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Having successfully navigated through several children (and still going), I realized that there were many changes. The differences are fairly subtle in some cases, although dramatic in others. After all, both babies and toddlers like to be held, they take naps, ride in car seats and while they may place the food in their mouths, you still have to give it to them.
So after much thought on what changed, I present this tutorial on the difference between toddlers and babies.
SHOWERS: TODDLER VS BABY
When you need to take a shower when your child is a baby, you can deposit them in a bouncy seat or other devices that hold them with straps. Chances are, they’ll sleep through it, but even if not, they’re most likely entertained by staring at your silhouette through the curtain. If they cry, they’re still contained and you can get to them in a minute.
When you need to take a shower when your child is a toddler, you try to distract them with some toys before you hop in. Seconds later, those same toys will land in the water at your feet, followed by your toddler’s face peeking at you from around the curtain, demanding them back. If your shower goes on for too long, the toddler may start to play in the toilet, empty the laundry hamper or throw a tantrum that they can’t join you in the tub.
GOING PLACES: TODDLER VS BABY
When you need to get from point A to point B with a baby, you simply scoop them up and take them there.
When you need to get from point A to point B with a toddler, they will insist on being carried the first 4 steps. Then, they’ll want to walk. When something shiny distracts them, they’ll head off in another direction. When you corral them, they’ll cry, when you pick them up, they’ll cry harder. When you put them down again, they will either completely meltdown, or run off to parts unknown. If you’re lucky, you’ll find them at point B.
HUNGER: TODDLER VS BABY
When a baby is hungry, he or she will eagerly eat whatever you present, whether it’s a boob, a bottle or a spoonful of mush. The worst that can happen is some spit up, or some mush in the hair. You can plan for these contingencies.
When a toddler is hungry, he or she will suspiciously inspect the food. If the food passes muster, it will be nibbled on before being thrown on the floor. If the food does not pass muster, it goes straight to the floor.
CRYING: TODDLER VS BABY
When a baby cries, the reason is usually found quickly. Wet, hungry, gassy or just wants to be held are the usual suspects.
When a toddler cries, the answer is an enigma wrapped inside a mystery. Did you want your cup? Your truck? To be picked up? Most of these questions will be met with a furious pushing of hands and some angry toddler babble, because how could you be so obtuse as to mention any of those things when really, the toddler wants a Smurf.
LEAVING THE ROOM: TODDLER VS BABY
Babies can be left in a room that is more or less baby-proofed for a few minutes. When you come back, they may have moved around but everything else is as you left it.
Toddlers can be left alone in a room that is more or less baby-proofed for a few minutes. When you come back, it will be to find that they spotted the one thing that was not baby-proofed and turned it into 7,000 pieces, despite the fact that it was only meant to stay in one.
CUDDLING: TODDLER VS BABY
When you cuddle and love on a baby, you do so with little reciprocation.
When you cuddle and love on a toddler, they wrap arms around your neck, give you sloppy, open-mouthed kisses and respond to, “I love yous” by placing their heads on your shoulder.
Toddlers are great.