Catch up on you toddlers development at 33 months…
By now your toddler will start to be very talkative and enjoy engaging in conversation with you and other children close to their age. They will also be extremely inquisitive.
They are able to express a wide arrange of emotions and are using more and more prepositions and adjectives in their everyday speech. Their speech is becoming clearer and more people outside their daily circle will be able to understand them more fully.
By this time you child should be able to say their first and last name. They should also be able to name other members of their family as well as a decent amount of their peers.
Do not be frustrated if your child has trouble expressing themselves at times. They are still learning and are not always able to coherently express their thoughts. They are probably more frustrated than you are at this so just be patient and loving and try to help them express themselves to the best of their ability.
Social and emotional development
At this point your toddler is becoming extremely social and actively enjoys in playing games with others. They may begin to seek out certain “preferred” playmates. And they may begin to have imaginary playmates at this time. This is a normal part of development as your child is learning to develop a value system and be aware of conscious behaviors. They may “blame” their imaginary friend for things they have done wrong, or wish they had not done as they are beginning to develop a more regimented system of values. Imaginary friends usually “disappear” between the ages of six and seven.
Your child will be seeking your approval and praise in this stage. It is okay to do so as it will help build up their confidence and give them a healthy sense of self-esteem.
Gross motor skills
Your toddler will have endless energy at this time and will enjoy engaging in physical play as they conquer new fears such as the playground: swings, slides and climbing. It is important to discuss safety hazards and rules with your child so they will know their limits and boundaries. This is especially important for times when they are not under your direct supervision: such as time spent with relatives or babysitters, or in a preschool or daycare environment.
Your toddler should be able to run and stop suddenly without tripping or falling. They are learning to maneuver around and altogether avoid obstacles in their path.
Fine motor skills
Your child is becoming more adept at fine motor skills. They may be able to trace their name or try to copy it, as well as other letters, objects and shapes. They are starting to develop their own unique talents and abilities.
Your toddler should be able to build larger structures with bigger building blocks and should be completing simple puzzles at this time with no assistance. They should be able to button their clothes and are starting to figure out how to use zippers. Your child may start to randomly dress and undress themselves, sometimes at inappropriate times. While this is part of the learning process, it is important to discuss social norms with your child to help them establish boundaries.
Your child should be able to wiggle both of their thumbs and will begin to enjoy finger plays. They should be able to draw simple stick figures.
At 33 months old your child should be able to describe pictures in their favorite story book and identify a wide range of objects. They should also be able to comprehend object permanence (the fact that people and objects are still there even though you cannot physically see them at the exact moment).
They will begin to use different conversational tones depending on whom they are conversing with at the moment. They are going to notice everything and question everything, so be patient. Spend a lot of time conversing and engaging in creative play with your child. Children learn through repetition and play so it’s important to encourage play at this age. They will have the rest of their lives to be properly educated.
Why isn’t my child sleeping through the night?
You might notice that your child, who at one point slept solidly through the night, now wakes up quite frequently, or suddenly has a harder time falling asleep. This is common as your child approaches the age of three. Their brains are developing at such a fast pace and their bodies are growing non-stop so it may take a little longer for them to settle down at night.
It might be a good idea to have some “down time” or quiet time for an hour before bed. Give your child some books to read, engage in quiet, calm play with your child. Give them a warm, soothing bath before bed. Avoid sugary snacks for 2-3 hours prior to bedtime. Establish a routine, a set time for “lights out” so that your child is on a set routine and has a regular bedtime each night.
If they have trouble sleeping, you might want to leave a night-light on or leave soft music playing for them. Encourage them and give them lots of love and support. Your child is going to cry when you leave, but will never learn to self-soothe unless you leave them to fall asleep on their own. You need to talk to them openly about their fears and let them know that they are safe and you are close by if needed. Let them sleep with a favorite stuffed animal for comfort. It is just a phase and your child will learn to self-sooth and will start sleeping through the night once more.
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