was 4'9" and slim, but athletic, entering 7th grade at 12 years old. My mom is 5'4" and my dad was 6', but they just assumed I was going to be tiny like my dad's mom. The summer between 7th and 8th grade, I grew 6 inches. I'm now a perfectly average 5'5".
As for developing, I was definitely a late bloomer. I got my first period the summer I turned 14. I swear my boobs didn't arrive until sometime in college. :-) Until I had kids, I was a 34B.
If the doctor is comfortable with her growth, I suggest you should be also. There's nothing you can really do about it anyway, especially if she's already a healthy eater.

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