Your Baby’s Progress - Month 36
What’s Going on This Month?
Having gotten through the terrible 2s, you will find your 3-year-old is a very pleasant person to be around. Your toddler will love to talk and can use sentences of five or more words. She will be toilet trained, with an accident only once in a while. She will be able to dress herself, wash her body with guidance and brush her own teeth. She can put on her own shoes.
She can walk up steps changing feet. She can ride a tricycle. She can make friends and play with them for a short while, instead of alongside them. She can open a door. She can turn one page at a time and repeat common rhymes. She can name at least one color correctly.
Usually she can separate from you in familiar settings. She takes pride in her accomplishments. She will respond with pride when you notice positive behavior, such as being helpful, following a rule or doing something for herself.
Caring for Your Child
- Your 3-year-old will have an active imagination. She may have trouble sometimes falling asleep because of fears about the dark or about strange noises.
- Three-year-olds sleep an average of 12 hours a day and some may still need one afternoon nap.
- Colds and flu are common among toddlers, especially if they attend day care or preschool. Be sure your child’s immunizations are up to date.
- Three-year-olds are very active and sometimes have scrapes or bruises.
- If your child is talking too loudly, appearing not to hear you or is not following simple directions, she may need her hearing or language skills assessed.
- By age 3, most children pick a dominant hand to use. If your child appears to be confused about which hand to use, she could be having some coordination problems.
- Your child has a lot of energy at this age. Give her a variety of foods to eat so she has enough energy to carry her through her busy day.
- Give her healthy snacks to eat and brush after meals or sugary liquids.
- Be sure your child is getting plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Growth and Development Activities
- What games does your child like to play? The activities your child enjoys will tell you a lot about how she is developing.
- Children this age love to pretend. They like to have tea parties, pretend dress up and pretend to cook or do housework. Enjoy their world with them.
- Read to your child to help her expand her understanding of the world.
- Give your child large crayons and coloring books to color and paper to draw on.
- Give her beads to string or puzzles to work on to develop hand-eye coordination.
- Let your child help you set the table. Place one plate on the table for each person and then show your child how to put one fork by each plate, then one napkin by each fork. What a good helper!
Developing a Good Relationship with Your Child
- Tell your child that you love her unconditionally. Show it with hugs, kisses, cuddles and pats on the back.
- When you have to correct your child be sure she understands you are upset with her behavior and not her. Be sure she understands what behavior you want her to change and how to change it.
- Pay attention to your child when she talks to you. It sends the message she is important to you.
- When you talk to your child, stop what you are doing and at eye level make eye contact with her.
- Teach limits by setting a few reasonable rules for your child to follow that are doable for her age and abilities.
- Remember that routines will help your toddler to learn to trust and have confidence in the world around her.
- Encourage your toddler to try new things. Try a new food. Learn a new game. Find a new friend. Trying new things will help them build a strong self-esteem.
This page last updated on 3/10/08.