Toddlers are tough. Very cute! Utterly heart-melting when you get a “mama” and a snuggle. But tough. In today’s episode of Best of Both Worlds, Sarah and I commiserate about the challenges of caring for older babies who are mobile but cannot be reasoned with. As I am currently in this phase, this topic is really top of mind right now!
We share our strategies, including the importance of a post-nap activity (even just a stroller walk) and having safe spaces in the house. We’ve currently baby proofed two areas in the basement and the porch has a gate on it too. This allows the supervising adult to relax and not have to hop up every three seconds to chase the toddler. We talk about prioritizing sleep if you’ve got a toddler who wakes early or unpredictably (or both! Raising hand!) And, of course, there’s this secret to life satisfaction: don’t use nap time for chores. Well, at least don’t do chores first. Do something enjoyable for you for the first 45 minutes and then you can fit the chores into the remaining time. Whereas if you start with chores, they might consume the entire nap, and this is a recipe for feeling like life is no fun. And since many normally-fun things are not-so-fun with toddlers (fire pit! picnic on the beach!) that would be no good at all.
Please give the episode a listen, and feel free to share your favorite toddler survival tactic in the comments.
5 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds podcast: Toddler survival guide”
It was nice to hear you guys say you weren’t sad when this stage ended for each kid. I feel like so many parents say they are sad when their kids have a birthday. My husband and I don’t feel that way at all! We like things from each stage but know we are best suited to parent older kids! We are in the midst of the 4m sleep regression right now so this stage seems the hardest as our son is up as often as every 1.5-2 hours! Bleh. Sorry to hear Henry isn’t sleeping well yet. That is so tough!!!
Best advice I’ve ever seen is never to do anything when kiddo is asleep that you can do when they’re awake. Like your example of folding laundry… this is actually my favorite chore to do “with” my 11-month-old bc she can’t cause any serious damage to herself or the clothes, and while it’s not efficient, it’s one less thing I have to do while she’s asleep.
I have a two year old who is a very light sleeper and who wakes up every time I go in to nurse the 5month old at night. We had a terrible night on Monday, and when the toddler woke up in the morning, he was in a foul mood. He just yelled “no!” At me all morning and sabotaged my attempts to get him out the door. Of course, that was the morning I had a big hearing that started first thing and I didn’t have time to move slowly with him. I finally got everyone in the car, plugged my phone in to listen to a podcast on the drive, and what comes up on my feed but your episode on toddlers. Boy did I feel seen! Thank you!
@Caitlin- so sorry about your terrible night! Those are the worst.
The episode is perennial – I’m listening in 2022! And I love how practical this is