36 months old

Happy birthday -- your child is three! She’s probably using three- to four-word sentences (“Go outside now!”), and why might just be her favorite word. Three-year-olds want to know how everything works, and aren’t afraid to ask questions. Don’t think that means you need to have all the answers though. You and your child can have a lot of fun simply pondering and exploring her questions together. So when your child asks, “Why is the sky blue?” try saying, “I don’t know. What do you think?” before launching into a scientific explanation.

your toddler at 36 months
  • She may have a good idea of what she wants to do but doesn’t have the physical skills or ability to make things -- like that block tower -- turn out as well as they’d hoped. That may mean frustration and tears.
  • Bedtime might be a struggle. Stick to the routine -- and stick to your guns. When you say, “One more song,” really just sing one more song and say goodnight.


  • toddler know-how at 36 months

    Take a trip to the library for some new books with a fresh perspective -- and that answer some of your three-year-old’s most probing questions.


    The Bump experts: David W. Jones, MD, pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente Panola Medical Center and Stonecrest Medical Center; and Riley Minster, MD, pediatrician at Lakeshore Pediatrics and instructor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern


    Reminder: Medical info on The Bump is FYI only and doesn't replace a visit to a medical professional.