Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-8-month-old

Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-8-month-old

What is your child up to this month? Take a peek into this development and find out if your kiddo is on track.

From a six-month-old baby to a 5 years 8 months old child, your little one continues to amaze you with his daily prowess. 

In this article, we cover all the common milestones that a 5 years 8 months old child should be achieving, but please remember, every child is a unique individual and will hit his milestones at his own pace. 

5 Years 8 Months Old Child Development And Milestones: Is Your Child On Track?

5 years 7 months old

Image courtesy: Stock image

Physical Development

Your 5 years 8 months old child is able to undress and dress independently, even tie his/her own shoelaces which shows just how much his/her fine motor skills have developed. Your little one now weighs about a whopping 20kg or 44 pounds! Aren’t you just excited that your feeding and nutrition is paying off?

At this age, his/her height is within the neighbourhood of :

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

  • Boys
    – Height: 113.5 cm (44.7 inches)
    – Weight: 20 kg (44lb) 
  • Girls 
    – Height: 112. 7 cm (44.4 inches) 
    – Weight: 19.6 kg (43.1lb) 

Before long, he/she will be as tall as you! But maybe not just yet.

Physical play remains very important. Make sure you encourage your child to play outdoors, rather than stay in one place hunched over an electronic device.

If your child shows interest in more advanced sports like soccer and tennis, now is the time to introduce these. Sports not only promote physical development but also leadership skills and other positive traits in your child. 


  • Help make your child’s motor skills even stronger by engaging with them in physical activities outdoors. Try fun games like balancing a lemon on a spoon race! It’s a great bonding activity too. 
  • Encourage fine motor skills honing by getting your child to practice his writing skills. Keeping a diary a good way to do this, as well as develop literacy skills. 

When to talk to your Doctor

  • If your child cannot run without stumbling.
  • Your child cannot balance on one foot or throw a ball under-arm
  • Your child struggles to grip a pen/pencil properly

Cognitive Development

By now, your little one might be able to read and write a fair bit, and count up to 50 and even beyond. The questions will still continue and this curiosity remains a sign of further-developing cognitive skills. 

Nurture your child’s love for reading and basic maths, as this sets firm foundations for budding literary and numeracy skills — both crucial to proper cognitive development.  By now, your child also understands the concept of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Similarly kids of this age understand the difference between past, present, and future.


  • Get your child STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Maths) toys to play with to enhance cognitive development. These include puzzles, blocks and art-and-craft activities. 
  • Play fun games that encourage your child to think. A good example is a treasure hunt.
  • Bring learning to everyday activities to make it fun and relatable. For example, a nature walk is a great opportunity to teach your child Science, a fun pizza night where you count the “quarters” teaches maths, and a visit to the museum brings history to life. 

When to talk to your Doctor

  • If your child cannot count up to at least 20. 
  • Your child cannot read a basic three-to-four word sentence, e.g. “The cat is fat.”
  • Your little one shows no curiosity about the world and learning in general.
5 years 8 months old

Image courtesy: Stock image

Social and Emotional Development

Your 5 years 8 months old child has well developed social and emotional skills. He plays well with his peers, often preferring this to individual play, and tantrums are minimal or don’t occur at all.

Your little one may wear his heart on his sleeve, and cry when he’s sad or frustrated. This is a normal part of emotional development at this age. Comfort your little one when this happens and encourage him to articulate what made him upset. 

Gone are the days when your child didn’t want to share. You’ll notice an amicable exchange of toys when your little one plays with friends. He may also want to join in adult conversations, which is fine and good for his social development. 


  • Practice what you preach. If you ask your child to not lie, and then lie in front of your little one, it will give your child the wrong message. 
  • Never belittle your child’s emotions. Validate them, and find out what is upsetting your child. Don’t forget to label the different emotions: “Are you feeling sad because Grandma went home?”
  • Avoid promoting stereotypes when it comes to gender and emotions, for example, “boys don’t cry.” Boys do cry, and this is perfectly okay. 
  • While teaching manners to your child is great, never force them to hug people (known or unknown) if they don’t want to. 
  • Understand that sometimes, your child might not want to play with others. This is fine and give your little one the alone-time he needs. 

When to talk to your Doctor

  • If you notice a drastic change in your child’s behaviour. For example, he is suddenly fearful to go to school, or to certain houses for playdates. 
  • If your child displays erratic and violent emotional outbursts. 
  • You child does not want to play with other children at all. 

Speech and Language Development

Your 5 years 8 months old child might amuse you with his “grown-up” talk. Kids of this age speak quite well, and in complete, sometimes complex sentences. Don’t mind the occasional grammatical mistake in your child’s speech. This will correct itself over time. 

By now, your child understands what you say – including instructions – completely.  You might also notice your child commanding younger friends or siblings around, using their ever-expanding vocabulary. 


  • Encourage your child to speak in front of a mirror. This clever exercise allows your child to see himself talking and the expressions associated with certain ideas and words. 
  • Your child mirrors your behaviour, including your speech. Remember to use words like “please” and “thank you” and try to control the tone of your voice when you feel angry or upset. 
  • Continue to encourage your child’s love of reading by buying age-appropriate books. You could also buy a simple, child-friendly dictionary and teach your child how to use it. 

When to talk to your Doctor

  • If your child stammers. 
  • If your little one cannot coherently articulate a simple sentence. 

5 years 8 months old

Health and Nutrition

As your child continues to grow rapidly, it’s essential that you offer a healthy, balanced diet to support this growth. Of course, the occasional pizza or ice cream is fine as a treat. You’ll find that fussiness with food gradually declines and your little one will display clear preferences for certain types of food. 

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

  • Boys: 1,724 Kcal/day
  • Girls: 1,614 Kcal/day 

Your child should drink adequate water for proper hydration. The recommended quantity is 1500ml daily. He/she should also be taking not less than 3 meals every day. Here’s a quick look at your child’s nutritional requirements at 5 years 8 months old. 

Dairy group

Dairy foods like yogurt and milk contain important nutrients for your 5 years 8 months old. Your child will need about 3 cups of milk or yogurt in his/her daily diet. Typically, a child requires 2.5 cups of milk or yogurt in his/her diet—just be sure to choose low-fat options.

In case your child doesn’t like dairy, you can find creative ways to infuse it into his/her smoothies, cereal, vegetables, and savoury food.

Protein group

For kids this age, the CDC recommends 32.4  grams of protein daily.  Think 2-3 small chunks of meat, 1 egg, or 1 small cup of legumes. If your child is a picky eater, not to worry. Almost all children typically enjoy eggs, yogurt and fruit, and chicken.

Fruit and vegetable group

Fruits and vegetables provide you with the opportunity to get creative. Children typically need 3 cups of fruits and 2 cups of vegetables every day. So your best bet is to introduce them as snacks and infuse them into meals as much as you can. That is one banana, one apple, or a bowl of mixed fruits. You can mix fruits with pancakes as well.

Your 5 years and 8 months old child also needs not less than 4 ounces of grains and nuts every day. This includes rice at least once a day, along with some gluten in the form of bread

In summary, here’s what your child needs every day (refer above for what the amounts look like):

  • Fruits: three cups 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)


Continue taking care of your child’s dental health. Please schedule a visit to the dentist if you have never done so before. 

  • Teach your child about hazards as they will be more prone to injuries and accidents with his active schedule. Make sure he understands the dangers of the careless crossing of the road, playing around fire and electrical sockets, etc.
  • Involve your child in preparing simple meals under your careful supervision. Not only will this teach your little one the value of good nutrition, but it will also teach him essential life skills. 
  • Introduce your child to a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and meats for balanced nutrition. 
  • It’s best not to give your child fizzy drinks and sweets which have absolutely no health benefits. 

Vaccinations and Common Illnesses

By this age, most of your child’s vaccinations must 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. 

As your child spends more time in school, he/she may or may not contract common colds and the flu. So keep an eye out for rashes or fever, itching or even body ache. Encourage your child to share any feeling of physical discomfort and rush to the doctor if you are unsure of the cause.

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

Treating Common Illnesses 

To manage the three most common medical issues in kids: fever, cough, and cold; try the following: 

  • To treat fever: If your child has fever up to 38°C (100.4°F), you should first try home remedies to curb the temperature. You can 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. 
  • To treat 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.  
  • To treat 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.

So for instance, 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, a 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 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

Sources: WebMD


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