Time flies when you are a parent. Your child is now 4 years and 4 months old. It feels like yesterday that he was just a baby, and now he’s running around, talking, and learning all sorts of things about the world. You’re probably curious about the development of your child at 4 years and 4 months old, and what exciting things he will learn this month. Let’s find out what to expect.*
4-Year-and-4-Month-Old Child Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?
At age 4 and 4 months, your little one is more active, and is capable of doing more physical activities.
Your 4-year-and-4-month-old child is capable of running and hopping without much trouble. He should also be able to climb and swing while playing.
For a guide on how tall your child should be and how much he or she should weigh, here’s the median height and weight* for kids at 4 years and 4 months.
- Height: 104.8 cm (41.2 in)
- Weight: 17 kg (37.5 lb)
- Height: 103.3 cm (40.7 in)
- Weight: 16.6 kg (36.5 lb)
Here are some of the other abilities in your 4-year-and-4-month-old child that you might encounter:
- Can balance on one foot for more than nine seconds
- Can go up and down the stairs without trouble
- Pedals a tricycle
- Is able to draw a person
- Can use a fork and a spoon
- Is able to dress himself, as well as brush his teeth
- Can draw and copy simple shapes such as circles, triangles, etc
- Can walk forwards and backwards
Your 4-year-and-4-month old child’s hand and finger skills should also be quite well developed at this stage. He should be able to hold a pen, draw, and grab onto small objects without any problems.
It’s important to note that your little one can be pretty active at this stage, so it’s a good idea to always keep an eye on him when he’s playing – especially since some 4-year-and-4-month-old kids can also do somersaults!
- Encourage your child to be active and learn through playing
- Let him draw different shapes in order to further develop his hand-eye coordination and dexterity
- Take your child to a playground and encourage him to try out the playground equipment
- Encourage your child to engage in creative pursuits, to both improve his manual dexterity, as well as his creativity and imagination
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If you notice any peculiar signs, or irregularities in your little one’s development, then it might be a good idea to talk to a doctor about it. These are some signs to look out for:
- If your child finds it difficult to walk, or to do other physical activities as described above
- If your child has trouble holding small objects such as crayons or pencils, or cannot stack blocks
At this age, your little one starts to process and understand more and more information.
At this age, your little one is already able to hold a conversation. He might not be able to articulate well just yet, but his vocabulary is steadily growing day by day. He should also be able to express his feelings, and needs, and can answer basic questions.
Your child will also start to sing at this age, and it’s not uncommon for him to create and sing his own songs. Kids at this age also love to make up words, and act a bit silly in general!
It’s also a good idea to establish a routine for your child, so that he can get used to having structure in daily activities.
Here are some cognitive milestones to expect in your 4 years 4 months old child:
- He starts to speak more complex sentences, and has a larger vocabulary
- Can count up to 10
- Can identify at least four colours and three different shapes
- His attention span is greatly increased
- Able to follow commands, and can do simple chores
- He can understand the concept of time (now, later), and can follow a daily routine
- In order to boost your little one’s cognitive skills even further, it’s a good idea to teach your child new words. You can do this by introducing a new word during a conversation. If it’s an object, you can print out a photo, or show the actual object to your child so that he can easily remember the word.
- To improve your child’s memory, use flashcards with shapes and colours, and integrate it into various games.
- Whenever you read books to your child, it’s a good idea to show him the text and letters so that he starts to make a connection between the meaning of the word, and how it is written and pronounced.
- When giving instructions, make them simple and clear. That’s because children can easily get confused with complex commands.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
- If your child is easily distracted, or has a hard time paying attention when you’re giving instructions
- If at this age, his vocabulary is still limited, or if he’s unable to express himself well verbally
- He still has difficulty identifying colours and shapes
Your child also starts to become more sociable, and eager to meet new friends.
Social and Emotional Development
In terms of social and emotional development, your 4-year-and-4-month-old child is starting to become more considerate of others. If previously, your little one only thought of himself, he’s now become aware of other people’s feelings. He can also handle his emotions much better, and can control himself if he gets upset.
Your child can also socialise better at this age, and it’s not uncommon for him to start making friends. Expect him to walk up to other kids when you’re in a playground or a play area, in an attempt to find playmates and friends.
Here are some developments in this sphere to look out for in your child:
- He starts to become more independent, and prefers to do certain things on his own
- Your child is able to understand and obey rules
- He can play with other children, and can cooperate with them
- When he has a tantrum, he would choose to express it verbally rather than physically
- Encourage your little one to socialise and play with other children
- When setting house rules, make it clear, and explain the reason why you made those rules in the first place
- Encourage him to be independent and to do things by himself
- Teach him socialising skills such as taking turns and sharing
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If your child shows any of the following signs, then it’s a good idea to discuss it with a doctor to find out what might be the cause of the problem.
- Afraid to make friends, or tends to become very aggressive with other kids
- Doesn’t like to play with other children
- Has extreme anxiety when left alone, or when separated from you
- If he doesn’t respond to other people, or other children
Your little one’s speech skills are well developed by the time he’s 4 years and 4 months old.
Speech and Language Development
At this age, your child starts to become talkative. It’s normal for him to start conversations with you as well as ask a lot of questions.
His vocabulary also starts to improve at this age, and it’s not uncommon for him to learn new words everyday.
- He starts to speak clearly, and is eager to use new words when speaking
- Able to remember his full name
- He’s already able to start and continue conversations with people
- He can answer questions, but sometimes might need some coaxing before he responds
- Reading aloud to your child can help improve his ability to understand speech, as well as his vocabulary
- Talk often to your child, and don’t be afraid to use more complicated words
- Use flashcards to teach your child new words and letters
- Encourage your child to start writing his name on a piece of paper
When to Talk to Your Doctor
- If your child has trouble speaking, or is unable to say his name
- If he has trouble understanding simple words, or instructions
- Has an inability to learn new words
- If your child’s vocabulary hasn’t developed over the past year
In case your child shows any of these warning signs, don’t be afraid to consult your doctor about it. They would be able to provide the best advice and approach to help address your concerns regarding your child’s speech and language development.
Health and Nutrition
It’s important to provide your child with healthy foods that nourish and strengthen their mind and body. It’s also important for your child to get enough rest, and plenty of exercises so that his body can grow and develop properly. Here’s a sample calorie intake guide:
- Boys: 1,603 calories
- Girls: 1,502 calories
Your child’s daily food intake should ideally consist of:
One of the most important food groups your child needs to grow is protein. Eating food groups rich in protein help heal wounds and scars faster because they’re the agents that repair tissues. Great sources of protein are fish, lean meat, eggs, and beans.
Eating a healthy amount of fruits can give your child the vitamins and minerals your child needs to stay healthy. It’s also important to choose a variety of fruits as they have different benefits. Try alternating different colours for a fun meal time!
Vegetables are your kid’s best friend in protecting them from diseases such as stroke, some types of cancers, and heart diseases. Eating vegetables can also prevent excessive weight gain. Just like fruits, alternating different colours, such as broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms give your child a variety of benefits.
For an active child like yours, they would need lots of energy throughout the day. That is why grains are also important to incorporate in your kid’s diet. In choosing your grains, whole grains are the much better option since these are the kinds which still have the bran and germs. The processed ones have the bran removed which means it has less nutritional value.
Calcium that helps strengthen the bones and teeth are found in dairy products. Too little intake of calcium may lead to brittle bones so it’s important to incorporate this on your child’s diet. Good sources of calcium are yogurt, cheese, and milk. You can also get calcium from ice cream or mousse but these are high in sugar so it’s best to take these groups in moderation.
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses
At 4 years and 4 months old, there are no new vaccinations, but if you want to see a complete list of immunisation your child needs, you can click here.
And although your child has a complete immunisation record, that doesn’t exempt him or her from common illnesses such as colds, cough, and fever.
Treating Common Illnesses
If your child gets these common illnesses, there’s no reason to panic right away. As your kid is exposed to viruses, his or her immune system strengthens as well. However, if your little one’s temperature rises up to 39°C, it’s best to take them to a pediatrician.
Even a slight fever can bring discomfort to your child and it can be heartbreaking to see. To ease it a little, it’s important to make him or her take plenty of fluids. Applying lukewarm compresses also helps in bringing the temperature down. But, if it goes up to above 38°C, take your kid immediately to the doctor.
A little cough is not alarming. However, if it gets persistent and get accompanied by a runny nose and some sneezing, it might be a sign of an infection. Home remedies include mixing ginger and honey with lukewarm water. Monitor it for three to five days. If it does not subside, it’s best to take him to the doctor.
Lots of water can help relieve early signs of colds. If your child experiences body aches or gets a very high fever, take him immediately to the doctor! It might be a sign of influenza.
Practicing good hygiene such as the proper way of washing hands can help in protecting your child from getting infected with virus. So it’s important to make sure your precious one understands the necessity of being clean and eating healthy food groups.
*If you have any concerns about your child’s development, please speak to your paediatrician for professional advice.
(*Disclaimer: This is the median height and weight according to WHO standards)
Previous month: 4 years and 3 months
Next month: 4 years and 5 months
References: WebMD, Kids’ Health, CDC