Changes in Physical Proportions in Toddlers

By Susan Rickey
Your toddler is becoming longer and leaner as she changes to a little girl.
Your toddler is becoming longer and leaner as she changes to a little girl.

Your toddler is growing up. The shape of her body, posture and proportions make her look more like a little girl more than a baby. The most popular age gap between siblings in American families is between two and three years. Maybe it's because moms and dads just can't bear to see their babies growing up. Or, maybe it's time to start thinking about having another baby, since your toddler is growing up.


Your baby sported a big, wobbly head since the day she was born. Her body will start to look more in proportion as a toddler. The growth of her head slows down greatly. The average newborn's head circumference is 14 inches. By 2 years of age, the circumference is an average of 19 inches. The 3-year-old child has an average head circumference of 19 1/4 inches. Your toddler's head has grown 3/4 of an inch since her first birthday. After she turns 2, her head may only grow 3/4 of an inch to 1 1/4 inches in the next 10 years.


Your toddler is looking more like a child because his arms and chest are both growing. He is trying to catch up with her big head he was born with. His legs are still short proportionally and are not growing as quickly as his core and arms. Most toddlers are between 31 and 37 inches tall and weigh between 23 and 37 pounds.


Your on-the-go toddler sports a leaner look because she's losing her body fat. That cuddly baby at 1 year of age has the greatest percentage of fat compared to lean muscle mass that she will have as a child, according to Healthy Children. She will continuously lose her body fat until she's 5 years old. Her chubby cheeks, arms and legs will disappear. She will only gain between three to five pounds between 24 months and 36 months of age.


Because your toddler is running, walking and jumping, he is developing more muscles than when he was lying around waiting for you to offer him his next meal as a baby. This muscle tone improves his posture. Now his belly doesn't stick out as much, because he has muscles to hold it in. Gee, is it really that easy? His back loses its inward curve as he loses his baby belly. He is looking leaner and stronger, and yes -- more like a little boy.

About the Author

Susan Rickey started writing in 1994 with a technology feature article for the "Pioneer Press." She was the writer of the Klamath Forest Alliance newsletter, an environmental organization. Rickey obtained her teaching credential from California State University and acquired her Bachelor of Science from the University of Arkansas.