When I fell pregnant, I knew next to nothing about pregnancy, babies or toddlers and made it my mission to find out as much as possible. Baby books, parenting magazines, pregnancy apps, Facebook groups and of course every single woman who has ever had a child had to throw in their two cents worth of advice about being a new mum.
Almost two years later, my son is now a toddler. Other than the ‘terrible twos’ or the temper tantrums, no one ever warned me about what it is really like to be a parent of a toddler so here is the advice I can share that no one ever told me…
7 Tips for Parenting Toddlers
1. Don’t ever bend over in front of a toddler. Most importantly, never ever, ever bend over in front of them in the shower and if you do, prepare to be violated. So yeah. Don’t do it. You have been warned.
2. Those very same teeny fingers will get shoved as far as they can reach up your nostril and then unwittingly, in one swift move, strategically placed straight into your mouth. As a general rule, keep your nostril out of reach of children. If you become complacent with this rule, if toddler fingers are in your facial region, always clench your jaw shut. Lock jaw style.
3. Routine, routine, routine – we all hear how important it is that kids have a routine. Don’t get me wrong, a routine is super important and it will take a while to get into the swing of things however once you have that routine, if you run a tight ship as I have, don’t ever expect to be able to deviate from it without several toddler meltdowns. And that’s before you have even made it to the car. Going out for dinner, grocery shopping or heaven forbid, a weekend away, is a nightmare. All because I was told over and over how important it is, rain hail or shine, to stick to your routine. Nobody ever told me the downside to having a routine would make me a prisoner in my own home…
4. In summer time, I often wear strapless sundresses or tops. If you are a mother to a toddler, this is a terrible idea. Unless, of course, you like the idea of exposing your post baby breasts to the entire world. If you go strapless, you may want to super glue your bra down.
5. While on the topic of breasts, after having a shower with my son, I will dress him first while I am wearing a towel. He has a disturbing habit of pulling down the towel in a bid to reveal my nipples. In one swift swipe that would make Chuck Norris jealous, he presses my nipples like they are a button on one of his noisy battery operated toys. I normally jump and squeal in surprise as it happens all so quickly. I am pretty sure I remind him of his singing puppy toy. The one that hasn’t sounded right for some time as the batteries need replacing.
6. Without fail, particularly with boys, they will grab at their nether regions each and every time you change their bottom. To make matters worse, they always seem to make sure it is a ‘big’ handful during the times of a number two. Every. Single. Time. Keep those wipes close people, keep them close.
7. I was one of those people who said, “My son is never going to be allowed to sleep in my bed!” Yeah, right. Ignorance is bliss. I said that well before I realised just how hard it is to be a mother and to role play Dad while is father is away at work. As you have probably heard, even though they are tiny human beings, toddlers do and will take up your entire bed, pushing you to the very edge of your bed. I now wait until my son is sound asleep, grab my pillow, sneak to the other end of the bed and lay like a starfish so he is between my feet, just in case he rolls around. I honestly thought a decent night’s sleep with a toddler in the bed was a thing of the past. Not anymore. Winning!
I understand toddlers are at the age of exploring the world around them and experimenting with what can fit where, but you have to agree that toddlers can be pretty gross at times. On the upside, this is a great age. They start to become their own little person, develop a sense of humor and you can actually have a conversation with them and a bit of a laugh. The interaction you have with a toddler is fun and keeps you feeling young. No matter how gross toddlers may be, nothing can top that.
What toddler advice can you pass on that you were never warned about?