So, your baby is fast approaching the toddler stage.
That’s a fantastic time in their lives and you’ll love it. However, you’ll need to prepare because it brings its own challenges!
Babies being babies, they’ll keep to their own timetable without much regard for your plans. Most parents see this stage arrive sometime around 11-18 months.
1. You’ll see your rooms differently
It doesn’t matter how much effort you put in beforehand to make your rooms safe, a toddler will quickly find any loopholes in your thinking. The result will be your heart in your mouth, as you see them tottering towards something hard that you’ve overlooked.
There’s no easy answer to this. You just need to be systematic about checking your rooms before your toddler gets started. Hard corners or points they might topple onto are obvious things to consider.
Watch out for electrical sockets, sharp objects lying around on low shelves plus items you really don’t want your child putting in its mouth.
Touched on above, many parents are amazed (i.e. shocked) at just how high and far their toddler can reach.
This again means you’ll need to start thinking about just what items you can leave laying around. You may also need to think carefully about buying some child-proof containers (but watch out for just how long they stay effective!) to keep slightly dangerous items away from prying hands.
Reach also corresponds with ingenuity. Once toddlers can reach door handles and knobs, their world will expand exponentially and they’ll seek to get everywhere in their home.
You may need to invest in child-proof room gates but again, be aware! It’s been known for 12-month-old toddlers to ‘pick’ these locks and to head off unsupervised into areas of the house you might not have made safe.
Strictly speaking, it’s nothing to do with toddling but around about this time, your child may start to develop ‘fussy eater’ characteristics.
Many kids do not of course but large numbers will suddenly start to refuse to eat this or that, even though they’d previously loved it.
The experts still argue about why this happens. Many suggest it’s just your toddler starting to become difficult in terms of asserting their individuality.
Whatever the cause – be ready for it. There’s plenty of advice online about how you might avoid it altogether or reduce its impact if it arrives.
4. Bumps and spills
Whatever steps you take and however careful you are, your toddler is going to fall over and have tumbles falling off of things.
Many parents over-react to this initially (particularly with first children) and our natural inclination is to think “hospital” after every accident. In reality of course, this is rarely required. Toddlers are pretty tough and flexible. They can take some dramatic-looking tumbles with no ill effects whatsoever. You’ll need to get used to that.
If your child had a fall and:
- loses consciousness;
- is vomiting afterwards;
- has suffered a bad wound;
- seems to be in ongoing pain:
- is unable to stand or has trouble moving a limb or is very lethargic;
- has sustained a head injury or severe bump to the head;
you should seek urgent medical advice even if the toddler seems otherwise fine.
5. A noise increase
For reasons that remain a mystery to science, the day they first start to toddle is when kids REALLY learn how to start making noise!
Expect constant crashes and bangs as things get knocked over or dropped. They’ll also learn very quickly how, for example, they can make a great noise by bashing one of their toys on that lamp stand they can now reach.
It’s so much better than a drum!