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3 years 9 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:
  • Character traits emerge more fully.
  • Memory is improving.
  • Mood changes.
  • Still needing a lot of sleep. 
How your pre-schooler is developing:
By now you will really be recognizing your child’s character, and how much of a little person they have become. Some children take longer than others to get used to change. When they are nervous and worried about things, it can come across as shyness. If your child is going to nursery or pre-school, you may find they get very clingy and quiet when it comes to drop-off time. Or you may find they are particularly shy of new people or a babysitter they don’t know. Letting them get familiar with new places and people helps enormously. If your child is going to a new school, take time to visit it first so they can see it and meet the teachers. Let them meet a new babysitter with you before you go out; then when it is time for you to leave them they won’t be quite so wary.

As a child nears their 4th birthday their memory gets much better. They will be able to remember the last few months of their lives and talk to you about things that happened and places they went. They are also able to correct you if you tell a story wrong – so be sure you have your facts straight!

Tips for you this month:
Now that your child is going to nursery school or pre-school, you will hear about the way they interact from their teachers. At this age, you’ll have a good idea of whether they are shy or outgoing. Every child is an individual with their own unique temperament and as much as possible, don’t try to push them to behave in a way that doesn’t come easily. They may also develop other personality traits when they are with other children and you aren’t around – this is the beginning of your baby learning to fly alone.

Despite your pre-schooler seeming so grown up at this age, they still need to get plenty of sleep or the wheels fall off. If your child is tired you will find that they drag their feet and are slower to get on with things they are normally quick at. They might also be clingier or more emotional – all of this is perfectly normal. Children sometimes need more sleep when they’re going through a growth spurt, so be open to an earlier bedtime or a quick nap if you feel it’s necessary.

This month’s To Do list:
  • Make sure your child has a good morning routine.
  • Find out if your child is talkative in the classroom.
  • Get some new educational toys that you can play with together. 
If you have 5 minutes…
Mom’s top tip.
Sing. In fact, make your life a sing-a-long. If your child is having trouble doing things or seems to be in a bad mood, you can encourage them by involving songs. You can have a song for going to the toilet, or for bedtime, or for eating vegetables or tidying up. Look how much singing helped Mary Poppins…

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

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