Your toddler is closing in on their third birthday…
Can you believe it? In a month your child is going to be three years old? Where did the time go? The “terrible two’s” are almost over…and you’ve survived! In this article, we will discuss some of the things you can expect from your child as they enter the final month of their two-year old reign.
As they near their 3rd birthday, your toddler has quite an extensive vocabulary of approximately 800-850 words. They are beginning to speak in longer sentences (4-5 words) and correctly use parts of speech and proper tenses. They should be able to explain how at least one object is used.
Your child will enjoy storytelling and asking endless questions. They are now able to use infliction in their voices when asking questions. They will have a better sense of manners and will be able to use “please” and “thank you” properly without being prompted.
Social and emotional development
Your child is becoming quite the social butterfly at this age. They enjoy engaging in activities with other children and are able to converse well with others their age. They can relate and have empathy for the feelings of others, as well as being to openly express their own emotions as well. They will start to engage in symbolic play, ie: using a hairbrush as a microphone, etc.
Your toddler wants to help you with household chores such as setting or clearing the table or helping put things away (It may be a different story however when you ask them to “clean up” their own toys). They are starting to resist naps as well as they want to constantly take part in what’s going on around them. Bedtime may be a challenge as well, and temper tantrums may still be common. They may also start to develop near fears such as fear of the dark and may become shy around strangers.
Gross motor skills
As they are quickly approaching their third birthday, your child is now full of energy. They will be able to hop, skip, gallop, jump and run. There will be times when they seem that they have boundless energy. They should be able to ride and maneuver a tricycle with no assistance. They should be able to catch, kick and throw a ball accurately.
Your child will want to climb on everything. And jump from everything. It is important to discuss safety with your child and to make sure that they are properly supervised during physical playtime.
Fine motor skills
Your child should be able to fold paper in half properly and will enjoy cutting out different shapes. They are able to trace and maybe even write some letters, shapes and numbers on their own. They will enjoy using paste and glue sticks (with supervision). They can stack higher towers of blocks (8-10) and are able to use feed themselves with no supervision. They are able to drink from a regular cup and use straws by this time.
At this point your child will be able to remember past events and distinguish between past, present and future tense. They are also starting to think more logically and are able to follow more complex directions. They are starting to learn, retain and apply information from experiences. Their attention span is rapidly increasing as they can now focus on a subject for longer periods of time. They can sort things according to categories and explain simple cause and effect relationships.
Is it time to have another baby?
At this point, as your toddler is becoming more independent, you may be wondering if it is the right time to have another baby. A lot of parents and health professionals believe that having children within a 2 to 3 year span is the best time, as the children will be close in age and able to appreciate each other’s company. Also, by this point, your toddler should be completely potty trained so you will not have to worry about having more than one in diapers at the same time (unless of course you have twins or multiples).
Of course you need to take into consideration your financial status and if you are able to balance your career and more than one child. Also your age and health is a factor in deciding if you are ready for another baby. You should definitely discuss things with your partner and your health care professional.
Studies have shown that an age gap under 17 months can increase the risk of premature birth, and birth defects, while a gap of 5 years can result in complicated pregnancies and greater risk health issues for the mother.
If you do decide to have a second child around this point, it important to make sure your toddler is aware of what is going on. You want to do everything possible to avoid sibling rivalry. While you can’t avoid this issue altogether, it can be prevented or decreased if you actively engage your other children in age appropriate aspects of birth and raising the new baby.
It is definitely something you do not want to jump into impulsively. Weigh up the pros and cons and make sure that you are financially and emotionally ready for another baby!