It’s Not Going To Be Pretty
If there’s one thing parents love to talk about it’s their kids, yet for some reason, you don’t remember your friends talking about the toddler years in quite the same details as they did their cuddly baby years. Although, it truly doesn’t matter how many friends you talk to or books you read… nothing can fully prepare you for toddlers.
If I can give you all the best advice that I’d give myself; well it would take a book, but for your sake, I’ve narrowed it down to 10 key things that you absolutely must know.
What You Need To Know
- Going Places Will Never Be the Same Again
You know when you run out of something and think you’ll make a quick run to the store to pick it up. Forget about it, there is no such thing as a quick trip anywhere. You might as well schedule at least forty-five minutes just to capture your toddler and get them bundled into the car. You can’t forget snacks and drinks and entertainment, or the world will end.
Eating out without any stress or tantrums? I’ve heard that it’s possible, but I’ve never seen it happen in real life.
They Only Nap Once a Day Now
Yeah, you’ve probably enjoyed the last 18 months of multiple naps a day, well you can kiss that joy goodbye. If you’re lucky you can convince your toddler to go for one nap a day, and in some cases, you may have to wait for them to fall asleep while mid-activity. Either way, you better make it count.
They’re Painfully Picky
You probably have one friend that swears her toddler will eat anything, right? She’s lying. While you may have had a baby that would eat anything suddenly they reach toddler status and everything looks better on the floor or in your face, pretty much anywhere but in their mouths. They’re just spreading their wings, but boy is it frustrating.
I’m Not Trying To Put You Off
They’re Painfully Messy
You would be a fool to use their nap time to clean your home. Toddlers are messy so as soon as your terror tot is awake your work will be undone. They love to get dirty and one messy accident leads to smears of spaghetti on your walls. If you’re brave enough to go out, make sure you take a spare outfit (or three).
Childproofing Is a Joke
You can’t beat a toddler. Install toilet locks and scatter baby gates across your home, but know this… your toddler sees it as a challenge they were made to overcome. While you are concerned with safety, your toddler wants to know how quickly they can conquer the obstacle.
Tantrums Are Normal
Were you one of these people that watched toddlers throwing tantrums and told yourself it wouldn’t be your precious child? I’m laughing in your face, so naïve, I used to live in that dream world, too. Just so you know, your child isn’t keeping track, those tantrums will begin before the terrible twos do. Tantrums are thrown over toy sharing, nap time, being in the car-seat, not being in the car-seat, only getting one cookie, and the list is literally endless.
You Can Do This, I Swear
- If It’s Yours It’s Theirs
No, really. Your toddler is obsessed with you (in a good way) so they are going to copy you. If you have something they want it’s because it’s also theirs. MINE!
Think about how frustrated you would feel if you knew what you wanted but couldn’t communicate it or make yourself understood? Or because they know exactly what they want to do but they can’t physically do it, or you know, they have a concerned parent holding them back. Toddlers sometimes live in a constant state of frustration, so remember that.
They Never Stop
Your toddler’s brain is growing and that pushes them to experiment, discover, and explore. They’re also learning how to run, jump, climb, draw, and more. This is the stage of development that drives them to do everything, try everything, and they never stop, which may explain why they refuse to nap.
Silence Is Never Golden
If you are enjoying a bit of peace and quiet, stop. There is no such thing as silence when you have a toddler. There’s every chance they’re up to serious amounts of no good. If you’re lucky they’re just throwing baby wipes everywhere, if you’re not… well, it could be marker all over the wall. Parenting a toddler is exhausting, but it’s never dull, and they always come back for cuddles.
Good luck, and happy toddler parenting.