Third Year of Life Milestones

Your child has entered their third year and will continue to grow both mentally and physically.  The following paragraphs talk about some milestones during this time; but remember, children develop at different speeds in different areas.  Should you have any concerns with your child’s progress consult your health care professional.

Youngsters learn by imitation and practice.  Their bodies are becoming capable of more advanced skills as their minds are processing how they, as an individual, can respond to the physical world and others about them. 

Your child’s ability to communicate with yourself and others is improving.  His or her words are more pronounced and understandable.  She’ll continue to imitate sounds and strengthen her vocabulary in the process.  You’ll be able to give her simple, two-part instructions with confidence she comprehends them.  She’ll be able to tell people her name and age and speak in simple sentences.

Toddlers are capable of showing emotions.  They are heart melting affectionate and hair pulling stubborn.  Children of this age can throw amazing tantrums when things don’t go their way.  The youngster may not know why they don’t want to mind, only that he’d really rather not.  He’s experimenting with pushing boundaries, and despite the display, will be grateful when his parents enforce them.

He or she will have increased awareness of their surroundings and the everyday household events.  It can be beneficial to follow a set routine, at least as much as life allows, with a child this age.  It gives them a sense of security in knowing what’s going to take place next.  They will notice a break in routine and giving a simple explanation of what’s going on will help ease their mind. It’s common for toddlers to object to something new in their day despite assurances all is well.

The concepts of self and ownership are beginning to be understood. They also grasp the idea that others have ownership of toys as well.  It helps them to be more willing to share their things because at the end of play their item will be returned.  Most children this age are discovering the pleasure of playmates.

They also are becoming more capable of self-entertainment as their imaginations are blooming.  Pretend play and make believe are usually wonderful examples of toddlers using their creative minds to have fun.  They can work simple puzzles, hold a pencil correctly and draw simple shapes, like a circle.  Playing with blocks is usually fun for them as they understand the different shapes and can stack things to make towers.

Your toddler will probably entertain you with a dance and run to you off the playground.  Their bodies are becoming stronger and more coordinated.  Play with a soft ball is usually fun for them as they kick and throw.  Their wobbly walk will become a heel to toe stride.

Potty training can begin as well as instructing them in basic cleanliness routines.  Once they’ve mastered these tasks, the world of preschool may become open to them (depending on their parents wishes).  Usually they’ll separate easier from their parents at this age, at least after a few weeks. 

Your child is on the path toward becoming a preschooler.  Watching them grow and learn is an experience all in itself.  If possible, try to savor some moments as the hands of time move too quickly.