Child development and milestones: Your 4-years-2-months-old

Child development and milestones: Your 4-years-2-months-old

In this article, we’ll explore your 4 years 2 months old child’s development and milestones, so you can easily keep track of them.

Now that your child is 4 years 2 months old, you’ll notice that his world is expanding beyond the confines of his home.

He is enjoying making new friends and learning new things. Your little one is getting more curious by the day, especially when it comes to differences between people, relationships, race and gender. He will have lots of questions for you!

In this article, we’ll explore your 4 years 2 months old child’s development and milestones, so you can easily keep track of them. Do remember though, that these are just guidelines. Every child is different and will do things at his own pace and time.

If you are worried in any way at all about your child’s development, it’s always best to talk to your paediatrician.

: Is Your Child on Track?

4 Years 2 Month Old Development and Milestones

4 Years 2 Month Old Development and Milestones

Physical Development

Your 4 years 2 months old is able to control movement more easily and is definitely getting more confident about his physical ability.

He will want to explore more skills like skipping, jumping backwards or jumping while running, and will also want to do things on his own. He also exhibits greater hand-eye coordination.

But sometimes he can get too bold or too timid, so he will still need to be supervised during active play.

Here are some skills your child should have by now:

  • Walks easily up and down steps, one foot to a step
  • Runs quite fast
  • Throws, catches, bounces and kicks a ball
  • Climbs ladders and trees
  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Can jump over small objects
  • Does somersaults
  • Stands on one foot for a few seconds, and hop
  • Manages some of his own dressing and toilet needs
  • Holds a pencil or a crayon well
  • Can copy a square, a cross and a triangle
  • Stacks a tower at least 10 blocks high, and can string beads to make necklaces

Parenting Tips:

  • Take your child to places where he can explore his newly-acquired jumping and climbing skills. Remember to watch your child at all times, especially when he is playing outside, or when he is in or around any body of water.
  • Encourage your child to play with other children. This helps him to learn the value of sharing and friendship.
  • Your child is still capable of tantrums and unwanted behaviour, so be clear and consistent when disciplining your child. Whenever you tell him no, follow up with what he should be doing instead.
  • Since he is now able to peddle his tricycle, educate him about road safety and traffic rules. Remind your child of safety rules like holding hands in parking lots and staying away from the stove.
  • Drawing, painting, cutting with child scissors, and stringing beads are activities that can strengthen those small muscles, and hone his fine motor skills.
  • Limit screen time for your child to no more than 1 hour per day of quality programming, at home, school, or child care.
  • Make sure your child gets the recommended amount of sleep every day, which is 10–13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child:

  • Is clumsy, for example, trips over a lot when walking or running
  • Has trouble scribbling
  • Can’t hear a whisper or keeps asking people to repeat things – says “What?” very often
  • Has difficulty eating, dressing or using the toilet
  • Screw up his eyes to see some things, or has trouble seeing them, or his eyes are looking in different directions
  • Loses skills he once had

Cognitive Development

“Where do babies come from?”

“I want a baby brother. Can we buy him from the supermarket today?”

Expect lots of such amusing, awkward and embarrassing questions at this age! But that’s because your little one is trying to understand everything that’s happening in the world around him.

He can now understand more about opposites (for example, high/low), enjoys counting and recognises some words that he sees a lot.

Cognitive Development

Cognitive Development

Here are some key highlights when it comes to cognitive development of a 4 years 2 months old child:

  • Is able to follow 3-part instructions
  • Is able to understand what numbers mean. For example, “There are 3 cars”
  • Can sort objects by size, colour or shape and type
  • Can understand taller and smaller, and compare two things to find out which is heavier
  • Tells the difference between morning and night
  • Says numbers up to 10 and is beginning to count a few objects by touching them
  • Names and matches four colours
  • Recognises some sight words

Parenting Tips:

  • Let your child help with simple chores like laundry and folding clothes, which can help with improving his sorting skills.
  • You can help your child improve his memory by playing simple games like Spot the Difference, Tray Game or Under the Cups.
  • Encourage building and construction games, and do simple jigsaw puzzles.
  • To help your 4 years 2 months old continue learning, just keep talking and asking questions, to get them thinking about what you are seeing and doing. Reading is a great way to get children to think, and learn new words.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child:

  • Doesn’t follow 2-part commands
  • Is easily distracted and unable to concentrate on any single activity for more than five minutes
  • Does not use “me” and “you” correctly
  • Can’t correctly give his first and last name
  • Does not understand “same” and “different”

Social and Emotional Development

Your child’s world is expanding, and he loves playing with other children by now. He is also beginning to understand other people’s feelings and needs.

As your little one tries to impress his friends, he might even resort to some over-the-top noisy and bragging behaviour.

It’s normal for your 4 years 2 months old to be cooperative one minute and overly demanding the next. But overall, he has better control over his emotions by now.

When it comes to pretend play, he might be more inclined towards playing gender-based games, like playing “daddy”.

Social and Emotional Development

Social and Emotional Development

Here are more social and emotional milestones you can expect at this age:

  • Learns to empathise with other people. Your child is more open to sharing and taking turns now
  • Wants to win every game he plays, and is likely to get very upset when he loses
  • Experiences a broad range of emotions, such as jealousy, excitement, anger, and fear
  • Enjoys telling silly jokes and finding other things funny
  • Establishes real friendships, and may even have a “best friend”
  • May tell small lies to get out of trouble, even though he knows it’s wrong
  • Likes to sing, dance and act
  • Able to distinguish fantasy from reality

Parenting Tips:

  • Having a proper routine will help your child feel more secure. It can also help children understand time and time management.
  • It’s a good idea to send your child to preschool now, if you haven’t already. At preschool your child can make new friends, and develop skills like independence, responsibility and confidence. 
  • Organising playdates can also help your little one hone his social skills, and learn how to share and take turns.
  • Teach your child how to be safe around strangers.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child:

  • Is unable to separate from you
  • Isn’t interested in playing with other children
  • Refuses to respond to people in general
  • Shows no interest in pretend play
  • Exhibits extremely fearful, timid or aggressive behaviour
  • Still has problems eating, sleeping or using the toilet
  • Can’t differentiate between fantasy and reality

Speech and Language Development

Your child will love to have long conversations with you, and ask tons of questions too. It’s his way of getting to know more about the world, and the people around him.

By now, he speaks clearly, and can use 5-6 words or more in sentences.

You might also notice him arguing a lot, which is actually helping his critical thinking skills.

Speech and Language Development

Speech and Language Development

Here is what most children can do by this age:

  • Enjoys songs with rhyming words
  • Speaks clearly, but may still have trouble with ‘s’, ‘w’ and ‘r’ sounds
  • Asks ‘Why’, ‘When’ and ‘How’ questions, and asks what words mean
  • Tells long stories which may be partly true and partly made up
  • Speaks sentences of more than five words
  • Sings a song or says a poem from memory
  • Can say first and last name

Parenting Tips:

  • Help your child develop good language skills by speaking to him in complete sentences and using “grown up” words. Help him to use the correct words and phrases.
  • Talk to him about what he does and where he has been. Ask him what he did and what he saw. Listen with interest when he talks to you.
  • Tell stories about when you were a child.
  • Continue to read to your child. Nurture her love for books by taking her to the library or bookstore. Let your child choose what he wants to read.
  • Reading together, telling stories, singing songs and reciting nursery rhymes all encourage your child’s talking, thinking and imagination.
  • While reading with your child, stop and ask your child to guess what will happen next. Help him think, by asking questions about what’s happening in the story.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If your child:

  • Does not speak clearly enough to be understood by other people
  • Doesn’t use sentences of more than three words.
  • Does not use “me” and “you” correctly
  • Is unable to say his first name and last name
  • Doesn’t talk about his daily activities and experiences

Health and Nutrition

Depending on his age, size, and activity level, a 4 years 2 months old child will need about 1,200 to 1,800 calories a day.

Girls at this age range from 98 cm to 104 cm in height and 14.6 kg to 17.5 kg in weight. For boys, the range is 99.5 cm to 105.4 cm in height and 15 kg to 17.7 kg in weight.

Your child’s daily food intake should ideally consist of:

Grain group

Your child needs 5 ounces of grains every day, because grains contain carbohydrates, and that’s where he gets his energy from. One ounce of grains equals one slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or 1/2 cup of cooked pasta or cooked cereal.

Milk and protein group

Your child needs 2-2.5 cups of milk/dairy every day for calcium, which gives him strong teeth and bones. You can also substitute 1 cup of milk with 1 cup of yogurt or soy milk , 1½ ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese.

Meat and beans are great sources of protein for the growing child, and at this age he would need 2 servings of them each day. 1 serving equals 1-3 tablespoons of lean meat, chicken, fish, 4-5 tablespoons dry beans and peas or 1 egg

Fruit and vegetable group

Fruits and vegetables are the primary sources of vitamins and minerals for your growing child, which helps develop his immunity. At this age, he needs 1.5 cups of vegetables and 1 – 1.5 cups of fruits every day.

One cup of vegetables equals 1 cup of cooked or raw vegetables, 2 cups of raw leafy greens, one large tomato, or two medium carrots.

One cup of fruit equals 1 cup of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit, 1/2 cup dried fruit, one half of a large apple, one 8- or 9-inch banana, or one medium (4-inch diameter) grapefruit.

Parenting Tips:

  • Eat meals with your child whenever possible.
  • Let your child see you enjoying fruits, vegetables, and whole grains at meals and snacks. Studies show that children adopt their parents’ eating habits starting early in life.
  • Restrict your child’s intake of food and beverages that contain added sugars, solid fats, or salt.
  • Remember, the healthiest drinks are water and milk.
  • When it comes to fruits, encourage your child to eat a variety of fresh, canned, frozen or dried fruits, rather than fruit juice.
  • If your child prefers juice, make sure it’s 100% juice, without added sugars, and limit his or her servings.
  • Be careful with foods that may cause choking like whole grapes, small, hard foods such as nuts and popcorn, and sticky foods such as marshmallows.
  • Don’t expect your child to clean his plate.
  • A good practice is to let your child choose his own portion sizes. At this age, he should learn to know when he is full.
  • Expect spills as your preschooler hones his self-feeding skills. Try not to make a big deal out of it.
  • Minimise distractions by turning off the TV and avoiding the phone.
  • If you are concerned that your child is eating too little, offer a daily multivitamin appropriate for his age. Multivitamins fill in small nutrient gaps in a picky eater’s diet, particularly for iron, a nutrient that’s critical to a child’s brain development, immune system and energy level.

Vaccinations and Common Illnesses:

By this age, your child should already have had these vaccinations:

  • four doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine
  • three doses of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV)
  • three or four doses of Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine
  • one dose of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine
  • three doses of hepatitis B vaccine (HBV), one dose of chickenpox (varicella) vaccine
  • two or three doses of rotavirus vaccine (RV)
  • four doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV, PPSV)
  • one or two doses of hepatitis A vaccine (HAV).
  • flu vaccine (to be done yearly)

Common illnesses to look out for are the common flu, chicken pox, measles, mumps and possible food allergies.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

If your child is underweight or small for his age, or if he is falling sick far too often, consult a paediatrician to know if this is a normal phase he will outgrow, or if it’s signalling a deeper issue.

We hope this article on 4 years 2 months old child development is useful in keeping track of your little one’s milestones!

Like we said, all children grow and develop at their own pace.  If you have any concerns regarding your little one’s growth, do not hesitate to consult your paediatrician. 

Source: CDC, WebMD


Any views or opinions expressed in this article are personal and belong solely to the author; and do not represent those of theAsianparent or its clients.