Toddler taming: our best tips and tricks

Toddlers are fun. They are also crazy, always learning and constantly on the move. Being a new mom to a toddler is one of the most rewarding and exhausting roles of your entire life!

The thing about toddlerhood is that it sneaks up on you. One minute you’ve got a snuggly, sleepy little baby in your arms. Then suddenly, that baby morphs into a tiny person who can walk, run, climb, open cabinets and drawers, grab things with lightning-fast accuracy and make inordinate amounts of noise and mess – all while trying to avoid sleep at all costs.

If it sounds terrifying, it is somewhat – but it’s also the most fun you’ll ever have as a parent. Toddlers are a ball of never-ending energy and all they want to do is learn, explore and do it all themselves. They don’t want help!

But you will definitely want help. You’ll want all the help you can get – and that’s exactly why I have pulled together all my best toddler-related content in one place. If you’re a new mom with a young babe, get ready for your one-way ticket to toddler town. I hope these posts will be helpful!

  • Top 5 baby and toddler hacks – this is the only post that also appears on my top baby content roundup, but there’s a reason for that. The tips and content here are very relevant for both babies and toddlers. I would not want to attempt parenting a tyrannical toddler without the help of baby sign language! Click through for other must-haves for every toddler mama.
  • Potty training for absolute newbies – My potty training 101 post is still one of the most-read stories on this blog. I went into potty training knowing nothing, but our little Z was a great teacher. I’ve shared everything I learned in this post to help other toddler mamas.
  • 3 magic words for toddler parents – before the time of Covid, toddler parents spent as much time as possible taking kiddos to open play hours at every little gym and play space around. I have to wonder what parents are doing now with toddlers who need to run, play and put their mouths on everything? My heart goes out to toddler mamas today.
  • A puppy and a toddler. Are we nuts? – When Z was just 18 months old, we added Autumn, a Goldendoodle puppy, to our household. It made for several months of insanity, but we’ve also never regretted it. Seeing Zoe and Autumn grow up together has been one of the great joys of my life.
  • Toddler birthday parties – do you prefer lowkey gatherings at home or big blowouts with lots of kids at a rented play space? This post delves into the merits of both methods of celebrating toddler birthdays.
  • Toddler etiquette: guys vs. girls edition – this post is an interesting sociological look at why so many dads think it’s okay to bring toddlers to a wedding. Is it because they won’t be the ones who have to deal with toddler tantrums if things go awry? I think we both know the answer to that.
  • Brush your baby’s teeth! – we weren’t always the best tooth brushers early on, but once we hit toddlerhood we learned from our past mistakes. Pro tip: brush your little one’s teeth often to get them used to the routine before they’re a toddler and all they can say is “NO!”
  • Our cosleeping transition timeline – cosleeping or bedsharing is not for every family, but it worked so well for us that I can’t help but share our story in the hopes it may work for others. I can tell you it was a lifesaver for this dual-career, traveling family!
  • The truth about nursing for years – we didn’t set out to nurse past Z’s first year, but it became such a cure-all and wonderful bonding experience that we just kept going. Anytime Z was sad, angry, sick, sleepy or upset, nursing could fix whatever was wrong and send her off into happy sleep. It was the only reason we kept naps going as long as we did!
  • An ode to drive-throughs – there’s nothing better than a car ride to put a sleepy toddler to sleep, unless it’s going through a drive-through for a little mommy pick-me-up while they sleep in back. Enjoy, mama – you deserve it.
  • How to exit the family bed – this post contains my proven, time-tested technique for leaving a bed in which a sleepy toddler slumbers. It works almost every time. May the odds be ever in your favor!
  • Potty training update: we made it! – in this post, I look back as a diaper-free mama to recount our timeline and how we managed to hit this successful milestone. Even with a couple of regressions, Z did a fabulous job getting herself out of diapers at age two and a half!
  • Zoe said this – the most wonderful thing about toddlers is that, unlike newborns, they can communicate. They do this with sign language, screams, grunts and cries – but they also start to do it with words, and then the fun really starts. Here are some of Ms Z’s most memorable words and phrases when she was still a wee girl.

That’ll do it for now – hope you got some good laughs, advice and tips that you can use to enjoy the heck out of your little toddler. By now you’re a seasoned mama and probably sick of people saying “enjoy every moment,” but the toddler years, in particular, are ones I wish I could experience again. It’s such an honor to help new little souls navigate our world and learn during every minute they are awake!

If you have other toddler tales or tips to share, please do so in the comments below or over on Facebook. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this walk down memory lane.

About the author

Proud and loving mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Writer since birth. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.

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