Baseball may be America's favorite pastime, but the sport can become frustrating for kids if they have trouble hitting the ball. Baseball bats come in a variety of sizes, weights and materials. One bat is not going to work for every player, especially a team of kids of varying heights and body types. Sizing a baseball bat appropriately according to a child's vital statistics and comfort level can make baseball more fun for everyone--kids, coaches and parents alike.
Measure your child's height while he is wearing his baseball shoes. Children between 3 feet and 3 feet, 4 inches tall should start with a 26-inch bat. Add an inch to the bat size for every 4 to 5 inches in height after the child is 3 feet, 5 inches tall.
Stand your child next to the bat to determine if the bat is too long and ultimately too heavy for her to use. Place the top end of the bat on the floor, with the handle end matching up against your child's leg. The knob area of the bat should correspond roughly to where your child's hip is located. If the bat reaches her waist, it is too long.
Size a youth baseball bat according to your child's weight. Though height is a more effective way to size a kid's bat, some children are tall and thin, and may not be able to handle a longer, heavier bat. The Batter's Box, a retailer of aluminum bats, suggests that a combination of height and weight be used to size a bat. Children under 60 lbs. will generally perform well with a bat between 26 and 29 inches, depending on the child's height. Kids who weigh between 70 and 90 lbs. can safely use a 28- to 32-inch bat, with the higher end of the scale reserved for players over 5 feet tall.
Let your child try out a baseball bat in the store before you make your final decision. Comfort is a crucial factor when choosing a baseball bat, even when you are using standard height and weight recommendations. General age recommendations are made for bat length--starting with a 24- to 26-inch bat for 5- to 7-year-olds, with a 2-inch in bat size increase per 2-year age increase -- but because kids' heights vary, the age determinations may not always be appropriate.