20 Things I've Learned Since My Baby Became A Toddler

Sunday, 28 May 2017

If I thought the first few months of my baby's life presented me with a steep learning curve, I wasn't even close to being prepared for what the last few months have thrown at me. At around 11 months, when Sophia started walking and talking, thereby entering the realm of the 'toddler', I suddenly felt like I had to learn how to be a mummy all over again.

Here's what being a mummy to a toddler has taught me so far:

1. You thought your baby would sleep through the night by the age of four months, then when four months rolled around you laughed SO HARD and adjusted your expectations. Eight months is surely more realistic?! Wrong again! Try EIGHTEEN. And only that one time because they were jet lagged, sick and didn't nap all day. And it still didn't happen in their own bed.

2. Speaking of sleep, trying to put a toddler to bed is a sure-fire way to evoke every single emotion you have ever felt over the space of a 40 minute time period, and have you questioning your sanity.

3. The most important thing to ask yourself as you enter the toddler years is "Am I ready to have that annoying cartoon's theme tune stuck in my head for the next four years?"

4. You might be a pro wrestler, bench press 400 kg in your spare time, and be able to carry your entire weekly shop from your car to your house in one go, but you have never known real strength until you've tried to wrestle a toddler that doesn't want to wear a sleepsuit, into a sleepsuit.

5. Trying to engage a toddler in helping with household tasks will never end well. Folding laundry = throwing it all around the house. Helping to make dinner = unravelling all three tin foil rolls in the kitchen drawer and trying to wrap the cat in clingfilm.

6. Hell hath no fury like a toddler who is hungry and whose mum forgot to pack snacks.

7. Baby wipes are every parent-of-a-toddler's best weapon against the world. With them, you're invincible. Leave them at home and no matter where you're going and what you're doing, you'll all return home looking like the extended family of Worzel Gummidge.

8. You thought that you might have been able to go to the toilet by yourself by this point, now that you have a few distraction techniques up your sleeve, but the Toddler Toilet Radar is a finely oiled machine, and within two seconds of sitting down on the seat, you will inevitably hear your name being called. If not, something is terribly wrong, and you should probably stand straight back up and go to check what's going on.

9. When you've scoured the entire house for a dummy but can't locate one, it's nearing bedtime and you know your toddler can't sleep without it, try not to despair. Instead, set your toddler free, giving them full reign of the house and I guarantee that at some point in the next five minutes they will return with one in their mouth. Toddlers have magnetic dummy properties which us adults do not possess.

10. You could cook your toddler dinner, or you could just cut out the middle man and throw a plate on the floor and pour custard on the cat.

11. The amount of time and trouble you spend cooking is inversely proportional to the amount of time the food spends on your toddler's plate before it's thrown on the floor.

12. The small size of a toddler's head, versus the enormous volume of snot that stems from said head, is one of the remaining mysteries of the world.

13. You've given up trying to keep your house tidy. A toddler going about their everyday business creates mess at a greater rate than even a whole squadron of cleaners can clear.

14. Baby babble sounds uncannily like Dothraki once you've been listening to it for 14 hours straight.

15. The rate at which your toddler picks up new words and skills is, quite frankly, astounding.You start dreaming of Harvard degrees and high flying careers with every 'baa' and each roly poly.

16. Of all the new skills your toddler picks up, their ability to learn and retain swear words is the most impressive.

17. Nobody exaggerates a situation quite like a toddler mid-tantrum.

18. One unsupervised minute of toddler time has the equivalent effects of one hour in the eye of a hurricane.

19. Despite all of the above, you grow prouder every day. Your baby is developing into a real, tiny human with their own personality. They can demonstrate empathy, and show kindness to others. They are interested in the new things you show them. They can sing, dance and even hold some resemblance of a conversation with you. You didn't think it was possible to love them more than when they were first born, but somehow you do.

20. Yes, this new phase is really, incredibly exhausting, frustrating, wonderful and fulfilling all at once. And still, you wouldn't change a thing.

Mummies, what has your toddler taught you that I have missed?

For 20 things that I've learned since becoming a mummy, head here.


  1. You can stop scaring me now ;)!!

  2. This is excellent writing Polly, very funny. I can relate to it all. I feel particularly sorry for the cat.

  3. Utter, utter genius (and bonus points for the GOT reference!)

  4. 10. You could cook your toddler dinner, or you could just cut out the middle man and throw a plate on the floor and pour custard on the cat. --- This made me laugh out loud!!! And totes agree with Emma - loved the Dothraki reference lol!