One of the main criteria for a child’s health is physical development. It is characterized by the intensification of growth processes or their slowdown at a certain age. Such features are largely associated with the adaptive reserve of the child’s body.
Significant morphofunctional, mental, emotional, and physical changes in the child’s body occur with each stage of growth. It is necessary to have information on the basic standards of development in specific age groups to understand such patterns.
It is important for pediatricians and parents who are responsible for the health of children to follow age standards. We have selected all the most significant and specific information by age. Consider the features of 4-year-old children, their growth parameters, internal transformations, and key points in development and care.
4 Year Baby Development
The most important qualitative and quantitative changes in the child’s body occur at the age of 4 years. Growth processes are considered slower after 3 years of age. Growth rates for up to 6 years will remain stable. There is a uniform weight gain and an increase in body size. There are many internal transformations in the child’s body.
The proportions of the body in four-year-olds change, approaching more adult features. Let us highlight the main features of the development of this age.
It's The Size of
Based on length and size of a baby at 10 weeks pregnancy we can compare it to strawberry.
It does not feel like anything yet inside your belly, but structure is there and soon enough it will grow big.
How Heavy is it?
0.15 oz ~ 4 gr
Bone structure and enlargement of head has made our baby at least to double in weight between week 9 and 10.
Slowly growing baby fetus is now at 4 grams or 0.15 ounces. Keep in mind that every baby weight during pregnancy is slightly different.
Your Baby is
3.2 CM or 1.25 Inch
It’s hard to measure baby inside your belly during such early development stage.
Overall night is just above one inch or 3 cm. The baby is not measured head to toe yet as it is in round position.
Baby parts development summary at 4 Years Old
Features of the constitution of the body of children at 4 years old change markedly. The proportions become more elongated. The child seems thin and older. Slightly noticeable sex differences in the structure of the body begin to appear. They are still weakly expressed.
The morphological features of the skeleton and the structural characteristics of the muscles are changing. The restructuring of the work of the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory organs continues. Sense organs develop and the work of the central nervous system changes.
Skeleton – The ratio of the sizes of different parts of the spine becomes almost like that of an adult. The growth of the spinal column continues at an age-related pace. The skeleton is distinguished by its flexibility. The ossification process is not finished.
Muscles – Muscle strengthening goes sequentially: first, larger muscle groups and then small muscles. Three types of muscle fibers are formed. The strength and speed of movements increase due to the muscles. Dexterity and flexibility of movements appear.
Respiratory organs – The body’s need for oxygen increases. The functions of external respiration are rebuilt in the chest. The vital capacity of the lungs increases. The narrowness of the airways (larynx, trachea, bronchi, nasal passages) remains.
Heart – The heart rate per minute ranges from 87 to 112. The average blood pressure is 98/60 mmHg. The heart muscle gets tired during exercise and the rhythm of heart contractions is disturbed.
Eyes – The lens of the eye of a 4-year-old child has a flatter shape than that of an adult. There is temporary farsightedness. The muscles of the eye are labile and prone to irreversible deformities. Possible visual impairment.
Organ of hearing – The eardrum is tender and easily injured. Ossification of the auditory canal and temporal bone is not completed. Hearing is sensitive and vulnerable. Disturbances may occur with constant noise. Inflammatory processes inside the ear are frequent.
Your Baby Growth at 4 Year
The size of the child from 3 to 4 years has changed slightly. Body height has increased by 6 cm. This increase will remain approximately the same until the age of 6 years. Body weight is also growing at a uniform pace. Weight increases by 2 kg from the last age mark of 3 years. This trend will continue until school age.
The stability of dimensional parameters is associated with changes in the skeleton. The head circumference of a child from 4 years old practically does not change. This is due to the final fusion of the bones of the skull. Now, this parameter for girls is 50 cm, and for boys 51 cm.
The chest grows at a uniform pace. The circumference of the chest of girls at 4 years old is 52 cm, boys 53 cm. The size of a 4-year-old child is determined genetically and depends on the characteristics of nutrition, lifestyle, and health.
4 Year Old Baby Milestones
The child’s personal growth continues at the age of four. An attitude towards oneself and an understanding of the influence of adults are formed. There is a persistent predominance of qualitative changes in development over quantitative indicators of growth. Children develop mentally, intellectually, and emotionally.
The key points of development are entirely dependent on the parents. The development of speech, fine motor skills, socialization – all this is the result of upbringing in a particular family. Achievements in motor skills are determined by the state of health of the baby and the organization of his active wakefulness.
Let us give examples of the most significant and noticeable moments in the development of a child of 4 years old.
Suggestibility of behavior The mechanism of comparing words with reality is developed at a low level in 4-year-old children. Toddlers are guided by the words of an adult, perceiving information. If parents say that children come from "heaven", then the child takes it literally.
Now is the time when children believe everything. This makes them more accommodating on the one hand and vulnerable and susceptible to the lies of others on the other.
The predominance of excitation Children are now extremely vulnerable mentally. Violent emotional reactions appear with fatigue and a sharp change in familiar conditions. Now the process of excitation prevails. It can maintain a tendency to spread and turn into a steadily increased nervous excitability.
This feature of age is very much manifested if the child's regimen has gone astray. For example, he missed lunch or naps, woke up too early, and extended his waking hours.
Personal development Now a creative attitude to the objective world is being laid. Self-made crafts, constructed houses and cars should be seen and appreciated by an adult. Parents are obliged to praise the baby for the independence of action.
The child is increasingly practicing the development of the “I will do it myself” system. An attitude is formed towards oneself as a person. This is a very fragile structure prone to destruction. Think about what and how you say to your child.
Instability of cognitive interest Children 4 years old very quickly lose interest in certain activities. The child will stop performing developmental tasks if the course of classes is not changed, increasing their value for the child.
A fascinating form of classes stimulates involvement in the process. It is important to reckon with the independence of the decisions made and respect the results obtained by the child. For example, do not criticize when the goal was to build a tower according to the model, but the kid built his own house.
Development of mental processes For 4 years is characterized by increasing arbitrariness and purposefulness of mental processes. Participation of the will in the processes of memory, attention, and perception is manifested. The child practices methods of active knowledge of the properties of an object: measurement and comparison.
The kid separates the large parts of the designer from the small ones. He applies two toys appreciating the difference in size. The child is good at distinguishing colors and shapes. Gradually increases attention span. The processes of arbitrary and deliberate memorization begin to activate.
Improvement of motor skills A new stage in the development of motor skills begins at the age of 4. Particularly noticeable progress in the use of a pencil, pen, and brush. Graphic skills become more difficult. The kid connects the imagination and trains new movements of the hands.
Children 4 years old freely manipulate a pen or pencil. Improves coordination of movements and visual-spatial perception. Children can copy a drawing, write letters, and control the length and pattern of lines.
Achievements in intellectual and psychophysical development are the most important for the age of four. The process of training and education becomes more complicated due to the immaturity of the nervous system. Increased nervous excitability and instability in emotions inhibit cognitive processes.
Mental, personality, cognitive, and speech aspects predominate at key developmental points. They are ahead of physical achievement at this age.
“You need to be especially attentive to the feelings of your child at 4 years old. He can be deeply hurt by indifference and lack of praise.”
4 Year Old Baby Health
Children of four years are prone to respiratory diseases. They often suffer from acute respiratory viral infections, bronchitis, rhinitis, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis. The organ of hearing remains vulnerable to incomplete ossification. This leads to frequent inflammatory processes.
The following vaccinations should be introduced: DTaP, IPV, MMR, and Varicella according to the vaccination schedule from 4 to 6 years. The flu shot remains effective if it has not been administered before. When a child of 4 years old does not eat well, it is recommended to support the functioning of his body by taking multivitamins according to age.
The number of classes at the table for children is increasing. Carefully monitor the observance of elementary norms of light hygiene and the correct ratio of the size of the table and chair. This will exclude the development of curvature of the spine, posture disorders, and the progression of myopia.
Sleeping Schedules at 4 Year
Major changes can occur in a 4 year old sleep schedule. Most children stop sleeping during the day from the age of 3.5 years. They are very much opposed to sleep and arrange tantrums and whims. Children are put to bed during the day in the kindergarten, after which they cannot fall asleep in time at night.
Wake time is still extended. It can be at least 6-7 hours in a row. Sleep during the day lasts no more than 1-2 hours. The baby sleeps at night for 8-10 hours continuously. The daily norm is at least 12 hours.
The daily routine can be strongly tied to the order of the kindergarten or the work of the parents. Early awakening gives a great chance to put the baby to sleep during the day.
It becomes very difficult to keep sleep during the day at 4 years old. If the child strongly resists laying, do not injure him. The formation of a negative attitude towards sleep has much more serious consequences than a change in the regime of the day.
Any changes in the sleep schedule are subject to adjustments that parents must make. You can ask the teacher not to put the baby to bed during the day if the child is having a hard time sleeping at night after sleeping in a preschool. You need to make sure that the schedule change is not too abrupt. This can put the child in a state of increased excitability and stress.
4 Year Old Feeding
The menu of a child of 4 years old should be as diverse as possible. The diet includes 4 meals: breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. A larger volume of servings should be in the main receptions. An afternoon snack remains light and does not burden the stomach: yogurt, scrambled eggs, fruit or vegetable salad, casserole.
The child’s lunch should include two courses: the first (soup) and the second (meat with a side dish). Dinner remains lighter and has more protein. You can make fish dishes with vegetable salad and rice. The basis of the diet should be vegetables (at least 60%), fruits (at least 2 different fruits per day), cereals, dairy and dairy products, fish and meat, and vegetable oils. An additional source of vitamins and minerals are offal, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
4 Year Old Baby Movements
Motor activity and a variety of movements have not reached their perfection. Even walking in terms of its biochemical parameters and bioelectrical activity of the muscles is not ideal. There is still no relationship between walking pace and stride length. Now there are friendly movements of the arms and legs when walking.
The child can run while maintaining balance when changing direction or changing pace. He can stand and even jump on one leg without falling and walking on the crossbar.
Kids 4 years old deftly cope with dishes and cutlery: they are fluent in a spoon, fork, and serving knife. Fine motor movements are now well developed. The child puts together a puzzle, builds constructions with the help of a small designer, and strings beads on a thread. Well-developed graphic movements: draws according to the model, traces along the contour, and hatches within the picture.
Safety Around Child
The child is highly mobile at the age of four. He masters children’s types of transport can play for a long time without parents and interact with peers and adults. His research activity is growing and his special interest is in everything new. This increases the level of danger, the number of risks, and the likelihood of harming yourself.
A high level of gullibility and suggestibility is typical for 4-year-old children. The most relevant is teaching the baby to properly communicate with strangers and behave in dangerous situations.
Life does not cease to be dangerous: appliances with power supply, knives, hot water, sockets. Detailed training should be provided so that the child understands the possible danger.
In a public place – Teach your child to always be near mom, scream in case of danger, and stay in place if lost. Put a note with the address and phone number in his pocket. Teach your baby your full name and address.
On playgrounds and recreation areas – Dress your baby only in bright clothes. You can use illuminated sneakers or luminous bracelets and hoops in the evening. Do not leave the child unattended. Teach your child how to ask for help.
Gas and water – Place the valves of gas equipment as high as possible and away from children. Isolate access to water taps or shut off the water. A child may open a faucet and cause a gas leak or water flood.
Doors and locks – Place the locks on the doors so that the child cannot reach them. Children often lock themselves in an apartment, putting themselves in danger. Make sure doors are closed in areas where household chemicals are stored.
In the backyard – Give your child a safe space away from the pool by allowing them to play in the backyard. Check whether the exit to the street is well closed so that the child does not leave the backyard. Always keep your child in sight.
In nature – Use a protective cream when relaxing in the open sun. Wear tight stockings, and use tick spray and hats in the woods or grass. Do not allow independent games near ponds and forests.
What To Schedule Next
Properly plan vaccinations at 4 years. It is not necessary to do all vaccinations at once. The age-appropriate vaccines can be distributed so as not to heavily burden the immune system and not injure the child. It is planned to make vaccines DTaP, IPV, MMR, and Varicella from 4 to 6 years of age.
Schedule an examination with a surgeon if you notice postural problems in your child. Plan physical therapy, massage, and exercise therapy. Make an appointment with an ophthalmologist if your child has vision problems. Plan your child’s day so that he is not heavily loaded with monotonous activities. Dilute mental activities with physical ones.
Parents Tips and Development Speed Up
To be able to get along with your child, understand him, bring him out of tantrums, to calm him down is the main task of this age. Now your support is especially important for the baby. Do not focus on other children and their parents. Your child is a separate individual and a personality that develops at its own pace.
- Get your child out of tantrums – Kids 4 years old cannot cope with the influx of negative emotions on their own. Do not leave the child alone with his tantrum. Hug him and calm him down by stroking his body and saying kind words.
- Provide personal space – Give your child a separate room. Teach him that there are limits to his personal space and the inviolability of the body. Let the child know what is acceptable and what a violation of personal boundaries is.
- Get down to his level – If there is a need to educate or scold a child, always lower yourself to the level of his growth. Do not raise your voice when you are above the child. It’s very aggressive. The baby will lose confidence in you and gain fear.
The stability of attention in a child remains at a low level at 4 years. You should constantly involve the baby in a new type of activity and not force him to concentrate on one task for more than 8–10 minutes for progressive development and productive knowledge of the world. Children get tired quickly.
5 Ways to Speed Up Development
- Account – Learn numbers, counting orders up to 10, and simple math examples.
- Writing – Engage in copybooks, graphic dictations, tracing along the contour, and stencils.
- Development of creativity – Draw on free themes, do crafts, go to dances, and play music.
- Training endurance and patience– Go in for sports, practice monotonous activities: lacing, puzzles.
- Reading – Read every day. Learn letters, and expand your child’s vocabulary.
Try not to overload the baby when using various child development techniques. Children should have a carefree childhood without unnecessary brain activity. Now it is important not to miss the moment of getting interested in learning. Don’t create a negative perception of the process.
Most of your time should be devoted to the child. He still needs close communication with his parents, understanding, and approval of his actions.