There is no end to the amount of advice out there for caring for your baby. And as you read books and browse websites, you've probably become aware that there are also legions of tips for taming toddlers, too.
But how do you know when it's time to move on? When does a baby become a toddler? The official versions usually give walking as the milestone, but that's a fairly blunt stick by which to measure this monumental change. Let's face it; we all know nine-month old babies who are running, and 18-month olds who are toddlers in every sense of the word other than the fact that they're still getting around on their hands and knees. ?
So here's a more nuanced guide to knowing when your little one has moved from the 'delights' of babyhood to the (ahem) 'new delights' of toddlerhood ...
1. You still wash their clothes separately from yours, but the reason has changed. It used to be because their clothes were so delicate and precious. Now it's because they are so disgusting - what is that?
2. You no longer kiss their adorable little feet (see point 1).
3. The sanity-saving instinct that means you don't mind the smell of your own child's poo is wearing off. Fast.
4. The local park has ceased to become an idyllic retreat where you can gently push a swing whilst chatting to other parents (or checking Facebook). Now it's a war zone of potential death traps, all of which your little one is determined to road test.
5. You realise that baby-proofing was a cinch compared to 'toddler-proofing'. Who knew that a house could provide so much 'entertainment' for a little person who has just learned to climb?
6. Visits to friends with newborns are restricted to 15 minutes ¨C partly so as not to exhaust them, but mainly because you don't want your friend to freak out when they discover that parenting doesn't get easier with time (see points 4 and 5).
7. You exclaim loudly whenever you see a truck/digger/dog/rubbish truck/train - even when you're on your own.
8. It still takes you ages to get out of the house, but that's now a minor problem compared to the fact that it now takes you forever to get anywhere once you are out. If it's not your little one stopping to inspect every ant, it will be that they've decided that walking backwards is more fun than forwards. Or that they simply refuse to either walk or get in the stroller.
9. You declare that babycinos should have been named toddler-cinos. You are grateful that they are the cheapest item in a caf¨¦ and sometimes keep your little one occupied for the 10.5 seconds it takes you to gulp down your (extra strong) coffee.
10. Quotes from kid TV shows start to litter their (and your) conversation. Ditto songs from The Lego Movie, Frozen, etc, which would be showing on a constant loop if your child had their way.
11. Yep, this is a bonus one, because you need to get used to not feeling in control of a simple thing like a list. Because yours is no longer the strongest opinion in the family. ?
When did you realise that your baby had become a toddler?