Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-11-months-old child
What will your child amaze you with this month? Find out what developmental milestones your child should be hitting around now.
Just one month shy of the big six, say hello to your little-big 5 years 11 months oldchild! On the brink of school now, your 5 years 11 months oldkid’s development has been nothing short of incredible. From a crawling, babbling baby, your child child now runs, leaps, climbs and talks with ease.
What other amazing developmental milestones should you expect to encounter this month? Let’s find out. At the same time, please keep in mind that these milestones are not set in stone, and that each child will meet them at his or her own pace. If you are worried about your child’s development, you should speak to a paediatrician.
5 Years 11 Months Old Child Development and Milestones: Is your child on track?
Your 5 years 11 months oldchild is more controlled and graceful in his actions and movements than he was just a few months ago. He has lost most or all of that baby/toddler chubbiness and your child’s body has adult-like proportions. Your child’s average weight and height are as follows:
– Height: 115.1 cm (45.3 inches)
– Weight: 20.6 kg (45.4lb)
– Height: 114.4 cm (45.0 inches)
– Weight: 20.1 kg (44.4lb)
However, also remember that height and weight are also genetically determined to a great extent, so try to avoid comparing your child with others the same age. Your child also has perfect 20/20 vision by now.
Let’s take a look at some other physical developments – related to both fine and gross motor skills – that you might see in your 5 years 11 months oldchild.
- Dances to the beat or rhythm of music
- Can ride a two-wheel bicycle
- Can learn sports involving good physical control
- Holds a pen or pencil using a three-finger grasp
- Jumps rope well
- Is able to balance on one foot for at least a few seconds, with closed eyes
- Kicks a ball with good foot-contact
- Easily uses scissors to cut out shapes skilfully
- Runs fast and gracefully
- Make sure your child has a minimum of one hour of physical activity every day.
- Encourage an active lifestyle by participating in activities that promote physical development, as a family. This could be as simple and fun as playing catch together, or a game of football.
- Limit screen time to not more than 1.5 hours a day.
- Enroll your child in sports or physical activity classes, like swimming, dance or football. This not only boosts physical development, but teaches your child other important skills like teamwork, discipline and responsibility.
When to see a doctor
If your child,
- Loses skills he once had
- Cannot grasp a pen or pencil properly
- Is extremely clumsy when physically active
- Seems to have trouble seeing or hearing properly
In just a month or two, your 5 years 11 months oldchild is about to start a new chapter in life: school! By now, your child’s cognitive abilities would have developed to a level needed to tackle the requirements of “big kid” school.
From being able to grasp a pencil properly and maybe read and write a little bit, to the ability to reason, think and even argue quite logically, here are some other cognitive development markers you might notice in your little champ.
- Knows the alphabet well
- Can count up to 20 and maybe beyond
- Can read two-letter words
- Uses logic to argue important “cases”, especially if it’s that special toy your child really wants
- Understands past, present and future
- Has a good memory
- Concentrates on a task for at least 10-15 minutes
- Can repeat three numbers backwards
- Knows day and night, left and right
- Starts to read age-appropriate books
- Continues to ask many questions
- Shows (sometimes intense) interest in topics like dinosaurs, space or ancient history
- Now’s a good time to get library membership for your child. Show your child how to look for books on topics of interest, borrow them and return them on time (this also teaches responsibility).
- Hone your child’s critical thinking skills through activities such as answering a question with a question (“What do you think about it?”), or getting your child to evaluate a book you’ve just read together (“Why do you think Jane was sad?” “How would you have ended the story?”).
- Bring your child to places that encourage and promote learning, such as museums or places of historical significance. Even a simple trip to the supermarket can teach your child valuable maths skills.
- Read, read, read! Books open unimaginable pathways to lifelong learning for your child.
- Don’t push your child to perform advanced academic tasks. This can discourage your little one from learning, and more importantly, enjoying learning.
When to speak to a doctor
If your child,
- Cannot count to 20
- Doesn’t know his alphabet
- Show little or no interest in asking question or acquiring new knowledge
Social and Emotional Development
What a long way your 5 years 11 months oldchild has come in terms of social and emotional development. From refusing to share toys and throwing tantrums just a couple of years ago, to happily playing with friends and no tantrums, your child is quite the social butterfly.
Keep an eye out for the following developments, too.
- Your child is extremely sociable, willingly sharing toys, even wanting to give them away or “lend” them to friends
- Follows rules of games
- Can be bossy
- Is empathetic to others and understands their emotions
- Comforts friends who are sad or angry
- Prefers playing with children of his/her gender
- Would rather play with friends than alone
- Uses words like “please” and thank you”
- Rarely throws tantrums but will still cry easily when upset
- Craves your approval and love
- Enjoys hearing praise from adults
- May have a “best friend”
- Listens to instructions
- If you feel your child is shy, don’t push him to interact with others. Instead, consider enrolling your child in group activities, such as sports or art classes. Or organise small playdates at home.
- Introduce table manners to your child.
- Guide your child on how to behave both at home and when out and about. For example, no jumping queues or interrupting when others are talking.
- Your child mimics your behaviour so be the person you want your child to be. Show respect, kindness and empathy to others and you can be sure your child will, too.
- Discipline your child gently yet firmly, and without losing your temper. An almost 6-year-old can still push your buttons, but understands there are consequences to unacceptable behaviour (unlike a toddler).
- Talk to your friendly child about stranger danger. Teach your child what to do should a stranger approach him or should he find himself separated from you when out and about.
- It’s okay for children to be bored. Resist the need to cram your child’s social calendar with activities, and instead, teach your child how to enjoy down-time or alone-time. This could be by reading a book, doing arts and crafts, drawing and colouring, or heading outside.
When to speak to a doctor
If your child,
- Shows extreme emotions, or still throw tantrums very often
- Refuses to play with other children
- Prefers the company of much older kids, or even adults
- Is violent when angry
Health and Nutrition
Continue to provide your 5 years 11 months oldchild with a balanced diet to boost holistic development. Don’t forget to encourage your active child to drink enough water throughout the day. Avoid sweets, junk food, and fizzy drinks as much as possible.
Your child needs about 1,700 to 1,800 calories every day.
Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:
- Boys: 1,744 Kcal/day
- Girls: 1,636 Kcal/day
Their nutrition should be composed of the following:
Your child needs 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.
Your child needs about one to 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, or one medium grapefruit.
If your child wants to drink fruit juice, make sure it’s 100 percent juice without added sugars.
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.
Aim to provide a variety of vegetables, 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.
Your child should 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)
Here’s a snapshot of some of your child’s daily nutritional requirements.
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses
There are no new vaccinations due this month. To find out what vaccinations your child should have got up to now, and check if this schedule is up-to-date, click here.
Your child might still be prone to catching colds, the flu and other common illnesses like Hand Foot and Mouth disease. While all of these boost his immunity, you should head to the doctor if your child shows signs of severe discomfort, including vomiting, diarrhoea or very high fever.
Teach and encourage your child to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing.
Treating Common Illnesses
To manage the three most common medical issues in kids – fever, cough, and cold – try the following:
- Fever: If your child has fever up to 38°C (100.4°F), give him/her plenty of fluids and encourage your kid to rest. You could also apply lukewarm compresses to your child’s forehead, armpits and groin areas to help bring the temperature down. 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.
- 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. Plus, ask your kid to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day to help ease the discomfort. If your child cough does not ease after three to five days, or turns very phlegmy, bring him/her to the doctor for treatment and management advice.
- Cold: Unless its 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.
It’s crucial to note here that while some medications 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 for a sore throat remedy. Meanwhile, nasal saline solution will help decongest the nasal passage.
When to talk to a doctor
If your child,
- Has a fever over 39 degrees Celsius
- Has unusual bruises, bumps or rashes
- Complains constantly of headaches or other aches
- Has been vomiting or has diarrhoea for more than two days
Previous month: 5 years 10 months
Next month: 6 years
Reference: Web MD