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Jun 24, 2009

10 reasons I love the toddler age

A good friend whose son is 1.5 year older than Daniel encouraged me through the first year by promising that the time from 12 to 18 months would be so much better. Now that Daniel is almost 18 months, I have to agree with her. The last couple of months have just been a blast, and I sometimes wish I could freeze time at this stage.
Here are 10 reasons why I think this phase is so great.

10. Fewer - and less messy - diaper changes.
(although accidents still happen from time to time)

9. No need to carry an entire bag of food/bottles with us when we go out.
Daniel can eat pretty much everything we can find outside, and he can drink from a straw (the greatest invention of all times!)

8. Baby clothes last longer.
Growth starts to slow down and toddlers are not picky about their clothes yet (they don't have to follow new trends by the minute). A set of clothes at this age lasts us at least 6 months.

7. Less carrying, more running.
With Daniel becoming more and more comfortable on 2 feet, there is less carrying involved (good, because he is about 30 pounds now!). However, running becomes more critical since he is very fast and loves to change direction whenever he feels like it... Oh well, different workout!

6. Rewarding Activities.
Daniel can now focus for a longer period of time, remember things well and he interacts in games a lot more. This allows for new activities that were not possible a few months ago: reading books, building towers, playing hide & seek, visiting the zoo, etc... A lot more rewarding for the parents (although it will still take a while until he can really play interesting games).

5. Independence, i.e. more time for the parents.
Daniel can even play by himself for a while, without needing to be around papa or mama. This frees up a lot of time!

4. Relationship building.
Daniel now recognizes not only "papa" and "mama", but he knows the names of all his friends at daycare, neighbors, and even our far-away family in Europe. He can remember people several days after seeing them, and usually expresses huge excitement when seeing them again. He also tends to spontaneously greet anything he sees: mailman, dog on the street, plane in the sky, aunt on the ground, doll... So cute!

3. Communication.
The ability to learn new words at this age (on a weekly, even daily basis) is fascinating. It's so much fun to notice new sounds, new applications of words, and an increased understanding of the world. How do they do that? And then, there are the mistakes toddlers make when confusing or misinterpreting words (e.g. Daniel calling a poodle "bee-bee" for sheep.) So cute!

2. More talking, more laughing, less crying
With more words to express what they need, toddlers don't resort to crying as much. Fortunately, tantrums are still a few months away (although starting to happen from time to time). This age is a great balance.
And then, there are the laughs, proud and yet innocent, when Daniel manages to overcome something difficult or play a trick on papa and mama... Priceless.

1. Sleep, sleep, sleep
Not only can Daniel sleep through the night, but he can also express when he is tired and needs to go to bed ("dodo" in French). No more crying at bedtime, and a more relaxing night for the parents. Yay!

So, if any new parent reads this blog, don't get discouraged... The infant age might be rough. But the fun is coming, and this will be a greatest reward.

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