Brady’s 3-year update

Can you believe it’s been a year since I wrote a Brady update? I know I mention him a lot on social media and in blog posts, but I haven’t devoted a full post to him since his last birthday. Seems like it is time. Because, tomorrow, on September 30, my little baby man officially turns 3-years-old. I would say that time flies, but I can’t really remember what life was like without him.

Let’s get to the update …

Brady’s 3-year update

Brady's 3-year update by A Lady Goes West

The thing with having a 3-year-old is that he’s a mixture of a baby and a big boy. Sometimes, he falls down, gets hurt, cries and needs his mommy. Sometimes, he runs around the house lifting up heavy things and talks in full sentences. It’s an adorable mixture that I just eat up. Also, he makes me laugh all the time, because of the things he says and does, and it’s a nice relief to have that source of constant entertainment.

I say this in every update, but I like each stage more than the last. He’s so much more fun than he was when he was a little crawling baby. He’s my buddy! And I way prefer toddlerhood to babyhood. Anyone else? Sure it’s cute when they are very tiny and you can bring them everywhere, but I prefer a side-kick that can hold his own (well, try to hold his own, anyhow).

Brady reading by A Lady Goes West

Let’s break it down into sections …

Eating and meals

Brady is a pretty good eater. He eats three meals a day with two snacks, and he still drinks milk three times a day too.

He eats a lot of fruit, cheese, yogurt, chicken nuggets, apple sauce, crackers, Larabars, veggies, avocado, sweet potato, PBJs, oatmeal, cherry tomatoes, black beans, bread and simple foods like that. His favorite snack is probably raw almonds. He mostly feeds himself, but he’s so darn slow, that oftentimes Dave and I have to help him along. He’s not super picky, but it does take a while to get him introduced to something new. Did I mention he’s a very slow eater? Very slow.

Brady in his high chair by A Lady Goes West

Here’s his loose meal schedule:

  • 7:45 a.m. – Milk after waking
  • 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast
  • 10:30 a.m. – Snack
  • 12 p.m. – Lunch
  • 1 p.m. – Milk before nap
  • 4:30 p.m. – Snack
  • 6:15 p.m. – Dinner
  • 7:15 p.m. – Milk before bed

By the way, he still drinks organic whole milk and drinks it slightly warmed and out of a sippy cup. He’s a milk lover, for sure. 

Brady drinking a smoothie by A Lady Goes West

We put Brady in his high-chair for lunch and dinner only. He eats his breakfast with me at the coffee table and has his snacks on the go. He does okay with utensils and uses them for some food, but also likes to use his hands too. As far as we know, he doesn’t have any food allergies or major dislikes. But he does not like anything spicy or anything with a hot temperature. He’s quite sensitive to temperature.

We don’t really have a problem with Brady eating enough, although he’s not exactly driven by food. He eats when it’s time to eat, otherwise he prefers to play. That’s not how I feel about food at all. 🙂 

Brady on 4th of July by A Lady Goes West

Sleeping and napping

I mean, I don’t want to jinx anything, but Brady is a great sleeper.

I have to say that his first 11 months or so of life were awful in sleep. He never slept more than a few hours at a time. It was rough. I mean really rough. I wouldn’t wish what we went through on anyone. Then, all of a sudden, he started to sleep better.

He now sleeps from about 7:45 p.m. to 7 a.m. every single day. He also takes one nap during the day from about 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. or so. There are some days where he doesn’t nap for very long, but he always goes into his bed during that time. Clearly, he needs and loves his sleep.

By the way, we do his same bedtime routine and put him in a sleep-sack for both his nap and nighttime, complete with reading stories, rocking and his sound machine. I think this helps him get into the sleep zone.

However, I must say that he went through a phase during mid-quarantine where he would wake up in the night one time for a few weeks, which was bizarre and out of the blue. But it was easy to get him back down. In fact, he goes back to sleep so easily. If you visit him, pick him up, rock him for a minute, then you can put him down and he snuggles back in to the corner of his bed and falls back asleep. It’s actually quite cute. But those wake-ups are mostly few and far between now (although he had one last week, strangely).

Which brings me to my next point: Brady is still in his crib. He loves his crib. He sleeps in the corner all balled up, with his legs folded underneath him, and he has no problem being in there. Eventually we will transition him into a toddler bed (he has this convertible crib, which we love), but I don’t see a need to rush it right now. Oftentimes, I go in there in the morning or after a nap and he wants to keep playing in his crib with all his stuffed animals. He’s a crib lover. And we’re happy to have him safely contained.

As far as naps go: There have been a few days when we’ve traveled that he’s skipped his nap, but otherwise we do sort’ve schedule our lives around being home for his nap. It works for us. It won’t be like this forever, but it works now. He’s a super energetic little boy who runs everywhere instead of walking, so his rest is essential.

Here’s an example: When we were in Tahoe last month, we came home every day for Brady to get at least a 90-minute nap, and it’s a good way for him to reset (and for us too). We shall see how long his napping goes on, but we’re holding on to it tightly right now.

Also, we never push his bedtime. I don’t think we’ve ever put him to bed past 8 p.m. in the last two years. Things get messy when he stays up too late. He gets a little loopy. And we are usually ready for him to go to bed each night. Then, we always end up missing him about an hour later and pull up a picture or video or two from the day just to see him.

Brady and Rudy by A Lady Goes West

Development and milestones

The good stuff

Brady’s memory is crazy good. He remembers everything from everywhere, and it surprises me so much. But to be honest, my memory is pretty good too, so I think he gets it from me. You can tell his mind goes a mile a minute too, because he often gets so excited about the things he wants to say that sometimes he stutters.

Otherwise, he speaks in totally full sentences and knows way more words than I could possibly count. He’s very chatty, pretty much all the time.

He can count to 10, and he knows the first half of the alphabet. He loves to sing. He loves to dance. He loves to play. He’s very energetic and runs around and jumps on things throughout the day over and over again. He’s big into bubbles, kicking and throwing balls and collecting things. He finds things, puts them in baskets or boxes and calls them his “special things” or “treasures.”

Brady also loves to read. We read maybe three books before nap and four books before bed, so we do a lot of reading together. Many times he can recite the entire book, because we read the same selection over and over again. 

He also sits facing the front in the car in his carseat, which is a new development since my last update. That was an exciting change for him. He loves to see all the things. 

Also, Brady went on a boat for the first time last month when we went to Lake Tahoe. And he is still talking about all the things we did on that trip, down to the smallest detail …

Brady at Emerald Bay Tahoe by A Lady Goes West

The toddler tantrums

I’m painting a very rosy picture here. But let’s be honest, it’s not all rosy …

Brady’s favorite word is “no.” And Brady definitely has tantrums. He doesn’t always listen well, and he hates when fun things have to end (for example, I don’t think we’ve ever left the park without a kicking and screaming issue). He totally likes to test limits when he’s told no. And he also likes to take anything Dave or I are using and use it himself and say, “That’s mine.” We do try to give Brady boundaries, and he does okay with them. But he mostly likes to do what he wants to do. 

Also, if you tell him you’re going to do something, he will incessantly ask if it’s time for that thing all the way until it’s time for that thing. For instance, we took Brady to Baker Beach over the weekend. On the entire 42-minute drive there he kept saying: “I want to go to the sandy beach. Is this the sandy beach?” Over and over again.

The status of potty training

Let’s talk potty training …

Brady is not yet potty trained. We haven’t started it yet. We bought him a little potty, and we talk about using the potty quite a bit. But he doesn’t quite get it and hasn’t shown signs of being ready yet. We’re going to start addressing this very soon, but don’t want to rush it. He tends to be a little slower to take on new things, and that’s totally fine with us. It will be nice to stop buying diapers though.


Brady is back in preschool this year and is going three mornings a week with other kids around his age. He absolutely loves going to school and gets excited to put on his school outfits and backpack.

He’s only been back in school for three weeks and has already learned so much. He sings songs that I haven’t heard before, and he assigns one of us to be his “line leader” at times. And he brings home crafts and asks questions about things that we’ve never talked about. 

We were on the fence about sending Brady to preschool this year, because of the current situation in the world, but as of now … we’re so happy we did. He’s loving school, learning a ton, and we’re loving it too.

Brady before preschool by A Lady Goes West

Brady’s favorite things

Here are a few things that Brady loves to do …

  • Play tag
  • Play hide and seek (although he doesn’t quite play it right, and typically asks for a suggestion on where he should hide, then gets so excited that he pops out of his hiding place before you really find him)
  • Play blocks (and demand that we build him different types of trucks)
  • Play with his sticker books
  • Dance to “Wagon Wheel” “Rain on Me” and the theme song to Cars, “Life is a Highway,” over and over and over again, like seriously, we play these songs so often
  • Watch his Netflix shows in the morning: “Octonauts,” “Noddy: Toyland Detective,” and “Puffin Rock” 
  • Catch an episode of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” on YouTube when we allow it
  • Exercise with Mommy (by trying to do whatever I’m doing or climbing under or on me)
  • Walk “all by himself” on walks without the stroller on the sidewalk, he’s over being in his stroller
  • “Drive” the car, by sitting in the front set and pushing the horn and buttons
  • See any sort of police car, ambulance, fire truck, construction site, bus or large truck when we’re out and about (he knows the specific name of each type of construction contraption and will correct you if you get it wrong)
  • Run around with kitchen utensils (not pointy ones, of course)
  • Play with cars, trucks and dinosaurs (thanks to my brother and sister-in-law who always send Brady dinosaur toys and books)
  • Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk
  • Watch videos of himself
  • Wear his red boots — he’s on his second pair, and here are the ones he has right now (thanks to Dave’s sister for introducing Brady to boots in the first place early on)

Brady in the hamper by A Lady Goes West

Things that Brady says

There have been so many times when I’ve told myself to write down all the adorable things that Brady says. I know this list won’t include everything, but here’s what I want to remember for now …

  • “Because I was …” so many statements start with “Because” or “No, because”
  • “Mini Scooper” whenever he sees a Mini Cooper car
  • “Baboon” instead of balloon
  • “I need the keem” which means cream, and that’s what we use on booboos
  • “Look at my pinchers” as he holds up his hands into little claws
  • “I make you so happy, Mommy”
  • “Dat’s not where dat goes” because he likes organization and order, much like I do
  • “Mailman Pete is doing the delibberies” because every mailman is “Pete” from one of his books
  • “I’m nice and cozy” whenever he puts a blanket on or sees a blanket
  • “I’m doing my street sweeping” when he kicks his little shoes in the sand
  • “I want to wear my causies” which means casuals, like basketball shorts, for hanging around the house

Brady on the bike by A Lady Goes West

Brady by the numbers

Here are some facts and figures on our little guy …

  • 3 years old
  • 3 feet 4 inches tall
  • 36.2 pounds
  • Size 6 diapers
  • Size 2T clothes
  • Size 7 shoe
  • Got his first and only haircut at 2-years-and-11-months-old
  • 100 percent cute

The best toys and gear

Here’s what we’re currently loving and using …

Overall thoughts on Brady from the last year

I just love that little munchkin, and I love the age he is so much. He’s hilarious, and he says the best stuff. While he’s a handful, who definitely tests my patience on a daily basis (yes, I lose my cool at times …), he’s also just a little friend. He’s so sweet, he loves to participate, and life is so much more fun with him in it. I love to see him grow!

I think that having a toddler is so much easier than having a baby, and Dave and I both enjoy this stage a lot. We’ve got a great routine, and it’s working well for all of us.

I know we’re in for some big changes as we start potty training him and transitioning him into a toddler bed. But we’re doing things slow and steady and on his terms, because that’s what’s always worked for us. I don’t read any baby books any longer, and we just go with our guts. So here’s to 3!

Brady on CDs by A Lady Goes West

And we’ll end this one here. Thanks for checking out Brady’s 3-year update.

You can usually see some Brady shenanigans on my Instagram stories, so head on over to say hi there.

Other posts you may like …

Questions of the day

Can you believe Brady is 3?

How was your weekend?

When did your kiddo move into a big-kid bed?

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  1. Such a fun post to read! I’m currently drafting Skyler’s 2.5 year update – it’s crazy how fast the time goes by for these dudes. Brady is such a little cutie 🙂 And we can chat potty training if you’d like … it wasn’t very fun, but we thought Skyler was ready since he basically refused diaper changes and told us he wanted to use the potty. We eventually made it through! And I must say that I am LOVING the no-diaper life and the money it saves. Also, loving his outfits and red boots!

    1. Hi Heather! Yes, I’d LOVE to hear your potty training tips — so we’ll need to schedule a catch-up about that. Hope you have a wonderful day, my friend! 🙂

  2. Hi Ashley!

    What a sweet post 🙂 . It’s so crazy and neat to watch how our little ones grow into their own, have their favorites, grow personalities, etc. I sometimes wish my little guy was a slow eater…he’s usually halfway done eating before me and my husband can even get our plates on the table! It’s a constant race to eat around here, but I’m sure that will change soon enough. We use that same blue cup for our little guy that Brady uses and he really likes it! Our little man likes to snuggle up in the corner of his bed too, I wonder what that’s about…it’s so cute though! I can definitely relate to pulling up pictures and videos of the little one once he’s asleep…my husband and I do that every night before we settle in for bed 🙂 . Our little guy is big on books too…I’m not sure why we have any other toys some days because he’s always just flipping through books. I love the “things that Brady says” section, that’s so sweet! I can’t wait until our little one says more than “mama” and “dada”! I really enjoyed reading this, it was very relatable. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi lady! I wish I had been writing down some of the things Brady says before now, so I encourage you to start logging it hehehe — I’ve been terrible with keeping track of milestones outside of these update blog posts. And such a fun and wonderful time with our littles right now. Enjoy it! 🙂 xoxo

  3. Love this update! I think you are doing it right by not rushing the crib or potty training. We took the same approach and waited until we thought our daughter was ready which was way into 3 for the crib transition and a little before 3.5 for potty training. Both ended up being smooth transitions and did not cause much stress for either us or our daughter. You are doing a great job!

    1. Hi Krista! Ohh thanks for the kind words of encouragement. We definitely don’t want to rush anything. I appreciate you saying that. Hope you are doing well! 🙂 xoxo

  4. Fun to read the update! My 3.5 year old said she misses her crib, so yea don’t rush it! And IF you want a potty training book, I highly recommend Oh Crap by Jamie Glowacki.

    1. Hi Delia! Well that’s good to know. I feel like Brady will really miss his crib, so we’ll take our time. And thanks for the book recommendation — what a funny title! Hope all is well, friend!

  5. Hi Ashley, a great update on Brady. How you remember everything you included is amazing. Not having the experience of raising a toddler this post was really fun to read. I always imagined it would had been an interesting experience to raised a child from birth through their childhood to adult life. I have enjoyed following Brady’s development from infant to toddler.

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