ruler height chart

By Gabrielle. Ruler height chart here.

It’s official. We measured last night, and Ralph Blair has passed me up in height.

My child is taller than me!

I suppose I knew this would happen. But it sort of crept up on me. And it’s kind of a novelty! So strange to know we no longer look like this. Or this. It makes me so curious about what the final height order will be once all my kids are done growing. I don’t remember exactly when I passed up my own mother in height — and I never caught up to my dad.

Height is a funny thing. I am average height at 5′ 6″, but I always thought of myself as tall. In fact, I had two taller-than-average friends in high school and I remember seeing myself in photos with them and being surprised I was shorter. Hah!

How about you? Are you taller than your mom or your dad? Or your brothers and sisters? Have your kids passed you up in height? Or do you expect them too?

P.S. — Growing up, my family had a doorjamb where we marked the kids’ heights. You too? But alas, with our own kids, we’ve moved often enough, we’ve never had a permanent home for our height marks.

76 thoughts on “Height”

  1. I’m 5ft 6 too – and also always thought I was tall! My friends mocked me for it a lot when they found out (I was the shortest in our house…).

    Then I met my fiancé who is a whopping 6ft 8 and these days I think I’m tiny! Based on the rate his nieces are growing, I fully expect our children to outgrow me pretty quickly. (There are some tall genes in my family too – my grandfather was 6ft 6 in the 1930s).

    1. Genetics are funny … my sister is 5’7″ her (ex) husband is 6’7″ and when my niece was 2 her Pediatrician told my sister expect her to be about 6′. Just day’s short of turning 18 … she barely makes it to 5’6″. Guess grandma’s 5’0″ genes were stronger!

  2. I’m tall-5’10”, but I wasn’t particularly tall growing up. All of a sudden at 16 I had a growth spurt-and was suddenly taller than most of the boys at my school. My mother is tiny, only 5’1″, and my dad is 6 ft, but he’s the tallest one in his family by far. My brother is my height-so my tallness (is that even a word?) seems like kind of a weird fluke. My bro always jokes that I got 2 inches that should have been his. And when I was younger, if I could have donated them to him, I surely would have. My husband is an inch shorter than me-which doesn’t bother either of us. But I went through many years of only dating guys that were taller. Good thing I gave up on that! My teenage daughter seems to also be hitting her growth spurt later-but I can’t imagine that she’ll be taller than I. And who knows about my younger boys-I’m sure they’ll be taller than I at some point-but we’re nowhere close to that yet!

  3. I love this post. We talk about height a lot in my family, especially since moving to France. My husband (French) is 6 feet tall – I’m 5′ 7″. My girls are beginning to creep up on me too – my 12 year old is 5′ 4″ at this point – with her 9 year old sister only 2 ” shorter at 5′ 2″. Both girls have surpassed their French grandmother who is 5′ 1″.

    We have found that even though my oldest daughter was always just above average height in the States – she is one of the tallest girls in her class in France. My middle daughter has always been tall – in Kindergarten she was a whole head above her classmates – and that was in the States! In France – she just gets constantly confused of being older. ….She’s very self-conscious about being tall – it’s such a beautiful thing – but it’s hard to fit in – especially when her personality is to blend in.
    She has said she gets tired of everyone who first meets saying – Wow, You are TALL!. I know she will surpass me at some point – and will probably be my tallest daughter – probably to the chagrin of her older sister. It will be interesting to see when all is said and done.

    I do think for whatever reason – Americans tend to be taller than the French – it’s just interesting to notice. Even my youngest who is the youngest in her Kindergarten of Grand Section class – is the same height as many of her peers who are 6 to 8 months older than she. I guess we just grow them taller.

    1. We’ve noticed the same thing. Betty is one of the tallest in her class here.

      I’ve heard the tallest population is in The Netherlands. And from what I’ve seen during our visits, I believe it!

      1. That explains the height in my family. We have viking ancestry and all the girls are around 5′ 9″. My sister who is 5′ 7″ gets teased for being ‘the short one’.

  4. Gabrielle, good luck adjusting to the new (fully recognized) big boy in the house; have you thought about what it is going to be like when his voice changes?
    I outgrew both of my parents by age 12 (they are both 5′ 4). Like yourself, I always felt very tall from childhood onward, as I really was one of the larger children all the way through 6th grade. It astonished me in college to see pictures of myself with friends in which I was the shorty of the group, and to have my husband joke about me having t-rex arms! For reference, I’ve finished out at 5’7. Isn’t self perception an odd thing?!

  5. Funny you post about this. I’m the same height as you (which I consider average) and people are often telling me I’m tall (I don’t wear high heels) I too had taller then me friends and I wished I could be just like them.
    My 7 year old son is already very tall and I know he will probably be taller than me in just a few years. Yikes! How do you discipline a kid that’s taller then you??? I guess we’ll have to sit a lot!

  6. My 17-year-old son loves the fact that he’s taller than me. It makes me a little sad sometimes because it reminds me that he’s no longer my little boy. Mostly though, I’m happy he’s taller than me (I’m only 5′ 2″) and proud to see he’s growing into a young man.

  7. I’m 5’7″ and I’m my mom’s height, and just a couple inches shorter than my dad. My sister is a good 2-3 inches shorter than I am. I’m married to a guy who is 6’4″ (and his brother is 6′), and so if we’re ever lucky enough to have children, there’s a very good chance that they will surpass me in height. I’m totally cool with that. I’m tall enough. :)

  8. I’m 5’10–the same height as my father, and about 4″ taller than my mother. My husband is 6’3, and I fully expect my daughters to be as tall or taller than I am. Based on what the doctor tells me I think my oldest will be 5’10 or 5’11, and my youngest will probably reach 6′. I think it’s great!

  9. I’m 5’9″ and I’m always surprised by how tall I am. Like, I’ll see a girl in the grocery store and think, “Wow! She is TALL!” but then when I get up next to her we’ll be pretty much the same height and somehow I’m always shocked. My husband is 6’3″ so I expect my girls to be at least the same height as me. I just hope they end up with smaller feet than I have. ;)

  10. I’m 5’7″ which is tall for women in my family. My mom is 5’4″ and my maternal grandmother was even shorter. I believe 5’4″ is average height for women. I have 3 daughters and they are all shorter than me, and it feels really odd, especially when I have on heels and they don’t. I always thought at least one of them would be taller than me. My husband’s family is short – he’s the tallest at 5’10”, and I’m taller than my father-in-law – so I guess that’s where they get their height from. My youngest may still have a chance to grow some more since she’s 13, and she is the tallest of the 3, but only by about 3/4″!

  11. We talk about this a lot in my family! I feel like my 7 year old is growing at an astonishing rate, and since I’m only 5′ 3”, it’s not a matter of whether he’ll out grow me, but how young he will be when he does. He looks forward to the day with eager anticipation :) Oh well, I’m used to being the shorty in my family — I’ve got two younger sisters who each have several inches on me much to their delight!

  12. I’m only 5’1″ so I know my kids will likely be taller than me before I know it; my mom’s side of the family is on the shorter side as is my husband’s, but my dad’s side of the family is really tall. I guess we’ll see which side my kids decide to favor. Last week my 8 year old daughter caught up to me in shoe size though; that was a toughie for me.

    Oh, and we had a door jam with height markers too. When my mom sold that house it was really sad, my sisters took a picture of the door jam in lieu of us tearing it down and taking it with us.

    1. Oh man. I haven’t thought about shoe size yet. But I should! Because both Maude and Olive have almost caught up to me. I imagine you don’t share shoes with your 8-year-old, but what about a teenager?

  13. Height is always a conversation in our family too as my husband and his British/Irish family are all “short” compared to my American side. My dad, his dad, and all the males in my family are 6’2″ or taller. My husband is the tallest male in his family at 5’8″.

    The women in my family are all above 5’6″, and my younger sister is 5’10” and outgrew me by the time we were 12 and 14. At 5’4″ I’m by far the shortest in my family, yet I fit in with all my in-laws perfectly as my husband’s sisters are all my height or shorter. I guess God knew I would need to be short in order to fit in with my other half? :) Who knows how tall our kids will be?!

  14. We have a board with ruler markings on it that we use for our kids. It’s attached to the wall but will come with us where ever we go! It was a wonderful mothers day gift from my husband years ago.

  15. At nearly 6-foot, I’m taller than the average girl. Mum is 5-foot-6 (though she used to be 5-foot-9… I guess we kids caused her to shrink) while Dad is somewhere in there (though shorter than me). I take great pride in my height, but there is always someone, somewhere, who is taller. But I can remember, when I was a kid, all the grown-ups saying things, “You need to put a rock on that girl to stop her growing” and it always made me smile.

  16. I’m shorter than both of my parents and my two brothers (one older, one younger). I’m just 5 feet, and both brothers are over 6’2″ :)

    I have four kids, and all have been the same height as me by the time they were 12yo. The two oldest girls are finished growing and are 5’5″ and 5’6″, and my 15yo son is over 5’9″ and still growing! My youngest is just 12 now, and she’s about 1/4 inch taller than me.

    My husband is just under six feet, and loves that when we stand together he can tuck me under his chin :)

  17. My four boys all passed me up by about 6th grade and are 6 ft to 6ft 8 in. My only daughter is slightly shorter than my 5ft 8 in. My husband is 5ft 10 in. There are tall people on both sides so we think the kids got most of the tall genes. We marked heights and dates on a wall behind my laundry door. When I repaint that room I just leave that wall alone. The grand kids love comparing themselves to their parents, aunt, and uncles. By the way, my oldest grandson at just 14 has not only passed up his grandpa and grandma but his parents and an uncle in height.

  18. Hi!
    I’m 5ft 8in (174 cm), my husband is 6ft 4in (194cm), my eldest daughter (6 years old) is 4ft 3in (130 cm) and my youngest daughter is 3 and has 3ft 4in (almost 100 cm). They are the tallest girls of their ages, I can be considered above Portugal’s average, but I considered myself short, because I played serously volleyball and I was one of the shortest…
    I think my princesses will be taller than me, but I hope they won’t be more than 6 ft or so, because it’s very hard to find clothes and shoes for a girl that size… I wear a 40 (european measure) and I still have trouble to find my number. I had a teammate who was 6ft 2in and till she became an adult she was always “traumatized” with her height and never finding nice shoes to wear, being always called a tower, etc…
    I recently heard from a friend of mine that owns a shoe store that for Portugal, Tommy’s Hilfinger collection only delivers women shoes till my size… She has girls asking for bigger sizes and she cannot respond positevely to them… incredible…

    Regards from Portugal!

    1. I hadn’t thought of that, Susano. In American culture, I feel like height is prized and generally viewed very positively, but I’m sure it is difficult to find sizes outside of the average.

  19. I’m only 5’3″ but I’m rather tall in my family!! My mom is 5’2″ and my sister is 4’11”!!
    We also chart our kids height on the door jam but my husband put a thin piece of trim in the door jam and we mark the heights there. When we moved we took the piece of trim with us!! It’s so sweet to see how little they were!

  20. I’m 5’7″, which is taller than average for a woman, I think. I’m the same height as my Dad, but taller than my mom and sister. My oldest son, who just turned 13, passed me in height at age 12. In the last 16 months he’s grown 9 inches, putting him at 5’11”, the same height as my husband. It’s bizarre to have him be so young, yet so tall, and now when he kisses me goodbye he does it on my forehead.

    As for the height chart, we’ve moved over the years, too, so our solution was this DIY project – http://bit.ly/11dZ10i – and we love it.

  21. My 9 year old son too is nearing the 5 ft mark, that in and of itself seems like a major milestone!

    I am married to one of my childhood friends older brothers. I remember doing a math project with my brother-in-law when we were in seventh grade that involved measuring ourselves and we were both 5’3″. The next year, he was still about the same height, but I had reached my full grown height of 5’9″. It made for a very awkward eighth grade dance – I was taller than all the boys and that felt very uncomfortable to me.

    Fast forward 25 years and that boy (my brother-in-law) who was 6″ shorter than me is now 8″ taller than me!

  22. I remember being so proud to pass up my mom at 12, but she is only 5’2″! My own 12yo passed me up this year, she is about 5’9″!
    Did you do the ‘double their height at two to see how tall they will be’? I wonder if it is bogus, my tall girl will be over 6ft if not!

    1. Our doctor told us the same thing, and so far the girls who have stopped growing are within an inch of our predictions! Our son and our youngest girl are on track to prove it right as well, and they should be the tallest in the family at 6’2″ and 5’10” respectively. The youngest is thrilled that she may get so tall!

    2. I forgot about that rule of thumb! I remember hearing it when Maude was a baby. I wonder how accurate it is. I love stuff like that — and hearing about the exceptions too!

  23. I’m 6’4″ and have always been head and shoulders above everyone my age. I stopped growing around age 13, so jr high was especially fun ;)
    I’m taller than my mom, but about the same height as my dad, though the height definitely comes from my moms side…she has 3 brothers who are around 6’10”!

  24. Dear Blair,

    we are two supertall girls- both 5’11 and passed our moms in height early as well…it was weird for them but also really strange for us.
    Growing up as tall girls can be awkward- and more uncomfortable than puberty is anyways. So, we really wanna encourage all moms and dads of tall girls to not remind them too often of just how incredibly tall they are:-)

    We grew into healthy, happy tall women, by the way….as you can see on our blog:


    With kind regards,

    Birdy and Bambi

  25. I always say I got a few extra inches so my husband would marry me! At only 5’7″, I was pretty much on the low end of his comfort level as he is 6’9″. :) Both of my sisters are only 5’2″ and my parents are 5’8″ and 5’3″. I have resigned myself to the fact that both of our children will likely outgrow me fairly young. That day will definitely bring tears!

  26. At 5′ 3″, I think 5′ 6″ is rather tall! I am taller than my mom (although just barely), but am the shortest of my siblings- my sister is about 5′ 6″, my brother is 6′ 3″ (which puts him much taller than my dad, at 5′ 11″). I had my major growth spurt starting in 3rd grade, which meant I was the second tallest in my grade (boys and girls) from 3rd-6th grade. I was so shocked to find that I was among the shortest by the time I was in 11th grade. I thought I was going to be so tall, but not so! I stopped growing in 6th grade, when everyone else started growing :(.

  27. I’m 5’6″ as well. I know it’s just average but honestly, it feels tall. I’m the same height as my mother but her legs are longer than mine and my torso is longer than hers.

    My husband swears he’s 5’10” but he seems the same height as me. LOL

    I expect our girls to grow to be my height, maybe slightly taller, but that would be very weird if they did.

  28. People are always shocked to find out my brother is my parents’ child… my mom is a shorty at 5’0″ and my dad is fairly short for a man at 5’10”. I was teeny tiny until junior year of high school when I shot up to 5’8″ but my brother… he is 6’6″!! Which is huge compared to my parents. My mom always says it’s from her uncle who was 6’7″ back in the 30s when people were shorter. I can always find my brother in a crowd because he is literally a head taller than most.

  29. At 5’1″ I’m the shortest in my family, with my mom at a close second at 5’2″. My dad is only 5’9″ so none of us are super tall, but my sister has a son that is 6’9″. It’s so odd to be in a picture with him, he towers over everybody! I hope my kids get my husbands tall genes, I despise being so short. I swear clothes are made for tall people.

    1. “I swear clothes are made for tall people.”

      I’ve heard that from other friends that are in the near-five-foot range. That must be frustrating!

      1. I am 5’0 and I completely agree! Finding pants right off the rack that i don’t need to chop 4-5 inches off the bottom is impossible!

  30. I’m 5’3″ and always felt that my life would have been completely different if I had been 5’8″! I’ve been envious of tall people my entire life and never surpassed either of my parents (5’4″ and 5′ 8″). People are always surprised when they learn my height, but I think a lot has to do with proportion. (My height—the small bit that I have—is in my legs and not my torso; same with my husband who is 6’3″.) My daughter passed me at 12 and my 11 year old son looks like he’ll be taller than me by the end of summer.

    I asked them to collaborate and make me a hugging stool. As the shorty in the family, I need some way to be able to stand high and get my arms around them for a real mama hug!

    1. I’m 5’8″ and I always wanted to be 5’3″! I envied the cute, petite girls when I was growing up, always feeling so awkward being the tallest in the class. (Taller than most of the boys until 6th grade or so when they caught up.)

  31. There is something about being 5’5/5’6 that throws off perception. When I was younger I always felt tall and always thought I was as tall or taller than some of the “shorter” people around me. It ends up some of them were taller than I was. Maybe it was my long limbs that threw me off. Or my tall family. I just happen to be one of the shortest on both sides of my family, extended and all. My husband is maybe an inch taller than me so I am excited to see if our kids end up being short/medium height like us (and most of the members of his family) or tall like my family.

    1. I hear you on the long limbs. Though I’m average in height, I think my legs are longer than typical — which made me a great sprinter in high school. : ) And it probably also affects how I imagine my height.

  32. I was always the oldest and the shortest in my class growing up. I was SO tiny my pediatrician actually sent me to a growth specialist fearing I was a dwarf. No, really! I wound up being 5’4″ – not far behind your “tall” self, Gabrielle! ;) Now my daughter is also very mini. She is just 77cm at 20 months, which definitely qualifies as somewhat miniature, but she’s ‘on the chart’ as they say. HA! We live in Switzerland now, so when I think of babies, I think in centimeters, but for adults, I need to hear it in inches and feet. Isn’t that a hoot?! Great post. What an amazing moment for you as mom. xo

    1. “We live in Switzerland now, so when I think of babies, I think in centimeters, but for adults, I need to hear it in inches and feet.”

      That is a hoot! I can relate.

  33. I’ve always thought of myself as on the short side at 5’4″- though I find it’s perfect compared to my husband’s 5’10”. Of my two older sisters, one is two inches taller and one is one inch shorter. The men in my family are taller- it’s crazy how fast my teenage nephew has shot up!

  34. At five feet (and one half inch, don’t forget it) I’m the shortest in my family of origin. My husband is only 5′ 8″ and our five children have all huddled at the very bottom percentage of the growth charts all their lives. I HOPE they all pass me up. My 13-year-old just has a couple of inches to go…

    1. Lori! We are the same height, half inch and all. My mom is a half inch taller than me and my poor brother topped out at 5’4″. I amhopping my future children have more luck with my 6′ husband’s genes.

  35. Passed my mom in the 7th grade. She’s a shortie at 5’6″ or maybe I’m a giant at 5’10”.
    I think my 6 year old will pass me un in the next 5 years. It’ll be a strange feeling, whenever it happens.

  36. my husband measures and weighs our four girls each month. We have a lovely excel spreadsheet with all the details and graphs :) Its a totally fun thing and the girls love it.

    from what we can gather so far it looks as if our youngest girl will perhaps be the tallest? I wonder how it goes when older siblings are the ones used to always being bigger and then one day a younger sibling surpasses them?

  37. I am tall (6’6″) and come from a long line of tall-ish (6’2″+) men. My wife is but 5’1″. So we often wonder how it’s going to shake out. We have 8 kids, but no real data points yet – our oldest is only 13 and just now hitting his first real growth spurt.

    We did recently move to a farm and there is (quite literally) a lot of heavy lifting. Though we’re still not sure how the height will get divvied up, we are assured that everyone is getting their fair share of biceps!

  38. Go Ralph!
    I was almost always the tallest girl in my class, and in early primary sometimes the tallest kid. I overtook my mum in grade 7 and am now 5’10” – she’s 5’7″, which technically is above average, but in my family (Dad and brother are both 6’3″), we tease her for being short.
    Is Oscar catching up to Betty yet?

  39. I am also 5’6″ and always felt tall growing up but I am now officially the shortest in the family as my little brother just reached 6’2″ and my baby sister just got to 5’9″. I’m the only one that didn’t outgrow my parents.

    I moved to Australia 2 years ago though and I’m almost always the tallest woman in the room, so I’m back to feeling tall again.

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  41. I am 5’9″ and have always loved being on the taller end of things!! The only draw back is when people stare if I wear heels, they just can’t wrap their head around a girl that stands at over 6 feet tall sometimes!

  42. I’m a tall one–5’10”. I, too, was surprised when my oldest son surpassed me in height at age 12! He is now 14 and 6’2″.

  43. Height is one of the most frequetly discussed topics in my life!

    At 6′ I am right in the middle of my parents (mom @ 5’7″, dad @ 6’5″). I am the oldest of five; bro 6’5″, sis 5’8″, sis 5’6″, sis 5’10”—in that order, we’re all over the place!

    Being tall has definitely NOT been my favorite (can’t find pants or guys—hehe), but it’s who I am and it does have its perks.

  44. I’m very interested to see how tall my daughter ends up. She’s 2 3/4 and with her dad’s height of 6’8″ and my measly contribution of 5’6″ she’s extremely tall for her age – about the height of most 4 and 5 year olds we encounter! Growing up I wanted to be 5’9″ so bad – I always thought it was the perfect height.

  45. Being that my mother is all of 4ft 9in, I tower over her at my lofty 5ft 1in… I was in about 13 years old when I passed her and my niece just turned 12 and is OVER THE MOON that she is now taller than her grandmother! My mother likes to remind all of us as we gloat about being taller than her that it really isn’t all that much of an accomplishment as she it so short!

    Meanwhile, I am married to a 5ft 6in man and so there is not much hope for our children (and my husband is most worried about our son being small as he struggled with being so little, as he grew up…).

  46. I’m 14 yr old boy. I’m 5’7 and my moms 5’10 and my dads 6’1. There for I have not passed either one of my parents yet. We will just have to wait and see!

  47. Hi,I am 18. I am 5.5″ feet height.my father is 6 but my mother is shorter than me.can I grow still????

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  49. I hope it is ok to post as I am a male..I thought I could get my story across. In our marriage I am the one that’s short. My height is 5’2 I come from a short family and I was the shortest. So you could say I’m used to it. My wife is 5’7 good thing for me she wears flat shoes. Our wedding photos were abit of a hoot one side short the other tall. When I stand next to my wife I barely reach the top of her shoulders so I can’t even rest my head on them. We are now 55 and I noticed about 10 yrs ago that I thought I was abit shorter than my wife. I had a physical done and my height came out at 5’0. I asked my family if their height was the same . Turns out my dad is 5’0 like me whereas had used to be 5’3. My mum is still 5’4 still.my sister is still her height. My brother is now 5’1. It seems strange us men losing our height over the women I mean they were a big taller than us.. We have a son who is 30 and he is 5’0 he got my lack of height. Our daughter is 25 and she is 5’9. The tallest in our family. The last family photos were the tallest at the back so they were my wife’s side so all were between 5’6 and 6’0. My family were all at the front. Including all my family aunts and uncles extended family the tallest was 5’4 which was mum she felt she should be with us at the front. I do however feel at ease that I am the same height as alot of the men now. We looked it up and found out when you reach a certain age you lose some height.Some people find it funny all the men are now shorter than the women. My son as asked weather he is going to get shorter. He read up and it said 3 ins in all you could lose ..not that great for the male side never mind..

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