Child Development and Milestones: Your 4-Year-and-9-Month-Old
In this article, we will explore your child’s development at 57 months old.
Your not-so-little 4-year-and-9-month-old is inching closer to the big “five“. At this stage, you’ll notice him becoming his own person and developing his own sense of identity. One of the most prominent child development milestones is his keen interest in taking initiative and displaying a desire to learn new things, while being responsible for his actions to some extent.
In this article, we explore your 4-year-and-9-month-old child’s development and milestones. Keep in mind that because every child learns and develops at his own pace, it is not necessary that your child should hit all milestones at the same time as his peers.
If however, you are are worried about your child’s development, visit the doctor for a professional opinion.
4-Year-and-9-Month-Old Child Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?
Your 4-year-9-month-old child has developed great self-control and ingenuity. He has also become more self-reliant and is able to master one-legged hops, and is even able to steer his toys away from “traffic” and other obstacles.
As a guide, here is the median height and weight* of children who are 4 years and 9 months of age.
- Height: 107.5 cm (42.3 in)
- Weight: 17.8 kg (39.3 lbs)
- Height: 106.2 cm (41.8 in)
- Weight: 17.5 kg (38.5 lbs)
In addition to these, your little one should be able to:
- Walk in a straight line, by himself
- Pedal and steer a toy around and away from obstacles
- Throw a ball overhead and determine distance and aim
- Run in a circle without help
- Draw and paint with purpose and able to hold a marker or pen with a three-finger grasp
- Use arms to increase his speed of running
- Run, stop, and move, all the while manoeuvring around obstacles
- Jump over objects 12 to 15 cm (5 to 6 in) in height and land with both feet together
In addition to these physical developments, you may also notice your tiny tot climbing ladders and trees with confidence. He is also able to reproduce a few shapes and sizes, which means his motor skills are fast developing.
- Your little dynamo still requires a safe environment to hone those motor skills. Provide him with this, so that he can be a proper little explorer.
- Give him time to practice and develop his motor skills.
- Start teaching him about shapes and sizes and encourage him to paint or draw. Practice creating new shapes with play-doh. These activities strengthen fine motor skills.
- Ask him to practice writing using a pencil or a chalk and teach him how to use a two-finger grasp. But don’t push this on him, let him take his time and get comfortable with this activity.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If your child:
- Is unable to walk straight, stand on one foot or jump
- Has difficulty holding a pen at all and is unable to draw or identify any shapes at all
Cognitive skills are related to your child’s mental development. At this stage, not only is his imagination taking full flight, but he’s also adding layers to it and creating a whole new world of make-belief.
His outgoing personality implies that he is going to explore, ask questions, and delight in wordplay. This is the time when you should let his imagination run wild as he conjures up his own secret language.
One of the many 4-year-and-9-month-old child development and milestones include the ability to read simple books and understand the sequence of daily events. So when you tell him, “Please brush your teeth,” or “Please get dressed for breakfast,” he will be able to understand and follow these instructions easily.
Your child can also:
- Recognise similar sounding words
- Name 18 to 20 letters and words
- Understand the concept of “tallest,” “biggest,” “more,” “same”
- Count to 20
- Follow two to three step instructions given individually or in a group
- When looking at images, recognise the missing person or animal
- Is a very good storyteller
- You might feel tempted to instruct your little storyteller to stop making up stories. But allowing him to use his imagination will help develop his cognitive skills.
- Give him specific yet simple instructions in the morning so as to help him better understand his daily routine.
- Practice counting objects and people, as well as words and alphabets. It’s also a good idea to practice puzzles with your child.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
- If your child is unable to follow simple-two step instructions
- If your child cannot count up to at least five
- Should your child be unable speak a short sentence
Social and Emotional Development
By the age of four, most kids are bursting with energy and are often outgoing, enthusiastic, and extremely playful. So be ready for a whole lot of running around and physical activities.
But it’s also an age when kids can be quite moody. So if they are happy and smiley sometimes, they can almost immediately switch to being upset or angry.
One of the most common 4-year-and-9-month-old child milestones pertaining to social skills is their desire to do participate in group activities. Interestingly, there are a lot many such social milestones including the following:
- Wants to participate in group plays, and is overly friendly and excited
- Can become boastful and hold conversations with imaginary friends, and might share a strong emotional bond with these said friends
- Seeks frequent adult approval, and shows pride in accomplishment
- He may appear a bit self-absorbed and might want to tattle on other kids
- Your child may also want to boss others around and rely more on verbal rather than physical aggression.
This is a crucial stage for both the parents and the kids because he is just now learning to properly interact with others. Communication is key at this stage and so as parents it’s important that you are clear with your instructions and you set a good example for him to follow.
- Occasional tantrums are still common, but scolding or yelling is not the best way to deal with them. These are fleeting tantrums so your cool composure will force your kid to calm down as well.
- Don’t stop him from enjoying his make-belief world with his imaginary friends. Let his imagination run wild.
- Encourage him to engage in outdoor activities and with a large group of kids. If you see him being bossy, ask him to speak with his friends politely and why it’s necessary to show empathy.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
- If your kid struggles to express himself in simple sentences or simply refuses to interact with others
- He displays erratic behaviour with extreme bouts of frustration or anger at you and his peers
Speech and Language Development
One of the many 4-year-and-9-month-old milestones includes intelligible speech. Your kid is now able to say complete and sometimes complex sentences such as: “I saw the cat run under the stairs and then climb that tree.”
At this stage, he will also be able to answer questions about him being hungry or cold. Plus, he will be able to recite simple poems and songs with ease. Don’t be surprised if you spot him using past tense such as: “Mummy closed the door,” or “Dad went out.”
These, however, are just a few of the many speech and language milestones he’ll hit at this stage. Expect the following as well:
- Can now use prepositions such as “after,” “on,” “for”
- Uses possessive terms correctly, so expect him to say “baby’s” or “daddy’s/mummy’s”
- Refers to people, animals, objects, and things that are not present
- Is able to alter the tone and structure of the sentence to adapt to the listener’s level of understanding. For instance, he can say “Want cookie?” to his baby sister and/or “I was going out but I wanted to say bye’ to you.”
- Can answer “Who?”, “Why?”, “When?” and “How?”
Your tiny tot is growing up fast, which means there is no longer any need for cutesy baby talk. Here are a few more things you can do:
- Try talking to him as normally as you would with any other adult
- Encourage him to answer in full sentences and to speak with those he doesn’t know yet (under your supervision)
- Ask him the names of his siblings, parents and even home address and number. By this age, they are able to learn these basics quickly.
- Practice framing proper sentences with him and recite poems or rhymes together
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If your child’s speech development worries you, you should speak with your paediatrician to ease your concern. But also keep an eye out for the following:
- He/she is unable to speak intelligibly and appears to slur or struggle while framing sentences
- He/she is not able to change the tone of his voice or adapt to the understanding level of the listener
Health and Nutrition
Because your child needs to gain anywhere between two and three kilos of weight and grow between five and eight cms per year, he or she would need enough nutrients to support this growth. As an overview, here’s the amount of food intake your kid needs:
- Boys: 1,636 calories
- Girls: 1,537 calories
Their nutrition should be composed of the following:
A growing child needs protein to build muscles and repair tissues. Protein is needed by the body to make hemoglobin and adrenalin which are important components of the body to stay healthy. Good sources are lean meat, eggs, fish, and beans.
There’s no better way to stack up on the vitamins and minerals than the organic way. Fruits have all these plus the dietary fibre and many phytonutrients that help your child’s body to stay healthy. Take note that different fruits provide different benefits so it’s important to alternate different colours every mealtime. A healthy mix of yellows (bananas, mangoes, etc), reds (strawberries, apples, etc.), and purples (blueberries, grapes, etc) are a good mix!
Veggies contain lots of benefits that can help your child be strong and immune from many chronic diseases. Although your child might get picky, it’s important that you still incorporate vegetables in his or her diet. Try alternating veggies to get different benefits and to make mealtimes more fun!
Your little one’s number one source of energy comes from carbohydrates which can be found in grains. When picking out grains, try to pick out whole grains instead of processed ones as the latter tend to have less nutritional value. Whole grains still contain the bran and germ — which is where most of the nutrients are stored.
Too little calcium intake may lead to weak and brittle bones. To avoid this, we want our kid to load up on milk and dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. You can also get calcium from ice cream (this one may just be your child’s favourite!) but be sure to keep it in moderation as it contains high sugars.
Basically, here’s how your child’s daily intake should look like:
- Protein: 28.8 grams
- Fruits: 3 cups
- Vegetables: 2 cups
- Grains: 4 ounces
- Milk/dairy: 20 ounces
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses
Since there are no vaccination due this month, there’s no need to rush any time soon to the doctor. However, to make sure if your little one has completed his immunisation, click here.
Do remember that although your kid has completed the immunisation records, this doesn’t shield him or her from the common illnesses such as cold, fever, and cough.
Treating Common Illnesses
Being exposed to different places gives your child the opportunity to catch illnesses. Fortunately, there are home remedies you can do before it worsens. However, take time to monitor your child’s temperature. If it goes beyond 38°C, be ready to take him or her immediately to the doctor.
When your child has a slight fever, you may see a decrease in his energy. This is normal so it’s important to store that energy and keep him rested and hydrated. You could also apply lukewarm compresses on the forehead, armpits, or groin area to keep the temperature down. It’s important that you keep an eye on his body temperature because the moment it reaches 39°C, you would need to take him to the doctor immediately.
Persistent cough can be very discomforting for your child. At home, you can try mixing ginger with honey in a glass of lukewarm water to ease the itch a little. Watch out it the phlegm becomes yellowish as it may be a symptom of infection. Talk to your doctor if it worsens.
Morning sniffles are pretty common for some people. However, if you notice that your child is weaker than usual, it might be time to attend to this common cold. Make sure he drinks lots of fluids and is well-rested. Ask if his body aches or if it’s accompanied by a very high fever as it may be a symptom of influenza.
During this stage of your kid’s life, it’s important that you introduce the importance of proper hygiene. This will save you a couple of bucks spent on medication because prevention is always better than cure!
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If you’ve been feeding your kid adequate amount of nutrients and you still notice the following, it’s best to take him to the doctor:
- Very short or underweight
- Falls ill often
- Displays unexpected bruises or lumps
Previous month: 4 years and 8 months
Next month: 4 years and 10 months
(*Disclaimer: This is the median height and weight according to WHO standards.)