Toddler Development:Your 35-month-old
Are you ready? Your toddler is going to be 3 in a month's time!
Remember how your little one used to cruise from one place to another while holding on to furniture? You really have to marvel at his progress. In such as short time, he’s gone from crawling up the stairs to walking up with alternating feet and now descending confidently in the same way.
You might also see huge improvements in his climbing and running skills now that he has more fluidity in their movements.
Walking on a balance beam shouldn’t too much of a problem as well, and he might even beat you at a game of balancing on one foot! Catch a ball? No problem! Especially, if it is a light and larger ball. Parents might also notice fewer toilet accidents now, which also means potty training is almost there.
While your little one is growing up really well, this might also mean he will start giving up his afternoon nap time right about now. So just re-plan your routine around that possibility, and your day should be able to carry on as usual.
Even if your little one has hit his or her 35 month old toddler development milestones, you should still constantly remind him to be careful and not to play on the stairs. Young children have no concept of danger; therefore, the importance of safety will need to be regularly explained and demonstrated to your toddler. Always keep a watchful eye on him and offer to help carry his toys so he can focus on going down the stairs safely.
Advancements in his fine motor skills also mean that your toddler now should be able to screw jar lids on and turn doorknobs. Stacking more than six blocks is now a piece of cake. And their increased focus will allow him to play more structured games with others. Puzzles are still great, but toys with levers, buttons and moving parts will probably pique his interest more.
Activities to Boost Physical Development:
- Now that your child has progressed to ball catching, DO take them outside to play. A beach ball is a great option as it is safer and easier to catch. Being outside also means more freedom for both parents and child to play. Outdoors, there’s no need to stress over all the things that could possibly break in the house.
- Instead of turning the page when reading, why not let your toddler turn the pages since he or she can already turn pages in a book one at a time
- Simple arts and craft projects are not only a great way to keep those little hands busy, they also expand a child’s creativity and innovation.
- One useful tip is to keep some of your toddler’s paintings and turn them into wrapping paper. Not only does it add a personal touch to the present you’re about to wrap, it is also a lovely way to up-cycle them.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- If your child has trouble keeping their balance or going up and down stairs.
- When working with small objects remains difficult for your child. He may not be able to stack more than one block.
- If your child has trouble using both sides of their body, and can’t stand on one leg for more than a few seconds.
- Persistent drooling.
If your almost three year old can distinguish one to three colours during this 35 month old toddler development phase, has a favourite colour (or even requests for a specific colour) and can count to five, these are really good signs that he is developing well intellectually.
Try not to compare your toddler’s progress with milestones other kids might display. Remember, every child is different, and it is ok if they are a little bit behind. Just continue to allow them to develop at their own pace as long as no red flags are raised.
Activities to Boost Cognitive Development:
- Help reinforce your toddler’s knowledge by playing games that get his brain ticking, like naming parts of his body or making animal sounds.
- Any opportunity to reinforce knowledge in a fun way will broaden your child’s development. So play tickle games where you get your toddler to name each part of his body. Or ask him to make the sound of an animal by pointing to a certain animal in a book.
- Rest assured that television programs that foster learning such as Sesame Street or Play School are actually beneficial and not harmful to your child’s cognitive development. That is, provided she isn’t watching television all day, every day.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- If your child can’t copy a circle.
- By this age, children can usually understand simple instructions, so if your child has trouble following one-sentence instructions, talk to your doctor.
- Most children at this age enjoy playing with toys. If your child shows little to no interest in toys, consult your doctor.
Social and Emotional Development
Your toddler might start to show empathy and care for others, such as comforting or offering something to peers who are upset. In addition, your toddler will also begin to build camaraderie with adults and children who they spend lots of time with. He will be much better at sharing now, and will take turns when playing with others.
Keep in mind that he will still continue to copy what adults and friends do. So make sure you watch what you say!
Upon reaching their 35 month old toddler development milestones, your toddler should understand the concept of “mine,” “his,” and “hers”.
With all these new and exciting emotions, you can help your child manage strong feelings and impulses by applying reasonable, clear and easy rules to follow. Use time-outs where applicable but continue to focus on praising the behaviour you want to see.
Activities to Boost Socio-Emotional Development:
- Continue to stick to regular routines, because children really like routines and will easily get upset when you introduce major changes.
- Don’t feel guilty about encouraging your toddler to play alone sometimes. This will help build independence, among other things.
- Allow plenty of time for play, including make-believe and running around. This will help him to learn and grow.
- When reading to your toddler, show him how to relate to what the characters feel in the story.
- Talk and listen to your child. Ask him about what happened during the day with his friends or about what activities he did. This will also help him to better express himself by putting forward his thoughts and feelings.
- Playing make-believe and dressing up are great activities to do with your toddler to expand his imagination too!
When to Talk to Your Doctor
- Children this age are usually more social. Though some kids are more outgoing than others, if your child is always keeping to themselves instead of interacting with others, that might be a sign of trouble.
- If your child can’t maintain eye contact — even with family members — talk to your doctor.
Speech and Language Development
Although not all would have achieved their 35 month old toddler development milestones in terms of language, still, most children can follow more complex instructions by now. Your toddler would also have a vocabulary of 900 words and be able to use nouns, adjectives, pronouns, quantifiers and more.
But his all-time favourite word that gets repeated all the time is still “why?” So expect to keep hearing his persistent questions which will be here to stay for another couple of years more.
Your tot will also be able to listen to and repeat simple nursery rhymes and songs. You should also be able to make out at least 75% of your child’s speech by now. Children with a hearing problem and speech delays will require therapy as soon as possible.
Activities to Boost Speech and Language Development:
- Continue to support his budding language development by diligently reading to him every day.
- Make time to sing simple songs together and play rhyming games to encourage speech and better pronunciation.
- Do limit screen time to one hour a day and fill that time with quality educational programmes.
- It is likely that most toddlers would be able to speak in full sentences, however not all of it would be using correct grammar.
- Remember to answer his questions patiently. Aren’t you glad he is learning?
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- If your child is unable to interpret non-verbal communication
- Inability to maintain or make eye contact with people
- If your child can’t talk in short sentences, identify body parts, or make words plural
Health and Nutrition
Your toddler’s height and weight are greatly affected by genetics, but most 35 month old toddlers are 88.1-102.7 cm tall and 11.2-18.1 kg. You can help reach your child reach their full potential — physically, emotionally, and mentally — by ensuring that he is getting proper nutrition and rest.
Your child should be getting 1,000 kilocalories per day (though you might want to increase this to up to an additional 400 kcal/d if your child is super active). Ideally, your child should have 3 to 5 ounces of grains a day. 1 ounce is approximately 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or half a cup of cooked rice, pasta, or cereal.
Kids also need a variety of vegetables (this means vegetables in different colours — dark green, orange, red, yellow, you name it!). Your child should have 1 to 1 1/2 cups raw or cooked vegetables a day. When it comes to fruit, don’t substitute the real thing with juice (which usually has a whole lot of added sugar, plus doesn’t have all that nice fibre). Try to limit fruit juice to half a glass (4-6 oz) per day. Your child should get 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fruit a day.
At this age, your child can already have low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Give your child 2 to 2 1/2 cups of milk a day for strong bones and protein. And speaking of protein, your child should be getting 2 to 4 ounces a day to build his muscles! Good sources of protein include eggs, lean meat, seafood, soy products, beans, and unsalted nuts.
Your child will get the common cold pretty frequently. Instead of turning to cold medicines, use saline drops or spray to relieve your child’s nasal passageways and an aspirator to get rid of excess mucus. Your child should recover within 5-7 days.
Other common illnesses include gastroenteritis, hand, foot, and mouth disease, fifth disease, pinworms, and the flu — which your child can get vaccinated against.
Apart from annual flu vaccinations, your child should be covered vaccine-wise for the meantime, though if they’ve missed some vaccines, you can catch up before he gets his next round of shots. To be sure, consult your doctor.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- A single episode of vomiting or diarrhoea is nothing to worry about. But if it lasts for more than a few hours, your child could become dehydrated. Call your doctor if your child’s symptoms become more severe.
- If your child gets a fever, don’t panic. A fever isn’t always bad — it means that his immune system is working to fight an infection. But if your child’s temperature spikes up to 40ºC (104ºF), call your doctor right away — especially if he has other symptoms (rash, trouble breathing, vomiting, etc.).
- A cold isn’t any cause for alarm, but if your toddler has trouble breathing, has an earache, or if symptoms last more than a week, call your paediatrician.
- Most rashes aren’t serious, but you should call your doctor if the rash is painful and goes deep into the skin, if your child doesn’t have energy, or if the rash doesn’t get better with over-the-counter treatments.
- If your child gets sick, it’s normal for him to have a loss of appetite. But if he hasn’t eaten properly for two days or longer, you should consult your doctor.
After these 35 month old toddler development milestones, are you ready to handle a threenager? Don’t fret, the key point remains the same: continue to nurture his progress in a loving and patient way.
You might even be pleasantly surprised when your little one ends up teaching you a thing or two!