Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-1-month-old

Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-1-month-old

What's your child going to amaze you with this month? Read on to find out.

Your 5 years 1 month old child has grown in leaps and bounds. His/her toddler days are over and as he/she gets school-ready, shows more independence and curiosity.  If you are wondering what to expect from your little one this month, we’re here to help 

Let’s look at common 5 year 1 month old milestones to be aware of so you know what to look forward to.

As always, please note these are guidelines as every child develops at their own pace. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s development, visit your paediatrician.

5 Years 1 Month Old Child Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?

5 years 1 month old

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Physical Development

Your 5 years 1 month old child is very agile and can express his/her excitement in many acrobatic ways. His/her hand-eye coordination has improved so much to the extent that he/she can now start doing basic tasks like feeding and going to the toilet all by himself/herself!

His/her gross motor skills are much more advanced compared to his/her toddler days, which is evident by how independent he/she is!

All children grow at their own pace, but most are able to accomplish many impressive physical skills. They can jump high, run confidently and even start doing more complex movements involved in structured sports, like karate or ballet.

At this point, your child is able to do the following:

  • Can do a forward somersault
  • Confident in swinging and climbing
  • Balance on one foot for at least 10 seconds
  • Can get dressed and undressed without parents’ assistance
  • Use a fork, spoon and sometimes a knife to eat food
  • Go to the toilet without extra help

As awesome as your five-year-old is, remember that he is still developing! Even if he/she can handle his/her own toilet needs, wetting the bed is still common and nothing to worry about.

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

  • Boys
    – Height: 109.7 cm (43.2 inches)
    – Weight: 18.7 kg (41.2lb) 
  • Girls 
    – Height: 108.5 cm (42.7 inches) 
    – Weight: 18.2 kg (40.2 lb) 


Giving your little one enough space and time to explore and try new activities can further develop your child’s motor skills.

  • Take him/her to the playground or areas with equipment to play with, like monkey bars.
  • Sign your child up for group swimming lessons, or another sport or physical activity that he likes. Make sure he/she is always supervised by a qualified instructor.
  • Encourage your child when he/she tries to do things on his own, like getting dressed or going to the toilet.
  • Keep technology to a minimum in bedrooms. Remove phones or gadgets with bright lights to avoid distracting him from sleeping.
  • Get him/her involved with simple house chores. Different activities will develop his/her hand-eye coordination.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

If you notice your child isn’t displaying some skills as expected, it’s advisable to take him/her to the doctor for further assessment. Some signs to look out for are:

  • Inability to hold a crayon or pencil
  • Trouble eating, sleeping, or going to the bathroom on his/her own
  • Difficulty undressing on his/her own
5 years 1 month old

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Cognitive Development

School is just around the corner! Your child has been learning so much and retaining a whole bunch of information!

Your child’s memory continues to grow at an impressive rate. He/she can recall a lot of information and has a much better idea of what everyday household objects are, as well as what they’re called. Some of the milestones you can observe from  your little one include:

  • Copies triangles and other geometric shapes
  • Can count up to 20 and above
  • Able to draw people with six or more body parts
  • Can name and tell you about household objects, like food and appliances
  • Names at least four colours or more
  • Writes some letters and numbers
  • Has a better idea on the concept of time


  • Encourage your little one to draw. It stimulates his/her creativity and develops his/her fine motor skills.
  • Start helping your child write letters to his/her friends. This can double as a very sweet gift, as well as improve cognitive development related to literacy and memory. 
  • Make creative DIY projects with glue, scissors, and other art supplies. It’s really fun for your child and helps him/her be more familiar with different shapes.
  • Try and limit your child’s TV time to one hour (or less) of educational programs. As entertaining as it is, there are many other ways to stimulate your child.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • Your child is easily distracted
  • You child is unable to focus on a task for more than five minutes
5 years 1 month old

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Social and Emotional Development

Your child’s wild imagination means he can lose in himself/herself more complex pretend play that’s filled with drama and fantasy. You might notice that he can play with others much better as he works towards a common goal, like building a castle or staying away from a certain area. 

Your little one is also more agreeable and looks forward to playing with other children.

You might notice he is more open to sharing his/her toys with his friends and compromises if someone doesn’t want to play a game. But just be aware he/she still might have the occasional meltdown when things don’t go his/her way! 


  • Let your child choose activities with friends. Your little one gets the chance to be more sociable when discussing and even negotiating with his/her friends!
  • If any issues pop up between your child and his friends, let him/her figure out a way to resolve the situation. This helps your child learn how to compromise.
  • Talk with your child and give him/her your full attention. When you engage and ask about his/her preferences, as well as what he/she did that day, he/she will feel treasured and loved.
  • Your child loves to express himself! Encourage your child to dance, sing, and act – you can even join in!

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your child is extremely afraid, shy, or aggressive
  • Your little one is very anxious when away from you
  • You child refuses to play with other children
5 years 1 month old

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Speech and Language Development

Your 5 years 1 month old child is able to communicate his/her needs and wants verbally. He/she is also very good at understanding what you’re saying and has gained more knowledge of positional descriptions, such as “on top of” or “below”.

Story time becomes a lot more engaging as your tot can recall previous parts of the story. So when you read to them, it’s not just one-way traffic – expect him/her to excitedly tell you what happens next, or how he/she feels about certain characters!

So what are some of the cues for 5 years 1 month old child development and milestones to be aware of?

You child can:

  • Make words rhyme.
  • Say his/her full name.
  • Recall your address and phone number.
  • Speak clearly and is able to construct sentences with five or more words.

You’ll be surprised and impressed to know that your little one has a vocabulary of 20,000 words! It’s no wonder he/she expresses himself/herself so well. But how he/she uses all of these words is key to developing his/her language and speech skills.

When he/she enters preschool, he/she will begin learning how to read for himself/herself. Here are some suggestions for activities to engage with your child to help him/her work on his/her own reading competency.

Parenting Tips:

  • Keep reading to your child. Nurture the love for books and take him/her to the library. His/her vocabulary will continue to expand with more exposure to different and new books! 
  • Highlight and draw attention to frequently used words while reading with your child. Repetition helps your child remember new words when you point them out.
  • Chat with your little one about his surroundings and encourage him/her to describe what he sees.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • Your child really struggles to use the past tense correctly
  • Doesn’t use plurals
  • Stammers
5 years 1 month old

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Health and Nutrition

Your 5 years 1 month old child will have gained up to 2.25kg and grown around 5.5 centimetres taller since his fourth birthday! Most children will be 17kg-20.3kg in weight and 106cm-112.2cm in height. His adult teeth might start to break through his gums and his vision is now 20/20.

As your little one will be incredibly active, it’s important for your child to have a balanced diet so he can continue growing at a healthy rate. He normally eats around 1300 calories, but it can be more depending on how active he is.

Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:

  • Boys: 1,670 Kcal/day
  • Girls: 1,564 Kcal/day 

For portion sizes, here are some suggested guidelines to follow:

Food type Recommended portion size
Grains (6 small servings daily)

1 slice of bread

1/2 cup of cooked rice/pasta (80g)

Fats (3-4 servings daily) 1 teaspoon of butter/oil
Fruits and vegetables (5 servings daily)

1/2 – 1 small fruit

1/2 cup cooked or raw chopped vegetables (80g)


Meat (2 servings daily)

1-3 tablespoons of lean meat, or chicken, or fish

1 egg

5 tablespoons of peas and beans

Milk (3 servings daily)

3/4 cup of milk or yoghurt (177ml)

3/4 ounce of cheese (22g)

Here’s a snapshot of what you can give your child to fulfill his/her daily nutrition requirement:


At 5 years 2 months old, your child needs two servings of protein (in total, around 32.4g) each day. One serving equals one to three tablespoons of chicken, lean meat, or fish, as well as four to five tablespoons of dry beans and peas, and/or one egg.


He/she also needs three (100g) cups of fruits everyday. 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, and/or one medium grapefruit.

If your child wants to drink fruit juice, you should make sure it’s a 100 percent juice without added sugars. Also try to give fresh fruit whenever possible, preferably with the skin on for added fibre. 


At this stage, your child needs a minimum of 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.

Give your child a “rainbow on his/her plate” every week. For example, a variety of vegetables of many colours, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy and others, each week. When selecting canned or frozen vegetables, look for options lower in sodium.


Introduce a minimum of four ounces of grains in your child’s meals. 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.


At this age, your child should also drink a minimum of 17 to 20 ounces of milk a day. 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 you 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 this age, most of your child’s vaccinations have already been covered. There are a few common ones that are given every year, like the flu shot. Check with your doctor for more information about this vaccination. 

In terms of illness, expect common colds and the flu as your child is exposed to bugs at preschool and builds his immunity.

Treating Common Illnesses 

Out of the commons illnesses that might be caught by your child, the most common would the cold, fever and cough. Let us see how you could easily manage these at home.  

  • To treat cold: It is advisable that over the counter medication is avoid unless otherwise extremely necessary for common colds. Colds are usually caused by viruses therefore antibiotics do not work for a common cold. However, if the cold is progressed to a fever with aches and pains, it is best that you seek medical attention.  
  • To treat fever: Give your child plenty of fluids if your child has fever over 38°C (100.4°F) and ensure he/she gets plenty of rest. You could also put apply lukewarm compresses on forehead, armpits and groin areas to help bring down the temperature. However,  if the temperature of your child rises above 38°C (100.4°F), you should take him/her to the doctor and follow medical advice to manage the health of your child.
  • To treat cough: Cough is quite common among children. it can however, be irritating if followed by runny nose and sneezing. It is best that you first first try home remedies such as ginger and honey mixed in lukewarm water. You can also ask your child to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day to help ease the discomfort. If the cough does not ease in three to five days, you need to get medical advise.  

It is important to note that while some medications can be bought without prescriptions, it is best if the first treatment offered to your child for mild health issues should be simple home remedies.

Give plenty of warm fluids to a child with a  cold and cough. You can help your child gargle with warm salt water for a sore throat. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your child is gaining too much weight or is underweight, speak with your doctor for diet recommendations
  • He/she has fever over 38 degrees Celcius

References: WebMD, Healthy Children, Mayo Clinic

Previous month: 5 years

Next month: 5 years 2 months

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

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Written by

Vinnie Wong

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