Friday, May 5, 2017

What To Expect When You Have A Toddler

Through researching every single thing when I was pregnant, to checking each week my daughter's growth and milestones...toddlerhood has it's own category and I really don't think there can even be enough information on toddlers since they are growing into their own little person, it's hard to quite figure out how to adjust life with a toddler. Here are some things to expect when your baby reaches toddlerhood. 

1. Your food, your husband's food, grandparent's food, stranger's at a restaurant food, and etc... will now mean free game to your curious little one. Once they get the taste of the good stuff. There's no stopping them. (unless for some reason you have a picky eater, which is ok!) They will want to try EVERYTHING. and you also can't hide their foods they love. Seriously they will find it and just know it's in the pantry, in the snack basket, behind all the boxes. Oh and good luck trying to eat anything different because your little one will want what you have and will refuse what is on their plate. 

2. They will test your limits as far as they can, and just when they have you to a breaking point, they test you one step further. This is because they are learning all about their boundaries. They are figuring out what they can and cannot do. Which can be pretty frustrating for them (and you) but this is why at such an early age it's best to be consistent with rules. Because the moment you give in, it is going to be 10x harder to reinforce that rule. Setting rules and boundaries are really hard at first because it will be upsetting knowing you are the reason your little one is angry. But give it time and soon they will learn that some things are off limits. Before my daughter was one, we started explaining to her "why" things are no-no, to be gentle (because I hate when I see children hit so this was a very important one), and don't touch just look.

3. Emotions. You thought you had some crazy emotions while you were pregnant? Well when you step into toddlerhood with your baby. Be prepared to go through every emotion, within seconds. This kind of goes hand in hand with the boundaries because they are learning how to control their emotions when they aren't allowed to do something. I have found that when my daughter gets angry and frustrated I get down to her level and let her explain to me what is wrong. Usually this helps her calm down enough and I think she realizes it's not worth getting angry over. But I also want her to know that it is okay to show emotions. I show my emotions all the time. Why shouldn't she?! She just needs guidance on what is acceptable and what isn't.

Toddlers are very unpredictable little people, but you shouldn't fear a toddler. With good parenting and a lot of love you will be amazed how much your little one with grow. If you ask me I will always say I miss my daughter being a newborn, but I am really loving her age right now because she learns something new every single day. And her personality just keeps shining through. Here are few surprising things to expect when raising a toddler.

1. Each day is a new adventure. Think about are still so unfamiliar with life and how everything works. So the moment you wake up you are in learning mode and ready to see what the day brings. Your toddler will look at life with such wonder and amazement. Take advantage of that to show them everything that you are doing. And incorporate some of their favorite things, as well as new things each day. Toddlers are like sponges and they take every thing in.

2. You will have a little shadow. Everything you do, they want to do and/or help with. I always ask my daughter if she wants to help momma, and she always responds with yes. From putting away laundry, cleaning her toys, vacuuming, and etc. She is always right there helping me. But remember when your little helper helps, they will most likely do things in their own way and the best they can. Don't scold them because they put away laundry in the wrong drawer (or unfolded everything you just folded), or tell them they did something wrong. Because most likely they won't want to help anymore because they don't feel valued. My dresser drawers are full of unfolded clothes and a few random items because my little helper was so proud she helped momma. And that means more to me than wrinkled clothes.

Be prepared for so much love. Once your toddler understands what it means to hug and give kisses. You are will have sneak attacks when they just run up to you and want to hug and kiss you. My daughter always does this at such random times but I cherish every single time. No matter if I'm busy doing something I make sure I stop, and let her show her love. It is heart melting every single time. It is also another way to let them know it's okay to show how they are feeling at any moment.

4. Be prepared for so many laughs. Toddlers are little comedians. Seriously where do they come up with their ideas?? Every day I find myself laughing so hard at some of things she does or says. And what is even more funny is that she will laugh at herself. The classic giggle loop and it is quite possibly one of my favorite things. Seeing her happy makes me so happy.

These are just a few things to expect when you have a toddler. There is SO much more and I could probably list about 10 more things. But I think I covered the main ones. Do you have any tips or even a story about your toddler? I'd love to hear!