I remember when I was pregnant, people used to tell me to enjoy the newborn stage. TIme flies and things will only get harder as kids enter toddler years. Enjoying the sleepless nights, baby’s colic; a feeling of loneliness and isolation? Not an easy task for a new mum.
When my little one was a newborn, and she would cry for hours in the afternoon, I just couldn’t figure out what to do to stop her from screaming her lungs out. I remember how desperate I was sometimes, wishing she would just hurry up and grow. Fast. And boy, hasn’t she grown fast? We’ve experienced all these long awaited firsts and milestones that babies go through in the early stage of their life. From the very first smile while she was still a newborn to the very first baby steps just recently.
Now, we have almost a fifteen-month-old lively and spirited toddler, who is starting to show her temper when she doesn’t get what she wants. And she usually wants what she can’t have. Oh, the joys of motherhood. So now that we’ve entered a new stage of her life let’s just see how the day to day life has changed.
She’s mastered the BIG milestone – walking
We’ve gone through crawling, cruising around furniture, climbing on top of furniture (the best sport ever apparently) and onto walking.
Now that my baby loves to be on her feet, it’s no longer as simple as strapping her to a pushchair and expecting her just to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful views. She wants to be on the move. All the time. Probably making up for the lost time she spent staring at the ceiling in her early months.
Now that she’s discovered she no longer has to rely on mummy or daddy to carry her around, she is making the most of her newly found independence. Which is also a good exercise for mummy, so I can’t really complain. Maybe now is the time to finally get rid of some of that baby weight, which is long-overdue.
The world is suddenly a lot more interesting
So much to touch, taste and explore for these little adventurers. When outside, she always finds something ‘interesting’ to pick up. Things like stones, food leftovers, bottle lids, dirt, anything and everything she can grasp with her tiny hands. And the next stage is to taste it all. That’s when a quick parent’s intervention is needed to stop her from swallowing some unidentified objects.
Even if you had an extra set of eyes in the back of your head, they would still manage to escape or do some mischief that very second you blink. Now, I totally understand why some parents resort to using reins. I used to secretly judge those parents in the past. No more. Although I’m not using them for my little one (yet), I can see how they can be a great help.
There are more hugs
There is nothing more adorable right now than some spontaneous hugs from the little one. Or when she comes to me, sits on my lap and plays with a toy or watches the TV.
Whenever I open my arms, she runs straight towards me to give me a massive cuddle. Yes, cuddling a newborn is super cute too, oh and that distinctive smell of newborn babies; it’s even more special now that she is the initiator of the many cuddle sessions that we have.
Finally – the long awaited word ‘Mama’
Yes, finally. Although not calling for her mama with intention just yet, it’s still music to my ears. Our new game, my favourite at the moment, is: me: Say ‘Mama’, baby: ‘Ma ma’. And again, and again, until the baby gets fed up. And then another favourite game is when my other half goes: Say ‘Baba’ (dad in Albanian), and the baby goes ‘Ma ma’. Yeah, that’s my girl.
The house looks like a tip – constantly
Seriously, what’s the point in cleaning when you have a toddler around? You start folding the laundry that needs to be put away, only to see your toddler pulling other clothes out from drawers.
In the early months of my baby’s life, in those few rare moments when I didn’t have to carry her around, she was quite happy with a teether, few rattles and a play mat.
Now? Where shall I start? The moment I tidy some toys, pans, books and other household items used as her entertainment, another mess quickly reappears. It’s a never ending cycle, and it’s easier just to go with the flow and tidy up once the baby is asleep. Saves you some energy, Remember, running after an active toddler requires a lot of energy.
Dressing and changing nappies challenge
These once simple procedures suddenly became a battleground. Staying still doesn’t go too well with toddlers. Although mum is always a winner in the end, the little one certainly knows how to put up some fight. She won’t make it easy for me. I usually start dressing her in one room, but then I have to run after her to other room to finish the job. You don’t realise how exhausting these simple tasks can be when you have a toddler.
Shopping trips are not fun anymore
I used to enjoy going shopping when the little one wasn’t as mobile. Thank God, I have stocked up on her clothing until she probably goes to school. So I don’t have to worry about that now.
These days, even going for a basic food shopping is a challenge. There are usually snacks on hand, which may ease the situation a bit, but still, you have to be quick and focused. Get what you need, no stops or reading the labels if you want to avoid any unnecessary drama.
Feeding just got a lot more complicated
This used to be pretty straightforward too, what seems like ages ago now. Apart from some issues at the beginning, breastfeeding compared to solids was relatively easy, once we got into the rhythm. Small babies eat milk, end of story. When the time comes to introducing solid food, that’s when the fun begins.
It’s been an up and down experience. Some days are relatively good, others, the little one will hardly touch any proper food. She may even eat a certain dish one day, only to refuse it next time you want to give it to her. You just never know whether your next culinary masterpiece will be a hit or miss with your toddler.
The transition from baby to a toddler has been pretty remarkable, to say the least. Are things easier or harder now? I’m afraid I don’t have an easy answer. Each stage of baby’s life has its own unique challenges. I certainly have my hands full at the moment, but without sounding too whiny, I’ll try to enjoy and embrace this new stage of my baby’s life. After all, that’s what I wanted when the little one was just a tiny baby and I was so clueless at times.
How was your baby’s transition into toddlerhood? Have you found one of these stages more challenging than the other? Please leave your comments below.