Learn everything you need to know about your 35 month old toddler. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
Do you sometimes feel that most of your conversations with your toddler involve you giving directions? Do this, don't do that, walk away from there, get off the table ... these instructions, important to your child's safety and learning, can make even the most well-intentioned mom feel like a nag who's missing out on fun with her little one.
While parents have to direct their children, it's also important that they talk with them -- meaning they allow their kids to begin and follow through on conversations that interest them. Next time your child is telling you something, make eye contact with him and really listen. Ask him questions and show interest in what he's got to say -- it will do wonders for his confidence and self-worth.
Your tot's confidence is growing in other ways too, particularly in how independent he is becoming. Look at all he is capable of doing now! While it might take a few tries for him to learn a task, be patient and encouraging. Give your tot simple directions on completing a chore and be sure to thank him for his help once it's done. He loves to help you!
Curiosity is another of your youngster's best assets. He might be showing interest in mastering the alphabet and learning numbers. There are numerous opportunities throughout the day to incorporate teaching him without making it boring and potentially frustrating for your toddler. After reading a book, take a couple of minutes to look at the letters in the title or see if your kiddo can count how many animals appear on a page. And of course learning the alphabet song -- perhaps using colorful magnetic letters or foam letters in the tub -- is a time-tested favorite with little kids.
Turning 3 is a terrific reason to celebrate! It's just a month before your toddler's birthday: Are you planning a fiesta? You might be trying to decide if it's going to be a theme party or if you'll hold it at a park or other venue. Are you going to make the cake or buy it at a bakery? And what kind of presents are you planning to give your soon-to-be preschooler on his big day?
Don't forget to consider safety when doing your party planning. Nobody wants a preventable accident to ruin your kiddo's special day.
If you're having the event at a venue other than home and you're driving, make certain you have enough car seats or boosters (depending on your guests' ages) for everyone.
Scope out the party location ahead of time. Will the park be swamped with bigger kids who might run over your smaller party guests? See if the play structures are appropriate for 3-year-olds. If you're going to a park or wide-open space, it's a good idea to include the parents, too, so there are plenty of extra eyes to help you supervise your crew.
When planning the menu, fill it with foods kids won't choke on. You don't want to serve hot dogs and grapes to a group of little kids or you'll spend a lot of time cutting them into safe-to-eat pieces. Additionally, be aware of any food allergies.
Watch kids around balloons; they might be fine if they're out of reach, but if balloons pop and you have a child who still likes to put things in his mouth, that's dangerous. (On the topic of breaking things, it's not a bad idea to go through your home and/or yard and put any valuables, breakables, or dangerous items away from the party area.)
Whether it's by plane, train, or automobile, traveling with toddlers can be a real challenge -- especially if you're flying by the seat of your pants! Don't get caught unprepared. With planning, you can reach your destination with a minimum of fuss (and maybe even a little fun).
Consider your youngster's daily routine when scheduling travel time. Some parents like to drive after dinner so their tots can have some awake time (and a full tummy), then sleep through much of the trip. If you're flying you might not have that option, but do try and stay close to your kiddo's schedule -- meaning meals and naps should not be delayed by much.
Take your child's comfort item. He might be able to better nap on a trip if he can snuggle his favorite blue blanket. If your child normally has a small drink of water before he naps, have it available. Get a good shade for your child's window, too. He might snooze better if he doesn't have sunshine in his eyes.
If you're driving, stop once in a while. Your kiddo will be much more content if he gets the chance to burn off some energy!
You'll need to bring plenty of entertainment. Small toys, music, and DVDs are ideal for distracting stir-crazy kids. Even more fun are travel games you can play together. How many red cars can he count on the road? "I Spy" is a super game to play together on a train or plane where the scenery inside doesn't change much.
Don't forget the snacks! There's not much worse than a hungry tot who's off his schedule. Bring extra in case your travel is delayed.
Lastly, don't forget a positive outlook and sense of humor. A smile can go a long way!