There comes a time in the life of a mom when she realizes her sweet, cuddly baby has been replaced by a tireless and opinionated toddler.
Wikipedia says it happens the moment your kiddo turns one, but we really don’t need Wikipedia’s help for this, now do we?
All we have to do is wait for one of these guaranteed signs that the soft, squishy infant is out, and the spirited, whirlwind tot is in.
12 Unmistakable Signs Your Baby is Now a Toddler
1. You have to negotiate diaper changes.
Sure, babies do their share of rolling and squirming on the changing table, but changing the diaper of a toddler requires a special set of negotiating skills. If you want them to stop playing long enough for you to clean them up, you better be bringing something special to the table—the promise of a silly song or a snack right afterward, perhaps.
2. “Mama” and “Dada” become “Mommy” and “Daddy.”
Toddlerhood brings with it increased sophistication in the language department, and suddenly words that used to be too difficult to say correctly are now vocalized clearly. (Full disclosure: I shed a tear the first time my son called me “Mommy” instead of “Mama.”)
3. Your help is no longer wanted or appreciated.
The “I want to do it myself!” phenomenon is one that takes root in toddlerville. My guess is that it continues all through the school-age and teenage years, and then does a sudden reversal when they’re out on their own and need money, right?
4. They laugh at your jokes.
The simple ones, at least. Making your child laugh because you told a joke and they understood it—not just because you made a goofy face or used a silly voice—feels like a small badge of honor.
5. This happens.
Your child now has the fine motor skills to do some real damage with a set of markers. (This crayon came off pretty easily, thank goodness!)
6. The word “pull-ups” has nothing to do with going to the gym, in your mind.
Because who has time to think about toning their arms when potty training is in full swing?
7. “Wahhhhhhhhh” becomes “Noooooooooooo!”
A crying baby is frustrating because you want to soothe their needs. A whining toddler is frustrating because you want them to knock it off. Although, let’s be honest, the way to get them to do that is still probably to soothe their (slightly more mature) needs!
8. You get a break in the kitchen (but just a tiny one).
Sippy cups are way easier to wash than bottles, and less of your precious time is spent thawing bags of pumped breast milk. But then again, toddlers are known for being the messiest eaters on the planet, so you’re still hanging out in the kitchen—wiping pasta sauce off your dining room chairs and mopping apple juice off your floor—a lot more than you’d like.
9. They’re more interested in pushing the stroller than riding in it.
Bringing the stroller along used to make things easier, before your kid decided it’s just another toy for him to play with. Not always the case anymore.
10. Dirty diapers are seriously dirty.
When our children are babies, we moms are known to say, with a mix of surprise and delight, “The poopy diapers aren’t actually that bad! It actually smells kind of sweet!” That’s true because your baby is surviving mostly off of milk, not solid food. Once they start chewing their meals, you’re singing a far different tune.
11. They can run away from you.
You know your baby has become a toddler when the moment you say it’s time to leave/get in the car/go to bed she immediately dashes in the other direction at a surprisingly fast clip.
12. They have more opinions than Rush Limbaugh.
Whether it’s what to eat for breakfast, what to wear to Grandma’s house, or what color block should form the bottom of the tower, toddlers have loads of opinions—and strong ones, at that.
How did you know your baby had become a toddler?
Did you enjoy this post? If so, I’d be so grateful if you shared it!
23 responses to “12 Unmistakable Signs Your Baby is Now a Toddler”
I’m totally right there with ya, Katie! Jameson is nearing 15 months and the number one thing we are experiencing right now is the stroller pushing. He is adamant about it! He also loves to run away after pushing the stroller for a bit. There is also lots of protesting and whining going on in our home. Jameson can’t really tell me what he wants, so instead he just cries. Basically, I’m living the dream right now, lol. Have a great day! Tweeting now.
HA! Living the dream, that’s the perfect way to put it. Thanks so much for sharing!
These are all spot on. My son is very much a toddler for all of these reasons. He knows what he wants and he knows what he doesn’t want and he makes sure that we know too! I am also very aware that he is a toddler because he can sing songs with me, word for word and in tune. Honestly singing Old McDonald with my son is one of the great joys of my life! On a side note, Jack went from momma to mommy and now he goes between mom, mommy, momma, and Angela (when he can’t get my attention fast enough).
HAHA! That is so funny that he calls you Angela to get your attention!
Even though I like the teeny tiny break that toddlers and preschoolers give me (because they don’t have to supervised like a hawk), I will miss being able to pick-up my baby and go whenever I want instead of having to wait for her to put her shoes on and ask me 1000 questions in between. Cute post! All correct!
Glad you could relate, Lisa!
It was a sad day for me when Madeline told me NOT to read to her because she wanted to read her book to herself!
Gah, Luke has done that too! It was equally adorable and heartbreaking.
Haha, I loved this! I think I will be both proud and sad when my baby (who is not due for another month) wants to do things for herself. I’m excited to hear her opinions…except when they don’t mesh with what I’m asking her to do 🙂
No doubt she’ll have many of them! 🙂
I recognize a few of these, but at 14 mos “baby Sam” is still mostly baby! Gotta love my boys and their late-bloomer ways. =)
You know he’ll be full-on toddler soon enough, so enjoy the baby phase while it still lasts. 🙂
This was a fun article to read. Isn’t it lovely to watch them change and grow? We are still working on potty training and love our pull-ups because yes, dirty diapers are SERIOUSLY dirty nowadays.
It is truly lovely and fascinating to see how they grow and develop!
What’s funny is that Scarlet still calls us “Mama” and “Dada” WELL after the toddler stage. I wonder if Des will change it up.
Full-fledged toddler over here, though! He has opinions about EVERYTHING! And he certainly speaks his mind about things he never has before.. like what shirt to wear! I thought I still had years before that one.
I’m amazed at how many opinions Luke has…about every single detail of his day. It’s a good thing, most of the time!
Ha! So true! I’m past it now, but I remember those days all too well!
Oh yes, all of these! So much good and bad in this transition, but I love it all anyway 🙂
This is such a fun post! Pinned it to one of my parenting boards 🙂
This list is perfect – even more perfect is the fact that I’m not in that phase anymore 🙂 I could write a “signs that your baby is now a teen” post that would also include dirty, stinky things. Not diapers, fortunately!
You should definitely write that post, Dana! Give me a glimpse into what’s coming…
Aw these brought back so many memories. My twins are on the cusp of being toddlers, but they’re still young enough that I still consider them babies 😉
My eldest though, I knew was a toddler when changing his diaper just seemed absurd. It’s like, “Okay, you’re like a TEENAGER compared to that changing pad!”
HAHAHA yes! My son looks gigantic on his changing table these days!