Developmental Milestones: Age 3
When your child reaches the age of three, you are in for a tremendous treat. Hopefully, you’re out of the awful twos and into the fantastic threes. Three-year-olds are significantly more autonomous and talkative than previous generations. Year 3 is also a year full of exciting firsts, such as potty training and making new friends.
You should see your three-year-old become more confident when speaking. At this age, children are rapidly learning new words. “At 36 months, [your child] understands 1000 or more words [and] obtains an average of 1500 to 2000 words during this year,” according to PBS Parents. In addition, your child will begin to speak in short sentences. One of the surprises for parents at the age of three is their child’s ability to converse and ask questions.
Your three-year-old will start making pals. He used to play with his friends side by side when he was younger. Your child will begin socializing with peers and playing with them at this age. You will also notice more imaginative play with peers, such as pretending to cook or dress up. As a result, social interaction should be promoted.
Furthermore, your child’s social skills will influence his conduct. Your kid will begin to learn how to behave among others both inside and outside of your home when he or she is three years old. Some three-year-olds defy authority, while others are submissive. They are only learning to behave right at this age, so you should anticipate spending a significant amount of time teaching and reinforcing excellent behaviors.
While your three-year-old will still get enough sleep, you should expect some sleep alterations. For example, it is normal for children to stop napping between three and four. When the nap is no longer taken, it is even more important that your child gets adequate sleep. Experts recommend that children this age sleep for 10 to 13 hours per day.
Three-year-olds are also learning to perform more “big kid” things like riding a tricycle. Their gross motor abilities will have matured to the point that they can perform these exercises and balance on one foot. Furthermore, their fine motor abilities have improved at this age, allowing children to perform tasks such as buttoning and unbuttoning, zipping, and drawing rudimentary shapes with writing utensils.
The transition from diapers to the potty is the most major change around three. While the ages for potty training vary, studies show that “infant males in the United States give up diapers at 39 months and girls at 35 months.”
Another thing to think about as your child approaches his or her third birthday is preschool. Many three-year-olds start going to preschool a few days a week to learn social skills and life skills.