Child development and milestones: your 40 month old

Your 40 month old has a blossoming vocabulary, memory, and imagination. Keep track of their milestones with this helpful guide!

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Your little one is growing fast! Now that you have a 40 month old, there are more milestones you can look forward to.

At three years and four months old, she’s moving away from her toddler months, and is now progressing well into the first years of childhood.

Let’s take a closer look at some more of the exciting changes and progress you can expect from your 40 month old!

40 Month Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track? 

Physical Development

Your 40 month old is now mastering walking forwards and backwards with ease. She’s also becoming increasingly confident in her ability to hop, run, and bend over without tumbling.

Going up and down stairs, with support, is one of her favourite ways to move, too.

When it comes to fine motor skills, she can handle crayons and copy simple shapes like circles. She can also grasp the concepts of turning to open something as well as stacking things on top of each other. 

Parenting Tips:

To further enhance gross motor skills, get her a tricycle so she can practice leg movements aside from walking.

Encourage her to hop and run around playgrounds, always with guidance, of course.

To boost her fine motor skills, help her rotate handles, open jars, build towers with blocks, copy round shapes, use kid-friendly scissors, as well as dress herself.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

Possible developmental delays can be seen in being unable to hop, climb, walk independently or walk up and down steps without support. Your 40 month old should also be able to jump in place or throw a ball overhead.

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If your child is unable to handle or rotate objects, or grasp small objects, then it might be a hint of developmental delays.

Your 40 month old is halfway through her third year of life. Now that she’s almost four, her personality is starting to take shape! | Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Cognitive Development

At 3 years and 4 months old, a child becomes more and more curious. She tends to ask lots of questions about the world around her, like: “Why is it hot during the day and cold at night?” “Where does rain come from?”

Your inquisitive child can now better grasp the concept of time passing, as well as the concepts of sameness and opposites.

She can count (or grasp the concept of numbers), name colours, and identify familiar objects, like cars, plates, chairs, or other things they use or encounter on a daily basis.

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Her memory is also flourishing, which can be seen in how she can recall stories… or at least parts of stories. She can identify a storybook based on  characters she can remember, such as “The Princess and the Frog” or “Three Bears.”

Parenting Tips:

It would also help your inquisitive child if you remain patient and encouraging when answering her many questions. This is the way she learns best and relates to the world around her.

Read to her more to enhance her memory, imagination, and ability to communicate. Ask her to repeat certain words and situations to you as you tell them stories.

To further hone her cognitive skills, give her puzzles to complete as well as opportunities to group objects based on colours and shapes. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

If your 40 month old can’t count at all or is unable to identify any objects, then it would be good to consult a paediatrician. 

Observe how your child interacts with the world around her, if she’s not at all curious or is increasingly withdrawn, it could be time to consult a trusted doctor.

Your 40 month old is highly imaginative and loves to engage in make-believe as well as tell stories to parents and peers! | Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Social and Emotional Development 

At this age, your child is becoming increasingly independent and more in control of her emotions. Though she still throws the occasional tantrum, you’ll notice that this happens less and less. 

Cooperation, problem-solving, and showing affection toward family and peers are social and emotional milestones you can look forward to before she turns four years old. 

Your 40 month old often likes to play alongside other kids. Through these interactions, she becomes increasingly aware of the concept of sharing as well as waiting for one’s turn.

Much like the rest of this phase, a 40 month old child likes to mimic adults. At the same time, their actions are often motivated by wanting to gain mummy and daddy’s approval.

Parenting Tips: 

Because of your 40 month old’s hyperactive imagination, you might notice that she is developing fears as well as becoming more engaged in make-believe as their favourite form of play.

Encourage the practice of sharing toys with peers through play.

Make it a habit to encourage her to follow simple directions, like “put toys away” or “finish your food.”

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

Observe your child closely if she lacks self-control or is unable to make eye contact. When your child experiences extreme separation anxiety or shows a lack of interest in playing with others or is hostile to peers, these could be developmental red flags.

Speech and Language Development

At this age, she can say more and more new words each day, as well as her own name. She can tell you about her day in clearer words, even though stammering is common at this age, too.

But it’s not just her ability to express, but to perceive that’s progressing at this stage of her development. As she nears her fourth birthday, she’s becoming more and more adept at listening and following simple instructions. 

In the same way, your 40 month old can respond to your simple questions and show an interest in communicating with other kids.

Parenting Tips:

Ask her to explain drawings, and tell stories. Lovingly correct them to speak more clearly, and encourage them to say their own name as well as their age when introducing themselves. 

Because of her increasingly active imagination, she tends to tell really creative stories and encourage others to play pretend along with her. Encourage your little storyteller to do this as often as possible.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

Some signs of developmental delays include being unable to utter a sentence with more than three words. Watch your little one closely if she drools a lot or has difficulty forming cohesive sentences. If she is visibly struggling with communicating or perceiving instructions, consult your doctor immediately.

Health and Nutrition 

A 40 month old needs a healthy, balanced diet in order to get the adequate nutrition to support her growth and development.

This amounts to 2 oz of protein (or the size of two matchboxes combined), 1 cup of fruit, 1 cup of vegetables, 2 cups of dairy, and 3 oz of grains each day, as recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

A child’s normal weight at this age is about 10.4 to 21.9 kg and their normal height should be about 91.0  to 110.3 cm. 

At this age, they will either have been advised by a paediatrician to get the following vaccines, or will be prepared to get them: Hepatitis B, DPT,MMR, Varicella, Pneumococcal conjugate, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and/or inactivated poliovirus.

Be sure to keep track of the best immunisation schedule with the help of your paediatrician.

Parenting Tips:

Common illnesses at this age are the flu, chickenpox, diarrhoea, constipation, and food allergies. Be sure to consult your doctor about how to prevent these conditions. 

Children at this age should already be able to sleep through the night, despite the occasional nighttime fears brought about by their hyperactive imagination.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

If your child is underweight or small for their age, consult a paediatrician to know if this is a normal phase they will outgrow or if it’s signalling a deeper issue.

Poor appetite at this age should not be taken lightly as well as extreme night terrors that hinder their sleeping habits.

Make sure to consult your child’s paediatrician regarding any unusual behaviour that could negatively affect their health and wellness.

But do remember: just because your child seems to be delayed, it doesn’t mean you should be worried. Each child develops and blossoms at their own pace.

The progress, albeit gradual, should be consistent. But if you suspect that your child’s development is stunted, then seek the help of a trusted doctor to find out how to help your child along. 

 

Lead image courtesy: Shutterstock

Sources: WebMD, WHO, Livestrong, Mayo Clinic

Your child’s previous month: 39 months

Your child’s next month: 41 months

Do you have questions on this 40 month toddler development guide? Share them with us in the comments!