My child is 3 to 5 welcome

Between the ages of three to five your child will be going through even more developments.  Cartoon of a mum with a child on her lap reading a book

Their personalities will really come through and you will be able to hold longer conversations with them which might make you laugh, smile or have you answering the: “why?” question for what feels like forever.

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If you have concerns, make sure you talk to a healthcare professional such as your midwife or GP, of to your health visitor. 

You can contact the 0-19 admin hub by live chat or by giving the team a call on:  0800 170 7055 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm).

Minor illnesses

Minor illnesses

Minor illnesses

As your child goes through life it is likely they will suffer from a minor illness. Usually these illnesses sort themselves out on their own, but it is important when your child is feeling poorly you keep an eye on them.

You should let your GP know if you have any concerns or questions.

Information on colds, coughs, and ear infections

Information on Diarrhoea and vomiting

Information on Fever

Whilst most minor illnesses do get better on their own it, the NHS website has a list of other common illnesses and how you can treat them.

You can contact the 0-19 admin hub by live chat or give the team a call on:  0800 170 7055 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm).




Your child should receive a few immunisations to protect them from dangerous childhood diseases. Immunisations can be called vaccinations or more simply jabs.

Please take your Personal Child Health Record ('red book') with you so your child's record can be updated.

You can contact the 0-19 admin hub by live chat or give the team a call on:  0800 170 7055 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm) if you would like some more information.

3 years and four months

At 3 years and four months old you will be offered the following vaccinations:

  • 4-in-1 pre-school booster, given as a single jab containing vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis) and polio

The flu vaccine

The children's flu vaccine is offered as a yearly nasal spray to young children to help protect them against flu.  Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for children, with potentially serious complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia.

Vaccinating your child will not only protect them against flu but will also help protect more vulnerable friends and family by preventing the spread of flu.

The vaccination will be given by a quick and simple spray up the nose. This is offered at your GP surgery.

The NHS website provides more information about the children’s nasal flu vaccination.

My emotional wellbeing

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My emotional wellbeing

Having a child is a whirlwind of emotions that don’t always feel like they make sense. You can love them wholeheartedly and sometimes you just feel overwhelmed.

If you are feeling worried, sad, or depressed talk to your healthcare professional such as your GP or call The Mental Health Number on 0800 448 0828.

You are not alone in these feelings and it is important to share them.

If you are struggling with your mental health, you can contact services such as our NHFT Changing Minds IAPT Team or 24/7 Mental Health Number.

The 0-19 Administration Hub can be contacted by:

  • Live Chat (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
  • Phone (Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm) 08001707055 Option 4

Our ten tips from Changing Minds IAPT

We have some advice on how you prioritise your health and wellbeing; and ensure that you can take some time out today, or any day for that matter, to focus on you.  

  1. Talk to someone and stay connected, sometimes just talking and contacting another person can make you feel much better. This can be a relative, a friend or a professional.
  2. Try to organise a sleep routine, go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. Sleep is important to your wellbeing even if the normal structure and routine you once had has been disrupted.
  3. Try to write down three positive things a day you have achieved. These do not need to be big as sometimes just posting a letter is an achievement.
  4. Take a breath, breathe in for 7 seconds and out for 11 seconds, this will refocus you and give you space.
  5. Get outside, go for a walk, or stand in your garden just take in some fresh air; ensure you see daylight once a day during your allotted exercise break. Given all the pressures, make sure you have time for yourself.
  6. Set some small goals for your day that are achievable to give you a sense of purpose.
  7. Eat regular and healthy meals to ensure your body is well fuelled.
  8. Make sure with all the juggling of extra roles, that we no longer expect miracles of ourselves, we are trying to do more in abnormal circumstances, with often less support.  On any given day, our best is good enough and our best will be different on different days; that’s okay, that is normal.
  9. Discover mindfulness apps on your phone, they can provide useful techniques.
  10. Most importantly be kind to yourself, it's okay not to be okay during these very difficult times.

The Changing Minds IAPT Team are a self-referral service so please do feel empowered to reach out if you need our help.

Nutrition and physical health

Nutrition and physical health

Nutrition and physical health

Children between the ages of two and four should be encouraged to eat a variety of foods from the Eatwell plate the same as the rest of the family.

You are their role model. If you are an active family who include a healthy diet and healthy habits this is something they will see, and learn from.

You can contact the 0-19 admin hub by live chat or by giving the team a call on:  0800 170 7055 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm).


Encourage activity and play with your child. 180 minutes (3 hours a day) is the recommended guideline.  Once your child can walk you can encourage activities such as: 

  • Jumping
  • Skipping
  • Messy play
  • Hide and Seek
  • Hunting for treasure
  • Dancing
  • Hopping
  • Swimming


Avoid sugary food and drink before bedtime. They should be consumed less often and only at mealtimes. Try sugar free, diet or no added sugar drinks. Remember, plain water or lower fat milks are best.  It’s free for kids under 18 to visit NHS dentists, so make sure you take them regularly.

Make sure your kids clean their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Help them brush once before bed and once at any other time that suits you and your family.

What should they be eating?

Your child should be encouraged to eat a variety of foods from the Eatwell plate the same as the rest of the family.

The four main food groups are:

  • bread, other cereals and potatoes
  • fruit and vegetables
  • milk and dairy foods
  • meat, fish and alternatives (such as eggs, pulses – peas, beans and lentils – nuts and soya).

There is no need to buy portion sized foods as this is more expensive and unnecessary. 

Sugary foods and drinks are not advised, but if they do have them occasionally, try to eat at meal times rather than as snacks. This will be better for their teeth and dental health is very important at this stage.

Children above 5 years to adults should base their meals around starchy carbohydrates for energy, such as bread and pasta.

Avoid giving salt at the table and takeaway foods and cooking with salt.

Children at this age should be drinking tap water as it’s the best option to quench their thirst and won’t damage their teeth. However, milk or diluted fruit juice (half and half) can be offered as an alternative. Stick to full fat milk until 2 years old and then semi-skimmed can be drunk.

Other useful resources

Start 4 life
This website provides trusted NHS help and advice during pregnancy, birth and parenthood.

The Eatwell Guide
The Eatwell Guide is one of the most well-known tools to follow for recommendations on eating healthy and achieving a balanced diet.

Start active, stay active: infographics on physical activity
Infographics explaining the physical activity needed for general health benefits for different age ranges.




Having a child and keeping them safe can feel like a full-time job. Once they are on the move, it might feel like they are walking towards all the risks and you are running up behind them trying to protect them.

By being aware of what is in you and your child’s surrounding area you can help to reduce risk and keep them, and you, safe.

You can contact the 0-19 admin hub by live chat or give the team a call on:  0800 170 7055 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm).

Dial 999 for an ambulance if your child:

  • stops breathing or turns blue
  • is struggling for breath
  • is unconscious or seems unaware of what's going on
  • will not wake up
  • has a fit for the first time, even if they seem to recover.


Accidents happen, and it can feel like they happen so fast they feel impossible to stop. However, by keeping your wits about you and being aware of possible risk you are helping to make it more likely that the accident won’t happen in the first place.

Accidents can come in all different ways and types including:

  • Burns and scalds
  • Choking
  • Drowning
  • Falls
  • Strangulation
  • Suffocation
  •  Accidental poisoning

The NHS website has some useful information and top tips to help you keep your child safe.

If your child has an accident it is important to know what to do and when you need to seek medical advice, the NHS website has a long list of information including where you can learn basic first aid on their website

Safety and pets

It is important from an early age to teach your child to respect the pets you have at home, Teaching them how to stroke gently, not to tug, pull, chase or grab the animals you share you space with, will help to keep them safe. For tips on keeping children safe around your family pets take a look at the BBC’s Teaching kids to care for animals article.


Keeping your child safe whilst they are in the sun is important to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Without sun safety and sun protection, sun burns, and dehydration can occur, and these can cause some serious issues for your child.

Here are some tips you can use to help with sun safety:

  • If your child is going to be exposed to sunlight use a sunscreen with a minimum 50 SPF rating to protect them.
  • If you are taking your child out in their pram do not cover their prams with any type of material as this can be very dangerous.
    When a pram is covered it prevents the vital movement of air around your child so the air, they breathe out is the same air they breathe in. Without this movement of air, they will be breathing in a higher percentage of carbon dioxide, leaving them with less oxygen and potentially causing them to struggle or stop breathing.

If you have any questions or would like some more information regarding sun safety and your child, you can ask your health visitor or GP for advice.

Here is a list of additional resources:


Car seats

All children must use a car seat until they are 12 years old or 135 cm (whichever happens first).

The recommendations for the car seat position and type of seat change as the child grows and develops. The legal requirements for car seats can be found on the GOV.UK website. Specific safety advice relating to the car seat you have must be followed in order for it to work effectively.

Keeping walking safe

When walking near a road it is a good idea to:

  • hold your child's hand - don't let them run ahead
  • look out for and encourage your child to be aware of hidden entrances or driveways crossing the pavement
  • put reins on a younger child if they're not strapped in a pushchair
  • make sure your child walks on the side of the pavement away from the traffic
  • Never let your child go near a road alone or even with an older child.
  • Never let children play on driveways.

Children are usually not ready to crossroads on their own until they are at least eight years old - and many will not be ready even then.

Bicycle safety

Cycling is a fun, healthy, environmentally friendly, and cheap so is a great option for getting around.  To stay safe on your bike be considerate of the following:

  • Access ‘Bikability’ either via your child’s school or find a local provider at this is a free training package for children and young people using their bikes on the road.
  • Wear a good quality well fitted helmet to protect your brain if you fall off your bike and hit your head.
  • Before you set off make sure your bike is in good working order testing the brakes and ensuring tyres are pumped up.
  • Plan routes to make sure you are choosing the safest route, and that the child will be able to handle.


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Sleep is an essential part of any child’s growth and development. It promotes growth, strengthens immunity, helps with cell repair and healing, and maintains physical and emotional health.

Your child will need between 11 to 13 hours of sleep.

Some 3-year-olds may take a one-hour nap during the day. However, after the age of 3 years, the daytime naps will start fade out. 

Getting good quality sleep is an important part of how your child might act during the day including their mood, wellbeing, ability to learn and retain new information.

If you have any concerns or queries, you can contact the 0-19 admin hub by live chat or give the team a call on:  0800 170 7055 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm).

Good Sleep hygiene

Following good sleep hygiene tips can encourage your child to sleep well at night-time. Good sleep hygiene can be divided into five main areas of routine:

During the Daytime

  • Spend at least 30 minutes a day outside.
  • Have regular exercise such as playing in the park, cycling and / or attending an organised activity such as football or trampolining.
  • Ensure exercise happens early in the day or directly after school. Avoid letting your child get exciting over activity around 4 hours before bed.
  • Naps usually fade out at aged 3 years. Avoid naps after 2pm as this may affect your child’s ability to fall asleep at night.

Before Bedtime

  • No more than an hour before bed, close the curtains and dim the light.
  • During the hour before bed, turn off the TV, introduce calming activities such as reading a story, puzzles, colouring or listening to soothing music. Music that is only played at bedtime, helps to reinforce the association that it is nearing the time to go to sleep.
  • Make sure your child is not hungry before bed. Offer a light supper such as warm milk and wholemeal toast or a yogurt. Avoid foods or drinks containing caffeine such as chocolate, coffee, tea, and cola, particularly in the late afternoon and evening.
  • Do not return to the lounge (or daytime room) after the evening bath. This provides an environmental cue to your child that it is ‘time for sleep’. 
  • It is important to maintain a consistent routine every night. This helps to strengthen the association with sleep and strengthen the body clock.

The Bedroom

  • There should be no electronic equipment in the bedroom.
  • Prepare the bedroom for ‘sleep’.  Ensure the room is quiet and dark and free of clutter.
  • Ensure the bedroom temperature is comfortable. Between 16-18 degrees is an ideal temperature.
  • All toys should be put away or covered.
  • A comfortable bed is important.
  • Keep lighting low, avoid main lights.
  • Environmental noise should be kept to a minimum.
  • Remove any nocturnal pets that may interrupt sleep.

Bedtime and wake-up time

  • Set a bedtime to be maintained every night that is age appropriate to your child
  • Maintain a consistent sleep time and wake time 7 days a week. This strengthens the body clock.

Settling your child

  • Once the routine is complete, avoid extending the bedtime routine, for example, one more story or one more cuddle. Say a magic phrase, such as ‘time for sleep’.
  • Turn out the light- the door may be left ajar if needed.
  • Leave your child to settle alone.


Useful information

Sleep Scotland


Sleep Problems in Children and Young People: A Simple Teaching Aid
DrYemula.C.Roberts.A.(2014) . Health Insights 4U Ltd.

Sleep problems in children and adolescents: the facts
Prof.Stores.G.(2009)  Oxford University Press.


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Between the ages of 3 – 5 years, our children are busy exploring the world around them and are beginning to start their journey into their education.
By the time a child attends school, they are usually able to independently use the toilet, with help from a trusted adult.  However, some children do need more support and time in toilet training and that is okay too.

We’ve put together some tip to help your child in using the toilet or the potty.

  • Drink plenty – children in this age group should be aiming to drink between 1000ml – 1400mls per day – avoid fizzy and caffeinated drinks
  • Check for constipation – contact your GP if you are worried
  • Use easy clothing – easy pull-up shorts, trousers, or dresses to help your child use the toilet without fiddly buttons or zips
  • Pick a potty – let your child pick their own potty in their favourite colour to help encourage and keep them interested
  • Get into a routine – build using the toilet or the potty into your daily routine for example, first thing in the morning and before bed, and after each mealtimes
  • Keep it short – if your child can only manage sitting on the toilet or potty for just a few seconds or minutes to start with then this is ok. Build up the time when your child is ready and don’t panic if they just sit there and don’t wee or poo – this will come with time and confidence
  • Encourage boys to sit down to wee
  • Be consistent – stick to a routine, once you’ve started to use a toilet or potty, keep going and only use nappies again if it is essential
  • Use lots of praise – children need lots of praise and reassurance during this time and will enjoy it if you can make it fun as well – bubbles are a great way to keep a child on a toilet or potty
  • Be patient – if your child isn’t ready, this is ok and if your child is only making small steps slowly, this is ok too.
  • Ask for help – the 0-19 Service are here and happy to offer any advice or support that you may need. There are other local services such as Strong Start that are also available for support.


Constipation / bed wetting

Sometimes our bladders and bowels can misbehave and in children, it is common for them to have difficulties with constipation (inability to regularly open our bowels or completely empty our bowels) or wetting during the night.

When looking at causes for bladder and bowel difficulties we look at the two together as they can be connected.

There are some brilliant resources for parents out there including:

We also recommend an app called: ‘Poo goes home to Pooland’ which is a fun way to engage children in feeling more comfortable in going to the toilet.

In the first instance, we would always recommend the following when trying to support your child with any bladder or bowel difficulties:

  • Drink at least 6-8 drinks per day – encourage your child to drink each drink within 15 minutes
  • Certain drinks can make bladders misbehave, keep a diary and try to avoid these drinks where possible
  • Encourage children to wee every 1.5 – 2 hours
  • Encourage children to fully empty the bladder when going for a wee
  • Encourage boys to sit down to wee
  • Take spare clothes into school if needed
  • Check for a urine infection
  • Encourage children to drink their 6-8 drinks in the daytime and not before bed
  • Encourage children to go to the toilet if they wake in the night – consider torches/night light to help them if needed
  • Encourage children to help change bedsheets if they wet the bed
  • Ensure your child does not drink 120 minutes before bedtime
  • Encourage a screen free bedtime routine with minimal lighting to sleep in
  • Always encourage your child to go to the toilet before bedtime
  • Encourage children to sit on the toilet for 5 minutes after every meal (try 20 minutes after eating breakfast)
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Keep active – lots of running and walking
  • Encourage your child to think positively J

If you still need support with regards to your child’s bladder and bowel difficulties, please call us via the Admin Hub on 0800 170 7055 option 4 or via our Live Chat on our website.