We’re talking all about Brady at four-years-old today with his official 4-year update.
Last week, my little man turned four, and so much has changed in his life (and our lives) since he turned three. Big things — like potty training, wearing underwear, moving across the country and even switching to a toddler bed have all happened. But it’s the other stuff that isn’t necessarily a “milestone” that has maybe been the most significant over the last year. This dude is a little human, with feelings, opinions and a full-on personality that he isn’t afraid to use. I’ve covered Brady in a couple posts over the last few months, but I haven’t done a full update since last year, so let’s get into it today …
Brady’s 4-year update
I seriously love this little man to the core, because he’s such a good person. He cares about people. And he pays attention and learns about people. He tells us he loves us a lot. He’s affectionate. He loves to snuggle. He loves to be the center of attention. And he is somehow a soft squishy toddler, while also being sort’ve a big boy, if that makes any sense at all. Being a first-time mom of only one, I never know exactly what to expect. I’m around kids a decent amount, but I don’t know any kids like I know Brady, and he continues to amaze me with what he has in his arsenal, what he absorbs and what he can understand.
Speaking of “toddlerhood,” I recently had to look up what the real age range of toddlerhood was, and apparently it’s up for interpretation, but usually ends around four. Brady is on the older end of toddlerhood, but I really don’t think he’s out of it yet. He still gets some tantrums, and he still can be unreasonable, so we’ll keep calling him a toddler for a little bit longer, if that’s okay with you.
Let’s get into some specifics …
Eating and food
Brady is a healthy eater, and he’s a decent eater, but he’s not an efficient eater. If we wished one thing about Brady, it would be that he was a faster eater, who was more self-sufficient. It’s a daily struggle to get his breakfast finished, so we can get out the door to school or the gym.
The thing is, Brady isn’t driven by food. He eats to live, he doesn’t live to eat. If we didn’t force Brady to eat, he would probably not even notice he hadn’t eaten all day, other than he would be very hangry. Brady is a slow eater. He only likes room temperature food. And he only likes to eat clean food that doesn’t leave him too messy. And he’s way more interested in chatting or playing than eating.
I wrote a whole blog post on Brady’s favorite foods, so if you haven’t checked that out, I would recommend it. Here’s the post: “Brady’s favorite foods at almost four years old (the best toddler food).” In the post, I get specific with what we’re feeding him for all his meals.
The gist is this: Brady eats a lot of fruit, some veggies, some cheese, and pretty simple and healthy convenient food. Hands-down, his favorite foods are Amy’s mac & cheese and probably bananas. He never turns down either. His meals are all little snack plates, and he doesn’t like his food to mix.
We use a sectioned-off plate for his meals, and we use a Bento Box in his lunchbox for school. Speaking of school, we send him with a full lunchbox every day, and he probably eats about 20 to 30 percent of his lunch. Luckily, his teachers send the whole thing home, and he finishes it off with me at the table when he gets home, so no food gets wasted. His teachers say he’s more into the “social aspect” of lunch than the eating. Of course.
Brady has three meals a day, two snacks, and he also has a sippy cup of warmed-up milk three times a day. We use organic whole milk, and I’m fine giving it to him for as long as he wants, because he needs the calories and the protein.
Brady is technically able to feed himself, but he is such a slow eater, that we often help him along. He eats most of his meals at the table with us, which is a change from his first few years of life, and we like the change. We have some work to do in the eating department, but overall, he’s come so far!
Here’s his loose daily eating schedule:
- 7 a.m. – Warmed-up milk after waking up
- 8 a.m. – Breakfast (usually a protein waffle with peanut butter and a banana)
- 11 a.m. – Snack (a fruit/veggie pouch)
- 12 p.m. – Lunch (usually crackers, almonds, cashews, cheese, yogurt, fruit)
- 1:45 p.m. – Warmed-up milk before nap
- 5 p.m. – Snack (a Larabar or more nuts or a fruit/veggie pouch)
- 6:30 p.m. – Dinner (veggies, chicken nuggets, mac & cheese, fruit)
- 7:45 p.m. – Warmed-up milk before bed
Sleeping and napping
Brady continues to be a solid sleeper (after a rough start the first year of his life), and I am knocking on wood as I type this.
However, he has had a couple wake-ups during the night over the last few months (maybe once a week this happens), but he goes back to bed easily with a couple pats on the back. And has also started waking up earlier lately, which we attribute to needing to get up to pee, now that he isn’t wearing diapers at night regularly. Then, of course, when Dave was away for a full week in London last month, Brady decided to start coming to get me around 5:30 a.m., but that was a short-lived arrangement, thank goodness. Now he knows to stay in his bed and call for us when he absolutely needs to get up to pee.
Brady goes to bed by 8 p.m. every night, and he is usually up by 7 a.m.. He finally sleeps in his toddler bed, and he loves that he can easily crawl in and out of it. And whenever we Face-time people or have people over, he has to demonstrate the little “crack” he crawls through to get into his toddler bed.
The funny thing is, we kept Brady in his crib until not too long ago. And even in a full crib, he was totally putting himself into his crib and getting himself out before we made the switch just by pulling himself up and over — I think the he enjoyed it. He has this convertible crib, and it’s been so good to us.
As I mentioned, we waited a long time to switch him out of his crib, and once we made the switch, it was almost like nothing changed. He’s actually pretty good about staying in his bed at night, but he does pop out sometimes during his nap. He makes up silly excuses of things he needs to talk about or ask when he comes out from his “nap,” and sometimes it’s hard for me to hold my laughter. For instance, my mom is here visiting us, and last week, he got out and went to find her and said, “Grammie, I was just checking to see if I could bring you some coffee.” ahhaah
Speaking of naps, Brady still “naps” every day from about 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.. Now, he doesn’t always fall asleep, but we always go through the nap-time routine, and he at least has some quiet time in his bed, even if he doesn’t sleep. I still need his naps, and I’m actually writing this post during one of his naps, because that’s when I do a lot of my work. I feel like we can keep the quiet-time routine going for many more months (knock on wood), because he really seems to need it.
But, I will say that in the last year, we’ve become a lot less strict with his naps. We used to do his nap every single day, even during travel and vacations. But now, sometimes, we skip his nap if we need to. For instance, when we were in the Keys with my family, we let Brady stay up later than usual and skip his nap, and he did okay with it. I’m glad we are more flexible now, but that’s only because he’s old enough to handle it.
We still read Brady stories before bed and before naps, and he still sleeps with a sound machine and his favorite puppy stuffed animal. I’m the only one that reads Brady his stories, unless I’m gone, then Dave will do it. And he has never let anyone else read his stories, but during my mom’s visit this time, he has actually requested that she read to him, which is huge. I LOVE snuggling his little body and reading, but I don’t mind the break while my mom does it. He loves his Grammie.
Overall, I really can’t complain about Brady’s sleep habits, because they are fine.
And if you have a baby that is the worst sleeper ever and you’re exhausted, know that it will get better. Brady was an awful sleeper for his first 10 or 11 months, then all of a sudden he was better. We really didn’t do anything that different to help his sleep, he just started to stay asleep for longer. I’m guessing we responded too quickly to his little noises for the first few months, but truly all of that sleepless time is a little bit of a blur now.
Development and personality
Brady’s personality is absolutely my favorite thing about this little guy, even compared to his cute curly hair and his soft skin (which I also can’t get enough of).
He is always down for a good time. He chats nonstop from the moment he wakes up until the moment he goes to bed, unless he’s watching his morning shows. (Which is always fun for Dave, who is NOT a morning person and doesn’t like to speak before he’s had his coffee. Their conversations are very one-sided in the morning, if you know what I mean.) I can chat first thing in the morning, and so Brady and I make a good early-morning pair.
Speech and play
Brady repeats the things we say, but he also comes up with silly stuff on his own. And I’m always amazed at the phrases he says that he’s heard me use, because he doesn’t always use them exactly right, but mostly right, and it makes us laugh. For instance, he went through a two-week phase of really beating up on Rudy (our dog, of course), and I would tell Brady “please stop terrorizing Rudy.” Now, whenever we ask Brady to do something he doesn’t want to do, he says, “Mommy, stop terrorizing me.” Not totally wrong, but also not totally right either. Another cute phrase he likes to use when I ask him if he needs to pee is this: “But if nothing comes out, that’s not a problem.” 🙂
He also likes to sing and to dance. He always sings along to the songs on the radio. And if we’re hanging out at home, he often requests music. His favorite current music is the soundtrack to “Moana,” but he also likes some popular music.
He always wants to play. He constantly has a toy in his hand and often asks to bring toys in the car too. And he has a million toys and does a pretty good job of rotating through. His favorites are cars and trucks, of course.
Socialization and the move
When other adults are around Brady, they always comment on how well he talks and how good he can hold a conversation for his age. He just likes to talk, that’s for sure. He is also very social and down for meeting new people. There are some times when he gets shy with introductions, but typically he could go off with a stranger chatting with no problem. This is both a good and bad thing, and we have to keep a close watch on him when we’re out and about, or he’ll just go hang out with another group of people like it’s not a thing.
People often ask how Brady has adapted to moving across the country, and the answer is: Fabulously. Brady adapts to any situation and thrives with change. He loves our house, he loves our neighborhood, he loves his school, and he loves going to Life Time (my gym) with me and hanging with his friends and taking classes. He’s taken ballet, hip hop dance, barre, arts & crafts, tumbling, yoga and sports classes regularly through the last few months, and he’s a big fan of all of them.
He also has made some neighborhood friends and friends at the gym, and he loves playing with other kiddos so much.
I’ve talked about Brady’s swimming before, but here’s the gist: We didn’t bother to get him into swimming lessons in California, because he was never around pools. Fast forward to moving to Charlotte, and in the summer, we take him to the pool a few times a month. Therefore, I put Brady in swimming lessons at Life Time, and he’s made some good progress. He’s a little nervous in the water, and he still needs assistance.
But he has learned a little bit and is finally willing to put his face underwater after avoiding it for months. We’re taking his swimming lessons slowly, and are planning to continue going once a week through the fall and winter. Yes, I would love for him to be a totally independent swimmer, but we also don’t want to force him to do what he isn’t ready to do, so we take it slowly. That’s the key with Brady when learning new things … he likes to do it slowly. Speaking of things that happened slowly …
Now one more thing to discuss: The potty. Brady is mostly potty trained, but I wouldn’t be honest, if I didn’t mention that we’re still working on getting him to do his number-twos in the potty properly every time, if you know what I mean. He nails the number ones, of course, and has been since the first part of the year, with only a couple accidents to speak of. With the poop thing, I’ll leave it at that. But once again, he’s always slow to take on new skills, and this just seems to be another. Nonetheless, he’s a super smart and fun boy, so we’re not too worried.
Brady’s favorite activities
I’ve already covered a lot of what Brady likes to do in this post, so make sure you go back and read it: “Brady’s favorite things at three years old.”
However, as you know, kids change, and there are some new developments since I wrote that list several months ago.
His favorite activities include:
- Playing tag upstairs in our house — he loves to play this with Dave the most, because Daddy is a little more fun than Mommy when it comes to playing
- Watching his shows in the morning — he gets some TV time before school, and he usually sits on the couch in his underwear, and he’s so snuggly during this time, so I love it (he loves a variety of shows from Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Netflix, and right now we’re watching “Gigantosaurus,” “Handy Manny,” “Jurassic Park Lego,” and always “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”
- Reading stories — we still read at least three or four books a day, before nap and bed, and we’ve been getting a lot of books from the library lately to expand our selections
- Running around and dancing to “Moana” and “I Am A Gummy Bear” — he requests this on the daily and he circles the house singing and dancing and running
- Monster trucks
- Going to tumbling at Life Time — he goes to a lot of classes, but tumbling is his favorite, and he hasn’t been in a while, because he doesn’t go with me as often, now that he’s back in preschool four mornings a week
- Construction trucks — he can name all the different types of trucks and loves to see them out and about
- Race cars
- Pretending to be an animal and staying in character all day
- Asking to see pictures of strange animals on my phone
- Creating imaginary situations and asking everyone around to play along — he assigns us parts and demands that we play them
Brady has a lot of toys, as I said. And here are some of his top choices right now (most of which are new, because he always likes his new ones the best) …
- This Megladon remote control truck was his birthday present last week, and it’s crazy. He’s obsessed.
- This Bomber monster truck always came with us to the pool, because apparently all kids bring trucks to the pool in our neighborhood
- Mac from “Cars” with a tiny Lightning McQueen is still a favorite, because he likes to put things in things
- This dump truck is a good one, because he likes to put things in it then dump them out
Brady by the numbers
A few specific details …
- 4 years old
- 42 pounds
- 3 feet 6 inches tall (he’s the tallest kiddo in his preschool class)
- Size 10 shoes
- Size 4T clothing
- 100 percent cute
Overall thoughts on Brady at 4-years old
I say this about every age, but I love his age right now so much. He does have his tantrums at times, and we’re still working on his slow eating, but he is such a fun little pal. I miss him at night when he’s sleeping and can’t wait to see him in the morning. He’s my sidekick, and unless he’s at preschool four mornings a week, he’s with me every day.
I’ve heard from so many parents that these early years fly by, and I try my best to appreciate having that tiny soft hand in mine as we go in and out of places together each day. Apparently he has only one more year of preschool after this one, and then it’s off to kindergarten, and I can’t even imagine that.
Until then, I’ll be doing my best to answer all his “why” questions with a smile, because one day I’ll wish he was back there in his carseat talking my ear off at all times of day.
Thank you for reading Brady’s 4-year-update. Have a wonderful day and week! 🙂 xoxo
Other posts you may like …
- Brady’s favorite foods at almost four years old (the best toddler food)
- Brady’s favorite things at three years old
- A day in the life from last week
- Brady’s 3-year update
Question of the day
Parents: What’s been the best age that you’ve enjoyed with your kiddos so far?