I know every parent says it so I’m going to follow suit and say I cannot quite believe my first born child is officially a three-year-old kid and no longer a baby or a toddler. HOW!?
I started sharing monthly updates about Chase when he was a baby and slowly decreased their frequency once he grew up a bit. I don’t have a plan for updates for Chase or Ryder in the future but will likely share as often as I feel the urge to update and address how things are going with our two boys. (I have my first Ryder and postpartum update in the works and hope to share it soon!) For Chase, I see updates happening twice a year or so which is fitting since I shared my last 2.5 year old Chase update on the blog back in January.
It’s crazy for me to think about how much has changed with Chase since his second birthday. He’s now talking a mile a minute and asks a bazillion questions a day. When Chase is awake, he’s almost always running and talking and things definitely feel crazier than ever around here. One of my favorite personality traits Chase possesses is his intense curiosity and he seems to genuinely love learning about anything and everything. He’s especially interested in whales, sharks, space, dinosaurs, airplanes, fire trucks and cars.
Chase continues to be incredibly social and loves playing with his friends and other children. Big kids are intriguing him more and more and if a big kid ever takes Chase under his or her wing at the pool or park, he is in heaven. Chase needs to know everyone’s name at all times and remembers almost all of them. He loves singing, dancing, playing and running. (He will honestly turn to me and say, “Mom, do you want to run with me?”) His energy knows no bounds and I truly love how joyful and excited he is on a daily basis.
As the months (okay, years) go on, I am relaxing more and more about Chase’s eating. Yes, I still get stressed about him actually consuming food since he would always, always rather play than eat and he’s still very light for a three-year-old but he’s been growing along his own little curve for three years now despite his lack of desire to eat so I suppose I should just learn to let it be and trust that he won’t starve himself.
As far as food go-tos, Chase loves bananas, berries, pumpkin muffins, chocolate chip larabars (I truly buy them by the case on Thrive Market), homemade popsicles (LOVE these for getting fruits and veggies in him in a fun way that feels like a treat), Simple Mills crackers, cucumbers, carrots, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pizza, apples, burgers, oranges, macaroni and cheese aaaand of course ice cream and anything with sprinkles and icing.
Lunch is generally his best meal of the day as far as food consumption is concerned and we struggle the most with getting him to eat at dinnertime.
I’m not sure if touching on sleep now that we have a three-year-old is really of interest but since Chase is still napping, maybe it is? I don’t know! Chase is such an energetic kid and does not stop moving and playing when he’s awake so I’m very grateful that he’s still napping for the most part even if it’s not every day. I’m actually working on this blog post as Chase is supposed to be napping and he’s currently in his crib singing, “We Will Rock You,” soooo there’s that.
So, while Chase clearly isn’t napping every single day, I can usually count on five days of decent naps around here. On the days when Chase doesn’t nap, I try to encourage “quiet time” and will let him read books in his crib. He’ll often do this for an hour or so and sometimes it morphs into imagination games with his stuffed animals. I don’t really care what he does in his crib during his “quiet time” but I do feel like most days he truly needs this time alone to rest after such intense play!
Sometimes Chase won’t nap and quiet time doesn’t happen but on those days he will often be in quite a mood by the late afternoon. We’re talking tears, whining and the whole enchilada. He’ll often be weepy and whiny up until dinner time which can really test my patience but I try my best to dial things back and stay home for a quiet afternoon when he’s acting incredibly fussy. I say all of this to say YES, he’s still napping and YES I think he still needs his naps. I am not sure when I can expect him to drop his nap but I’m definitely not pushing it!
Right now our biggest challenge seems to center around listening, particularly at the very end of the day/bed time. Chase seems to know exactly how to push our buttons and let’s just say the word “no” is his go-to response for many things these days. (He’s also a master negotiator.)
He seems to get a huge burst of energy and adrenaline the minute we say it’s bedtime (amazing how that happens, huh?) and will run all over the place, squealing and doing everything he can to put off bedtime and avoid brushing his teeth, putting on his pajamas, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do and how to respond but for the most part, staying firm and telling him that he has to listen or he won’t get as many stories before bed usually works but it can be incredibly draining to go through this whole shebang at the end of a long day.
As far as the whining, crying and general disobedience are concerned, two things that work better than anything (most of the time) include distraction or turning things into games and taking the time to slow down and talk with Chase about his feelings. When Chase is crying or throwing a fit, I find that when I simply ask him, “What are you feeling right now?” he’ll often calm down as he tries to think about what he’s actually feeling in the moment. It’s not a foolproof method to overcome these challenges but it works 10,000 times better than allowing myself to get exasperated and frustrated which only escalates his emotions, frustrations and tears. He definitely responds best to calm but firm correction and communication.
I am always open to learning about the way other parents handle discipline and how others deal with their children when they’re not listening, so if there is anything that has worked particularly well for you in this regard, I’d love to hear it!
The Big Brother Transition
A lot of people have asked how Chase is transitioning into his new role as a big brother and the short answer is really, really well. Truly I am so impressed with Chase and tell him every day how proud I am of how kind and loving he is toward Ryder. I think the three-year age difference is working in our favor because we can communicate with Chase and he understands everything that’s happening.
Chase is very interested in everything from nursing to diaper changes and I think his curiosity has helped with this transition as well. He seems to take his big brother role seriously and if Ryder is ever crying, he’ll look at me and say, “Mom! He needs some milk!”
This isn’t to say everything has been super smooth but I was prepared for some serious jealousy so I’ve been really grateful with how the adjustment has been going so far. Chase had a couple of accidents (only pee) after Ryder came home from the hospital (we were warned that there might be some potty training regression during this time so at least I expected it and it was really limited) and occasionally at the end of the day Chase will tell Ryan to “hold the baby” so I can cuddle with him to say prayers or tuck him in at night. While Chase does have his “I need my mom” moments for sure, I think I struggle more with feeling the dreaded mom guilt over the loss of so much one-on-one attention for Chase than he even seems to notice right now.
There have also been numerous moments where Ryder is screaming which sets Chase off on a downward spiral and then both kids are crying and screaming and I just want to cry, too. But thankfully Chase is usually very understanding when Ryder cries and will let me nurse him or try to soothe him to sleep while he plays. Chase will also often start singing the Daniel Tiger song, “When you feel so mad and you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four,” to try to help Ryder “calm down” when he’s crying which makes my heart melt.
Chase understands that he must be gentle around Ryder and he will often walk right over to him and gently touch the top of his head and give his little brother a kiss which is simply the best thing to witness. He likes to get right up in his face and talk or sing to him which is both comical and adorable. Thankfully Ryder is a pretty laid back little baby and seems to love watching his big brother entertain him!
- Playing outside
- Imagination games
- Sharks and whales
- His friends
- Visiting the library
- Boat rides on the lake
- Watching the birds/filling the bird feeder in our backyard
- Helping Mom cook
- Listening to stories/books
- Seek-and-find games
- How to Train Your Dragon
- Being told it’s time for bed
- Getting dressed
- When we have to leave the house in a hurry
Three Year Old Favorites
- Plasma Car
- VTech Rock & Bop Music Player (Chase loves this for car rides and thinks the headphones are so cool!)
- Bath Bombs
- Water WOW! Activity Pads
- Touch & Teach Book
- Water Table
- Toy Airplanes
- Puddle Jumper
- Shark toy
- Trains + Train Table
- Kitchen Helper Cooking Stand
- LeapFrog Laptop
- Melissa & Doug Take-A-Long Tools
- Pete the Cat Books
- National Geographic Ocean Animals
- My Big Book of Beginner Books About Me
- Daniel Tiger Books
- 5 Minute Bedtime Bible Stories
- The Ultimate Book of Vehicles
- 2 1/2 Years Old
- 26 Months
- 20-22 Months
- 17-19 Months
- 13-16 Months
- Twelve Months
- Eleven Months
- Ten Months
- Nine Months
- What I Wish I Knew Before My Baby Was Born
- Eight Months
- Seven Months
- Six Months
- Our First Sleep Training Experience
- Traveling With A Baby For The First Time
- Five Months
- Four Months
- Three Months
- Two Months
- And Then He Smiled
- Three Weeks
- The First 12 Days
- Q&A: All About Birth & Life With A New Baby
- Chase’s Birth Story: Part I, Part II
Happy Birthday Chase!! You are the sweetest little man. Life gets real fun right about now!!
So Julie…I’m just gonna come right out and say it….three has not been my favorite age. Ugh, shouldn’t we love all of these stages?? But truth…three is tough. We skated through two. Honestly, two was delightful for my kids. Three has been crazy with the tantrums and testing limits and meltdowns and nonsense. Three is challenging. But everything is a stage and while 3 is rough, we come out stronger on the other side, right? The fun part about 3 is the language…I laugh out loud at the things my kids say every day. They are like little people now! I guess we should just sit back and enjoy it…tantrums and all. Some days are easier than others!
Ohmigosh yes to the bedtime fights. My toddler, or little kid now I guess, also fights naps, but always falls asleep. And bedtime is…never smooth. I think it’s because I always did bedtime but now my husband does most nights since I’m generally nursing a newborn. Apparently at daycare though she lays right down without a fight so I guess we’re just lucky here at home to witness her drama skills 🙂 It is so, so hard when both of my babies are crying, the mom guilt is real!
Oh, and I never responded to your comment on Friday, but, yes, Hart of Dixie is such a Hallmark style show! Wait until the last episode. The very end is so cheesy in such a good way. Haha. I have to find something new to watch now….
My 5 year old wiwilwiwill still nap on most days because he definitely has the personality that needs it. He is also an extremely early riser. I say hold onto that naptime peace and quiet for as long as you can!
Lauren M Chemplavil says
I swear you’re describing my house and my 3.5 yr old (and even his 5 yr old brother sometimes!) about behavior around bedtime and attitude. I wonder where all the sass comes from at times, but try to enjoy the moments where it has funny results!
Also, your approach to handling not listening and talking about emotions makes y’all sound like our discipline spirit animals, because we do the same stuff! Thankfully it works often enough to make it worth it, but it’s certainly exhausting and hard to stay calm at times (and being human, I fail at that plenty!).
My younger son LOVES dinosaurs and How To Train Your Dragon, too! I was hoping he’d enjoy the T Rex exhibit at Discovery Place, but he lasted all of 5 mins in there (d’oh!).
Have a great one, and thank you for sharing!
Our Discovery Place experience with the T-Rex exhibit was so similar! And I had such high hopes!
I enjoyed this update! Especially because my son will be three in early October.
Love these updates of Chase! The negotiations and stall tactics of a 3 year are unreal, living them over here!!
Love these updates! I have been following your blog for ages (all the way from the UK!) but never seem to get round to commenting (maybe something to do with a demanding toddler?!) But it’s really great and so relevant (and useful!) for me right now with my son a little over 2.5yrs and another baby on the way in September! We are starting to see some similar issues around discipline and negotiation (how do they learn this so quickly?!) and a lot of what you said about your approach is similar to what we’ve been trying to stick to too. It’s reassuring to see others facing similar challenges! Thank you for sharing, and congrats on your beautiful little family ? xx
Molly Schmock says
Love reading your updates on Chase! I’ve been a longtime reader of your blog (about 8 years now). My son turns 3 on August 24th so they are super close in age. And I have another little boy too, Keaton turns 1 (HOW ALREADY) September 22nd. We too are struggling with listening a lot and also eating. Sometimes it takes Fletcher over an hour to eat dinner. Last week I actually decided to get this plate and he has literally ate his entire dinner for the past 3 days in row! Thats a HUGE win in our house so I wanted to share it with you! We got the superhero one but they have a dinosaur one too so maybe Chase would like that. The first few months were very hard but full of lots of love with a newborn and a toddler. You got this! And if you have a bad day, you yell or cry…just remember your boys love you no matter what and tomorrow is another day. You look beautiful by the way, you are rocking being a boy momma!
Yessss to the dinnertime struggle. It’s so frustrating some days but I do notice that when Chase’s eating is horrible one day, he seems to eat more the next day which helps me TRY not to stress… but it’s hard!! And thanks for sharing that plate — looking into it now!
Laura Swanson says
Our daughter is a few months younger than Chase and the bedtime struggle is real. We’ve found that breaking up the two main tasks of teeth brushing and pj’s helps. We’ll do one first, read a few books and then the last task. We also tell her if she’s doesn’t come do a task by the count of three then she loses X privilege for the night (normally books or one of her songs we sing once she’s in the crib). It works the majority of the time and if she doesn’t listen, then we stay strong and she doesn’t get the book or song. Occasionally it’s both. She remembers really well though the next night and we say remember how you didn’t listen last night and didn’t get to sing hush baby? Then she’s very serious about getting ready for bed! And we “race” to her crib every night which gets her to climb in on her own every night really well.
Love the idea of breaking things up!! And we do a TON of racing around here, too!! Ha! Whatever works!!
I really love Janet Lansbury’s books, No Bad Kids Toddler Disciple without Shame and Elevating Childcare and her blog http://www.janetlansbury.com. They really really helped me when my kids were little (and still now! I love her!). Good luck, your kids are gorgeous x
Thank you for sharing!!
Love these Chase updates! 🙂 He is such a cutie!!
I know all about those bedtime struggles and not listening when it is time to go to bed. My younger nephew Enzo who is almost 2 and a half never wants to go to bed, so they actually just let him stay up until wayyyy too late (like 1am). I just hope they don’t let that continue for too much longer, but I don’t really think it is my place to say anything other than give my advice about it. He is totally a master manipulator also and is so quick to shout “NO!” at you no matter what you say. Haha. Also, my older nephew Gio (who will be 5 this month) still has fits about going to bed. You know he is way overtired and just exhausted, but the second it is bedtime he literally is running around the house with all the energy in the world. Haha. Boys!!!
Your family is so beautiful, Julie! I hope you are having a great week! Xoxo
Laura W says
Hi Julie! I’m not a mom myself, but I’m an ex-nanny now-Pediatrician and I HIGHLY recommend timers for EVERYTHING. Give 3 year olds the option of “you can do this now or in 5 minutes.” They will always say in 5 minutes, but generally when that timer goes off, there’s a lot less fuss about the transition. They’ve had time to adjust to what they need to do and they had an element of choice in when they do it. Basically, make them think it was their idea haha
Ah!!! This is SUCH a good reminder! I had someone mention timers to me before and I need to do this with Chase. He definitely does well with concrete rules and I think a timer would be a huge help. Thank you!!
What word does one use to describe a 3 year old boy? How about “devil!!” Or “Curious” or “active” or “Cute” or even “Man Child”?
I have loved following all your happenings and stories since well before Chase’s birth and love these updates. If he is not “Dennis the Menace” reincarnated, well, then I don’t know.
And as I always say, his winning smile and sunny face will keep him OUT OF TROUBLE for a long long time. But those eyes tell the truth lol.
So happy for you with the health and smiles of everyone. I hope the blessings continue 🙂
So many great recommendations about bedtime! I love the timer idea! I wanted to share too what worked for us. Giving a bed time pass to our kids that they could use after they were in the room for the night for one visit from one of us. Here is a bit more information about it: https://www.drgreene.com/bedtime-pass-program/
Chase may be young or you may not be having trouble with him after he is in his room, but it worked like a charm. I think sometimes its about not being in control – the pass gave my kids a sense of control and calmed them down about the entire process. Eventually, they just stopped using it.
I also like to empathize with my kids when they get in tantrum mode. When they get upset I just say I would feel like that too if my socks were bugging me like that. For whatever reason it usually gets them to take a deep breath and move on.
Aww, I love that Chase sings Daniel Tiger songs to Ryder when he’s upset 🙂 My 3 year old used to do that when her little brother was an infant too! Her go to was, “It’s ok to feel sad sometimes. Little by little, you’ll feel better again!” She also will sing him, “Grownups come back” when he gets upset about me leaving them with a babysitter. I honestly feel like Daniel Tiger is the best thing to happen to parenting in a long time. Those songs are GOLD!!
The whole brain child and no drama discipline are hands down my favorite parenting books I’ve read! So good and very similar to what you are already doing.
Sarah Shaver says
That’s so great that Chase is asking a lot of questions. My oldest is 1 ½ so we’re not quite there yet but I’ve heard a lot of moms rave about how amazing these books have been for their little kid: https://t6337.myubam.com/search?Q=question+and+answer&As=false&Cid=0&Mid=0&Pf=&Pt=&Sid=false&btnsearch=Search
I love how Chase is owning being a big brother! We’ll watch Daniel Tiger occasionally and I remember the episode where they sang the “when you feel so made and you want to roar” song. So cute! My husband and I have this rule (it’s a joke of course) that both the girls (1 ½ and 4 months old) can’t lose it at the same time. If one is crying and the other one starts we say, “ah! Remember, both of you can’t lose it!” hahaha it’s added some comic relief to the emotional moment.
I have a son who is very close to Chase’s age (he’ll be 3 in January). I’ve enjoyed these updates so much so thank you for sharing ? We deal with many of the same challenges with our son. As far as eating, I’m definitely not an expert, but I’ve read a lot of articles about eating struggled with toddlers (as I’m sure you have to!). One thing that helps me not stress AS much is knowing that kids are the ultimate intuitive eaters…meaning they naturally will eat what their body needs when their body needs it. One article said it so well (I wish I could remember it to link to)…our job as parents is to provide balanced meals and snacks at regular intervals. The child’s job is to decide what and how much to eat. We have to trust that, like you said, kids won’t starve themselves.
One question about “quiet time”…do you put Chase down for his nap with toys and books already in his crib? Or, once you realize that he’s not going to nap, do you go into his room and give him some toys or books to entertain himself? My son is the same and will usually so well 5 days of the week. Other days he just talks to himself or runs around his crib like a crazy person during “quiet time.” I’m hesitant to go into his room to give him toys or books to have in his crib b/c I’m afraid he’ll just get upset once I leave.
I always start with trying to get him to nap but when it’s clear he won’t be falling asleep (30 min or so after our nap attempt) I’ll go in and say he can read some books for a bit! Sometimes he’ll fall aslee with his books but sometimes it’s just quiet time in his crib — I’m fine with either option as long as he has some time to wind down (for both of our sakes)!
YES! Naps are crucial for BOTH our sakes right?! Thanks for taking time to respond ? Hope today is a good nap day for Chase (and for you ;)!
Happy belated birthday Chase!
If you want to further your shark knowledge, last week’s Ologies podcast episode was all about sharks! Not exactly kid friendly (there’s usually some swears) but you might be able to surprise him with some new facts!
Fiona MacDonald says
Oh man I hear you loud and clear on this post! Sully is just insane after daycare and of course is tired, as am I after a long da at work and we both end up in more fits and tantrums then either of us like! I’m forever grateful for the days Sully naps because by 5pm ohhh man he is a bear, but often means earlier bedtime so I’ll take that!!!
I’m so made we can’t call them toddlers any more like really they aren’t able to process like big kids but I know they aren’t babies…so they have to be toddlers right??? lol
I have two suggestions with the listening/bedtime struggle.
1) read 1-2-3 Magic
2) try to give him choices so he feels like he’s in control. “Do you want to brush your teeth or put your pajamas on?”
My daughter is 4.5 and lately her listening ears have been broken so I feel ya!
Hello!! Blog stalker here. I’ve got a 3 yo boy a week older than yours, and an 8 month old girl. I like seeing the similarities we have.
Since you asked, what works best for us regarding discipline is 2 things. 1 – we always have a 5 minute count down to the next activity (meal, nap, bed, leaving, etc). It’s a totally arbitrary 5 minutes that goes either fast or slow depending if I’m paying attention. 2- I try as much as possible to give him a choice. Could be green spoon or silver spoon, walking or me carrying him, etc. Something to make him think he is part of the decision. I definitely have some hard day’s around here too, but these things seem to help me. Also talking about feelings works magically, as you’ve pointed out. Thanks for sharing!
When I was a toddler I didn’t eat very much and my mom was concerned like you are, Julie. The pediatrician told her that toddlers/young children can survive on two tablespoons of food a day, if needed (which is pretty amazing considering all the energy they have!). I finally got my appetite back at 13 (hormones!) and it hasn’t left, ha ha.
I never had issues with my kids when they were 2…definitely no “terrible twos” for them. However, about a month before their third birthdays, both of my kids (who are 3 yrs apart) went all Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde on me! The third year for them both was, hmmm, challenging I guess is the best way to describe it. For me, the best thing that worked for their little “three-nager” attitude was treating them more like big kids. I moved them into toddler beds and that’s when I saw a HUGE change in them both. They were so happy to be big kids in big kid beds that nap time and bedtime became SO easy. If you haven’t stated to transition Chase to a big boy bed, I highly recommend it and when you do, make a big deal out of becoming a big boy…that just really seemed to help my kids. By the time they were about 3yr 10 mo they started to come back around and were back to being my sweet kiddos again…thank goodness!!!
I forgot to add that when we transitioned them to the big kid beds, I took each of them to the store to pick out what bedding they wanted…when a kid actually asks to go to bed, you know you did the right things lol
….. if Ryder is ever crying, he’ll look at me and say, “Mom! He needs some milk!”
…..Chase will also often start singing the Daniel Tiger song, “When you feel so mad and you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four,”
How adorable. Chase is one of the cutest lil boys I’ve ever seen. 🙂
The Curious Frugal says
Yes to using Daniel Tiger songs! Lol. We sing that same one, it really does seem to help to calm her down because she loves it so much. We also sing the Daniel Tiger potty song over here except potty training isn’t really happening yet so my 2 year old will sing the song to me instead, ha!
The Daniel Tiger potty song is AMAZING!!!! Chase still sings it on an almost daily basis when he has to go! It’s such a big help!