image001The growth phase of a baby is the most unpredictable measure that often creates confusion and agitation in parents. There is no rulebook or standardized list that can compare the progress and growth of babies since each child grows at his/ her own individual pace (often determined by genetics, nutrition and other similar features). 

So what should mothers do then? There are some 3 year old milestones set by researchers, and a general list of activities that may help in assessing if your child is growing properly or not. This includes not only his physical but also his mental progression. These changes should be discussed with the doctor every now and then.

Developmental Milestones for 3 Year Old  

A child is greatly affected by the environment he is kept in, his culture, ethnicity and the kind of upbringing he receive. Keep in mind that these milestones are just for reference and are not the ultimate rules for every child. Some of the landmarks for your child are as follows…

1. Average Height and Weight




Head Circumference


25.25 to 38 pounds

34.75 to 39.75 inches

18.25 to 20 inches


26.5 to 38.5 pounds

35.75 to 40.25 inches

18.5 to 20.5 inches

Notes: These values are as per CDC (Center for Disease Control) suggestions.

2. Physical Development

  • The 3 year old milestones of physical development depends upon their fine motor and gross motor development. They should have good finger coordination and should be able to ride a tricycle by now.
  • Their sense of judgment should be developed enough to catch a ball large enough to fit in their hands. They should recognize the sound of phone and doorbell ringing and know their purpose.
  • Their mental coordination should also be developed enough to allow them to hold large objects properly, for instance crayons or making simple puzzles etc.
  • Their posture should be more stable now and their walk is more coordinated than before. They can also run easily when stimulated, such as when you pretending to chase them during play time.
  • Another common thing 3 year olds can do is take off their clothes without any help; they can also grab things of their choice such as cutlery from the table during meals.

3. Language/Communication Development

For 3-year-old language skills are such that they can communicate their feelings in a few words. They may have learned some commonly used words around the house and can even have conversation if familiarized words are used often.

For a 3 year old, signs and words used on everyday basis become a part of their recognition system, and they are able to identify simple gestures and emotions. For example saying good-bye and kissing them on the forehead when leaving for work, or getting angry with them.

4. Cognitive Development

Their cognitive skills allow them to recognize commonly occurring letters or words or even colors. For instance, your child may recognize numbers on the phone, or associate color red with apples, color yellow with bananas etc.

3 year olds will have great interest in creative activities such as coloring, drawing and making things out of play-dough. They are attracted to colors and love messing around when left with colors. They like building blocks and making puzzles. They can use some reasoning and logic to understand which part of the block goes where. This is an excellent way to judge their cognitive functional development.

5. Social and Emotional Development

For emotional support your child needs a familiar face to be around him constantly. They might still be afraid of dark and get cranky easily when afraid, hungry or angry etc. These emotions are a positive sign that the babies can interpret a situation and act accordingly.

The video below can provide more information on developmental characteristics of a three year old:

Tips on Helping Your 3 Year Old to Grow

Here are a few tips for you to take better care of your child and help your kid in achieving more 3 year old milestones.

1. Pay Attention to Your Baby’s Health

Keep into account your babies weight, height and cognitive development. When he goes for an annual checkup, his sleeping pattern, potty training habits, running and walking skills etc. will be analyzed thoroughly. In addition, his eating habits along with social skills should be noted down carefully. If your child gets sick often with flu or mild fever make sure you maintain his physical hygiene even more than before and put him in the habit of brushing his teeth, washing his hands and cleaning his nose properly under your supervision.

2. Ensure Balanced Nutrition

It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their child gets complete portions of all necessary nutrients. This includes carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Most children are either starting preschool or will do so in another year so make sure they have a healthy breakfast before they go to school. Try to innovate their meals by being creative with food, this way they will not refuse their food. Also, keep a check on them when feeding them junk food. If they develop the bad habit of eating junk food they might miss nutritious food necessary for their growth.

3. Get Started with Education

Education always begin with simple things such as teaching them how to behave in front of others, how to eat, how to greet people and other skills we expect from a three- year old. He should be able to recognize colors he sees every day, such as black, red, yellow, green and white. Many children at this stage are put in a preschool where they learn how to make new friends and develop skills that are more social. If your child has a sibling, he may learn skills such as sharing and asking more easily.

4. Potty Train Your Baby

For many parents potty training is quite a challenge, their child is developing a sense of embarrassment but he isn’t quite there yet, so he might show reluctance in sitting over the potty chair. Some kids are simple afraid, so try to talk your child into it and always be around them so that their minds are distracted from fear. Also do not force the child to sit on the chair; forcing a potty chair will only make them rebel more and increase their fear. Look out for simple signs such as change in facial expression and ask them to go to the washroom, if they have already passed stool or peed then they might want to be cleaned and forcing them to sit can become even more irritating. So try to read their expressions and then coordinate to train them successfully.

5. Deal with Tantrums Correctly

A child is after all only a child, and is bound to ‘act out’ every once in a while. This can happen more if you are a single parent. But the best way to deal with this is to keep your head straight and stay in control. Many a time parents get angry and argue with their children that may result in the child losing respect and fear for confrontation. The best way to deal with a childs’ tantrum is to distract him. Try giving him incentives that will help tame his attitude more. Also once the air is cleared assure to him that you love him and will always be there for him, this way he will not rebel you or think of you from the opposite team.