Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-3-months-old

Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-3-months-old

Did you know your child can tie his own shoelaces now? There are many more things your child can do at 5 years 3 months old!

Your 5 years 3 months old child shows no signs of slowing down on all developmental fronts! His rate of learning continues to develop at a rapid rate. Your independent child is getting ready for pre-school, if he’s not already started. In fact, you’ll find your child is calmer when he’s at school compared to when he’s at home. He’s enjoying his new environment and learning all sorts of new things.

Let’s take a closer look at the milestones your 5 years 3 months old child may have reached. Also, please remember that this is not a diagnostic tool but a guideline. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, please speak with your doctor for further consultation.

5 Years 3 Months Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?

5 years 3 months old

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Physical Development

At 5 years 3 months old, your little one is quite the athlete! He is running, skipping, and jumping without an issue. His body and mind are very active as he continues to learn more about the world around him while enjoying the process. 

Your child might have dropped his day-time nap, but he should still get around 11 hours of sleep each night. It’s also good for your little one to grab a quiet moment ever so often. This could be dedicated reading time or doing a puzzle instead of running around. Having additional rest also helps regulate his energy levels and feel positive when dinner rolls around.

Your 5 years 3 months old child should be able to do the following:

  • Put on his shoes alone
  • Balance on one foot for at least 10 seconds
  • Clap to a tune
  • Use a fork, spoon and sometimes a knife to eat his own food
  • Stay dry at morning and night (usually)
  • Go to the toilet and even shower on his own
  • Turn a cartwheel 
  • Confidently climb up steps, keeping one foot per step
  • Runs without stumbling 
  • Can confidently climb play equipment or even a tree

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

  • Boys
    – Height: 110.8 cm (43.6 inches)
    – Weight: 19.1 kg (42.0lb) 
  • Girls 
    – Height: 109.7 cm (43.2 inches) 
    – Weight: 18.6 kg (41.0lb) 


  • Don’t stay too far away from your child while he bathes. He might seem confident in his abilities.  But just to be safe, stay close in case there are any mishaps.
  • Bring your child to new playgrounds and encourage him to “conquer” a new piece of equipment there. 
  • Consider enrolling your child in a swimming class if you haven’t already. 
  • Limit screen time and encourage plenty of physical activity. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your child has cloudy or pink wee, experiences burning sensations while peeing, or is frequent wetting the bed
  • Is very clumsy when active
  • Squints or you feel like he cannot hear you
5 years 3 months old

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Cognitive Development

Your child never ceases to surprise you with how much he remembers and continues to learn. He can concentrate for 15 minutes at a time which serves him well in school. Speaking of which, your little one will have many more things to learn on his own.

As a parent, you’ll find your role involves balancing your role between nurturing and encouraging your child. It’s easy to become overprotective which is why encouraging your child may be challenging. Allow your little one room to explore and experiment in new situations. If he is struggling, resist the temptation to jump in and rescue him. 

Keep an eye out for these developments in your child:

  • Grasps the concept of “right” and “wrong”
  • Writes some letters of the alphabet
  • Writes some numbers
  • Counts to at least 10 
  • Recites the alphabet correctly 
  • Draws a person with a body
  • Can focus on a task for at least 5-10 minutes
  • Can read two-letter words

Parenting Tips:

  • Introduce your child to new activities. Encourage him when he’s trying and not able to complete his task until he finds the solution on his own. This gives your child a chance to build his confidence and problem-solving skills.
  • Practise puzzles with 12 pieces. It might not seem like a lot, but your little one will learn how to piece together bigger puzzles afterwards.
  • Encourage your child to plan ahead and explain what his next activity might be. This stimulates his ability to plan for the future.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

Your child

  • Cannot focus on a task for even five minutes
  • Cannot hold a crayon with two fingers 
  • Loses skills and abilities he once had
5 years 3 months old

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Social and Emotional Development

Preschool presents a new ball-game and presents your child another opportunity to establish new relationships. Your child will show more interest in other children and adults outside of the family. In fact, he enjoys playing with children of the same gender.

He still wants to do his best to impress you. He’ll run back home and proudly tell you his results from tests and homework. Remember to praise your child when he does well and to encourage your child if he feels disappointed in his academic performance.

In general, your little one will achieve these milestones at this age:

  • Is more self-confident
  • Enjoys playing with peers 
  • Shares toys willingly
  • Understands and follows instructions
  • Imitates adults, including emotions 
  • Can tell when another person is happy, sad or angry
  • Understands the difference between fantasy and reality

Parenting Tips:

  • Encourage your child to make his own choices as often as possible. 
  • Remember to talk with your child if you catch him lying. At this point, your child will become more competitive and experiment with bending the rules to get what he wants. 
  • Install parental controls on computers and the TV.
  • Remember to keep an eye on your child when crossing the road. Your child is becoming more and more independent from his parents. However, he is willing to take bigger risks to show how independent he is.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your 5 years 3 months old child is very shy or quiet after coming home from school, this could be a sign of bullying.
  • If he is showing extreme signs of aggression.
5 years 3 months old

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Speech and Language Development

Your 5 years 3 months old is quite the conversation partner to have! He speaks in flowing sentences with 5 to 8 words at a time. He understands most of what you say, as long as you don’t throw in jargon or very long words! But if you do, your curious child will ask you what these words mean.  And his vocabulary is at 2,500 words!

As impressive as your child’s linguistic abilities are, you may notice he has a lisp when pronouncing certain words with the “s” consonant. If he is pronouncing seven as “theven”, don’t worry. It’s very common among children this age as they are still learning how to vocalise many new words. He will grow out of the habit by age seven.

Other speech and language milestones your child may have reached by this point include:

  • Ability to debate (and even argue!) with you. Using “because” very often
  • Uses opposites as a way of comparison, e.g. “Your hand is bigger than my hand”
  • Uses future tense
  • Begins understanding certain words can have multiple meanings
  • Understand jokes better
  • Using the possessive form of nouns, e.g. “The car’s wheels are round”.

Parenting Tips:

  • Try tongue-twisters to help your child recognise different sounds. Or play a clapping game at home, where you ask your child to clap the number of times he hears a particular sound in a word or sentence after you read to him. 
  • Encourage your child to talk to you about the school day, especially his likes and dislikes. This helps prepare him for show-and-tell in school, as well as learn how to express his feelings.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your child does not use the past tense at all
  • If your child doesn’t ask questions about unfamiliar words or situations
5 years 3 months old

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Health and Nutrition

Your big kid will weigh around 17kg-20.3kg in weight and be roughly 106cm-112.2cm in height. He will gain 6cm (2.5 inches) by the time he reaches 6 years old, and 1.8kg-3.1kg (4 to 7 lbs) each year.

As your child is growing quickly, his appetite will naturally increase as well. While he might be able to chow down 1,200 calories and more, it’s important to provide sufficient nutrients and minerals in his meals.

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

  • Boys: 1,685 Kcal/day
  • Girls: 1,579 Kcal/day 
Nutrient/Mineral Recommended Daily Amount Food Sources (nutrient/mineral value)
Calcium 1,000mg 2 cups milk (150mg) OR 2 cups yoghurt(207mg) OR 2 slices Swiss cheese  (112mg)
Iron 10mg small bowl of cereal (12mg) OR 1 slice of wholemeal bread (0.9mg) OR a small handful of raisins (0.7mg)
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) 10g of Omega-6, 0.9g of Omega-3 child palm-sized piece of salmon (0.425g) OR 1 hardboiled egg (0.1g) OR a handful of walnuts (2.3g)
Magnesium 130mg Small bowl of all bran cereal (93mg) OR 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (25mg) OR half a banana (16mg)
Vitamin A 0.4mg 3-5 chunks of sweet potato (3.8mg) OR quarter of a bell pepper 
Vitamin C 25mg 2 cups fresh orange juice (50mg) OR 6 florets of broccoli (30mg) OR 1 tomato (5mg)
Vitamin E 7mg 28g peanuts (2mg) OR 40g raw mango (0.9mg)
Potassium 3,800mg Half a baked potato (463mg) OR 5 chunks of cantaloupe (208mg) OR a handful of spinach (210mg)
Zinc 5mg child’s palm-sized piece of cooked beef (3mg) OR child’s palm-sized piece chicken (0.6mg) OR 2 slices cheddar cheese (0.4mg)

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


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 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. Give fresh fruit whenever possible, preferably with the skin on for added fibre. 


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.

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.


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)

Parenting Tips:

  • Avoid overfeeding to help your 5 years 3 months old child reach a standard for weight– every child is different and shouldn’t be forced to conform to an average. Your doctor will have a custom growth chart for your child which you should refer to.
  • If your child is starting to show left-handed dominance, remember to position him where his elbow won’t collide with a neighbour’s elbow while eating! This can save a lot of tears and ensure everyone enjoys their meal comfortably.

Vaccinations and Common Illnesses

Most of your child’s vaccinations have already been covered at this age. Do check with your doctor for common ones your child needs on a more regular basis, like the flu shot.

As your child spends more time in school, you should expect to contract more common colds and the flu. There may also be rashes that develop on his body which you should keep an eye out for. Encourage your child to tell you if there is any discomfort on his body, or if you notice any itching.

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 5 year 3 months old 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 severely under or over-weight
  • Has unusual rashes, lumps or bruises
  • Has a fever over 39 degrees C

References: WebMD

Previous month: 5 years 2 months

Next month: 5 years 4 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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