What is the average height for 4 year olds?

by   |   Jul 04, 2024

Watching your kid grow by leaps and bounds is super cool. Their birth length can be doubled when they are 3 but that rapid pace might be stable once they enter 4. Why does this happen? Is it normal? If your baby girl or boy is at 4, read this article for more interesting information about growth and development.

What is the average height for 4 year olds?

  • For 4-year-old boys, the average height typically ranges from 37.5 to 40.3 inches (95.3 to 102.3 centimeters). 
  • For 4-year-old girls, the average height usually ranges from 37 to 39.8 inches (94 to 101.1 centimeters). 

These ranges provide a general idea of what to expect as your kid grows but remember that each child’s growth pattern is unique.

Also, you can consult the table below to know the mean height percentiles for kids at 4.

Percentile Boys’ Height (Inches) Boys’ Height (Centimeters) Girls’ Height (Inches) Girls’ Height (Centimeters)
10th  36.5 92.7 36 91.4
50th  39.5 100.3 39 99.1
90th 42 106.7 41.5 105.4

Percentiles are a common statistical tool that you can use to know how your child’s measurements compare to a reference population. When your son’s height is at the 50th percentile; for instance, it means he is taller than 50% of children his age and shorter than the other 50%. Being in the 10th percentile signifies that he is taller than 10% of their peers while being in the 90th percentile indicates he is taller than 90%.

When should parents worry about their kids’ height?

Signs of potential growth issues

One of the most easy-to-recognize issues is if a child remarkably falls below the percentile growth charts for age and gender. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations provide growth charts that plot a child’s height and weight relative to their peers. If a 4-year-old’s height consistently falls below the 5th percentile, it may be a cause for concern. 

Another red flag is a lack of consistent growth over time. Children often follow a steady growth curve, so any changes from this pattern might signal a problem. For instance, if your kid was previously tracking along the 50th percentile but dropped to the 10th percentile, this could indicate an issue that needs investigation. Or, if he is not gaining weight or height as expected, this could be nutritional deficiencies, chronic illnesses, or other underlying health conditions. 

That said, consistent growth in both height and weight is crucial for a child’s development, and any significant differences should be monitored closely.

Is there anything else?

Delayed physical milestones, such as late walking or running, or a noticeable difference between a child’s height and their overall physical or developmental progress are other signs parents should watch for. Because these issues, combined with falling below expected growth patterns, could point to growth disorders or other health issues.

Consulting a pediatrician

It is necessary to visit a pediatrician periodically to evaluate growth patterns and identify potential issues early on. From there, they can give guidance on appropriate dietary changes, recommend supplements or vitamins if necessary, or refer specialists for further judgment.

Also, parents should ask questions and express their concerns to ensure hidden problems are addressed quickly, as well as get the proper support and information to foster their child’s growth.


How to feed 4-year-old kids to support their height growth?

Nutrition plays a vital role in the comprehensive growth of 4-year-old kids. During this time, they need high energy for the developing frequency of engaging in physical activities.

  • Kids need about 1400 – 1500 kcal/day (but this number will vary depending on gender, physical condition, and activity level).
  • Protein needs for kids at 4 is about 2.5 – 3 grams/kg body weight/day.
  • Children require about 35 – 40% of their energy from fat to get energy and support vitamin absorption.
  • Vitamins and minerals are indispensable as they support many vital bodily functions. Kids should take a wide range of these nutrients from foods to guarantee comprehensive development.

An example of a 1-week menu for kids at 4

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Oatmeal porridge with almond milk or orange juice Steamed rice, braised chicken, boiled vegetables, and fresh fruits Grilled chicken noodle soup, yogurt, and fruit salad
Tuesday Chicken sandwich with vegetables and tomatoes, milk of choice Riced mixed vegetable salad, crispy fried fish balls, and fresh fruits Rice, seafood soup, and green veggie salad
Wednesday Meat dumplings and orange juice Steamed brown rice, stir-fried beef, boiled broccoli, and fresh fruit Stir-fried noodles with shrimp, fried eggs, and cucumber salad
Thursday Brown rice porridge with eggs and milk of choice Mixed fried rice, stir-fried pork with cabbage, and kiwi fruit Rice and straw mushroom soup with chicken
Friday Cheese toast, eggs, and orange juice Steamed sticky rice, grilled fish of choice, boiled vegetables, and fresh fruit Crab vermicelli and raw vegetables
Saturday Toast with cheese eggs and milk of choice Steamed brown rice, stir-fried beef with broccoli and carrots, and fresh fruits Rice and pumpkin soup with shrimp
Sunday Brown rice porridge, almond milk, and mixed fruits Steamed sticky rice, grilled fish of choice, stir-fried vegetables, and fresh fruits Stir-fried noodles with seafood, fried eggs, and raw vegetable salad

Tips for parents in feeding

  • Always offer a range of healthy foods to bring a balance of the nutrients kids need to grow.
  • Serve suitable portion sizes yet do not expect they can “clean their plates.”
  • Serve foods at regular meal and snack times.
  • Limit processed food and sugary drinks to prevent cavities and unhealthy weight gain.
  • Remember that water and milk are the best drinks for kids at 4. Ice cream is okay once in a while. 100% fruit juice is also good yet you should limit it to 4 oz. or less daily.
  • Turn off the TV, especially at mealtimes.
  • Teach your children basic table manners

How about other environmental factors?

Sleep quality

Most 4-year-olds need between 10 and 13 hours of sleep every day, including one nap (1 to 2 hours) or no. This amount of time ensures proper physical growth and cognitive development. Besides, parents should learn how to set up a consistent sleep routine for their kids.

  • Have a regular bedtime and wake-up time for the whole week.
  • Create a calming bedtime routine, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to soothing music.
  • Make the bedroom dark, quiet, and cool to help kids sleep easier.
  • Avoid stimulants before bed like sugary snacks or caffeine, or they might make your kids hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Physical activity

Kids at 4 should spend at least 180 minutes a day (at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activities) doing physical activities, including active and outdoor play. Some examples include hide and seek, climbing, rope-skipping, hopping, tag/catching, and casual ball games.

Avoid letting kids inactive for long periods, except when they are asleep. Being strapped into a buggy, watching TV, or traveling by car, bus, or train for long periods is not good for their health and development.

In conclusion,

Knowing the average height for 4-year-olds is a vital part of parenting. By staying informed and proactive, you can support their journey to becoming a healthy and happy individual. Do not hesitate to visit medical professionals whenever you have concerns, as early intervention can make a significant difference in your child’s development.

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