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Social Sci LibreTexts

4.1: Prelude to Early Childhood

  • Page ID
    10194
  • Overall Physical Growth: Children between the ages of two and six years tend to grow about 3 inches in height and gain about 4 to 5 pounds in weight each year. Just as in infancy, growth occurs in spurts rather than continually. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2000) the average 2 year-old weighs between 23 and 28 pounds and stands between 33 and 35 inches tall. The average 6 year-old weighs between 40 and 50 pounds and is about 44 to 47 inches in height. The 3 year-old is still very similar to a toddler with a large head, large stomach, short arms and legs. By the time the child reaches age 6, however, the torso has lengthened and body proportions have become more like those of adults.

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    Figure 4.1. Source.

    This growth rate is slower than that of infancy and is accompanied by a reduced appetite between the ages of 2 and 6. This change can sometimes be surprising to parents and lead to the development of poor eating habits. However, children between the ages of 2 and 3 need 1,000 to 1,400 calories, while children between the ages of 4 and 8 need 1,200 to 2,000 calories (Mayo Clinic, 2016a).