As a mum of an almost 2 year old (no, YOU’RE getting emotional) I feel like I’ve adapted pretty well to the parenting business. I’ve also learnt a bloody lot. About pregnancy, newborns, babies and toddlers (though not all toddlers of course haha!) Though I’ve found as tough as parenting can be, there are some brilliant moments and each day is never the same.
I’m always getting asked “what’s your favourite age of your child?” and as much as I absolutely miss the newborn days and I get ridiculously broody seeing other babes, I’m definitely loving this one he’s at now! Although, there are times where I think “things were so much easier when he was a baby“. I have found that there are some differences between parenting a young baby and parenting a toddler (and also some similarities too) so here are some differences;
- As much as you might not want to have sexy time when baby is younger, it’s easier! Nobody wants a small human walking in mid fumble in the middle of the night.
- Newborns don’t move. They will be in the same place you left them when you nip for a wee or to the kitchen. Leave them in a room as a toddler, and they’ll be hanging from the ceiling. – Eileen
- Babies don’t require half as many toys/items as a toddler. Or at least, they’re much easier pleased. I had one toy basket of a range of things for bear when he was a baby (as well as the bouncer and baby gym). But oh my god, if you saw my living room now. Thing is, most of it is gifts from other people too and you feel bad declining.
- It’s no lie that a mother is obsessed with the smell of their precious newborn. The thing is, newborns have this beautiful, squishy, new baby smell, whereas toddlers usually smell like crayons and wotsits. – Gee
- You might think that a newborn’s dirty nappies are the absolute worst. Wait until weaning and toddlerhood. My child regularly has dynamite nuggets in his nappy that would wipe out an entire shopping centre (they also follow him around like when we were in New Look once. My god I’ve never been so embarrassed!)
- When your baby is smaller, you will constantly tell him/her how beautiful they are and making them smile. As a toddler, your most used words will be “no”, “stop that” and other things you never imagined would take over your vocabulary.
- One of the main differences between a toddler and a baby is their cries. When a baby cries, it’s like your heart being ripped out and it’s such a sweet cry. When a toddler cries, you’re suddenly looking around the room in a panic thinking ‘what’s happened?’, ‘where are they hurt?’ or ‘are they just whining?’. Completely different ball game. – Lisa
- Your lovely, sweet, innocent newborn who just wants a cuddle and to play on their mat suddenly becomes your shadow but a demonic, whingy, needy shadow. You’ll forever be hearing the words “mum, mum, mum, mummy, mama” even when said child has gone to bed.
- You’ll spend ages looking at your newborn looking forward to then they’re walking, talking, weaning etc. Once it all starts, you’ll be thinking how lovely and easier things were before.
- When you have a newborn, every Tom, Dick and Harry is apparently ‘dying‘ to come visit and have a squishy snuggle. But don’t worry, things definitely calm down and half the time you’ll be praying no-one comes round to see the demolition that took place in your house by one small human.
- Soft. Play. Hell. Most soft plays are pretty suitable for small children and babes in arms, but once your child reaches independence, they just wanna run off and do their own thing. Half the time you’re thinking “How the hell do I even get out of the house today?” you get to soft play & immediately regret your decision. But alas, the toddler saw the big plastic wavy slide and the colourful ball pit and has disappeared into the abyss. Cue judgy parents staring at you, constantly looking for said child, not even being able to hear yourself think. Soft Play is great (NOT!!!)
- When the cute little noises and gurgles they make turn to full on screeches and you just want to watch your catch up TV in blissful peace. – Rachael
- Having to make those super important phone calls where there is an automated voice on the other end: “Please tell me what you would like to do, hear your balance, speak to an advisor, pay a bill” and the toddler is apparently answering it. Every noise they make and you receive the response “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that”. Cue having to sit on the stairs with the living room door semi-open just to try and pay the house bill.
- As much as you’ll be running around and trying to do housework etc when baby is smaller, you actually have some time where you can relax and have a drink/snack all to yourself. Don’t even think of that happening with a toddler around. In fact, don’t even think of doing the housework, it’ll just get destroyed and this mini King Kong looks at you like ‘what are you looking at mum?’
- The constant questioning of every detail of life. “Why is it daytime?”, “Why do slugs slug?”, “Why is cheese cheesy?”, “Why do we have fingers?”, “Why is the sky blue?”, “Why can’t we live on the sun?”, “Mummy, why is your wee red?”, “Why is that man really fat?”, “Why does your bum have a beard on it?”, “What is the purpose of human existence?”. – Gee
But in the end, our babies are our best ever friends. They’re our soulmates. And even as a toddler, there are many moments I still look at him and think “oh gosh, how on earth did I create such a beautiful, wonderful creature?”. Toddlers are so inquisitive and adventurous and babies are so cute and lovely and snuggly. One thing is for certain though, as much as I absolutely LOVED having a newborn, seeing my toddler learn new things and developing and being super affectionate is just the best. Hands down.