WHEN DO GIRLS STOP GROWING
While growing up, growth spurts were a huge event for your daughter (or child who was assigned female at birth). These stages of growth not only made your baby irritable or fussy but also made them more hungry and disrupted their sleep.
They grew more slowly as they got older, though. It’s possible you didn’t realize how much bigger your child has gotten in the last year. Because their jeans were getting shorter, you just knew that they needed a new pair of pants from time to time.
After puberty, though, the fast changes began again. You’re spending a lot of money sizing everything from clothes to shoes since they’ve grown four inches in a year.
So, when will we see the end of this phase? While puberty growth isn’t a one-size-fits-all phenomenon, there are a few key milestones to keep a look out for.
Growth Spurts: When to Expect Them
Around the age of 11, most girls experience a significant growth spurt associated with puberty, although the exact timing might vary widely. Early puberty, or not going through any puberty changes at all by the time you are 15, 16, or even earlier, is unusual.
Around the age of 11, you hit the sweet spot. When a girl reaches puberty in the United States, she is usually around a year or two older when she first gets her period, which occurs on average at the age of 12.
In this first growth surge, it’s common to see the following:
- The height soars. Girls can develop between two and three inches per year in height until menstruation starts.
- During this time, breasts begin to form. Small breast buds, darker areolas, and finally, bigger breasts and prominent nipples are all stages of this process.
- Starting to grow in the pubic area and the underarms. While it may start light, your daughter’s hair will gradually darken and thicken as she grows older.
- The reproductive system expands. The vulva and labia of your daughter will grow, as will her uterus and other internal organs.
- Acne, sweat, and unpleasant odors are all on the rise. Estrogen and progesterone changes might cause the skin to become more oily or prone to clogs. Having their first acne outbreaks, an increase in sweating and body odor might result from this.
- Mood swings or irritability appear. Again, the fluctuating levels of female hormones can make females more prone to sudden and strong mood swings. As a parent, you can do nothing but sit back and let the hormones take their course—just like when you’re pregnant or premenstrual. At this age, social and emotional influences also often produce a rift between the parents and their children.
- Foot size fluctuates. When it comes to girls, the feet may be one of the first body regions to experience a growth spurt during puberty, according to two separate studies. By the time she is 12, your daughter’s shoe size may have reached that of an adult, even if she is only 8 or 9 years old.
Girls typically experience a second, smaller growth spurt following the first, around the time they begin menstruation. However, they might gain another one to three inches after that, but it’s often the end of their physical growth (which is to say, they’ve reached their adult height by this point).
When girls are 16 years old, they are 5-1/2 feet tall on average.
At this point, breasts can either cease growing, or they can continue to expand for a few more years.
It’s not just hormones that have a role in puberty. Various factors, such as genes passed down through families, food, and even disease, can hasten or slow down the onset of puberty.
Weight loss and nutrition
If your child isn’t getting enough nutrients or is otherwise malnourished, their growth may not follow the same curve as their peers.
Girls who are obese or have a lot of body fat are more likely to go through puberty earlier. On the other hand, being overweight or having too little body fat might postpone puberty (a common occurrence in active youngsters or young athletes).
Even if your child is in good health, they may be limited in their ability to outgrow their genetics in terms of height. Additionally, your daughter’s growth curve might be influenced by your and your partner’s height.
In fact, certain genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome and Marfan syndrome, might result in a shorter or taller stature.
Puberty-related hormones are regulated by both the thyroid and the pituitary glands. It’s possible that your daughter won’t reach puberty if her thyroid or pituitary glands aren’t working properly (or may not generate enough of them to cause significant growth spurts).
Other conditions, such as juvenile arthritis and cystic fibrosis, have been linked to a slowing of a child’s growth. IBD may have an impact on growth for many different reasons.
What to Look for When They’ve Reached the End of Their Growth Cycle
You can’t give your daughter a magic test to see if she’s finished growing, but there are some typical signals to look for.
- Slower growth has occurred in the past year or two.
- They’ve only been menstruating for the past year or two.
- Fully developed pubic and underarm hair has appeared.
- They have a more mature appearance rather than a childlike one; Some of the more “babyish” traits like a round face or dimples may have faded away, but the breasts and hips are still large and round.
If they don’t grow, what should you do?
Your girl should see a pediatrician or family doctor if she hasn’t started menstruating or showed any other symptoms of hormonal development by age 15. The delay may be due to a medical problem, hormonal imbalance, or starvation.
If you’re under age 15, you should attempt to be patient, as there are many different definitions of what constitutes “normal” puberty.
Helpful related article: Puberty How To Prepare Girls, Puberty and Boys, 7 Best Books for Boys Who Are Experiencing Puberty