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Toddler Month by Month

31-Month-Old

Your toddler is 31 months old!

Your child has a hard time staying in bed at night? Join the club! Plenty of activity during the day may help her sleep more soundly at night. Naps are important too. Kids who don’t get enough sleep during the day are often overtired at bedtime, which makes getting them to wind down harder (the irony!). At this age, one two-hour nap after lunch usually does the trick. If your child is afraid of the dark (or monsters), you may have to get creative. Some parents swear by Monster Spray, aka a squirt bottle filled with water you can use to "ward off invading monsters."

In this article:
31-Month-Old Development
31-Month-Old Sleep
31-Month-Old Food
Activities for a 31-Month-Old
31-Month-Old Baby Checklist/Tips

31-Month-Old Development

As with every age, 31-month-olds can vary quite a bit in size and development. The important thing, as always, is that they're growing in an upward curve and not regressing (although temporary regressions can be normal too). Think about it this way: Some kids focus on perfecting one milestone and then move on to the next. Others are working on a bunch of different things at once, so their paces are different.

31-Month-Old Weight & Height

Average weight for a 31-month-old is around 29.1 pounds for girls and 30.2 pounds for boys. Average height is around 35.8 inches for girls and 36.2 inches for boys, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.

31-Month-Old Milestones

What should my 31-month-old be doing?

Here are some milestones your 31-month-old may have hit or may be working on:

Speech. Your 31-month-old may be saying around 100 to 250 words. He may also be using two- or three-word phrases—though it'll take him a while until he uses correct grammar. A 31-month-old not talking, or who isn't making improvements in speech, may need to see a speech therapist for extra help.
Potty training. 31-month-olds vary in their potty skills. You might be in the throes of potty training—or your kid might have mastered the art of staying dry all day long (woo-hoo!).
Teething. Your 31-month-old child may be teething with her second molars. Also known as the 2-year molars, these pearly whites tend to erupt between 20 and 33 months. And since they're big, it can be a painful process. The good news is that they're the last teeth to come in until around age 6, when kids can better deal with the discomfort, so soon, you'll be done with teething woes.

31-Month-Old Behavior

Saying no. Two-and-a half-year-olds are notorious for saying no to just. About. Everything. Try not to pose questions with yes or no answers. Instead, give your kid two choices you can deal with, and let him pick.
Attention seeking. Tantrums, whining and screaming may stress you out, but some experts say the best way to deal with these undesirable behaviors is to ignore them. Think about it this way: You're showing her that her attention-seeking behavior doesn't work.
Stress. When your 31-month-old is stressed, you may notice a change in personality, regression (in things like potty training or thumb- sucking), asking to go home, or just plain resistance. Step back and take some time to comfort your child. More one-on-one time or less hectic days may help.

31-Month-Old Health

Health is always a top concern for parents, and this age is no different. Some common health questions parents of 31-month-olds have are:

• My 31-month-old has diarrhea. What should I do? • My 31-month-old is constipated. What should I do? • My 31-month-old is throwing up. What should I do? • My 31-month old has a cough. What should I do? • My 31-month-old has a fever. What should I do?

31-Month-Old Sleep

Bedtime with a 31-month-old can be a challenge. This is where sticking to a routine and setting certain boundaries (like no getting out of bed except to use the potty) can help. It may seem like a struggle every single night—even when you're doing everything right—but eventually your kid will get it and stop protesting so much. (It just might take a while.)

How Much Sleep Does a 31-Month-Old Need?

Most 2-year-olds need around 11 to 12 hours of nighttime sleep, plus a nap of about 1.5 to 3 hours, for a total of about 13 to 14 hours of sleep per day.

Every kid is different, but your child's schedule may look something like this:

Photo: Smart Up Visuals

31-Month-Old Sleep Problems

Switching from a crib to a big-kid bed may mean you have an occasional middle-of-the-night visitor. If you want to prevent night waking from becoming a habit, keep leading your child back to his own bed and tucking him in. Eventually, he'll understand the boundaries.

31-Month-Old Food

At 31 months, some might assume you'd have a firm grasp of your child's likes and dislikes. But honestly, she's still figuring it out herself. So it's totally normal for her to ask for seconds of broccoli one day and then refuse to eat it the next. Just keep offering the healthy stuff and try not to push her into eating it.

How Much Should My 31-Month-Old Be Eating?

Two-year-olds should continue to eat three meals per day, plus two snacks. Offer him a variety of foods in all food groups—vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy—daily. Portion size isn't big at this age: Expect your kid to eat only ¼ to ½ as much as an adult.

Your 2-year-old should be drinking 1 percent or skim milk (not whole milk). Try to offer low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese too. Doctors recommend kids ages one to three get 700 mg of calcium per day. Fat should account for less than 30 percent of your toddler's daily calories.

What to Feed My 31-Month-Old

Looking for some tasty and nutritious meal inspiration? Check out these food ideas for a 2-year-old:

Healthy Foods Your Toddler Will Love
15 Creative Meal Ideas for Toddlers
22 Easy, Tasty Kid's Lunch Ideas
Yum's the Word! 24 Healthy Snacks for Kids

31-Month-Old Feeding Schedule

Photo: Smart Up Visuals

Source: HealthyChildren.org

31-Month-Old Eating Problems

If it were up to a 31-month-old, he'd probably overdo it with the juice. It's true fruit juices offer some of the vitamins and minerals of fruit, but too much juice can cause unhealthy weight gain and also malnourishment. That's because juice can have a lot of calories but not a lot of nutrition (read: sugar).

Limit your child to 4 ounces or less of juice each day. Stick with 100 percent juice and look for fruit-and-veggie blend juices. Some parents like to mix half a cup of juice with half a cup of water to prevent going overboard.

Activities for 31-Month-Old

When they're not being super stubborn, 31-month-olds can be wonderful playmates. Take some time to play together.

What to do with a 31-month-old?

Fun activities, games and toys for a 31-month-old are:

Pretend play. Your 31-month-old may be obsessed with dolls or stuffed animals. Don’t prevent her from pretending—play along! You’ll honor her creativity.
Roll a ball. A simple game of roll-the-ball on the floor is fun for a 31-month-old and a great bonding activity. If he's getting good at the game, you can work your way up to a full-fledged game of catch.
Indoor parade. Rainy day? Put on a parade! Play some music and march along. Then get creative, taking turns copying each other's backward steps, skips, and jumps.

31-Month-Old Baby Checklist/Tips

• Your 31-month-old still thrives on routine, so keep nap and mealtimes as consistent as you can from day to day.
• Need to change your child’s bedtime? Start early and adjust it gradually—by increments of around 10 minutes each day—to get her to adapt more easily.
• Continue to teach and enforce good habits, such as handwashing and toothbrushing.