Unpopular Opinion: Why The Toddler Stage Is Way Better
Yes, as a parent, this is a new one for me too! There is a term such as “the potato stage” in childcare. According to numerous avenues of research, it resembles the helpless phase, where the infant needs constant support, monitoring — and lots of cuddles, of course.
Having a little cuddly potato baby is the stuff of folk legend; it is the reason little girls (and boys) like to have baby dolls. The potato baby is delightful, though some parents prefer the more advanced early toddler stage.
According to discussions on the matter, the world of parenting is split between which moments of your child’s life are most enjoyable. Here are some takeaways from the debate on which childcare stage gives us the most joy.
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Table of Contents
1. For Some, it is Binary
There is a lot of guilt out there, which signaled much empathy from like-minded parents. For many moms and dads, there is not enough action during the baby stage — and some even say they hate it. “It’s boring. It’s stressful. I have milestone anxiety,” confesses one parent.
2. Errands: Fun With a Toddler but Impossible With a Baby
Anyone who stays at home with children of varying ages will agree that leaving the house with a toddler is lots of fun. However, add a young infant to the mix, and it becomes a military-level escapade.
3. Living for Bedtime
Sometimes, parents run out of things to do. With a pet, you can leave them alone for hours at a time — a baby’s waking hours require constant surveillance, interaction, and assurance. It’s no wonder many parents describe how they “live for bedtime” during the toddler stage.
4. Regretfulness Abounds
I found that as my son passed each stage of development, the time seemed to slip away more quickly. Time does seem to slow down when you have an infant, but it is important to live in the moment whenever possible. Several moms say they still hold guilt for willing the time away and will appreciate those days more next time.
5. The Omen
The grass isn’t always greener with kids. Some mothers (like my wife) face a hostile pregnancy and colicky baby, only for the toddler (like my son) to be a joy. However, others must contend with rebellious toddlers who make parents lament the day they wished for one sooner.
6. The Dreaded Feeding Issue
Raising a baby can be like a form of beautiful torture, but transferred epithets aside. It really can be horrible. The most critical phase for child nutrition is often the most difficult, especially if, like one poor parent, your child is lactose intolerant and hates formula.
7. What’s All The Fuss?
It is astonishing how openly pro-toddler some parents are, which can be offensive to those who are indifferent or new parents. One responder in the discussion rues how they yearned for children, but now “I just miss my little baby so much.” I agree with this one: every stage is magical.
8. It Gets Harder
Foreboding from veteran parents always comes with a stern smile and the knowledge they won their medal in this race. Yes, babies scream and shake when tired, but once they learn how to use their legs, you best be ready for short life-saving sprints without notice. Toddlers have lots of energy!
9. Oh, The Dancing
Toddlers love to dance and sing. Heartbreakingly, this faded away from my son at six years, though I still catch him throwing shapes occasionally. Several parents agree that dancing with a toddler is the reason toddlers are the greatest.
10. Kids Talk
Nothing beats conversations with your little one and hearing jokes without punchlines or malapropism. If you are like one parent in the thread, you love hearing your little angel describe “ordinary things like birds or cars” with gusto. Sidenote: hide your cell phone in their playroom and record the audio. Nothing makes this dad smile more than hearing my son’s toy voices or sound effects.
This thread inspired this post.