What You Say When Your Baby is an Infant vs Toddler

Over the past year, I’ve grown from a mother of a sleepless infant and curious newborn to an experienced mom of a very active toddler. As my baby kept developing, my motherhood has been maturing with him. Now that I recall the way I acted only a year ago and how I react to the same situations now, I can see how much we’ve both changed. Here are some of the things I used to say when my son was an infant vs toddler.

Can I Eat This? vs Sure I can Eat This! (I might even drink that…) 

If you’re sticking to your breastfeeding diet, chances are you’re avoiding a whole lot of different foods. What’s worse, you don’t actually know what to avoid, so you start questioning everything on your plate. I remember how much Googling I did before every meal: “can I eat [any food that’s probably 100% hypoallergenic] while breastfeeding?” A year later, I don’t hesitate to eat whatever I want, even though I’m still breastfeeding. I also don’t mind having a glass of wine or a small beer. Mummy needs to relax too, you know.

I Don’t Know Why You’re Crying! vs I Don’t Know Why You’re Screaming! 

It’s a popular misconception that mothers always know exactly why their baby’s crying. Sure, by the time your baby turns one, you can probably differentiate the three major reasons she’s crying most often: hungry, sleepy or hurt. But there’s always something else to cry about, and you won’t know what it is, no matter if it’s an infant, a newborn or a toddler.

Hold Him Tight, He’s Tiny! vs Hold Him Tight, He’s Squirmy! 

Gone are the days when you didn’t know how to hold the baby right. Remember thinking “Is her spine in the right anatomic position? Should the head be more upright? If I hold her like this, will it influence her whole future?” That’s all in the past, because not only have you accustomed to holding your baby with a single hand, you also have other things to worry about now. Like how to keep the lively baby in your hands while she’s desperate to stick her fingers in the socket. Holding a toddler is not easy: my boy, for example, is always on the run, and when I try to hold him, he starts bending, twisting and kicking. So now I know that trying to hold an infant is nothing compared to trying to hold down a toddler.

You Can’t Wear This Before I Wash It! vs Let’s Wear This Right in the Store! 

Being overly cautious about your baby’s safety is normal. Assuming that anything may hurt your baby is an irrational but completely natural fear that peaks when the baby is 0-3 months old. Did you also used to wash baby clothes and iron them from both sides to make them “safe for the baby to wear”? I sure did. God forbid the baby touches anything that isn’t germ-free or hasn’t been washed at least once! But thanks to my all-consuming laziness, I stopped doing all that fairly quickly. Now, when the baby’s hobby is licking stroller wheels, dressing him in something I didn’t wash before, is not something to freak about. Even the wheel-licking is not.

Mind His Head! vs Mind Your Head! 

I’ve been head-bumped by my baby boy more times than I can count (and it’s not because I’m a philologist). Mainly when he’s trying to escape from my embrace. Feeling the sore lip that starts swelling but still doesn’t make me look like Kylie Jenner, I remember how I was afraid to accidentally hurt his tiny head when simply holding him. Then there are also toys, blocks and spoons, sometimes even shoes that the baby may use to test the hardness of your skull. But you still love the little kitten. Just remember: keep your head away from an active toddler.

I Love You vs I Love You Even More! 

The love that you feel grows with the baby. And it’s not just the motherly love you have for your bundle of joy (sorry for the cliché). The love that you feel toward your partner will also flourish. My husband and I had a great relationship before our son was born. And now, along with this great romantic feeling, we also experience the kind, supporting and caring love between parents that has made us even closer.

Of course, my baby boy is still very small and has a lot of growing up to do. But I hope I’ll be more prepared for his tricks in the future, or if I ever have more babies, for that matter.

What about you? Have you had similar thoughts? What are some of the opposite beliefs you had when your baby was growing up vs now? 

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