Child development and milestones: Your 4-years-11-months-old
What will your child amaze you with this month?
It seems just like yesterday your little one was celebrating his fourth birthday and now, at 4 years 11 months old, he’s almost ready for kindergarten! As your 4 years 11 months old child delights you with his cheekiness, growing independence and chatter every day, find out what other developments you can look forward to this month.
Do note that these are only general guidelines as every child develops at their own pace. If you are concerned about your little one’s growth or have any questions about his or her development, please consult your doctor.
Your 4 years 11 months old child is no longer a clumsy little toddler and is now much more coordinated and precise in his movements.
At this stage, he would have lost most of his baby fat, gaining more muscle.
His gross motor skills and fine motor skills are developing at a rapid rate. Your child can now hop, skip, run and jump easily and can even do two actions together – like running and jumping over something.
At this point, your child is able to do the following:
- Balance on one foot for a few seconds
- Know his left from his right
- Manipulate “tricky” actions, like opening/ closing the cap of a water bottle
- Get undressed without parents’ assistance
- Go to the toilet without extra help
- Correctly hold and use a pair of kid-friendly scissors
- Hold a pencil using a three-finger grasp
Even though your 4 years 11 months old is probably fully potty trained, sometimes he may still wet the bed. His muscles and bladder control is still developing so don’t worry too much about bed wetting.
- Give your child more time to explore and play outdoors. Let him run and get his energy out as he continually learns to develop coordination.
- Take him to the playground to let him learn how to use new equipment.
- Extra activities like swimming, karate, ballet or music can help fine-tune those muscles and coordination, and teach useful new skills.
- Teach him table manners and learn how to use kitchen utensils properly.
- Get him to help out in simple house chores – i.e folding the laundry, setting up the table, washing the dishes. This teaches responsibility and also hones fine motor skills.
If you notice your child isn’t displaying some skills as above, take him to the doctor for further assessment. Some signs to look out for are:
- Being clumsy – trips over often when walking or running
- Unable to write even a few alphabets or draw basic shapes
- Difficulty in undressing himself
He may be in kindergarten already, or is going to in the next month. As you 4 years 11 months old child absorbs and learns new information, his cognitive development is racing ahead. Some of the milestones you can observe from your little one include:
- Counting up to 10 or more
- Being able to draw people with body parts
- Naming household objects that are used daily
- Naming at least four colours correctly
- Writing some letters and numbers
- Has a better understanding on the concepts of time and money
- Encourage your child to draw. It stimulates his creativity and imagination and develops his fine motor skills.
- Make DIY projects together but let your child lead the way.
- Read with him. Reading together, telling stories and singing songs all encourage your child’s cognitive and language development.
- When he doesn’t play pretend – i.e pretend to be a dad or robot/superhero
- When he doesn’t understand two part commands – i.e take the book, and put it into the box
Your child is starting to make new friends and form relationships with non-family (other kids and teachers). He is probably quite the social butterfly and wants to please others and make them happy.
By now, your child is aware of the different genders and of the different body parts as well. Your 4 years 11 months old child will show great independence and is able to distinguish between make-believe and reality.
Even though he seems like a “big kid”, he might still experience tantrums, meltdowns and also some emotional extremes. Don’t be alarmed if you find your child telling “lies” (i.e., she said she didn’t do it, but she did), as this is a very normal part of his development at this age.
- Teach your child ways to manage hard feelings, like anger and frustration.
- Help your child to learn to share, diffuse misunderstandings among friends and learn to give and take.
- Give your child your full attention when he’s talking to you. Show him that you are present and are listening. Ask him about what he likes and dislikes. Help him express himself better.
- Encourage your child to play, dance, sing! Be silly and laugh about things that are funny.
- If your child is often unhappy or angry all the time
- Shows no interest in playing with other kids
- Doesn’t express emotions or respond to people
This is the best age to sit down and have a great chat with your child. You will be open to a world full of fun and imagination! By 4 years 11 months old, your child is able to express himself through words.
He is able to speak well and be understood by adults and can understand more complex instructions. He can recall part of a story and tell longer stories. Not only is he a chatterbox, but he can tell you what he wants, use future tenses and also understand positional vocabulary – i.e., beside, on top of, underneath.
Your child can also:
- Say his full name and address
- Speak sentences with up to nine words
- Speak clearly so that he is understood (mostly) by a stranger
- Recount complex happenings that either took place in his day, or in a story
- Mostly use tenses correctly
- Keep reading to your child. His vocabulary will continue to expand and prepare him for school.
- Make time for imaginative and creative play like painting, drawing and making music.
- Have conversations with your child and ask him about his day and what he experienced in school, at the park, etc.
- When your child is unable to say his full name
- Doesn’t use plurals when speaking
- Doesn’t talk about his daily activities and experiences
Within this year, your 4 years 11 months old child will grow 2-3 inches taller and gain 2-3 kilograms in weight too.
It is important for your child to have a balanced diet so he can continue growing at a healthy rate. He should be eating around 1,200 calories per day, but it can be more depending on his daily activities. Children at this age are usually quite picky about their food. Do your best to incorporate a balanced diet so that he gets all the nutrients he needs.
For portion sizes, here are some suggested guidelines to follow:
Recommended portion size
Grains (6 small servings daily)
½ slice of bread
⅓ cup of cooked rice/pasta
½ cup dry cereal
Fats (3-4 servings daily)
1 teaspoon of butter/oil
Fruits and vegetables (4-6 servings daily)
½ – 1 small fruit
⅓ cup 100% fresh juice
¼ cup cooked vegetables
½ cup salad
Meat (2 servings daily)
30g meat (fish, chicken, tofu)
⅓ cup of peas and beans
Milk (2-3 servings daily)
½ cup of milk
½ cup yoghurt
30g of cheese
At 4 years and 11 months, most of your child’s vaccinations have already been covered. Make sure that these vaccinations are completed before he turns five. Check with your doctor for more information.
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis) (DTaP) (5th dose)
- Polio (IPV) (4th dose)
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) (2nd dose)
- Chickenpox (varicella) (2nd dose)
- Influenza (Flu) (every year)
As for other illness, expect common colds and the flu as your child will be exposed to viruses at preschool as he builds a stronger immune system.
- If your child is underweight or overweight
- If your child is an extremely fussy eater
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Next month: 5 years