Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-4-months-old

Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-4-months-old

In this article, we will track the physical, cognitive, language, emotional, and medical development and milestones of your 5 years and 4 months old

This is a very exciting and challenging time for your 5 years and 4 months old child. On the one hand, your little one is straddling the not-so-distant past as a baby, and on the other, his/her future as a preschooler. Naturally then, you’ll sometimes notice extreme emotional contradictions in behaviour.

But the good news is that this is also the age where your child has more control over his/her emotions. He/she understands instructions much better and is able to follow through. This will help your little one sit in classes for a longer period of time, concentrate on the teacher’s instructions, and learn faster.

What else can you expect from your 5 years 4 months old child? Let’s take a look, keeping in mind that every child learns and develops at his/her own pace. If you are worried about your child’s development, you should consult a doctor.  

5 years and 4 months Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?

5 years 4 months

At this age, kids start looking much less chubby and more like the grade-schoolers they will soon become

Physical development

At 5 years 4 months old, your growing child has left behind those teetering toddler days. At this age, kids start looking much less chubby and will have long limbs and leaner bodies. This is because around this age, kids’ weight gain slows down and they gain muscle. 

As far as physical development is concerned, you’ll also notice that your child will gain 1.8-2 kilos in weight this year and grow up to around two inches in height. His/her vision will also become 20/20.

At this stage, your child’s median height and weight* should be as follows:

  • Boys
    – Height: 111.3 cm (43.8 inches)
    – Weight: 19.2 kg (42.4lb)
  • Girls
    – Height: 110.3 cm (43.4 inches)
    – Weight: 18.8 kg (41.4lb)

In addition to these, check for the following 5 years and 4 months old development and milestones:

  • The size of your child’s head is almost the same as an adult  
  • He/she might begin to lose baby teeth
  • Your child’s body is now almost adult-like in proportion
  • Your child is extremely active 
  • He/she is capable of visual tracking and even has a binocular vision  
  • Don’t be surprised to see him/her walking backwards, in a toe to heel direction
  • Your child can now walk up and down the stairs, unassisted
  • He/she can touch his toes without bending his knees and even attempt somersaults, if taught properly
  • Your little acrobat can also walk a balance beam and skip with alternate feet
  • He/she can now catch a ball thrown from around 3 feet away
  • Your child can ride a bicycle or tricycle with skillful steering
  • He/she jumps and hops forward almost 10 steps, without falling
  • Your child is able to demonstrate a fair control over markers and pens and can even colour in between lines

In addition to these physical developments, you’ll also notice that your growing child has a fairly well established hand dominance. He/she is also able to build three-dimensional structures using small cubes, by copying from images.

Tips

  • Help your child use all that energy in learning new skills and participating in physical activities. Do this by enrolling him/her in age-appropriate sports or physical activities. 
  • Teach your child table manners to go along with his/her adept cutlery-holding skills. 
  • Encourage your child to become more independent in his/her daily routine while honing fine motor skills. Practise activities such as tying shoelaces or doing up buttons or zips. 

When to talk to your doctor

If your child,

  • Is unable to walk straight or stand on one of his feet, or jump
  • Has difficulty holding a pen or pencil
  • Is unable to hold and use cutlery

creative child

Cognitive development

Just as your child body is developing at a fast rate, so is his/her mental ability. Your child’s cognitive development enables the solving of complex problems, sorting objects and of course, asking even more questions. 

Expect to observe these 5 years and 4 months old milestones. Your child: 

  • Rote counts to 20 or above. Some kids even count to 10.
  • Sorts objects on the basis of only two dimensions such as colour or shape.
  • Creates a square from two triangular blocks.
  • Understands the concepts of “tallest,” “biggest.” He/she can even line objects based in order of their size- smallest and largest.
  • Has a basic understanding of the concept of ranks: first, second, and last.
  • Might be able to tell time on the clock: two o’clock or five o-clock, being the common examples.
  • Recognises coins and is beginning to “save” money.
  • Easily understands the concept of half.
  • Asks innumerable questions and is especially curious about objects and people around him/her.

Tips

  • Expose your child to a variety of activities and experiences. Introduce new “toys” like a clock, to help introduce new skills and concepts. 
  • Practice writing the letters of the alphabet together. Make it fun by doing this in a sandbox, at the beach, or forming the letters with buttons or small stones. 
  • Give your child three-step instructions, guiding if needed. 
  • Practice counting objects and people, as well as reading/ reciting words and alphabets. 

When to talk to your doctor

If your child

  • Is unable to rote count to five or word any letters or words.  
  • Isn’t interested in anything around him and barely asks any questions  
5 years 4 months old

At 5 years and 4 months old, your little one is an obedient child and obedient to parents and caregivers.

Social and Emotional Development

By the age of five, most kids develop steady friendships and even have a best friend or two. 

Your child will also play cooperatively, is more generous with toys, and is willing to share. He/she also participates in group play and shared activities. You may notice that your child even suggests elaborate play in an imaginary set up.

Your little one is also turning into an entertaining little clown. He/she loves to engage family and friends by performing for them. 

Other social milestones including the following:

  • Your child is caring and supportive and shows empathy to those in pain.
  • Your child is quite obedient and will listen to you most of the time. 
  • He/she needs constant reassurance and love from you still. 
  • He/she has much better control over emotions. Tantrums have vanished or are very rare. 
  • Your child enjoys conversing with people other than family and friends.
  • Your child might boast about his/her achievements.

Tips

  • At a time when kids are discovering “best friends”, they may encounter rejections, too. Communication is the key to help your child understand the ways of the world.
  • Give your child the freedom to make his/her own choices as far as friends are concerned. Don’t force people on him/her.
  • It’s also important to keep a close watch on classroom and playroom activities, especially if your child has been acting aloof at home. Bullying is common at this stage when kids try to establish their authority over their peers.
  • Don’t refrain from expressing your love and support for your child.
  • Encourage outdoor activities with other kids.

When to talk to your doctor

If your child,

  • Is always aloof and avoids talking to anybody.
  • Is not willing to go to school or play with his friends at home.
  • Constantly complains of a tummy ache (this could indicate anxiety)

Speech and language development

At 5 years 4 months old, your kid can express wants and needs in his/her own words. He/she will be able to make everybody understand his/her message as well as react positively to instructions.

At this point, your child’s vocabulary consists of  1,500-2,000 words or more. Your child can also define objects by their function. This means he/she might say, “this ball can bounce,” or “our bed is to sleep in.”

An important 5 years 4 months old child’s speech development indicator is intelligible speech. Your kid is now able to produce sentences of five to seven words. 

These however, are just a few of the many speech and language milestones he/she will hit at this stage. Expect the following as well. Your child,

  • Can identify and name four to five different objects.
  • Can tell a similar and known story by simply looking at pictures.
  • Easily recognises 10 colours.
  • Is smart enough to recognise humour in simple words, and can even make up and crack jokes.
  • Can now state his/her own name, city, town, and his/her parents’ name.
  • Can answer a phone call appropriately and even take messages.
  • May use past tense with ease.

Tips

  • Encourage your child to read simple books so he/she learns to polish his/her sentences and pick up  new words and letters.  
  • Help your child recall the names of  siblings, parents and even home address and number. By this age, they are able to learn these basics quickly and remember for good.
  • Practice framing proper sentences with your child and recite poems or rhymes together.   

When to talk to your doctor

If your child,

  • Is unable to speak clearly and appears to slur.
  • Doesn’t remember the name of parents or siblings.
  • Cannot say a proper sentence.

Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-4-months-old

Health and Nutrition

Your child needs approximately anywhere between 1500 and 1700 calories to fuel him/her through the day. This is, of course, depending on growth and activity level. Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:

  • Boys: 1,691 Kcal/day
  • Girls: 1,586 Kcal/day

Their daily nutrition (three meals a day) should be composed of the following:

Protein  

Your child needs at least two servings of protein (in total, around 32.4g) each day. One serving equals one to three tablespoons of lean meat, chicken, or fish, four to five tablespoons of dry beans and peas, or one egg.

Fruits 

Your child needs about three cups of fruits every day. One cup of fruit equals one cup of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit, half (1/2) cup dried fruit, half (1/2) of a large apple, one eight- or nine-inch banana, or one medium mango or small papaya.

If your child wants to drink fruit juice, make sure it’s 100 percent juice without added sugars. Keep in mind that fresh fruit is always the best option. Canned and dried fruit have quite high sugar contents, so only let your child eat these if fresh fruit is not available.

Vegetables 

At this stage, your child requires two cups (100g each) of vegetables every day. One cup of vegetables equals one cup of cooked or raw vegetables, two cups of raw leafy greens, one large tomato, or two medium carrots.

Provide a variety of vegetables, including those coloured dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, and starchy root vegetables like sweet potato  each week. When selecting canned or frozen vegetables, look for options low in sodium.

Grains 

Your child needs around four ounces of grains daily. One ounce of grains equals one slice of bread, one cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or half (1/2) cup of cooked pasta or cooked cereal.

Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice. Limit refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice.

Milk/Dairy 

Your child should drink a minimum of 17 to 20 ounces of milk a day (eight ounces is around one cup). You may also substitute one cup of milk with one cup of yogurt or soy milk , 1½ ounces of natural cheese (around the size of four stacked dice), or two ounces of processed cheese (around the size of five stacked dice).

In a nutshell, here’s what your child needs every day (refer above for what the amounts look like):

  • Fruits: three cup for boys; three cups for girls
  • Vegetables: two cups for boys; two cups for girls
  • Grains: four ounces for boys; four ounces for girls
  • Proteins: 32.4g for boys; 32.4g for girls
  • Milk: 17-20 ounces for boys; 17-20 ounces for girls
  • Water: 1500 ml for boys; 1500 ml for girls (around six cups)

Vaccinations and Common Illnesses

By now, your child should have got the following vaccinations:

Click here to know if your child’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Please keep in mind that even if your child has received all his/her vaccinations, he/she may still contract common illnesses such as colds and the flu, as well as Hand, Foot and Mouth disease.

The most common illness you need to watch out for include common cold and flu, as well as Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. 

Treating Common Illnesses

To manage the three most common medical issues in kids – fever, cough, and cold – try the following:

  • To treat fever: If your child has fever up to 38°C (100.4°F), give him/her plenty of fluids and encourage him/her to rest. You could also apply lukewarm compresses to your child’s forehead, armpits and groin areas to help bring the temperature down. Ensure he/she is dressed in light cotton clothing. If your child’s temperature rises above 38°C (100.4°F) you should bring him/her to the doctor and follow medical advice to manage your child’s health.
  • To treat cough: While coughing is a reflex that clears the throat, it can become a nuisance if accompanied by a runny nose and sneezing. Ideally, you should first try home remedies such as ginger and honey mixed in lukewarm water. Fluid intake should be at least eight glasses of water a day. If your child’s cough does not ease after three to five days, or turns very phlegmy, bring him/her to the doctor for treatment and management advice.
  • To treat cold: Unless it’s extremely distressing, avoid taking any OTC medication for common colds. Colds are caused by a virus and so antibiotics will not help. If your child’s cold is accompanied by body aches and very high fever, it could in fact be influenza. You’d need to bring your child to a doctor if so for medical advice and a treatment plan.

Do note that while some medications for common illnesses can be bought without any prescriptions, your first option of treatment for mild health issues should be simple home remedies.

For example, a child with a  cold and cough should be given extra warm fluids. He or she could gargle with warm salt water to ease a sore throat. Meanwhile, nasal saline solution will help decongest the nasal passage.

It’s also important to teach and encourage your child to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing which can help prevent the spread of illnesses.

When to talk to your doctor

If your child

  • Is severely under- or over-weight
  • Is stunted in height
  • Breaks out in unusual rashes
  • Has unusual lumps, bumps or bruises
  • Has a fever over 39 degrees Celsius

Previous month: 5 years 3 months

Next month: 5 years 5 months

References: CDC, NICHD, Mayo Clinic, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

Republished with permission from theAsianparent

*Disclaimer: This is the median height and weight according to WHO standards

Written by

Africa parent