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.

Anyone else go through a "baby talk" phase?

About 6 months ago my 4 year old started to get really obsessed with babies and baby talk. I heard from his teacher it was a thing going around with his friends at preschool, so I didn't worry too much about it, but it's been going on for a long time now and I wonder if this is something I should try to nip in the bud. Anyone else deal with this? Do you just roll with it or try to insi... More

  • Andy

    My 4 year old is doing this too! I think it’s because we have a new baby coming though. If this keeps going I suspect that our baby’s first words will be “goo goo gaa gah” thanks to our 4 year old. 😂

  • Jackie

    My 9 year old step son still does it!! His friends have even told him to use his big boy voice. I just say I don’t understand when you talk like that. Call me mean but it’s out of hand and my husband doesn’t say anything.

Bathroom issues

So my daughter is almost 3 and is very stubborn and strong willed. It had taken her a very long time to get potty trained and has been doing really good the past 3 weeks. But when it comes to going number 2 she has a hard time. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that she’s scared to go in the potty even though she had before or if it’s the fact that she’s holding it in but she has not gone in now 3 ... More

  • Amanda

    I’m in the same boat my daughter turned 3 Monday and refuses to poop in the potty. She goes out of her way to not poop at all. She lays on her belly crosses her legs and flexes her butt cheeks! She still goes a little bit a day but it’s forced. Trying my best to not make such a huge deal to the point of everyone being miserable.

Potty training?

When is a good age to begin potty training? My 1 1/2 year old seems interested when we use the restroom 🚽 not sure if it’s too early to start? She’s walking and trying to talk. Any advice?

  • Kitty's

    Start now she walking and talking

  • JEaton

    It's not too early to start. I recommend reading the "Oh Crap! Potty Training" book by Jamie Glowacki before you even start. Your commitment to the process will be the most important way to set her up for success. I did this with my 23 month old son and he's doing great!

Encouraging independent play

My son is an only child. He does not play well by himself. I always have to play with him or watch him do the playing. If I step away to do some “adulting“he’s begging that I watch this, look at this look at that. I try to mix up His toys but he is a child that really needs someONE to play with not things, I think. He’ll be an only child so he needs to learn independent play. How do I encou... More

  • MamaNukesYopolo

    He will definitely at moments need social Play. But there are also ways to encourage independent play. The hands on as we grow blog (, a pop up will show up in a few seconds inviting you to the challenge) has a week long challenge coming up next week that is focused on independent play, they give you an activity each day to try. My personal advice is it’s a combo of rotating... More

Potty training

Any suggestions on how to potty train a 19 month baby boy?

  • JEaton

    The "oh crap potty training" method is great and the book is an easy read. I read that before starting anything. We started my son at 23 months and it's been going really well!

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone tried "diaper free time" in carpeted apartment. How did you do it? I want to let my 18 months old start to learn but don't know how to manage the "mess" in a house full of carpet.

Anonymous posted in Mental Health Apr 13

Am I the only mom who is still tired and exhausted all the time 3 years later after giving birth!

I have a 3 year old and I have been exhausted since the moment I gave birth. I'm always tired and sleepy. When time permits it on my days off from work I will sleep 9-10 hours through the night but even then I feel exhausted. Does this feeling of exhaustion ever go away and when?

  • Teddy

    Two things I wanted to note: First: everybody is right about motherhood just being F-big exhausting no matter how much sleep you’re getting. Second : Get that blood work done ASAP. It is super common for you to have some vitamin deficiencies or maybe anemia. Sleep can’t cure any of that. Somebody else mentioned it, but you need to request that they check your ferritin levels when they do your ... More

  • Sarah

    I have had many struggles with my exhaustion since 2008 when I had my firstborn. After 4 children, I still found that nothing was getting any better, and I started to feel lost as a person, like I would never even get close to who I once was, or aspired to be. I decided to become a stay at home mom in Sept of 2017 and it almost seemed worse. I am posting this, because it truly, sincerely helped... More

Anonymous posted in Potty Training Apr 13

Mattress protection

My 4.5 year old is still wearing Pull Ups to bed at night and I am so over it. What is the best way to protect his mattress while we transition from Pull Ups to underwear only at bedtime? We have a mattress pad that goes under the sheet, but I know I will need more protection than that. Thanks all!

  • Joy

    There are plastic zip on covers for all size of mattresses. To save my mattresses I have one on each bed. I hope it helps.

Anonymous posted in Breastfeeding Apr 12

I am trying to wean my 3.5 year old son. Need help! No judgement, please.

My son became really attached to nursing. I have been trying to wean (intentionally) for about a year. I did not actually plan to do it for this long, but tried to go with the flow. Anyway, after a lot of talks, stories, meltdowns, cuddles, and bribes with toys (I know!), he is down to two sessions, one before bedtime and one in the morning. I have been talking to him about having a weaning par... More

  • Anonymous
    Apr 14

    Hi! My child self weaned at 2.5 ..I thought there would be no end in sight..haha.. anyway what helped me was I gradually took one side away at a time. I just told her I had a ouchie on one side and so no eating there and so she would only nurse on the other. Also she went to school which helped her figure out for herself alternative modes of comfort besides mommy..which in her case was her bun... More

  • Val
    Apr 14

    I breastfed my son till a bit over 2 years. I was ready to wean, and I started to say that once he was a big boy he would not like the taste of my milk. I just kept repeating this over a few months, maybe it was weeks...anyway, one day I was determined that it was the day to be done, so I put some vinegar soaked cotton balls on my nipples, and when he asked for the boobs, I gave them and natura... More

Anonymous posted in Behavior Apr 12


My 3yo (4 end of September) constantly when I’m speaking to someone likes to interrupt. He either runs around between me and other person or persons, he will want to ask me questions, etc. I am not sure how to continue handling the situation. I’ve asked him to be polite, say excuse me and more. I’m at my wits end! Any advice

  • Scott
    Apr 12

    When this happens to me I turn to my son and ignoring what he was saying tell him “Your words are important to me and I want to hear what you have to say as soon as I’m finished talking to _____.” Works every time but you MUST follow through.

  • jxn8tors
    Apr 12

    I taught my children to lay their hands on my arm, if I’m in a conversation and they need to speak out of turn. It gives me a moment to excuse myself for a second so that I can speak with them. I also have a 3 y/o that will be 4 in late Sept. he does the same thing. I use time out and step away from him. When I’m though with the conversation, I always give him 5-10 min of my time. It’s impor... More

Alicia posted in Behavior Apr 09

Trouble with potty training my 3.5 year old (youngest of 3 boys)

So my first son instantly transitioned from diapers to undies, with no accidents whatsoever.. not even overnight! I was hoping to have him potty trained at 2.5 before my second was born, but he was good to go before turning 3!! My second, I started potty training at 2, but he just loved his diapers, he knew what he was doing just wasn’t ready to let go of the diapers, and again, by 3, he was on... More

  • CJ
    Apr 12

    Mine just turned 4 and just pooped in the potty twice in one week. Might be the biggest thrill of my life. Just breathe, and tell yourself that if it never happens you can always get adult diapers at the store. Just kidding. He’ll get it. I put my kid in a preschool that accepts kids who aren’t potty trained and I think that helped. Also, the rewards got bigger for pooping in the potty... Toys... More

  • CJ
    Apr 12

    (Also, I tried everything posted here and more so much more... I got to the frustration point where I had to defer to his father to handle him when he had an accident because I was pulling my hair out and I knew that my crazy wasn’t helping... I took a step back. Remember to be nice not nuts and it’s often nicest to disengage. If you’re the only grown up, see what I said about adult diapers.)

What age did you begin potty training?

  • Julie
    Apr 10

    I bought the oh crap book but never seem to have time to read it😭. Story of my life. I read How to Charm a Llama a thousand times a day but don’t have time for the crap book. Anyway, my daughter is 20 months and I plan to start soon.

  • Ian
    Apr 10

    Our daughter was over 3 when we finally buckled down and got it done. That was after two attempts months earlier. This is the time that you should potty train: when it works for you. :)

Marie posted in Behavior Apr 08

When your Preschooler learns something that are against your values...

My daughter came today to show me her dead baby (holding her doll). I told her she was only asleep, then she told me the baby was shot by bad guys and put the doll in her bed in a very dramatic way. Is it normal for a 4 yo to make that kind of scenario? This is very shocking to me as we don’t have discussions or games around shooting at home. I realize I can’t protect her from that this is the ... More

  • Tara
    Apr 10

    I’d also speak to the teachers and make them aware of your daughter’s behaviour and your views. And I’m also with Anon. that kids will pick things up from other kids. Maybe this is a good learning opportunity for both of you..? Rather than passing the responsibility solely on the teachers/ preschool, maybe it’s a good sign that your daughter confided in you to share this new game she’s beco... More

Vicki posted in Behavior Apr 07


Wow guys, the threenager is real. Like a really real thing. I used to laugh when friends would talk about it. But my little munchkin is giving me serious attitude right now. The back talk is something else!! And I am not handling it well. I feel like this is giving me a glimpse into the future when he’s a teen and we are just not going to have a good time of it if I can’t get this figured out.... More

  • Ian
    Apr 10

    Hang in there! Our daughter started her threenager phase at 2.5 and had it strong until 3.5, after which she started to turn a corner. It felt like forever tho. Just know that it’s a season and it will pass. I also agree with all of what Kristi said in her comment.

  • Anonymous
    Apr 12

    My 3 year old was pulling the anger sassy attitude card and I just asked her point blank.."why are you angry?"She looked at me confused thinking "why am I angry?" and then stopped...hang in there you're not alone and you're doing great!

Potty training- poop help!!

My kiddo (turning 3 at the end of the month) has been doing great with peeing on the potty. He typically either tells me he has to go or goes to the bathroom and pees independently. Always in underwear except for nap/nighttime. Poop is a whole other issue- he was really constipated a few months back and ever since then won’t initiate poop. I typically sit him down before his nap and before bedt... More

  • Mimi
    Apr 05

    Same here... That and starting daycare at 2.5 years old... Anyways peeing was okay but pooping in the toilet took a while for us too, I read somewhere that they felt like it was part of their body leaving them or something so it scares them. I don't have any advice besides consistently remind him. How long has it been? It took maybe a month for us to get it down. Mine is fully potty trained... More

Beverly posted in Flying Apr 04

Pro-Tips for a cruise and flight

Going on a one week cruise that will also require a 4 hour flight. My 4yo has never flown or been on a boat, and I"m looking for pro-tips on packing and how to keep him entertained (that does NOT involve giving him a screen and then calling my job done). What do you wish you knew or brought with you? Can toddler take Dramamine?

  • Marika
    Apr 05

    A small portable night light for sleeping in a unfamiliar place is essential for my LO. We always been travelling via plane, ship etc. since he is a baby now he is almost 4. It is easier than first imagined. But the most useful for us was pack light so I always have 1 hand free (1backpack, 1 suitcase) to hold his hands and also easier managing potty breaks etc. There is plenty of entertainment ... More

  • Anonymous
    Apr 12

    Does he go to school? If so, you can ask his teacher for any suggestions on activities for him to do. My kids teacher made her a travel packet..and its wonderful! If not my kid's favorite has been no mess coloring book. Play Doh. And bring lots of snacks and if you see him touching his ears during the flight at anytime..have him eat the snacks to help with his ears

Joy posted in Child Care Apr 03

School pickup for preschoolers

Hi fellow moms, my daughter will be attending preschool this fall but pick-up is certainly going to be a challenge with school letting out at 3 pm. Do you have any suggestions as to what you would do for after school pickup? We have a nanny but she doesn't drive currently. Any input is much appreciated :)

  • Laura
    Apr 04

    Other options are arrange a carpool with another family, get your nanny set with with a bike with kid seat if the route is safe, or pick a different school that is walkable (proximity and transportation logistics were our main consideration in picking a daycare)

  • Anne
    Apr 04

    Would something like Zum work for you? There are a few other services like this too. I'm not sure how much it costs but the main idea is they employ drivers who are also child care professionals, so they can pick up kids and watch them for a few hours after work. I'd also check if the school has aftercare or partners with an aftercare program of any kind. If they do... More

Anonymous posted in Child's Health Apr 01

Son is afraid to poop

My 4.5 y/o son has been potty trained since he was three. He was always regular up until recently when he had a few days of constipation which lead to a painful BM and some diaper rash and soreness, possibly a hemorrhoid. The constipation is gone but for the last three weeks he has been afraid to go poop because he thinks it will hurt. So now he holds it as long as he possibly can. It’s becomin... More

  • Christa
    Apr 03

    I was actually recently reading about this whole pooping issue. And what the article - I can’t remember the name other wise I’d post it- said with children that are afraid to poop, tell them that the longer they hold it the worse it will hurt, so it’s better to go when you feel like you have too. Also I give my son prunes, or orange juice when he’s not wanting to poop. I find it helps keep him ... More

Anonymous posted in Potty Training Mar 29

What are your best potty training tips?

Working with my 23 month old. We're 3 weeks in and have various challenges occurring. Some days it's resistance and most days he just won't release on the potty. Any suggestions welcome. Thanks!

  • Libertad
    Apr 02

    As everything with kids... routines. Potty training after meals and before going to bed.

  • T
    Apr 11

    WAIT until they’re ready. Not just going by what books, other parents, or kids are doing. Take your time. It’s not like they’ll be wearing diapers in middle school.

Joseph posted in Behavior Mar 29

3 y/o still adjusting to school

My youngest 2 kids have been attending a small private school since they were 2y/o my little girl started and loved it from beginning even till now. Now my son has been there a year now going on two and he stills whines and cry when we drop them off but is A-ok after a while of us leaving comes home ready to do homework and all, my question is what could it be is it just separation anxiety kin... More

  • Joseph
    Mar 29

    Thank you I will look for those books

  • Kathleen
    Mar 29

    Yes l, hopefully they help! Good luck!

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