Becoming a mother is one of the most amazing journeys any one of us can embark on. Of course, from the moment you get that positive pregnancy test, you become overjoyed by the fact that your parenting journey has literally just begun right there. You nurture your growing bump, you take care of yourself better than you ever have done before, and before you know it your life changes once more when your little one arrives into the world. Let’s be honest though, it isn’t always a plain sailing journey, and being a mom to a newborn has its fair share of ups and downs. The sleepless nights, the constant worry, it can be all-consuming. Not to mention all of the people that want a piece of you and your little one the moment you arrive home from the hospital. But the days settle, and you get into the swing of things of being a mom to a newborn baby. And eventually, routines finally begin to develop. Then, before you know it, you are transitioning from newborn into the toddler phase!
But being a mom to a toddler is a whole different ball game! If you thought the list of things you needed for your newborn was lengthy, then be prepared to rethink those decisions now that your little one may start crawling, walking, talking and causing mayhem. There are always an abundance of articles talking about newborn essentials and what you might need for yourself and your baby, but not much covering the next stage. With that in mind, here are some of the things you need to be considering now your little bundle of joy is finally entering the toddler years. Below are tips for helping your toddler navigate their exciting milestones ahead!
For more on this topic, check out the full All About Toddlers collection
Reassurance for the Toddler Phase
First, it’s important to remember that all babies and toddlers, even children as they enter school, develop at their own pace. There is no right or wrong way for your child to develop and progress. So if you are wondering what to do if your baby doesn’t start crawling, or if they don’t seem to be saying as many words as their friends, you need to relax and understand that each child is different. Go with your gut and mother’s instinct. You will know what to do and how to react.
Transition From Crib to Bed
You may have only just gotten used to your baby having their own room and spending their nights in the crib. Perhaps it has taken you almost a year to develop a sound sleeping routine and actually get them to stay asleep throughout the whole night. A lot of moms will be able to sympathize with you there. But as your little one grows, it’s time to start thinking about how to transition them from their crib to a bed.
Some cribs can convert into a bed. This means that you can lower the base, take off the sides, and voila – you have a new bed. This is a great cost saving idea! However, you will still need to think about adding some sort of side protection to avoid your child rolling straight out of it and onto the floor. Thankfully, many children’s stores offer an array of products to solve this issue. The best piece of advice during this transition is to keep any bedtime routine you have developed the same. This will help to avoid it feeling completely new and different for your child.
Updating Their Wardrobe
Children grow fast, don’t they? You kind of expect it with a baby because they are constantly growing into different sizes. But many moms hope that the rate of having to buy clothes will slow down a little as their child enters toddlerhood. The good news is that yes, the growth may slow down. However, you are now faced with a new battle. Toddlers are constantly getting messy. Between painting, crafts they may do at home, or simply playing outside in the garden and the mud; if there is a mess to get their clothes dirty, they will find it.
So you can imagine that the clothing will need to replaced as and when you have exhausted all matter of stain removal procedures. So a good tip is to buy ahead of time. Use sales, coupons and discount codes to reduce the total of a bulk order. You may want to buy a size ahead, or even just stock up for the different seasons. It’s a great way to reduce the overall cost, as well as be prepared for when you child is running low on outfits to wear.
As your baby starts to grow, so will their need for stimulation. So you may find that even as a stay at home mom, you might want to look into preschool or nursery environments, even for just a few hours a week. This may seem counter productive if you are at home all the time, but it can be a great way to recuperate some time for yourself, or catch up with jobs around the home. During this time your child will be socializing with other children, learning in a classroom environment, and even getting much-needed preparation ready for the school years ahead.
How to Entertain Your Toddler at Home
It’s only a matter of time before your now toddler will start to get a little bored with their current surroundings and their toys. Even if they have all the toys they need, they often want some one-on-one attention. Look at websites like Pinterest to gain some needed inspiration for different activities. If you are really stuck, set some time aside to plan your week or month ahead. Add in trips to the local park, museum visits, and active sessions like swimming or walking. Mix those in with time to make things and craft. You could use the seasons as inspiration, certain calendar events, or even explore different occasions happening in different countries. The options are endless once you start to think about it and could make home life more pleasant for you and your child as you are both satisfied with how you are spending your time.
Here are 10 additional resources to help entertain throughout the Toddler Phase:
- 50 Easy Toddler Activities
- Montessori Activities to Try At Home and on a Budget
- Toddler Toys to Keep Them Entertained
- 10 Indoor Activities
- The Gift of Free Play
- Trading Activities for More Play Time
- Enjoying Family Nights In
- How to Create Your Own Art Station
- 5 Ideas for Free Family Fun
- Kid Friendly Activities That Get You Out of the House
Do You Still Need a Stroller?
The chances are that you may have a walking toddler that has an immense passion to walk absolutely everywhere on their own. You most likely still have a stroller, but find that they no longer want to be seen in it. And yet, their little legs can’t always take them all the way. So it’s important to have some flexibility, and an option to save you from carrying a very tired toddler when out and about.
A stroller is still a great option as it can be folded up to fit in the car with ease. And some strollers are light enough that they can even be carried places. This is especially beneficial for day trips, or for vacations. Or for when you are out at night and have a toddler that just wants to sleep. The best of both worlds by encouraging their enthusiasm, but still offering a safe place to relax when they get a little tired.
Some people are incredibly lucky when it comes to the toddler phase and potty training! Some kids just seem to get it right away, while others struggle. But the truth is that it just takes time. You need to prepare in advance for this. Do some research and purchase a toilet for toddlers, or a new potty seat to set on top of your toilet. Buy some new underwear and perhaps a book about using the potty. Introduce these items as soon as you think toilet training is on the horizon. You will know when your little one is ready. The diaper will be drier for longer, and they will start to feel uncomfortable being wet. Look out for the signs, but don’t rush it! Every child will be ready in their own time.
Finally, enjoy this next stage of your little one’s life. The toddler phase is so fun to experience as they are full of curiosity and wonder at this age! And it can be such an incredible time to be around them and watch them growing before your eyes. It can also be testing for both parent and child as at this stage boundaries are bound to be pushed. But it is all a learning curve and another phase of parenthood to love and enjoy for various different reasons. Next up is school-age and things will change all over again.