You're in for many changes! Midway through this year, most
babies are walking and many are starting to have conversations.
They're turning into toddlers. By their second birthdays, most
are losing that "baby" look and growing taller instead of
rounder. As toddlers get stronger and more capable, their rate
of physical growth slows during this year.
How Much Should My Child Grow?
During this second year of life, your toddler may gain between 3
and 5 pounds (1.4 to 2.26 kilograms). An average 15-month-old girl
weighs about 22 pounds (about 10 kilograms) and stands 31 inches
(79 centimeters) tall. Boys tend to be about a pound heavier at 15
months but about the same height.
By age 2, both will stand about 34 inches tall (86 centimeters)
and weigh about 27 to 28 pounds (12.25 to 12.7 kilograms) on
average. Your toddler's head size also will not change as
dramatically this year, with about 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) added
to head circumference.
What you will notice more than actual growth are changes in a
toddler's appearance. Instead of sporting the rounded belly and
soft arms and legs suited to crawling on all fours, toddlers start
to trim down, become more muscular because of increased
activity, and begin to look more like preschoolers than babies.
Should I Be Concerned?
Like babies, toddlers come in all shapes and sizes. Your doctor
will continue to plot your child's growth on a
during regular checkups. Although you may be concerned that your
child is too thin or too chubby at any one time, the most important
thing is that your child continues to grow at a steady rate.
A baby who is happy, active, and interested in nearby
surroundings most likely is getting enough to eat and growing
properly. A heavier child should not be put on a calorie-restricted
diet without specific medical advice and supervision.
During the second year of life, your baby will start
self-feeding and trying new tastes and textures. Now's the time
to start building your child's palate with nutritious foods
that are packed with the vitamins needed for healthy growth.
It's common for toddlers to take to simple flavors, like
macaroni and cheese, and want to stick with them. To build a
foundation of healthy eating habits, keep serving a variety of
different foods and don't accommodate these food ruts. Many
kids, especially at this age, need to be exposed to a new flavor a
number of times before they'll accept it, so keep
Encourage activity and exploration by providing a safe
environment that lets your child be active every day. In addition
to the physical benefits, this is also how a lot of learning takes
place. This should be fairly easy, as most toddlers seize every
opportunity to move, whether by scooting, crawling, cruising, or
Try not to let your baby spend too much time in confined spaces
- such as car seats, strollers, swings, and cribs - that restrains
moving and exploring.
Be mindful of
- and consider putting away items so you don't worry about them
being broken or your child being hurt.
From the time your child is born, it's tempting to make
comparisons with other kids: Look how tall that baby is, look how
early that one started walking, look at how that child can count.
It's important, though, to appreciate and accept your
child's physical qualities, and to know that weight and height
are just as much a part of who your child is as hair and eye
Your baby will grow to be the size that genetics intended.
It's up to you to provide a safe and healthy environment to
foster that growth.
Speak with your doctor if you have any concerns about your
Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: August 2008
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice,
diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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