Child development and milestones: Your 5 years 3 months old
Did you know your child can tie his own shoelaces now? There are many more things your child can do at 5 years 3 months old!
Your 5 years 3 months old child shows no signs of slowing down on all developmental fronts! His rate of learning continues to develop at a rapid rate. Your independent child is getting ready for pre-school, if he’s not already started. In fact, you’ll find your child is calmer when he’s at school compared to when he’s at home. He’s enjoying his new environment and learning all sorts of new things.
Let’s take a closer look at the milestones your 5 years 3 months old child may have reached. Also, please remember that this is not a diagnostic tool but a guideline. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, please speak with your doctor for further consultation.
At 5 years 3 months old, your little one is quite the athlete! He is running, skipping, and jumping without an issue. His body and mind are very active as he continues to learn more about the world around him while enjoying the process.
Your child might have dropped his day-time nap, but he should still get around 11 hours of sleep each night. It’s also good for your little one to grab a quiet moment ever so often. This could be dedicated reading time or doing a puzzle instead of running around. Having additional rest also helps regulate his energy levels and feel positive when dinner rolls around.
Your 5 years 3 months old child should be able to do the following:
- Put on his shoes alone
- Balance on one foot for at least 10 seconds
- Clap to a tune
- Use a fork, spoon and sometimes a knife to eat his own food
- Stay dry at morning and night (usually)
- Go to the toilet and even shower on his own
- Turn a cartwheel
- Confidently climb up steps, keeping one foot per step
- Runs without stumbling
- Can confidently climb play equipment or even a tree
- Don’t stay too far away from your child while he bathes. He might seem confident in his abilities. But just to be safe, stay close in case there are any mishaps.
- Bring your child to new playgrounds and encourage him to “conquer” a new piece of equipment there.
- Consider enrolling your child in a swimming class if you haven’t already.
- Limit screen time and encourage plenty of physical activity.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- If your child has cloudy or pink wee, experiences burning sensations while peeing, or is frequent wetting the bed
- Is very clumsy when active
- Squints or you feel like he cannot hear you
Your child never ceases to surprise you with how much he remembers and continues to learn. He can concentrate for 15 minutes at a time which serves him well in school. Speaking of which, your little one will have many more things to learn on his own.
As a parent, you’ll find your role involves balancing your role between nurturing and encouraging your child. It’s easy to become overprotective which is why encouraging your child may be challenging. Allow your little one room to explore and experiment in new situations. If he is struggling, resist the temptation to jump in and rescue him.
Keep an eye out for these developments in your child:
- Grasps the concept of “right” and “wrong”
- Writes some letters of the alphabet
- Writes some numbers
- Counts to at least 10
- Recites the alphabet correctly
- Draws a person with a body
- Can focus on a task for at least 5-10 minutes
- Can read two-letter words
- Introduce your child to new activities. Encourage him when he’s trying and not able to complete his task until he finds the solution on his own. This gives your child a chance to build his confidence and problem-solving skills.
- Practise puzzles with 12 pieces. It might not seem like a lot, but your little one will learn how to piece together bigger puzzles afterwards.
- Encourage your child to plan ahead and explain what his next activity might be. This stimulates his ability to plan for the future.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
- Cannot focus on a task for even five minutes
- Cannot hold a crayon with two fingers
- Loses skills and abilities he once had
Preschool presents a new ball-game and presents your child another opportunity to establish new relationships. Your child will show more interest in other children and adults outside of the family. In fact, he enjoys playing with children of the same gender.
He still wants to do his best to impress you. He’ll run back home and proudly tell you his results from tests and homework. Remember to praise your child when he does well and to encourage your child if he feels disappointed in his academic performance.
In general, your little one will achieve these milestones at this age:
- Is more self-confident
- Enjoys playing with peers
- Shares toys willingly
- Understands and follows instructions
- Imitates adults, including emotions
- Can tell when another person is happy, sad or angry
- Understands the difference between fantasy and reality
- Encourage your child to make his own choices as often as possible.
- Remember to talk with your child if you catch him lying. At this point, your child will become more competitive and experiment with bending the rules to get what he wants.
- Install parental controls on computers and the TV.
- Remember to keep an eye on your child when crossing the road. Your child is becoming more and more independent from his parents. However, he is willing to take bigger risks to show how independent he is.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- If your child is very shy or quiet after coming home from school, this could be a sign of bullying.
- If he is showing extreme signs of aggression.
Your 5 years 3 months old is quite the conversation partner to have! He speaks in flowing sentences with 5 to 8 words at a time. He understands most of what you say, as long as you don’t throw in jargon or very long words! But if you do, your curious child will ask you what these words mean. And his vocabulary is at 2,500 words!
As impressive as your child’s linguistic abilities are, you may notice he has a lisp when pronouncing certain words with the “s” consonant. If he is pronouncing seven as “theven”, don’t worry. It’s very common among children this age as they are still learning how to vocalise many new words. He will grow out of the habit by age seven.
Other speech and language milestones your child may have reached by this point include:
- Ability to debate (and even argue!) with you. Using “because” very often
- Uses opposites as a way of comparison, e.g. “Your hand is bigger than my hand”
- Uses future tense
- Begins understanding certain words can have multiple meanings
- Understand jokes better
- Using the possessive form of nouns, e.g. “The car’s wheels are round”.
- Try tongue-twisters to help your child recognise different sounds. Or play a clapping game at home, where you ask your child to clap the number of times he hears a particular sound in a word or sentence after you read to him.
- Encourage your child to talk to you about the school day, especially his likes and dislikes. This helps prepare him for show-and-tell in school, as well as learn how to express his feelings.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- If your child does not use the past tense at all
- If your child doesn’t ask questions about unfamiliar words or situations
Your big kid will weigh around 17kg-20.3kg in weight and be roughly 106cm-112.2cm in height. He will gain 6cm (2.5 inches) by the time he reaches 6 years old, and 1.8kg-3.1kg (4 to 7 lbs) each year.
As your child is growing quickly, his appetite will naturally increase as well. While he might be able to chow down 1,200 calories and more, it’s important to provide sufficient nutrients and minerals in his meals.
|Nutrient/Mineral||Recommended Daily Amount||Food Sources (nutrient/mineral value)|
|Calcium||1,000mg||2 cups milk (150mg) OR 2 cups yoghurt(207mg) OR 2 slices Swiss cheese (112mg)|
|Iron||10mg||small bowl of cereal (12mg) OR 1 slice of wholemeal bread (0.9mg) OR a small handful of raisins (0.7mg)|
|Essential Fatty Acids (EFA)||10g of Omega-6, 0.9g of Omega-3||child palm-sized piece of salmon (0.425g) OR 1 hardboiled egg (0.1g) OR a handful of walnuts (2.3g)|
|Magnesium||130mg||Small bowl of all bran cereal (93mg) OR 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (25mg) OR half a banana (16mg)|
|Vitamin A||0.4mg||3-5 chunks of sweet potato (3.8mg) OR quarter of a bell pepper|
|Vitamin C||25mg||2 cups fresh orange juice (50mg) OR 6 florets of broccoli (30mg) OR 1 tomato (5mg)|
|Vitamin E||7mg||28g peanuts (2mg) OR 40g raw mango (0.9mg)|
|Potassium||3,800mg||Half a baked potato (463mg) OR 5 chunks of cantaloupe (208mg) OR a handful of spinach (210mg)|
|Zinc||5mg||child’s palm-sized piece of cooked beef (3mg) OR child’s palm-sized piece chicken (0.6mg) OR 2 slices cheddar cheese (0.4mg)|
- Avoid overfeeding to help your child reach a standard for weight – every child is different and shouldn’t be forced to conform to an average. Your doctor will have a custom growth chart for your child which you should refer to.
- If your child is starting to show left-handed dominance, remember to position him where his elbow won’t collide with a neighbour’s elbow while eating! This can save a lot of tears and ensure everyone enjoys their meal comfortably.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
If your child:
- Is severely under- or over-weight
- Has unusual rashes, lumps or bruises
- Has a fever over 39 degrees C
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses
Most of your child’s vaccinations have already been covered at this age. Do check with your doctor for common ones your child needs on a more regular basis, like the flu shot.
As your child spends more time in school, you should expect to contract more common colds and the flu. There may also be rashes that develop on his body which you should keep an eye out for. Encourage your child to tell you if there is any discomfort on his body, or if you notice any itching.
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