The years before kindergarten your preschooler will grow leaps and bounds, mentally, emotionally and physically.

Parents share resources and advice about raising 3 to 5 year olds, including potty training, early education, behavioral struggles and more.

Jenn posted in Behavior 1h ago

Mary Mary, quite contrary

Of all the phases, I believe this one is grating my nerves the most. About three weeks ago, our oldest started being quite contrary...about EVERYTHING. Even when she’s playing on her own. Deep breaths...

Potty training advice

My 22 month old has mastered both holding to go to the bathroom at night and during naps and she is now going to the potty as soon as she wakes up but we can’t get her to go or I guess I haven’t “caught” the right time for her to go during the rest of the day. Any advice? What were your tricks? Is putting her on the potty every fifteen minutes necessary?

  • jnctalent

    We started with pull up and ran out and have been using diapers so I’ll try that and pantsless.

  • Kelly

    Naked from the waste down will teach her (and you) when she's got to go/going. It takes them a few days to learn the sensation and get to the potty. I highly recommend the "OH CRAP" book. Her methods are pretty common sense and have worked well with my son who is the same age as your daughter.

Anonymous posted in Pets Tuesday

What’s everyone’s opinion on a guinea pig for a small child’s pet?

  • Christina

    My friend had them and yes to pairs and also you have to find a vet that can care for them. Much more difficult than finding a cat or dog vet. Do you want the weekly cleaning maintenance? Obviously a small child can’t care for a pet.

  • Khris

    Highly recommend fostering one from a rescue first. Then you can find out what to expect without the permanent obligation. Fair to you and to the animal. :)

3 year olds birthday activities on a budget

I'm hosting a birthday party for our three year old at our local park. We are on a tight budget and can't afford entertainment. The park has a large sand box with two jungle gyms at either end. The park staff said the park itself should be enough at that age. I was thinking of bringing some chalk, balls, jump ropes, and bubble wands. Do you think that's enough?

  • Lani Schreibstein

    That's what I did for my daughter's 3rd birthday, and I had no complaints. We only had bubbles out of the extra items you listed.

  • Sarah

    Spray bottles are a fun and cheap substitute for water gun for little ones! They are easy for little hands to use and don’t get the kids soaking wet! Our dollar store stocks pretty decent ones! Bonus the kids can take them home as a prize!

Potty training 3-year-old?

I am having a tough time with my 3 year old. She doesn't sit on the potty seat yet.

  • Meeta

    Looks like bribery is not working too. I showed her an M&m and she asked for it first and then I made her sit but after a couple of seconds , she got up.

  • Kelly

    I highly recommend the "OH CRAP" potty training book.....there is even a section that addresses older kids potty training issues (ie those over 30 months). BUT the biggest thing is that you have to be willing to commit, not just "try"....potty training. You have to really commit to it for the duration. Good luck!

Amazing healthy eating trick for pre-K and up

So my kids (3 and 5) are pretty normal when it comes to eating; not super picky but they certainly prefer “kid foods” like chicken nuggets, pasta, hot dogs, etc. I give them veggies every night but often they ignore them or have to be nagged into eating them. Then my 5yo did a nutrition unit at school. Somehow his (brilliant!) teacher managed to teach a bunch of pre-K kids about vitamins, macr... More

Potty Training and Pull-Ups

Any moms have advice, suggestions, or tips on potty training? Also when did you start? My LO is 17 months. And when should I start thinking about pull-ups?

  • Kelly

    I'm a week into the "Oh Chap" method with my son (he's almost 23 months) and it's going great! He was naked from the waist down for close to 3 days, and we're into loose pants or briefs only right now. He is using diapers just at night (and for his daily nap) as he doesn't have that level of control yet. Pulls ups are basically just fancy diapers....they aren't... More

  • Angie

    Following... my son is turned 2 last month. He knows the potty & what to do but won't do it. I'm not sure if he's not ready or just being stubborn (his pediatrician said it may be a control thing).

Understanding what “going pee” is

I have a strong feeling that my child doesn’t really get the concept of going pee. I’m sure he knows his body is doing something but doesn’t know that he is urinating. We’re in the process of potty training him. He wears underwear during the day and stays dry really well. When he sits on the potty there is no success. As soon as we put the pull up on him for naps or bedtime he immediately w... More

  • Tara

    As Marika and Kelly suggested, OR a gentler transition- if you’re worried about his not wanting to wet himself- then maybe use a reusable diaper? My environmentally conscious friend has always used these and both her kids were fully potty trained by 8-9months, and she reckons because they didn’t like the feeling of wetness. I tried with my toddler but frankly it’s too much work for me with two ... More

  • Ashley

    Thank you all for the great advice! We ditched the pull up all weekend and only put it on at bedtime or naps but still no success but a whole bunch of accidents. He successfully used the potty 3 times today! Once first thing in the morning and twice at school. He’s at a total of 5 hours in underwear with 1 small accident while on the way home from school. Thank you all again!

Rachel posted in Behavior Jun 13

My speech delayed child speaks more normally when playing "mommy"

My 3 and half year old girl loves playing "mommy and me" where she takes on my tone and speech. She has a speech delay and when she plays this way she speaks more to her age level. Is this normal?

  • Kyleigh
    Jun 13

    Maybe she doesn't have a speech delay and just talks like a baby to her parents. I've seen it before.

  • Ashley
    Jun 14

    It sounds like she feel more comfortable speaking when engaging in pretend play. I've worked lots of children with special needs and my daughter also has a speech disorder. I think it's normal, it's like an event happening where she feels safe. I would suggest engaging in more pretend play if possible.

Anonymous posted in Potty Training Jun 11

Potty training my 3 year old

I feel like this is a potty training nightmare! My 3 year old won't tell me when she needs to use the potty at all. She turns 4 in October. Like there aren't even warning signs when she's about to go. She wants to be like her little sister who is 2 and also is special needs. I've tried bribing, stickers, schedule and it's a fight every time to go to the potty and she doesn&#... More

  • Jennifer
    Jun 14

    My daughter is still in pull ups for overnight. Haven't figure out how to get her off. A lot of people suggested no liquids before and during bedtime but my daughter has to have a bottle of milk to help her go to sleep. Their were a couple times I forgot to put diapers on when she went to sleep as I was just so burnt out and forgot. However, she would just wet her bed when she has no di... More

  • Jennifer
    Jun 14

    Also I wanted to add, when my daughter was close to 3, she started preschool. She saw all the other kids using the small potty toilet. She would copy them and go in them. This helped her to get off diapers and potty trained.

Anonymous posted in Behavior Jun 11

Normal for preschool-aged boys?

I have a 4 yo nephew who loves to scare my 3 yo daughter whenever they get together. Their play starts out normal, and then it's as if he gets bored and will then take to screaming in her face repeatedly and laughing, until it escalates to something more physical like pushing her down or hitting with a toy. This last time she got hit in the head with a toy golf club. My daughter will speak ... More

  • Anonymous
    Jun 11

    This is most certainly not typical behavior for a 4 yo and if his parents are excusing it by saying he’s a boy, that’s completely inappropriate. I think you need to have a conversation with them when the kids aren’t around and lay down how you expect your daughter to be treated. This is behavior that can really only be addressed by the parents of your nephew unfortunately. If there aren’t chang... More

  • Katie
    Jun 12

    I think it can be typical behavior but doesn't mean it should be accepted. all kids go through phases of testing boundaries and limits. if they're continued to be allowed that behavior and they get attention from it whether positive or negative they will keep doing it. their needs to be a consequence to the negative behavior. since he's 4, a 4 minute timeout should work if he doesn&... More

Hands Down Pants

My 4yo just will NOT stop putting his hands down his pants. It’s like it has become this idle thing that he does just all the time. He is very recently potty trained, and I try to watch how severely I tell him to stop because I’m trying to convey to him what’s appropriate without like... someday leaving him with the impression that his privates are dirty... you know? But I just don’t know what ... More

  • Katie
    Jun 12

    maybe try giving him boundaries. telling him when it's okay (at home in private) and when it isn't (out in public). all boys do it. they somewhat grow out of it but every once in awhile I still catch my 8 yr old playing with it, especially if he's sitting on the toilet to go #2, or taking a bath. I think it's just a curiosity thing.. but idk

How long does your kid play alone?

Hello everyone. I have a 4 year old son who is super hyperactive. He can't play by himself for more than, I'd say on average ...37 seconds. He's always right next to me and if I'm in a different room for some reason he'll narrate out loud what he's doing to me. After all he wouldn't want me to miss anything lol. In fact as I post this he is running around me in circ... More

  • Shawn Stetson
    Jun 11

    Hi Liz. Yeah, Xavier is ADHD so I know how you fell. Of course he got it from me so what can I do lol. I'll be looking forward to that half hour 🙂

  • Alexa
    Jun 12

    I have an almost 4 year old and a 2 1/2 year old. My oldest doesn’t nap so why the younger one does my oldest is calling my name constantly wanting me to play with him or keep me involved in everything he is doing. Calls my name like a thousand times. I can’t wait for his brother to wake up so he can call his name a lot and they play together. He can play by himself for a good 30-40 minutes wit... More

Constipated 2 year old twins!

I have battled constipation with my 2 year old identical boys for months. I have tried so many things and nothing is helping keep them regular. They drink plenty of water (and milk), are active throughout the day, eat a (mostly) balanced diet. I've tried all different kinds of fruits and fruit juice, probiotics, raisins/prunes, homeopathic constipation drops, yogurt with probiotics, and j... More

  • Aida
    Jun 11

    Adding bran to our little one’s diet also helps. Bran cereal, bran muffins. Also I make him sweet potato in various forms throughout the week. Good luck! It’s the worst to watch them struggle 😞

  • Jennifer
    Jun 14

    My daughter had this same problem. She would be constipated for 2-3 hours in misery. Her poops are gigantic. (TMI) my babysitter said it might be the cause of drinking too much milk so they change her diet and limit the intake of milk and made her eat more vegetables. Because before she would drink 5 bottles a day (8 oz each) After this diet change to only about 1-2 bottles/day, she now h... More

Anonymous posted in Potty Training Jun 09

Won't Pee

My 25 month old is potty training. She requests the potty appropriately, but when it comes time to actually go, she panics and says all done. She'll ask and sit 3-4 times in a row and then end up having an accident. She's not afraid to sit on her little potty or the big toilet, and she likes watching it flush (even waves bye-bye to mommy's pee!) She also enjoys helping her potty do... More

  • Xteen
    Jun 10

    Try telling her that it’s potty time, and try to sit on the toilet in front of her. Also what worked for me is that I put my daughter in underwear and after she peed on her self 2 Times she went to the potty every time after that. She didn’t like the pee on her legs. I had to clean up of course but that worked the best good luck!

  • Anonymous
    Jun 10

    Have you tried "shushing" as she pees? My son did exactly the same thing, so my mother told me about this trick. Soon as he sits on the potty, I start shushing. Works Everytime.. The only problem is that it makes me want to go pee pee too. 😅

Game Apps for 4 year old boy

Does anyone have any recommendations for game apps for a 4 year old boy during an airplane trip?

  • Nick
    Jun 10

    I highly recommend the Endless Reader and other Endless apps. They are mostly educational and very fun.

  • Thea

    Temple run or monkey math

Marta posted in Education Jun 04

My daughter says she doesn’t like school because it’s boring. What should I do?

My daughter is 4 years old because she is a year behind in school because her b day is sept 6, 5 days after the cut off. In her school they start at 18 months she’s in pre-K 3 right now. Since she started pre k 2 she tells me that school is boring and when she started pre-K 3 this year (2XXX-XXXX) she tells me the same thing. What should I do?

  • Joan
    Jun 05
  • Marta
    Jun 05

    I have tried and the other hard part is that I work at the school I’m the other pre-K 3 teacher

My 2.5 year old daughter hates panties

I have gotten my daughter 7 types of panties. Designs,cotton, extra padding,no padding, ive done it all. Even sizes. She takes it off not even 2 mins after i put it on her. She screams and wont listen to me. She takes off her pullups so i think shes ready to potty training. Help!!!!

  • Jennifer
    Jun 04

    Commando. Or (my life saver) try Unders from Grovia. They're kind of like boxer briefs and they are amazing for potty training

  • Lee
    Jun 09

    Underwear schmunderwear....let her go without. Being bottomless makes potty training so much easier. Once you’ve talked that hurdle then offer her undies. I bet she will be more receptive.

Nicki posted in Sleep Jun 02

Nap/sleep routines off! Help!

My three-anger is an anti sleeper when it comes to naps or bedtime. I also have a 10 month old who she wakes when she freaks out defying any attempt to put her down making everything harder. Any advice on naps or sleeping without a cry it out method?

  • Caitlin
    Jun 05

    They might be ready to stop napping! We stopped my kid’s naps right when she was turning three because she’d be a nightmare at nap time and if she actually napped that day, she’d be even worse at bedtime. We started the difficult journey of not napping... she gets SUPER cranky in the late evening, yes, but that has started to fade over time and means she goes almost right to sleep at bedtime wi... More

  • Nicki
    Jun 05

    My 3 year old definitely dropped the naps and is tired at the end of the day but still thinks she’s a rock star. Except the moment she gets in a car she’s out in seconds. I think she’s overtired 😐

Ok parents of toddlers! What is the best potty training method or what worked best for you?

  • Kristin
    Jun 03

    Letting them go naked...

  • Mel
    Jun 04

    Thank you ladies for the tips! I appreciate it! ☺️

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