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3 years 2 months old

Katie de Klee
How your pre-schooler will grow and develop, what changes to be aware of, and some great tips for the month ahead.
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What’s happening now:
  • Asking “why?”
  • Nightmares or night terrors.
  • Fussy eating (again).
  • Becoming even more patient.
How your pre-schooler is developing:
Children between the ages of two and four years are particularly prone to nightmares as this is when fears develop and a child’s imagination is very vivid.  Nightmares can be caused by stress that arises from small changes in your child’s life, including potty training and doctor visits. These nightmares are perfectly normal, they are one of the ways your child’s mind processes change. Comforting your child after a nightmare with lots of hugs and kisses is usually all that’s needed to make it all better. Three-year-olds are better at explaining what is scaring them than younger children, but if your child doesn’t want to tell you then don’t push them. You could also try talking about it in daylight when they’re no longer feeling scared.

Pre-schoolers can be fussy eaters. They will object to what the food is, what colour it is, what shape it’s in or what texture it has. Remember that this is partly their way of exerting some control over their lives, and partly just resisting things that are new. Try to be patient with them and disguise new (or healthy) foods so they don’t know they’re actually eating something that’s good for them.

Tips for you this month:
Three-year-olds love asking “why?” as many times a day as humanly possible. You could be getting over a hundred questions a day… The best way to deal with endless curiosity is to keep your answers simple or turn the question around so your pre-schooler has to come up with their own answer. Your child may also ask questions that embarrass you in public, like why someone is a different colour or looks different to you. Answer the questions briefly and in a straightforward way. If you need to explain anything further, you can have another conversation with them later on.

If your child is being fussy at meal times, try to be patient. Keep on offering a variety of food for them to choose from – they won’t necessarily want to try a new food the first time, but once they are more familiar with it they might be more willing to let it onto their plate.
This month’s To Do list:
  • Introduce new foods that are brightly coloured. Talking about a fun coloured food like beetroot can make your toddler more interested. You can even focus on a different colour of the rainbow every day.
  • Avoid any books or TV shows that might scare your child.
  • Treat yourself to an evening out with your partner. 
If you have 5 minutes…
Mom’s top tip.
If your child’s sleep is disturbed and they don’t want to go back to sleep by themselves, try putting a comforting night light in their room, or leaving the door open enough for a light in the hall to shine through.

Curious about next month? 
Click here to find out what happens next month… And the month after.

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