Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-7-months old child
Find out if your little one is right on track.
How fast time flies! At age 5 years 7 months old already, your little one is almost ready for school. He/she has a proper little personality now, matched with boundless energy and curiosity. What can you expect from your 5 years 7 months old child this month?
In this article, we cover the common milestones that a 5 years 7 months old child should be achieving, but please remember, every child is a unique individual. This means that your child may meet milestones sooner or later than his/her peers - and this is just fine. If you are worried about any aspect of your child's development however, you should consult a paediatrician without delay.
5 Years 7 Months Old Development And Milestones: Is Your Child On Track?
By now, your 5 years 7 months old child might have already shown interest in certain sports or physical activities. Physically, he/she would have lost all that toddler chubbiness and his body has adult proportions. Your child remains very active, and adequate physical activity is important to ensure his healthy overall development.
A sense of body image starts building around this time, too. At this stage, your child’s median height and weight* should be as follows:
– Height: 113 cm (44.5 inches)
– Weight: 19.8 kg (43.7 lb)
– Height: 112. 1 cm (44.1 inches)
– Weight: 19.4 kg (42.7 lb)
Here are a few milestones you should look out for. Your child,
- Understands the clear physical difference between a boy and a girl.
- Performs all motor-skilled based activities- like picking up, throwing, carrying, balancing - without any help.
- Runs, skips, jumps and hops with agility and skill
- Can confidently balance on one foot.
- Is able to hold a pencil using a three-finger grasp.
- Can thread beads onto a string.
- Around this time, your child might start losing (or already has lost) some milk teeth. Dental care remains very important.
- If you haven't already, enroll your child in physical activity classes, like swimming or dancing. Such activities are great to further hone your child's physical development and agility, and also teach skills like confidence and perseverance.
- Teach your child to get dressed and undress alone. Things like pulling up zippers and doing up buttons and clasps encourage fine motor skills development. Plus, this will encourage your child to be independent.
- Avoid giving your child screen time as much as you possibly can, especially if this compromises the amount of physical activity he/she gets. Restrict total daily screen time to one hour or less.
When to talk to your Doctor?
If your child cannot,
- Balance on one foot for at least a few seconds.
- Stumbles and falls very often while running or being active.
- Properly grasp a pen or pencil.
Your 5 years 7 months old child's brain is nothing less than a wonder land. You'll notice a clear improvement in your child's cognitive abilities, such as how he/she now reasons (rather than throws a tantrum) when he/she wants something. Your little one might even solve basic maths problem, like adding 1 and 2.
At almost 6 years old, your child's questions would have also evolved in complexity, showing his/her desire to keep learning about the world. He/she can also concentrate on an activity better than ever, whether this is reading a book or solving a puzzle. You might also notice that your child tells you little lies. But according to research, this is a sign of your child's growing intelligence.
Here are some other cognitive developments to look out for this month:
- Your child can confidently and correctly put a simple puzzle together.
- He/she can look at a simple picture and replicate it.
- Your child can focus on a task for at least 10-15 minutes.
- He/she has an opinion on certain matters.
- Respect your child's growing sense of individuality and don't belittle his/her opinions or ideas. Instead, encourage discussion around these matters so that you encourage your child's critical thinking capacity.
- If you do give your child screen-time, choose educational programmes and apps over violent games or cartoons. Always monitor your child's screen-time.
- Boost your child's school-readiness by setting the foundation for fun yet effective learning through: books, simple math challenges, visits to the museum or other places of interest.
When to talk to your Doctor?
If your child,
- Cannot complete a simple puzzle.
- Cannot count up to at least 20.
- Does not show interest in asking questions or learning about something new.
Social and Emotional Development
Your 5 years 7 months old child is able to control his/her emotions better than a year ago. Tantrums should have disappeared by now, but your child might still cry or whine when he/she wants something.
By this age, your child loves playing with his/her peers and might even have a best friend or two. Your little one loves your company too, so make the most of it before those typically broody teenage years swing by!
He/she is very friendly in general, even speaking to strangers. This is why it's important to talk your little one about "stranger danger" and how he/she should never speak to strangers.
You might notice the following characteristics in your child's social and emotional development this month:
- He/she will show more independence, wanting to do many things alone.
- Kids of this age may show a preference to playing with friends of their gender.
- Your child might show bossiness, especially when playing with younger children.
- He/she will verbalise emotions, rather than display them through physical actions.
- Your kid will generally be helpful around the house, wanting to please you.
- Help your child understand and label more complex emotions such as confusion and even jealousy. Guide your little one on how best to deal with these.
- When your child does something nice for you or a someone else, be liberal with your praise.
- Continue to teach your child good manners and how to behave in public.
- While your little one might prefer to play with children of the same gender, make it a point to include children of both genders in playdates and birthday parties.
- If your child does something wrong, avoid harsh punishments. Instead, talk to him about the behaviour in question, explain why it was unacceptable, and dole out age-appropriate consequences.
When to talk to your Doctor
If your child:
- Has severe separation anxiety.
- Is consistently aggressive when playing with other children (verbally and/or physically).
- Dislikes playing with other children.
Speech and Language Development
By 5 years 7 months old, your child will talk like a little version of you or your spouse, with a side of sass. Be very mindful of the words and language you use, including how you speak to and about others. Your child at this age mimics your behaviour and speech.
If you speak in two or more languages at home, your child should also be quite fluent in these by now. While he/she might still stumble sometimes with grammar and tense, in general, your 5 years 7 months old child speaks very well and coherently.
Take note of these other speech and language characteristics. Your child:
- Speaks in complete sentences, using up to 7-8 words.
- Reads simple books out loud.
- Writes short sentences.
- Expresses emotion through tone and modulation of voice.
- Communicate with your child as much as possible. The more you do this, the more his/her communication and language skills will develop.
- Encourage your child to keep reading as this is one of the best ways to strengthen language skills.
- Get your child a kid's version of a dictionary and teach him/her how to use it.
- With growing language skills, kids get increasingly better at describing what has happened, what they feel, and what they think. Encourage your child to verbally express such events.
When to talk to your Doctor
If your child:
- Is unusually shy to speak to friends or other people.
- Starts to stammer.
- Refuses outright to talk to others.
Health and Nutrition
This is the golden period of growing and developing in every aspect- physically, mentally and emotionally. A healthy, balanced diet will aid in this. However, kids of this age don't always know what's good for them, including food! As such, you might find yourself struggling to keep your little one away from junk food. Not to worry, persistence is key in all things parenting!
Your 5 years 7 months old child will definitely have food preferences by now and will strongly state when he/she doesn't like the taste of something. While some kids are adventurous with food, others stick to what they know and like to eat. This is quite normal.
Your child needs approximately anywhere between 1500 and 1800 calories to fuel him/her through the day. This is, of course, depending on growth and activity level. Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:
- Boys: 1,715 Kcal/day
- Girls: 1,607 Kcal/day
Their daily nutrition should be composed of the following nutritional elements:
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, turkey or fish, four to five tablespoons of legumes, 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. Do give fresh fruit whenever possible as dried and canned fruit have very high sugar content.
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.
Provide a variety of vegetables through the week. Make sure to include dark green, red and orange hued vegetable, beans and peas, and starchy tubers like sweet potato. If selecting canned or frozen vegetables, look for options lower in sodium.
Introduce a minimum of four ounces of grains in your child’s meals each day. 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 or eliminate refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice.
Your child should drink a minimum of 17 to 20 ounces of milk a day (around 2-3 cups). 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 been given with none due this month. Check if your child's vaccinations are up-to-date by clicking this link. Speak to a doctor about the flu vaccine for your child.
Your child's immune system is still developing. As such, he/she is still prone to common illnesses like colds and coughs. You can boost your little one's immunity by encouraging him/her to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, while drinking adequate water through the day.
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 advise 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 over-the-counter 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.
It’s also important to teach and encourage your child to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing which can help prevent the spread of illnesses.
When to talk to a doctor
If your child,
- Has a fever over 38 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.
Remember, your child is unique and special. You cannot expect your child to be just like you or someone else that you consider to be ideal. Supporting him in his growth. And don't forget to relax, breathe and enjoy this roller-coaster ride called "parenting".
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Next month: 5 years 8 months
(*Disclaimer: This is the median height and weight according to WHO standards)