Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-6-months-old child
What is your child up to this month?
It wasn’t that long ago that your child was a tiny baby, and now he's suddenly all of 5 years 6 months old, making you wonder where all the years went. We're sure you want to know what feats your little one will amaze you with this month. And you can learn all about your 5 years 6 months old child's development and milestones in this article.
Do keep in mind that no two children are the same, and as such, your child may be developing at his own pace, hitting these milestones earlier or later than his peers.
However, if you are concerned that your child isn’t reaching milestones on time, you should refer your concerns to your child’s paediatrician.
No longer a clumsy toddler, your 5 years 6 months old child's physical development is quite obvious. Quite nimble and agile, your little one loves to run, jump and play. Encourage plenty of outdoor play as this is crucial to proper physical development.
Here are some physical development milestones your child should have hit by now:
- Can swing and climb
- Can ride a tricycle
- Climbs the stairs without problems, using both feet
- Can use cutlery to eat like forks, knives and spoons
- Fully potty-trained and can use the toilet alone
- Can skip and hop around
- Can stand on one foot for longer than 10 seconds
- Your 5 years 6 months old will grow into a very confident young person if you allow him to showcase his physical abilities. Don’t curb his desire to run around!
- Give your child more activities to help him practice his new skills. Bring him to a new playground, go on long walks or enrol your child in sports.
- Now that your child can handle cutlery, encourage him to use eating utensils the right away. This helps your child's fine motor skills develop.
If you notice that your child isn’t accomplishing some skills, taking them to a doctor will help to assess the child’s development. Watch out for these signs.
- Doesn’t play a lot of physical games or engage in games that are physical in nature
- Acquires new skills and loses the skills soon after
- Is withdrawn or uninterested in physical activity
Your child’s cognitive development refers to the growth of his mind. At this stage of development your child has a highly active imagination and is very curious. All these are signs of good cognitive development.
Your child will try to reason and argue with you, especially if he wants something. While you might think he's being cheeky, this is in fact a sign that your little one's brain is engaging in critical thinking and rational thought.
Keep an eye out for the following developments in your child, too:
- Can draw triangles and other shapes from books
- Counts up to 10 and above
- Draws a caricature of the human body with at least 7 body parts
- Knows how things like money work
- Can copy some numbers and letters
- Reasoning and problem-solving skills
- Some reading and maths skills
- Your child may exhibit more complex thought at this stage, but you should still communicate with simple (but not "baby talk") words so he can still follow your conversation.
- Encourage your child to write and draw more, as this will improve not only their literacy level but also their self-confidence.
- Ask your child about his day, every day. This is a great way for your little one to learn how to verbally express his thoughts. You will find that not only will he recount activities, but he will also offer insights into things that happened around him.
If your child:
- Can’t focus for a long time and gets distracted easily
- Can't recount past events or talk about their day
- Doesn’t respond to people or responds without enthusiasm
- Mixes up past and present tense
- Doesn’t understand plural and singular
- Doesn’t draw
Your little one's imagination is already at full bloom at this time, so expect funny, imaginative and ridiculous questions and conversations. At this age your child has developed some sort of self-awareness. This means that he understands that people around him can have viewpoints that differ. Here are some other milestones to expect in social and emotional development.
- While you can still get the occasional meltdowns, at this stage your little one is all about presenting his own side of the argument and making sure he gets his point across verbally.
- Tries to please friends
- Can have fluctuating moods: sometimes agreeable and sometimes uncooperative
- Understands rules and tries to follow rules
- Interested in singing, dancing and acting
- Understands gender differences
- Tries to copy and be like friends
- Reinforce your child’s conflict resolution skills by teaching him to apologise when his is wrong
- The point above will work even better if you apologise to your child too, when appropriate.
- Your child will learn to verbally express dissatisfaction if you take time to listen to him. Once this becomes a pattern, tantrums will reduce
When to talk to your doctor:
If your child:
- Exhibits extreme behaviour like aggressiveness, shyness, fear or sadness.
- Doesn’t show any emotions
- Refuses to play with others
Your little one is also a little chatterbox! His vocabulary has improved to the point where he can even engage in conversations with adults. He can sing, rhyme, and even make up unique words.
Other language and development milestones are:
- Can count up to ten
- Can identify up to four colours and shapes
- Knows some letters of the alphabet
- Speaks clearly
- Understands time by associating time with activities, eg., school in the morning and bedtime at night
- Knows where they live
- Can read short words, usually 2-letter to 4-letter words like cat, cup, etc.
- Some can write their names
- Communicate with complex sentences
- Follow up questions with more questions to make them talk more
- If your child doesn’t like talking too much, don’t force it
When to talk to your doctor:
If your child:
- Avoids eye contact while talking
- Finds it hard to process non-verbal communication
The average height for 5 years 6 months old child is around 109 cm while the average weight is 19.5 kg. By now, your child might eat and enjoy the same food as everyone else in the family. He will also tell you when hungry and can proficiently use cutlery. Avoid giving your little one foods with lots of salt and sugar
Continue to provide meals that offer balanced nutrition so that your child's mind and body grow well. Here's an example of what you can give your child to fulfill his daily nutrition requirement:
|Daily Nutrient/ Ingredient||Recommended portion size||Meal ideas|
|Calories||1,200-2,000, depending on growth and activity level||A chicken and cheese sandwich, a bowl of cereal with milk, chicken and veg soup|
|Proteins||0.5 cup||Steamed fish, a small bowl of mung beans or 1 boiled egg|
|Fruits||1-1.5 cups||Chopped mixed fruits with cereal, or mixed fruits in yoghurt|
|Vegetables||1.5-2.5 cups||Include fibre and iron rich veg like spinach, carrots, beetroots etc|
|Grains||3/4th cup||Rice/ noodles/ pasta|
|Dairy||2.5 cups||1 full glass of milk + cheese/butter/yogurt through the day|
There are no vaccinations due this month. However, you could speak to your doctor about giving your child the flu vaccine.
Common illnesses to look out for are the common flu, chicken pox, measles, mumps and possible food allergies. Also watch out for Hand Foot and Mouth disease. In almost all common illnesses, good hygiene practices will help prevent them.
Treat all cases of fever with seriousness
Changes in weight also deserve a doctor’s attention
You should see a doctor if the child starts complaining of pain
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