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12 Things I Appreciate So Much More About My Newborn After Having a Toddler

Photograph by Twenty20

Now that I have a toddler, I often look back in fondness at when he was a baby, and wonder how in the world we ever thought that was difficult! With a toddler and a newborn, the newborn seems like a breeze! And here’s why:

1. Newborns travel light. You need some diapers, wipes and milk and you’re pretty much good to go, anywhere and anytime. Toddlers, on the other hand, force you to bring the entire contents of their room with you wherever you go, and don’t you dare forget Mr. Fluffy, otherwise you’ll have to turn all the way around and get it before you can even think of having a good time.

2. Newborns don’t move. You set them down somewhere and you are 100% certain they will be at that exact spot until you move them. Toddlers, on the other hand, hit the ground running. At least they keep you fit?

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3. Newborns are simple. Keep them fed, well-slept and dry and you’re the bee’s knees. Toddlers are the most complex creatures on the planet. Good luck figuring out what it is they want and/or need.

4. You know what your newborn needs. Whether it's a clean diaper, to be fed, a nap, or just to be held, there’s a list of things to meet their needs and that’s that. Toddlers don’t even know what they need themselves, and you’re probably going to be wrong anyway, no matter how many millions of things you try.

5. Going out to eat. It's a breeze when it's just you and the baby. Throw a toddler in the mix and that's when things get crazy. Baby cries? Easy, just rock her, bounce her, feed her or give her something to play with. Toddler cries? Full on tantrum because you asked him if he wants milk. Screaming, flailing limbs, throwing the salt and pepper shakers. Say goodbye to restaurants for the next few years.

Toddlers have an opinion about EVERYTHING, and it’s usually the opposite of what you say.

6. Newborns aren’t terribly strong. It’s nice to know that when you’re holding them through a crying fit that they can’t take a leap of faith straight out of your arms. Your toddler? Will try that on many occasions, and sometimes succeed.

7. Newborns will eat what you give them, with usually not much fuss. In fact, they’ll gobble it up. Toddlers will literally eat nothing that you give them. Ever.

8. Newborns will lie there happily as you change their diaper. Your toddler will more than likely throw some sort of tantrum just knowing that you want to change their diaper, and will probably get to pulling it off before you do. And also getting whatever may be in said diaper all over your carpet. Oh joy.

9. Toddlers will put up the biggest fight and you literally have to wrestle them to change their clothes. Babies will generally lie there like perfect little immobile cherubs, happily being dressed in whatever outfit you choose.

10. Newborns don’t have an opinion about much. Toddlers have an opinion about EVERYTHING, and it’s usually the opposite of what you say.

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11. Newborns are tiny and weigh next to nothing, and are thus a piece of cake to carry. Toddlers—especially in comparison to your new baby—weigh approximately 1,000 pounds.

12. Newborn babies nap all of the time. Toddlers refuse to nap, all of the time.

Soooo… Is there a way we can just bypass the toddler stage, or…?

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