Child development and milestones: your 5 years 5 months old
Is your child on track?
Isn’t it amazing what your 5 years 5 months old child continues to achieve? Your little one's growth and development over the course of a few years are amazing!
Now, here are the specific milestones that your 5 years 5 months old child should be reaching at this stage. If you find that your child is reaching these milestones a little late, you shouldn’t worry too much, as children tend to develop at their own pace.
5 years 5 months old child development and milestones: Is your child on track?
At 5 years 5 months old, your child’s fine and gross motor skills are a lot more refined than a few months ago. His/her hand-eye coordination is good and balancing skills have improved in leaps and bounds.
By now, your child’s median height and weight* should be as follows:
– Height: 111.9 cm (44.1 inches)
– Weight: 19.4 kg (42.8 lb)
– Height: 110.9 cm (43.7 inches)
– Weight: 19 kg (41.8 lb)
What other signs of physical development will kids of this age show?
- They can confidently eat with all kinds of cutlery and
- They can hold pens and pencils correctly.
- They catch a ball throw at them from a short distance without dropping it.
- They have better coordination with their legs and arms.
- They can hop from leg to leg without falling over like much younger children.
- Encourage your child to to write, colour and draw more as a way of further honing fine motor skills.
- Physical activity should increase at this point, so reduce screen time and allow your child to play outdoors.
- If your child shows an aptitude for any sport, enrolling him or her in it will aid growth and development even more.
When to talk to your doctor
- If your child still stumbles when he runs.
- If he/she cannot balance on one leg.
- If he/she cannot grasp eating utensils or writing materials.
- If your child cannot seem to hear or see properly
- If he/she loses skills he/she once had.
Your little one is probably in pre-school now, and is arming him/herself with the cognitive skills needed to tackle school.
Cognitive development in your 5 years 5 months old child up to now will showcase the ability to reason and think. At this stage of development, your child will become curious enough to seek out answers independently. This could mean more questions directed your way, with each answer leading to even more questions!
Look out for the following cognitive developments in your child.
- Uses reason and may argue to prove a point
- Follows simple directions.
- Has an understanding of right and wrong.
- Counts to at least 20.
- Knows his alphabet.
- May know how to spell his/her name.
- Can correctly identify colours and shapes.
- Remembers events from the past.
- When your child argues with you, engage him/her further by asking for an explanation of his/her stance
- Buy STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Maths) toys like blocks and puzzles to further hone your child's cognitive skills.
- Visit the museum, zoo, and other interesting places to encourage learning outside the classroom.
- Play I Spy with your child. This game encourages your child's thinking skills and also promotes speech and literacy.
When to talk to your doctor
If your child
- Shows little or no interest in his/her surroundings.
- Cannot count up to 20.
- Does not know the alphabet.
Social and Emotional Development
Your 5 years 5 months old child is the life of the party! Chatty and friendly, your child is all out to please everyone, especially you.
Keep an eye out for these developments:
- Your child will show empathy to others. He/she will know when he/she has hurt someone’s feelings and when to make amends.
- While he/she is much more independent now, your child still needs your love and comfort and will run to you often for these.
- Your child might be bossy when playing with friends.
- Your child might prefer to play with kids of his/her own gender.
- He/she loves the company of friends, but sometimes likes alone-time too.
- Your child is very friendly, even with strangers.
- He/she may lie or tell tales.
- Your child has a sense of humour.
- If you encounter your child lying to you or telling tales, don't shame him/her. Both occurrences are indicative of cognitive development. Talk to your child about why it's not nice to lie or tell tales.
- Teach your child about stranger danger.
- Give your child plenty of love and cuddles for good emotional health.
- Organise play dates for your child and his/her friends.
When to talk to your doctor
If your child,
- Is withdrawn, shy or unwilling to interact with others.
- Doesn’t exhibit or understand a wide range of emotions.
- Behaves erratically or is prone to violent behavior.
Speech and language development
Your 5 years and 5 months old child can now speak using simple, clear sentences. Here are a few common milestones to look out for.
- Your child's speech is easily understood, even by a stranger.
- He/she understands instructions and will also give instructions to others, like younger siblings or friends.
- Your little one is receptive to learning another language.
- He/she can recognise words in a favourite book.
- Your child sings many songs and may even recite a poem.
- Avoid using "baby talk" and speak to your child clearly and simply.
- Ask your child to tell you about his/her day at bedtime.
- Ask questions from your child to encourage speech development even further.
- Keep giving your child age-appropriate books. It doesn't matter if he/she cannot read very well or even at all. What matters is that you encourage a love for reading starting young.
- Teach your child new songs or fun poems.
When to talk to your doctor
If your child,
- Stammers or stutters a lot.
- Does not speak in sentences.
- Cannot speak clearly.
- Refuses to speak at all.
- Loses skills he/she once had.
Health and Nutrition
Your growing child needs a healthy, well-balanced diet. The occasional sugary treat is fine, but these should be few and far between.
Your child needs approximately anywhere between 1500 and 1700 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: 1700 Kcal/day
- Girls: 1593 Kcal/day
Your little one's diet should consist of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats and oils. Grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables should make up a major part of their diet.
Here's a quick glance at your child's daily nutritional requirements:
Your child needs two servings of protein (in total, around 32.4g) each day. One serving equals one to three tablespoons of lean red meat, chicken, or fish, four to five tablespoons of dry legumes and peas, or one egg.
Your child needs at least three 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. Always try to give fresh fruit as canned and dried fruits have a high sugar content. Leaving the skin on adds to your child's fibre intake.
At this age, your child needs 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 - 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 every day. One ounce of grains equals one slice of wholegrain bread, one cup of oatmeal, 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 (one to two-and-a-half cups) 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 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)
- Cut out fizzy drinks and junk food from your child's diet.
- Teach your child to eat the same food as the rest of the family.
- Teach good table manners.
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses
Once your child is 5 years and 5 months old, he/she would have completed most vaccinations. Speak to your doctor about flu shots for your child.
Your child will occasionally come down with the common cold and flu. This is completely normal and will help him/her build a stronger immune system.
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 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.
While some medications for common illnesses 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
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Next month: 5 years 6 months
*Disclaimer: This is the median height and weight according to WHO standards)