When you become a parent for the first time, you think it’s the most difficult thing in the world. Then your baby becomes a toddler, and you realise how easy you used to have it. Yes you had sleepless nights, but at least your baby didn’t cry because you gave them food when they were hungry. So whilst I do love parenting a toddler, here are 5 reasons I actually miss the baby stage.
5 Reasons I Actually Miss the Baby Stage
1. No “Oh shit, where did they go!?” Moments
One of the best things about having a baby is their total lack of movement. You put them in the basket, they stay in the basket. It’s as simple as that. But when you have a toddler, you merely have to turn your back for 3 seconds and…
Whilst I do love the adventurous side that our toddler currently has, it’s also a little bit draining to make a coffee come back into the room and find her almost dangling from the windowsill. There’s nothing worse than actually having to pay attention all the time.
2. You Never Have to Worry about Food
I still don’t really understand why people wean early. You’re literally introducing more hassle into your life before it’s even necessary. As soon as you start weaning, that’s it. Now you have to remember food, sit down to feed them every day and clean up all the mess that comes with it. One of my favourite things in the world is to work hard cooking a meal, lovingly place everything neatly on the plate, put our daughter in the high chair and…
Shit goes everywhere. I’m just glad we have dogs.
Meanwhile, when we just had a baby all we needed was for my wife to be present and her boob to be out. Breastfeeding really did make our lives so much easier and not having to worry about food means you can be as forgetful as you like. Unlike functioning adults, toddlers don’t really comprehend the idea that food is coming soon. When I’m hungry I sensibly tell myself that I’ll be home soon and can simply eat then. A toddler just assumes that it’s the end of the world and starvation is the only logical outcome.
3. Easy Nappy Changes
Changing a toddler’s nappy can be a right pain in the arse. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always bad, and I do have a few tricks to help make it easier. But it’s nothing like changing a baby’s nappy. When you change a baby’s nappy they happily lie there and let you crack on. Yes they might cry a little, but they won’t kick, punch and turn over whilst you’re trying to prevent shit from sliding up their back.
Not only that, but a baby’s poop isn’t really poop is it? It’s just this coloured liquid stuff. I never really remember it smelling bad and it was fairly easy to clean. Not only that, they also don’t go very often. We had a two week period the one time where our daughter didn’t even poop. Imagine that with a toddler!
4. Having a Wife on Maternity Leave
As much as I am perfectly capable – and more than happy – to solo parent, it is much easier and more enjoyable when parenting as a couple. What the baby stage means is maternity leave. No childcare to sort out, no having to book annual leave to go away, just an entire year of being able to be with your family and look after your baby. Not so much for me, I had to return to work after a mere two weeks – plus another four due to a sick note, long story.
Having maternity leave really is one of the perks of having baby. Obviously I’m not suggesting that you should have a child just to have a lovely year off work. That would be terrible advice. But I won’t complain about the free annual leave.
5. The Many, Many Nap Times
One thing I think you easily forget about with newborn babies is how much they actually sleep. Yes, they might not do it when you want to, but they seemingly spend most of the daylight tucked up in their little basket sound asleep. It’s just a shame that at this point you can’t really get any sleep because you’re either that tired that your brain refuses to sleep – lovely bit of biology there – or you’re playing host to the stream of people that want to stare at the adorable baby until they wake up and suddenly scream. Everyone’s quick to leave you to it when that happens.
It wasn’t too long ago that our daughter still napped twice a day. Now we’re down to just to one, and I know it won’t be long before that one gets dropped too. When the moment finally comes and she never wants to nap again, I know just how I’ll take it.
With all that I said, I don’t actually miss the baby stage that much
Despite all of these reasons for missing the baby stage, there’s absolutely no chance that I would swap it for the toddler stage. Sometimes you look back on things in life with a poor memory of what it was really like. Yes a newborn doesn’t need to be fed real food, doesn’t kick you whilst being changed and doesn’t go missing when your back is turned. But they’re also screaming nightmares who have no concept of what 2am is.
All in all, despite the fact my wife and I are currently trying to put ourselves back in the baby stage – we’re trying for a baby, not looking to trade – I would still take the toddler stage every single time.
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