Just How Long Does This Toddler Thing Last, Anyway?


Most parents have a favorite time in their child's life. Some are "baby people"; others like older kids; some may even claim to prefer the teenage years.

But almost no one says they love toddlerhood.

Sometimes it feels like my children have been "toddlers" forever. My daughter, who is coming up on 4, is more a "pre-schooler" at this point, but legally I suppose she's still a toddler, and the fact is, she still acts like one.

My son is 2 and I never understood the "terrible twos" until a few months ago.

Toddlerhood is difficult. Some call it a first adolescence, but right now, I call it my personal hell.

I think I will enjoy them when they're a bit older and slightly more self-sufficient, but right now, they're a handful and I miss them when they were babies.

The happiest days of my life thus far were the ones between the last month of my first pregnancy and my daughter's first birthday. Babies are a dream -- sweet and less mobile than toddlers, but funny and chirpy in all the right ways. They cuddle and love and their problems are usually easy to solve -- hungry, thirsty, tired, dirty, or wet. Simple, right?

My first baby was also a good sleeper, so I was lucky to avoid the hardest part of early parenthood and got to bask in the good parts.

Lately, things are ... different. My children still make me laugh and they cuddle and hug me and express themselves in the most adorably hilarious ways, but they're trying both my husband's and my patience constantly. They're indecisive and whiny and demanding a grand majority of the time, and we sometimes have to be with them in shifts just to keep some semblance of calm before either one of us goes over the edge.

Now, it's possible that I just have demanding children. Certainly they're their mother's children and have a very clear sense of the way they want things to happen. But I also get the sense that all toddlers are a bit like this.

We all want to love every second of our babies' (fleeting) childhood, but let's face it: some moments are easier than others. And I, for one, am just hoping that this toddler thing passes quickly.

Did you enjoy toddlerhood?



a mom's life


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Lynette Lynette

love love love toddlerhood!  I think it might be my fav stage.  I even used to work as a Child Dev Teacher for 18mo-2 1/2yr olds.  2 bks I find helpful for this stage are Your Self-Confident Baby by Magda Gerber  AND Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka(helps w/ all kids not just the spirted ones )

CafeM... CafeMochaMom1

Hello Sasha,

Great article!

I think that one year between the twos and the threes is like night and day. I couldn't believe how much a child can grow in just that one year. I thought that when my children turned three I hit a milestone because they appeared less like babies and more like little people with wonderful personalities.




RanaA... RanaAurora

Honestly, toddlerhood IS my favorite. From about the first birthday until about the third.  They're sweet and adorable in a baby way, but you can do more complicated things with them, but caring for them is still simple as well.

TLParker TLParker

Ugh. My son will the 3 in a few months and I agree, it is hell. He's learning his letters and number, colors, shapes and learning how to push my buttons. I miss the newborn stage.

shajd... shajdinyak

I have a very challenging first, who has been a challenge since birth

She is two and will not sleep and never has. I love her to pieces but I am exhausted and some days on verge of a breakdown with my spirited girl . I never wanted only one but how can I handle another. ?!

Rabia79 Rabia79

My friend just had a baby and I was all ooh and ahh how I miss that age... But reality came tumbling down and I realized when my twins were newborns, I was lookingfwd to toddlerhood and Now Im not enjoying as much as I thought i would. Ifelt guilty but when twin A pulled a clumpof Twin B's hair, i knew exactly why i enjoy these years less than I anticipated.  One thing is for sure, love only grows!!

Mommy... Mommy2Mal

I would like toddlerhood a lot more if I could stop getting pregnant while my kids are toddlers. 

Proud... ProudSingleMum

I miss the baby stage, but mostly because of the control I had (yeah, I said it) and the fact that I could just hold him for as long as I wanted.

But I am definitely enjoying most aspects of toddlerhood. I love the words he doesn't quite say right...like yesterday when he said about liking his birthday card from Aunt Shorely and Juncle Joe (that would be Aunt Shirley and Uncle Joe). He also commented on the card's 'sprinkles'...meaning glitter. I love that stuff. It's amazing to sit back and see all that he is learning. SOmetimes his questions get irritating, but I love that he's asking them. He wants to know how everything works, what color everything is, etc. He's so amazed by the world, and I am so amazed by him. There have been days when I've wanted to rip my hair out...but I know that this time is short lived and I need to enjoy it before I can never get it back.

Mamat... MamatoSam818

Have you read "The Happiest Toddler" by Harvey Karp?  It really helped my husband and I get a handle on our toddler's tantrums.  Just to understand the psychology behind it was a relief...

Tuesd... Tuesday503

My newly 2yr old changed instantly when she hit 2 I swear... She was always strong willed and bossy and I know she learns it from me! But now however she hits and kicks in the last 3 months alone I have gotten 3 black eyes from her it looks really bad! I know shes not meaning to be violent shes just a rough player but its gotten pretty bad lately. Today alone in the time it took me to vacuum her small room she managed to climb her way to the top of the fridge, get scissors, cut her hair and the cats, grab a banana and put it in the microwave then cover her face in dark eyeshadow! She is spunky and full of comments and wants no one but me including her dad and is refusing to stay on a schedule... I DEFINATELY miss the baby stage!!!

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