This weekend we took the little guy shoe shopping. Real shoe shopping. You know, when they get the official shoe measurement and all. To my surprise, my baby boy was about a size and a half larger than I thought! Shows how fast he’s growing.
It also made me come to the realization that he wasn’t a baby anymore…he was and is a toddler.
And although there isn’t ONE definitive indicator that your baby is completely and utterly a toddler (besides the walking, talking etc. stage), there are definitely a few general signs that point to that milestone happening.
Here’s my take on it.
1. Walking takes on a whole new meaning.
When my little guy was full-on walking at about 12/13 months, I didn’t realize that would quickly transition to chasing the doggies all over the house, running from mommy and daddy during hide-n-seek and heading straight out the front door each time it was cracked open. Beware: once on the move, they are unstoppable!
2. Diaper changes can get worse.
I’m not just talking about the fact that diaper changes go from a little messy and occasional diaper leak to OMG incredibly stinky! As baby starts to seek more control and assert his dominance he’ll be squirming and wiggling all over the place, making a quick and easy diaper change a thing of the past. My little man in particular, thrusts his hips in the air and manages to twist his body over while I have his legs suspended in the air. So hard to keep my cool at times like these, but I try.
3. Feeding manual, please?
Wasn’t it nice when baby would just sit in his high chair and eagerly eat up whatever fruit or veggie puree you would bring to his mouth? Yep, I miss those days. For me, meal time has been one of the most challenging aspects of toddlerdom.
It’s true that toddlers enjoy feeding themselves — and that’s great when finger food is involved — but when not, it can mean hours of chasing around the house with a bowl of veggies or spoonful of yogurt (if you find yourself with a picky-eater). And maybe it’s a boy thing, maybe it’s not, but our guy won’t just sit in his chair and be fed without some coaxing. He’ll toss his food to the dogs, create some new art work on his plate or just fuss. Then it’s time to pull out every trick in the book. Whether that means making a fun game out of meal time or masking some veggies with yummy seasoning, you’ll give everything a try once!
4. The playroom is every room.
Let’s face it. When your child is an infant it’s a lot easier to keep the play room/bedroom nice and tidy with all toys in their designated bins. However, once toddlerdom is upon you it’s almost impossible to keep toys limited to just one room. A toddler either lugs his favorite toy over to the next room or finds something new to play with. So in our house we keep some sort of toy bin or stash in almost every room. Let’s just say a toy truck or stuffed animal can help distract your toddler away from a remote control or candle holder.
5. Heaven help us! Naps may cease to exist.
Yes, it’s true! One sign that your baby is becoming a toddler is often seen in his sleep patterns. For some, this means the morning and afternoon naps can convert into one midday nap…and for a few it can even mean no naps at all! That’s a bit rough if you typically use that time to do house work or eat meals.
Luckily, our little guy is taking his time on this one. In any case, I’ve definitely noticed his nap times are becoming shorter and easily disrupted…which has me thinking, he may well be on his way to just one big boy nap!
Can you relate to any of the above? What was one of the major signs you saw as your baby became a toddler?
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.