Girls quickly grow throughout infancy and childhood, and usually, girls stop growing and reach their adult height at the ages of 14 or 15. Girls can also stop growing a couple of years after menstruation begins. During childhood to puberty, girls might gain a foot or more in height.
A girl’s growing period is dependent on what age she is when puberty begins and when she gets her first period. Many girls will experience puberty beginning between the ages of 8 and 13. Girls can also experience a growth spurt between the ages of 10 and 14.
To learn more about growth in girls or if you have specific questions unique to you or your daughter, it can be a good idea to reach out to your child’s pediatrician.
Girls Growth Spurts Stages
The range of time for when girls reach puberty-related growth spurt stages is broad. Between the ages of 8 and 13 is when most girls start their sexual development. Between the ages of 10 and 14 is when you might see a growth spurt.
Some of the things girls will experience during puberty include breast development, a noticeable increase in height, and the beginning of menstruation. Girls will also notice pubic hair starting to grow, which usually begins 6 to 12 months after the start of breast development.
To ensure continued growth, girls need to have healthy habits, a well-balanced diet, and to have some sort of physical activity each day.
Signs of Growth Spurts in Girls
- Increased appetite – A girl will experience needing more food to feel full. They might start wanting greater portion sizes or start snacking more often. Frequent hunger lea
- A girl’s feet growing is an indicator of a growth spurt.
- A girl might notice the growth of her knees, elbows, shoulders, and shoulder blades. These joints are becoming bigger and might poke out of shirts and pants. Girls will also start seeing a widening of their hips.
- Bones are becoming longer – This is noticeable in a girl’s height and lengthier arms.
- A girl will notice hair growth around her body. At first, the hair will be soft, and over the course of puberty, the hair will become more coarse.
Factors that Influence the Height of Girls
- Genetics – Genetics is the main factor influencing a girl’s height. Scientists have identified 700 different genes that all play a role in determining a girl’s height. A girl’s height is likely to be similar to the height of her parents.
- Eating habits – Nutrition plays a large and important role in a girl’s growth. Eating healthy and making sure a girl is getting proper nutrients are important for muscle and bone development. Nutritionists recommend that children have a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. For bone health and growth, foods with protein and calcium need to be a part of a girl’s diet.
- Exercise – To maintain posture and good bone alignment, proper muscle development is important. This can influence the final height of a girl.
- Hormones – To instruct growth plates to make new bone, the body naturally produces hormones. These hormones include growth hormones, thyroid hormones, and sex hormones.
- Sleep – During deep sleep, hormones that help with growth are released.
Do Genetics Affect Height in Girls?
Genetics do play a role in height as a girl’s height will be based on the heights of both of her parents. Height or growth is considered to be something that runs in families.
If you take your daughter to a pediatrician, the physician might ask about the height of the girl’s parents, growth patterns, and family height history.
You can also use the mid-parental method to predict how tall a girl might grow if you want a ballpark number. To carry out this method, you can add together the heights of both parents and then divide that by two. Next, subtract 2.5 from that number. It’s a rough estimate, so keep this in mind and factor in the margin of error. The margin of error can be 4 inches higher or lower than the initial calculation.
Median Height for Girls
The median height of girls in America will be under 50.2 inches, or 127.5 centimeters tall at 8 years old, the earliest start of puberty. At 10 years old, the average height of girls is 54.3 inches, or 138 centimeters. Once a girl reaches 12 years of age, she could be right at the average height, which is 59.4 inches, or 151 centimeters.
The average, age-adjusted height for girls for women at 20 years old and older is 5 foot 4 inches, which is about 63.5 inches.
When do Girls’ Feet Stop Growing?
In girls, feet tend to stop growing once they reach 20 years of age. As a girl undergoes growth spurts, this is when a girl’s feet will grow rapidly. Feet will stop growing rapidly around the ages of 12 to 13 ½.
Once the girl reaches 20, the bones of her feet will stop growing, but as she gets older she might see her feet undergo changes. These changes don’t involve actual bone growth.
When do Girls’ Breasts Stop Growing?
Girls’ breasts will stop growing once puberty is complete, which is often one to years after a girl gets her first period. Though, this can also differ. Some girls can experience their breasts growing slightly or changing in shape until she reaches 18 years of age.
The first sign of puberty is often breast development. Before a girl gets her first period, her breasts can start to grow 2 to 2 ½ years prior. This can differ for everyone. For example, some girls might experience their breasts developing three to four years after menstruation begins.
How Puberty Affects Growth for Girls
Many girls will experience puberty between 8 and 13 years of age. Puberty is dependent on hormones, which are naturally made in a girl’s body. These hormones are important during puberty and are responsible for most of the changes that happen to a girl’s body.
Since every girl is a little different, a girl’s body goes through puberty on its own schedule. Girls will progress through stages in different ways.
Factors that Cause Growth Delays in Girls
- Health conditions – For some girls, a delay in growth can be attributed to health conditions such as growth hormone issues, cancer, and severe arthritis. If a girl suffers from malnutrition, this can cause growth delays as well.
- Genetic disorders – Girls can be shorter than their family members if they have Down syndrome, Noonan syndrome, or Turner Syndrome. In contrast, a girl might grow taller than her family members if she has Marfan syndrome.
- Delayed puberty – A girl with delayed puberty will enter puberty later than average, but will still grow at a normal pace.
- Endocrine or hormone diseases. Girls with diabetes or a lack of thyroid hormones can cause growth delays as this can affect bone growth.
- Growth hormone deficiency – If a girl has some type of growth hormone deficiency, there is a problem with the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland secretes different kinds of hormones, including the growth hormone.
Growth problems or delays can be caused by a variety of factors and aren’t limited to those listed above. If you are worried that your child is experiencing some kind of growth delay, visit your child’s pediatrician. Depending on the cause, the pediatrician can offer different treatment options.