Are Height Calculators Accurate?

It’s hard to look at the 2-foot-tall tot running through your house and imagine she’ll one day be as tall as you. Just how tall will she be? Read on to learn more.

Child growning up

Will she be tall like her daddy? Short like her mom?

You could wait 16 years to find out, or you could use height calculators to make an educated guess about what her future might look like.

How tall will your baby be? >>

How do they work?

Most height calculators consider genetics as the biggest factor in an adult’s height. For that reason, they usually combine the mom’s height with the dad’s, and put the child’s final height estimate somewhere in between the two. Some calculators allow for men to become taller than women, adding a few inches for males and taking a few inches away for females.

Healthy habits: Know your child's BMI >>

Some height calculators are even simpler, using nothing other than the child’s height at age 2. It’s a popular theory that a child’s height doubled at age 2 will be an accurate prediction of his final height. There isn’t much scientific evidence to prove that theory, but many available calculators still employ that method.

Can you do it yourself?

There’s really no need for a fancy program or a doctor’s chart to guess how tall your child will one day be. The most popular formula for height calculators simply adds the height of the mom with the height of the dad and divides by two. There’s a good chance your child will one day grow to a height within a few inches of that result.

Is it accurate?

While child-growth calculators are a great way to make an educated guess about how tall your child will grow, you’re still only making a guess.

Genetics, the main formula used in the calculators, have a major role in final height, but they aren't the only factor.

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Other forces that have an impact on children’s growth include environment, nutrition, general health, medical issues, amount of sleep and the age at which the child reaches puberty. Any one of these factors can blow a growth chart right out of the water.

Since there are so many factors that can affect a child’s growth that are not considered in most height calculators, the results should be taken with a grain of salt. They’re a good guideline, but certainly don’t give you an answer that’s set in stone.

Quick tip

Make sure they get all they need to grow by following the recipes in cookbooks — like this one from Disney.

More tips for Mom from SheKnows

Baby bedtime battles between parents and grandparents
How to handle a baby emergency
What affects baby's birth weight?

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