Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-4-months-old

Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-4-months-old

In this article, we will track the physical, cognitive, language, emotional, and medical development and milestones of your 5 years and 4 months old

This is a very exciting and challenging time for your 5 years and 4 months old child. On the one hand he is straddling the not-so-distant past as a baby, and on the other, his future as a preschooler. Naturally then, you’ll sometimes notice extreme emotional contradictions in his behaviour.

But the good news is that this is also the age where he has more control over his emotions. He understands instructions much better and is able to follow through. This will help him sit in classes for a longer period of time, concentrate on his teacher’s instructions, and learn things faster.

What else can you expect from your 5 years 4 months old child? Let’s take a look, keeping in mind that every child learns and develops at his own pace. If you are worried about your child’s development, you should consult a doctor.  

5 years and 4 months Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?

At this age, kids start looking much less chubby and more like the grade-schoolers they will soon become.

At this age, kids start looking much less chubby and more like the grade-schoolers they will soon become.

Physical development

At 5 years 4 months old, your growing child has left behind his teetering toddler days. At this age, kids start looking much less chubby and will have long limbs and leaner bodies. This is because around this age, kids’ weight gain slows down and they gain muscle. 

As far as physical development is concerned, you’ll also notice that he will gain 1.8-2 kilos in weight this year and grow up to two inches in height. His vision will also become 20/20.

In addition to these, check for the following 5 years and 4 months old development and milestones:

  • Size of his head is almost the same as an adult  
  • Might begin to lose baby teeth
  • Body is now almost adult-like in proportion
  • Is extremely active 
  • Is capable of visual tracking and even has a binocular vision  
  • Don’t be surprised to see him walking backwards, in a toe to heel direction
  • Can now walk up and down the stairs, unassisted
  • He can touch his toes without bending his knees and even attempt somersaults, if taught properly
  • Your little acrobat can also walk a balance beam and skip with alternate feet
  • He can now catch a ball thrown from around 3 feet away
  • Can ride a bicycle or tricycle with skillful steering
  • Jumps and hops forward almost 10 steps, without falling
  • Is able to demonstrate a fair control over markers and pens and can even colour in between lines

In addition to these physical developments, you’ll also notice that your growing child has a fairly well established hand dominance. He is also able to build three-dimensional structures using small cubes, by copying from images.


  • Help your child use all that energy in learning new skills and participating in physical activities. Do this by enrolling him in age-appropriate sports or physical activities. 
  • Teach your child table manners to go along with his adept cutlery-holding skills. 
  • Encourage him to become more independent in his daily routine while honing fine motor skills. Practise activities such as tying shoelaces or doing up buttons or zips. 

When to talk to your doctor

If your child

  • Is unable to walk straight or stand on one of his feet, or jump
  • Has difficulty holding a pen or pencil
  • Is unable to hold and use cutlery
At 5 years 4 months old, your smart bubba can also sort objects so they all have the same common features, like food, animals, or toys.

At 5 years 4 months old, your smart bubba can also sort objects so they all have the same common features, like food, animals, or toys.

Cognitive development

Just as your child body is developing at a fast rate, so is his mental ability. Your child’s cognitive development enables the solving of complex problems, sorting objects and of course, asking even more questions. 

Expect to observe these 5 years and 4 months old milestones:

  • Rote counts to 20 or above. Some kids even count to 100
  • Sorts objects on the basis of only two dimensions such as colour or shape.
  • Creates a square from two triangular blocks
  • Understands the concepts of “tallest,” “biggest.” He can even line objects based in order of their size- smallest and largest
  • Basic understanding of the concept of ranks: first, second, and last
  • Some kids can tell time on the clock: two o’clock or five o-clock, being the common examples
  • Recognises coins and is beginning to ‘save’ money
  • Easily understands the concept of half
  • Asks innumerable questions and is especially curious about objects and people around him


  • Expose your child to a variety of activities and experiences. Introduce new “toys” like a clock, to help introduce new skills and concepts. 
  • Practice writing the letters of the alphabet together. Make it fun by doing this in a sandbox, at the beach, or forming the letters with buttons or small stones. 
  • Give your child three-step instructions, guiding him if needed. 
  • Practice counting objects and people, as well as reading/ reciting words and alphabets. 

When to talk to your doctor

If your child

  • Is unable to rote count to five or word any letters or words.  
  • Isn’t interested in anything around him and barely asks any questions  
At 5 years and 4 months old, your little one is an obedient child and subservient to his parents and caregivers.

At 5 years and 4 months old, your little one is an obedient child and subservient to his parents and caregivers.

Social and Emotional Development

By the age of five, most kids develop steady friendships and even have a best friend or two. 

Your child will also play cooperatively, is more generous with toys, and is willing to share. He also participates in group play and shared activities. You may notice that he even suggests elaborate play in an imaginary set up.

Your little one is also turning into an entertaining little clown. He loves to engage family and friends by performing for them. 

Other social milestones including the following:

  • Your child is caring and supportive and shows empathy to those in pain.
  • Your child is quite obedient and will listen to you most of the time. 
  • Needs constant reassurance and love from you still. 
  • Has much better control over emotions. Tantrums have vanished or are very rare. 
  • Enjoys conversing with people other than family and friends.
  • Might boast about his achievements


  • At a time when kids are discovering “best friends”, they may encounter rejections, too. Communication is the key to help your child understand the ways of the world.
  • Give your child the freedom to make his own choices as far as friends are concerned. Don’t force people on him.
  • It’s also important to keep a close watch on his classroom and playroom activities, especially if he’s been acting aloof at home. Bullying is common at this stage when kids try to establish their authority over their peers.
  • Don’t refrain from expressing your love and support for your child.
  • Encourage outdoor activities with other kids.

When to talk to your doctor

If your child

  • Is always aloof and avoids talking to anybody.
  • Is not willing to go to school or play with his friends at home.
  • Constantly complains of a tummy ache (this could indicate anxiety)

Speech and language development

At 5 years 4 months old, your kid can express his wants and needs in his own words. He’ll be able to make everybody understand his message as well as react positively to instructions.

At this point, his vocabulary consists of  1,500-2,000 words or more. Your child can also define objects by their function. This means he might say “this ball can bounce,” or “our bed is to sleep in.”

An important 5 years 4 months old child’s speech development indicator is intelligible speech. Your kid is now able to produce sentences of five to seven words. 

These however, are just a few of the many speech and language milestones he’ll hit at this stage. Expect the following as well:

  • Can identify and name four to five different objects
  • He can tell a similar and known story by simply looking at pictures
  • Easily recognises 10 colours
  • Is smart enough to recognise humour in simple words, and can even make up and crack jokes himself
  • Your child can now state his own name, city, town, and his parents’ name
  • You can trust him to answer a phone call appropriately and even take messages
  • May use past tense with ease


  • Encourage your child to read simple books so he learns to polish his sentences and pick up on new words and letters.  
  • Help him recall the names of his siblings, parents and even home address and number. By this age, they are able to learn these basics quickly and remember for good.
  • Practice framing proper sentences with him and recite poems or rhymes together.   

When to talk to your doctor

If your child

  • Is unable to speak clearly and appears to slur
  • Doesn’t remember the name of parents or siblings
  • Cannot say a proper sentence

Health and Nutrition

Your kid weighs anything between 17 kgs and 19 kgs and is around 41.7 – 44.2 inches tall

Your child needs around 1,200 calories daily, plus plenty of sleep and regular nutrition.

Nutrient Amount Needed Daily What To Feed Them
Calcium & Vitamin D 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 3,000 IU (International Units) of vitamin D 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup fruit salad, 1 small cup of orange juice, or 2 slices of cheese. 
Iron 10 milligrams 4 small beef, chicken, turkey, fish or pork meatballs with spaghetti; or half a cup of cereal, rice, bread, and pasta packaged with the words “enriched” or “fortified”.
Vitamin C No more than 650 milligrams/ day 3-4 strawberries, 1 orange, quarter of a chopped red pepper or 7-8 florets of broccoli. 

Vaccinations and Common Illnesses

By now, your child should have got the following vaccinations:

The most common illness you need to watch out for include common cold and flu, as well as Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. 

When to talk to your doctor

If your child

  • Is severely under- or over-weight
  • Is stunted in height
  • Breaks out in unusual rashes
  • Has unusual lumps, bumps or bruises
  • Has a fever over 39 degrees Celsius

References: CDC, NICHD, Mayo Clinic, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital