I hear so much about the terrible twos and about how hard life is after bringing home a newborn, but there’s a stage hidden in between there that I don’t hear too much about – and it surprises me. I’m not sure what the doctors call this age specifically but it starts, for me, pretty much around the six-month mark until around two. And in my opinion, this has been a more challenging stage. Even more so than the supposed terrible twos.
How so you might ask?
Well, with my 2+ year old things began to get a little bit easier once she got over this stage. No more carrying around that heavy car seat or the ginormous baby bag. I would just throw some diapers and wipes in my car console and take off! I could (gasp) go out to a pleasant lunch with my toddler. Yes, there might be a meltdown but honestly, they are few and far between. Bath time became simple, no more slippery baby to watch frantically. Naps and bedtime were much better too, both pretty much on schedule.
And yes, newborns are hard but the main part that makes them less challenging is that they are immobile. You know that they are going to be in the same place you put them when you come back from filling up your cup with more water. You don’t have to worry about them hanging off of the chandelier if you take your eyes off of them for a minute. They also primarily have one diet. Either bottle-fed or breastfed. No messing with goopy puréed foods or smashed baby crackers. And I’ll just add that it’s so sweet how they can cuddle up and lay on you and fall asleep – rarely in life will this happen again.
So what happens in between that makes things so challenging?
Well the main part is the mobility. Once the crawling and wobble-walking start it’s game over, you need to be on the ball at all times. You need to make sure that they don’t fall too hard or get into anything that might hurt them. They always want to crawl on the dirty floors when out in public. Then there is the teething, the learning to eat solid foods, and the sleep regressions that could push anyone over the edge!
Let me just sum things up by saying that every baby and every child is different and that every stage, even the challenging stage that I’m talking about, has irreplaceable precious moments that are unbelievably cute and worth every difficult second. But just in my personal experience, this stage has been a little bit harder than the others.