Preschoolers Pretending to be a Baby

Archived Q&A and Reviews

3 yr old playing ''baby''

Nov 2002

Almost every day, our 3 year old daughter wakes up and says ''the little baby is awake. Come get the baby!'' One of her favorite games, which is repeated many times most every day, is ''I'm a little baby - pick the baby up - the baby can't walk - the baby doesn't know how to talk,'' etc., etc. Is this obsession (for lack of a better word) with baby-ness common? Sometimes it's a tad tiresome - I want to relate to her as a 3 year old, not as a baby, but she can get very upset if I say ''You're a big girl - can you please walk to the kitchen?'' But I don't want to make a big deal out of it either, especially if it's, as they say, ''developmentally appropriate.'' michael

My 2.5 year old girl has been doing exactly the same thing for the last three weeks. I thought that maybe it is a way to get attention, since she sees that little babies get a lot of attention. Or maybe it is just that she is learning how to ''pretend''. She also likes to pretend that she is a little puppy or a little doggie or a little cow and insists that we pick up the little dog, pet the little dog etc. So far, I have just assumed it is a phase that she will outgrow soon enough Gen
if it is any consolation, my 2.5 year old likes to play ''baby.'' all if a sudden she will say ''lia baby'' (in a baby voice) which means that suddenly, she must be carried or put down for a pretend nap or baby-talked to. it is funny in retrospect, but she also gets upset if i tell her that she isn't a baby. anyways, i just go along with it for a little while and then she ends up playing something else. i think it is just a phase. suzie
My 3 yr old son is also playing this '' game. '' I thought it was because he sees how much I enjoy my one year old nephew. Then I read this: ''Around 33 months of age, many children go through a stage of reliving their babyhood, of thinking about themselves in terms of their own past. The child may pretend that he is a baby, even going back to the use of baby talk, though some are loath to give up their glorious acquistion of speech. So, a child may say, ''I'm a little baby. I can't walk, I have no teeth, I drink froom a bottle. But I can talk. However, by Three, most have caught up with themselves chronologically and are now in a state of equilibrium and of no longer looking back.'' (from Your Three Year Old, Friend or Enemy by Ames and Ilg.) So I try to go with the flow and give him a little snuggle and then go about our business. jen