How to Measure Your Baby’s Length

One very important measure of baby size is length.  This is measured from the top of the head to the soles of the feet while the baby is lying on their back on a flat surface.  Later, after 2 years, it’s easiest to measure a child’s standing height.  Babies are very poor at following instructions.  They won’t stand against a wall or hold still when you want them to.  When they’re very young they can hardly straighten their legs.

Moreover, most households don’t have the tools like those found in some doctor’s offices.  However, it is possible

Needed Supplies

  • Paper and pencil;
  • Fine-point marker;
  • 2 cardboard cereal boxes (sealed or completely empty);
  • light-colored, non-stretchable lace or piece of string that is at least 1 m (1 yard) long;
  • measuring tape, yard stick, or a meter stick;
  • helper (this is a 2-person job);
  • floor space beside a wall;
  • and, most crucially, a baby.


Measuring Baby Length from Warren Eaton on Vimeo.


Compare Your Length to Norms

Now that you have your length measurement, you can compare it to norms developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).  The WHO collected size measurements from 8,440 children in 6 countries from various regions of the world.  These children were were not raised in environments with poor diets.  They were healthy and their mothers followed health practices such as breastfeeding and not smoking during and after pregnancy.