Child Development And Milestones: Your 3-Year-and-5-Month-Old
As your 41 month old child prepares for his new role as a preschooler and begins his new life, he needs your love and support more so than ever before.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully survived the “terrible twos” and hopefully have the energy to run after your threenager. The apple of your eye who was once a chatty little shadow is now a 3-year-and-5-month-0ld child.
He no longer needs your support to run, climb and jump around. It all comes naturally to him at this stage.
But because a child’s development is based on nature and the way you nurture him, no two children are the same. So what milestones can you expect?
We’ve rounded up all the information you could possibly need including some key changes (and constants) that you’ll notice in your growing child.
3-Year-and-5-Month-Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?
The good news is that your child is becoming more nimble. This means his fine and gross motor skills are finally beginning to show. You’ll see him happiest when he is physically involved in an activity. Just to give you an idea, here is a list of physical developments you’ll notice in your not-so-tiny-tot.
- He can walk up and down the stairs one foot at a time.
- Your child can now kick, throw and catch balls.
- He can walk forward and backwards easily. He can even climb uphill.
- Your child can hop and stand on his single foot for just over five seconds.
- Most kids at this age can use a tricycle and run a lot more confidently than before.
- Your 41 month old child can even bend forward without falling (yes, they grow up so fast)!
- As for his hand and finger coordination, he can now screw and unscrew jar lids.
- He can even turn rotating knobs.
All of these developments mean that you should prepare yourself for some extensive running around the house. Since your toddler is at a stage where naps don’t really interest him, chances are he’ll want to indulge in more physical play.
As he continues to be on the move, be ready for some at-home exercise.
By this age, your child should develop a body structure similar to that of adults. This means that by now, girls should weigh around 14.7 kg (32.5 lbs) and measure around 97.1 cm (38.2 inches), while boys should weigh around 15.2 kg (33.1 lbs) and measure around 98.4 cm (38.7 inches).
- Take family walks with your little one in tow and encourage him to run and jump around. You can also play “I Spy”.
- If you cannot go out, use toys to create an obstacle course or play hide and seek around his play area.
- Encourage some sand box time or even arrange a small pool to allow him to work his arms and legs.
- Try introducing new games like “Ring Around the Rosy,” “Red Light, Green Light,” and even “What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?” to keep him physically engaged.
- As for the small muscle groups including his hands and fingers, you can get him some chalk and and a board and encourage him to draw every day.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
In rare cases, some kids are unable to run or jump or perform any of the physical activities that most other kids are doing. In such cases, you should visit a doctor to check if your child’s physical development is on track.
Sometimes the issue could be nervous system disorders or even issues like polio. We recommend that you consult with your doctor if you notice very little or barely-there physical activities on your child’s part.
At this stage in his life, your growing child is developing his cognitive skills quite quickly. This means, he is now able to recognise numbers and letters quite well at this point. But apart from this, there are also some noticeable skills that you’ll see him pick up.
- He is able to turn pages easily, work on small puzzles and copy shapes like circles and triangles on paper.
- He can also figure out shapes of words and numbers as well as objects.
- The little bub can understand the idea of different and same.
- As his memory improves and develops, he’ll also be able to correctly name familiar colours.
But yes, let’s warn you about all those questions. “Why is the sky blue?” “Mama, why do dogs and cats have tails?” “Papa, why do birds have a beak?” Why, why why! Expect many more because your child is at a very inquisitive stage in his life.
- Integrate small puzzles, numbers and letters into his play so he learns along the way.
- Count out loud with him at any opportunity.
- Keep reading to him and getting him books with bright pictures and simple stories.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
If your child shows the following symptoms, then it might be a good idea to get him/her checked by the doctor:
- If your child does not respond to commands, or fails to notice when you call his/her attention
- Has a fever over 39 degrees Celsius
- Has unusual bruises, bumps or rashes
- Complains constantly of headaches or other aches
- Has been vomiting or has diarrhoea for more than two days
Social and Emotional Development
Typically, a 3-year-and-5-month-old child is already in tune with preschool culture. So he is able to quickly develop his communication skills and you’ll notice that your not-so-tiny-tot is quite comfortable interacting with others.
Owing to the fact that he is now in a setup where he interacts with many kids of his age, he is less shy and more open to verbal and even physical communication and play. You’ll also notice the following:
- This is a stage where his imagination will take flight, so you’ll notice that he may place himself at the centre of his imaginary story with his friends as his support.
- By the age of 3 years and 5 months, kids are also able to separate from parents quite easily making the transition to a preschool less hard.
- They are also able to express and emote themselves properly, especially the feeling of affection.
But this does not mean there will be no tantrums. At this stage, kids can become a bit materialistic and may cling to their toy, or they may not like changes in their routine.
- Encourage your child to make friends and not just play alone. Invite his fellow preschoolers for a playdate and help your child bond with them outside the school premises.
- By this age, kids are okay with the idea of being away from their parents for a short time. If your little one is not in preschool already, consider playgroup.
- Is your child ready for preschool? Take him for a visit to the preschool before you enroll him. You can even talk to him about temporary separation and take permission for your kid to bring a comfort toy or object to school.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
If your child wants nothing to do with other kids, or is extremely aggressive around them, do consult a paediatrician for advice.
Speech and Language Development
At three years of age, a growing child is able to develop an extensive vocabulary (900 words in all) and integrate new words into longer sentences. Expect the following by this month:
- You’ll notice that your child can speak about 250 to 500 words clearly – even more in some cases.
- Because of his quick development, he’ll also be able to conjure three to four-word sentences. And even tell you lots of stories.
- You can also be assured that your tot can now correctly use pronouns.
- He knows how to use “I,” “you,” “me,” and “mine” in sentences. He will love telling you his name and age.
Interestingly, you’ll notice that his grammar skills are also improving. While he may still have issues with tense or subject-verb agreement, the problems will be few and far between. But for now, you can sure enjoy all the stories he’ll have to share.
- If your child is on the quiet side, encourage him to chat by asking him to sing his favourite songs with you.
- You could also read poems and letters or words so he may repeat them. Your continuous effort to do so can make him more confident in his speech.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
While most kids at this age are able to conjure up two to three sentences using more than three to four words, noticing anything otherwise should raise an alarm. If your kid cannot even speak his or her first name, or drools while speaking, it is a reason to worry.
If strangers also cannot understand a single sentence, it might be time to take your kid to a speech therapist just to be sure. Similarly, your kid could show resistance while speaking to strangers. You should ideally consult with a doctor even then.
Health and Nutrition
As parents, we are always concerned about what to feed our kids. As your 41 month old enters the preschooler phase, his taste will develop, and his curiosity will force him to try new foods.
It’s best to offer all five food groups in each of his meals. So include grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, as well as protein in each meal. He may not always eat everything on the plate, but when you give him enough choices, he’s bound to take most nutrients per week.
Let’s break down each of the food groups so you know what to serve and how.
These can be given in two forms – whole grains and refined grains. They are a great source of vitamin B and preschoolers need a minimum of 141 gm of grain each day. So if you want to prepare a whole grain meal, make sure to add whole wheat flour or bread, oatmeal, brown rice, whole cornmeal, brown rice, or whole wheat pasta. If you want to give your little one a refined grain meal you can add white flour or bread and most kinds of pasta available in the market.
Most fruits are a good source of potassium, fibre and vitamin B and C. And at this stage, your preschooler needs at least one and a half cups of fruit per day. You can start by giving one piece of fruit in each meal or as a snack in between each meal. The choice is up to your tiny tot. If you notice that your child has a large appetite you can even give more than one cup of fruit each day. For instance, one apple before lunch and a banana after dinner, and small pieces of fruits like guava or berries depending on the season.
These have plenty of fibre, vitamin B and C as well as potassium and antioxidants. And ideally a preschooler needs a cup of vegetables each day. So start by giving your kid different coloured vegetables during the course of the week. You can give him dark green broccoli, light green beans, red tomatoes, orange carrots, and yellow capsicum.
Your child needs calcium for the growth of his teeth and bones, and there is no substitute for milk when it comes to these two. So make sure that you give your child a minimum of two to three cups of milk each day. But to break the monotony, you can even give milk-based products a try. So for instance, during breakfast give him an oatmeal prepared in milk along with a fruit. For lunch you can give him cheese sandwich or yogurt.
One of the most important nutrients in your child’s diet comes from poultry, eggs, seafood, and even beans. They also get iron, zinc and vitamin B from it. Therefore, it’s crucial to give your kids at least 56 grams of protein per day. You can give him one egg or half a cup of nuts or even 28 grams of cooked and sliced chicken or fish.
In terms of calorie intake, your child’s daily nutritional needs are about:
- Boys: 1,527 Kcal/day
- Girls: 1,430 Kcal/day
A 3-year-and-5-month-old child is already pretty sure of his dietary likes and dislikes, but as a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that he stays on the health track.
- Make sure to not skip 141 grams of grain, one cup of fruits and vegetables, three cups of dairy and 56 grams of protein each day. Even if your kid is a fussy eater, chances are he will be able to get the benefit from all food groups if you lay out the options each day.
- Encourage family meal times by eating together, and using cutlery. This will help him understand how to eat at a table and he will also enjoy bonding time with you.
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses
Ideally, your little one should have all of his/her vaccinations complete by this age. To find out what vaccinations your child should have got up to now, and check if this schedule is up-to-date, click here.
As a reminder, your child should already have the following vaccines:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
If your child is missing any of these vaccinations, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
Sometimes kids are a bit too particular and don’t like a food group. But if you notice this becoming a habit and your kid is terribly underweight for his age (average weight is between 10 and 15 kilos), it is time to visit the doctor.
Your kid might be suffering from any of the two most common childhood illnesses – acid reflux and constipation. Or they could just be very picky eaters and rely solely on their sense of touch and smell when it comes to food. Another reason could be slow motor skill development and inability to successfully transition into eating at the table.
These combined with a change of routine could be the culprits. So make sure you discuss all of these with your doctor on your next visit.
There are no compulsory vaccinations due this month. But you should still talk to your doctor about getting the flu vaccination.
Remember, the threenage years can be quite enjoyable for your growing child and for yourself as a parent. As your child gears up to conquer a new world outside your home, he needs your support and love – just as much as he did when he was a baby. Perhaps, even more so now.
So spend as much time as you can with each other and learn and grow together as a family unit.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Images courtesy: Shutterstock
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