Every parent worries that her child isn’t reaching his developmental milestones. Your pediatrician can help chart your child’s growth, making sure there’s a steady progression. It’s important to remember that each child grows at his own rate, and late bloomers do eventually catch up. An infant grows approximately 10 inches in his first year, then growth slows to about 2.5 inches per year until adolescence. Expect a major growth spurt as puberty hits — between the ages of 8 to 13 for girls and 10 to 15 years old for boys.
Ensure that your child gets enough calcium in her diet. Quality nutrition prior to puberty is essential in making sure a child reaches her growth potential. Milk is a great source of calcium, as are sardines and broccoli. A daily multivitamin is also a good way to make sure your child gets enough calcium, which, according to the Keep Kids Healthy website is 500 mg per day for children ages one to three, 800 mg per day for children ages four to eight, and 1,300 mg per day for children nine to 18.
Get enough sleep. It is during sleep that the body repairs itself and during which growth hormones are produced. Sleep requirements include 16 to 20 hours per day for babies up to six months, 15 hours for babies up to a year old, 10 to 13 hours for children ages one to five years, 10 hours (usually at night although naps are still fine) for children ages six to eight, and eight to nine hours per night through age 18, according to health care providers at foxnews.com.
Incorporate stretching and weight-bearing exercises into your child’s daily routine to maximize his growth. Exercises might include touching your toes without bending your knees or standing with your spine against a wall and reaching your arms as high as you can over your head and holding for five seconds without having your spine leave the wall. To stretch the legs try sitting with your legs in a “V” and learning to touch one toe with both hands and then moving slowly over to the other toe with a flat back, taking about 15 seconds to finish a rep. Stretch your spine by getting on all fours and arching your back like a frightened cat and holding for about five seconds. For other exercises, visit walktallshoes.com (see Resources).
Consider underlying causes. If your child’s growth seems to be lagging, check with your child’s doctor about kidney disease or other disorders or medications that may be impeding her growth. If the underlying cause is treatable, or a medication can be switched, you child will grow.
Talk to your doctor about Human Growth Hormone. If your child is deficient in this hormone, his pediatrician may prescribe it to help your child to grow.HGH is continued until growth plates have fused and growth is completed and has been shown to help children grow according to the MAGIC Foundation.