Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-9-months-old child
It's truly amazing to see how far your 5 years 9 months old child has come, in terms of his growth and development.
Can you imagine that the little baby you used to cradle in your arms is now 5 years 9 months old? Now, he’s already full of personality, and it can be a bit difficult to keep up with the rapid pace of his development!
That’s why we prepared a guide to help you know the development milestones of your 5 years 9 months old child. However, don’t be too worried if your little one hasn’t reached all of these milestones yet. Children develop differently, and at their own pace.
What’s important is that you nurture your child’s growth and development so that he grows up healthy!
Physical activity and play are still very important when your child is 5 years 9 months old. This helps keep them healthy and instills the benefits of physical activity and exercise early on; which they will carry with them until adulthood.
At this age, your child’s average height and weight should be as follows:
– Height: 113.5 cm (44.7 inches)
– Weight: 20. kg (44.1lb)
– Height: 112.7 cm (44.4 inches)
– Weight: 19.6 kg (43.1lb)
Your 5 years 9 months old child should now be able to do a lot of things by himself. He should be able to jump rope, walk downstairs without any trouble, skip, and play various sports. Remember that your child needs around 8-10 hours of sleep every night for optimal rest.
Here are some things that your little one should be able to do at this age:
- Use a skipping rope, even just for a few jumps
- Throw and catch a ball without too much difficulty
- Take part in team sports, understanding the rules
- Ride a bike without trainer wheels
- Tie knots and bows, including his own shoelaces
- Ask your child to take up a sport, and play with him to build his physical abilities. It’s also a good way to bond with your child.
- His fine motor skills are still developing, so it’s a good idea to encourage your child to write and draw, to help improve those skills.
- Some kids at this age have a hard time staying still, and that’s totally fine. Kids this age can be pretty energetic. Make sure you provide your child with plenty of outdoor play opportunities to burn off that energy.
When to talk to your Doctor
If your child
- Has a hard time getting to sleep, resting or is too hyperactive to the point that he really can’t slow down.
- Is unable to hold on to small objects, or still can’t use a pen or pencil to write properly
- Has poor body-limb coordination
At this age, your child can easily handle conversations with other people, or kids of the same age. He should also be able to count up to 50, and can easily understand what you’re trying to say. He can also tell and laugh at jokes, and even riddles.
Let’s take a look at some other markers of cognitive development you can expect.
- Can perform simple addition: 1+1 or even 1+2
- Reads two- and three-letter words in books
- Understands concepts of time related to past, present and future
- Debates and negotiates to get what he wants
- Can count backwards from 10 to one
- Easily understands a three-step directive
- Remembers and talks about incidents from the immediate past very well
- STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Maths) toys are great for building your little one’s cognitive development.
- This is a great time to instill a love of books and literature in your child since his capacity to learn is on overdrive at 5 years 9 months old.
- Incorporate lessons in your daily activities. If you’re going with him to buy groceries, ask him to count the things you bought. You can also ask him to read various signs, or even labels when you go shopping.
- Promote critical thinking abilities in your child by asking open-ended questions (those that cannot be answered with just a “yes” or “no”). You can do this after reading books together, or answer your child’s questions with such a question.
- Bring your child to a public library and teach him to look for books he wants, and research topics he wants to know more about.
When to talk to your Doctor
If your child
- Shows little to no interest in learning new things
- Has trouble counting up to 20
- Is unable to read simple sentences, or has a very hard time doing so
When your child is already 5 years 9 months old, he quickly makes new friends and easily interacts with other people, even strangers. He should have no trouble sharing his toys, as well as taking turns when playing.
What else should you expect on the social and emotional development front?
- Tantrums vanish or are very rare.
- He is very vocal about his feelings
- Your child will want approval and validation from you
- Might be shy on certain occasions, such as if asked to sing in front of a visitor
- Will like to play or be alone sometimes
- Encourage your little one to engage in team sports to develop his ability to work with others
- When your child feels sad, angry, or frustrated, be sure to acknowledge and validate his feelings. Don’t ignore these things, even if for you, they seem trivial.
- This is a good time to teach your child the proper manners, and to always be respectful to everyone.
- Teach your child to socialise and play with other kids, but don’t force him to do so especially if he’s in the mood to have some alone time.
When to talk to your Doctor
If your child
- Doesn’t get along well with other children.
- He still has frequent tantrums, and can’t handle his emotions very well.
- Constantly prefers being alone, or actively tries to avoid interacting with other people.
At 5 years 8 months old, your child can already speak pretty well. Sometimes, he’ll even butt in when adults are having conversations!
Your little one can also learn and remember 5-10 new words a day, so this is a good time to build up his vocabulary.
Here are some other developments to expect:
- Correctly uses pronouns like I, me, he, she and we
- Ask questions for information
- Makes “threats” or promises
- Retells simple stories
- Can identify uppercase and lowercase letters
- Knows that the page of a book is read from left to right, top to bottom
- Tries to spell words when writing
- Your child can learn a lot from the way you speak. So be sure to be polite, and mindful of other people whenever you talk.
- Books are a good gift to give your little one at this age. Kids can learn a lot from reading, and the act of reading can help reinforce his vocabulary and language ability.
- Introduce new words into your child’s vocabulary each day. Encourage him to use those words in his speech in order to expand his vocabulary.
When to talk to your Doctor
- If your child stammers or has difficulty speaking.
- If he has a hard time understanding new words.
- He can’t form simple sentences.
Since your child is already 5 years, 9 months old, he starts to become less fussy when it comes to food. It’s a good idea to let him try out different foods, in order to expand his palate.
Of course, giving your child healthy and nutritious food is essential in order to boost his body and brain’s development.
At this age, the typical calorie intake for your child is: should be getting between 1,700 to 1,800 calories a day.
- Boys: 1,729 Kcal/day
- Girls: 1,621 Kcal/day
Here’s a quick look at some of your child’s nutritional requirements at 5 years 9 months old.
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 three (100g) cups of fruits every day. 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 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)
Additionally, make sure your little one drinks enough water throughout the day.
- This is a good time to be mindful of your little one’s teeth. It’s a good idea to bring them to the dentist so they can get used to getting their teeth checked and/or cleaned.
- Introduce your child to a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and meats for balanced nutrition. He should be eating these on a daily basis.
- Avoid giving your child sweet drinks such as soft drinks, and opt to give him fresh fruit juice (with pulp) instead.
- Having healthy snacks are just as important as healthy meals, so be sure to give your child snacks such as nuts, fruit slices, or carrot and celery slices.
At this age, your child’s vaccinations should already be complete. And aside from the yearly flu shot, there are no other vaccines that should be given at this age.
Here’s a checklist to remind you of the vaccines that your little one should already have:
- BCG vaccine
- HepB vaccine (3 doses)
- DtaP vaccine (3 doses)
- Poliovirus (3 doses)
- PCV (2 doses)
It’s always a good idea to follow your doctor’s recommendations on what vaccines your child needs to have.
In terms of illness, flu and colds are the most common problems at this age. Some tummy trouble might occur, but it should be pretty rare, especially since your little one’s immune system should already be well-developed at 5 years 9 months old.
To manage the three most common medical issues in kids – fever, cough, and cold – try the following:
- Fever: If your child has a 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.
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.
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
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