This is the part when you can't take your eyes off your male toddler (I’m sure it’s the same for girls, but boys can climb well!). This is the age bracket that I have always found the hardest. Non-stop observation, non-stop nappies, non-stop feeding and snacking, and still no chat from your toddler to make it entertaining.
They may be forming a few words at this stage but if yours is anything like mine, it will take time, so don’t panic! You’ll also be going to the dreaded playgroups, they can be great, they can be horrendous, a minefield of mums to dodge and mums to befriend. Go for the ones whose toddlers are misbehaving, they’ll be the honest, fun, easy-going ones. The ones who pretend not to notice when their child takes 3 biscuits instead of one, picking their battles. There is a time and a place and you do not want to be showing of your disciplining skills in front of those types that tut quietly under their breath.
With any toddler of this age, you will need to baby proof your house. You will be amazed at just what your little houdinis can find and unwind and undo and upset. Most important of all is that little cupboard of hell under the kitchen sink which is ironically the lowest cupboard in the kitchen, and the one where we keep the most dangerous and apparently interesting products for your little man.
Wheels become very important at this stage. Your little boy will love anything he can push around, bang, build or destroy. Don’t go for too much brightly coloured plastic, your toddler will grow out of it very quickly. Our number 3 pretty much skipped the baby toy stage. I’m not saying we deprived him, but given the choice of his age appropriate toys, or the Bruder tractors (perfectly safe) his older brothers were playing with, he opted for the latter. The baby toys were very quickly transferred back to the attic and forgotten about.
If things are going badly go back to some of my advice in the baby bit, get on with that controlled crying!
At this stage all my toddlers were in gro-bags, in a cot sleeping at lunchtime for 2 hours and then bed at 7pm and up at 7am. I love the way I say 7am, I wish with numbers 1 and 2, they are early birds. Some of my friends have toddlers who sleep till 8am, that has never happened in this house. Anyway, 7 till 7 is your ideal, do the best you can.
Lots of friends have had trouble with their boys climbing out of cots having undone their grobags. This wasn’t a big problem for me, but look carefully at the fastenings on the grobags, some have poppers on the shoulders – an easy out, others have a zip down the front which is a little harder. I never put my children in their cot unless it was bedtime, I think this encourages less climbing as in theory they are tired. Don’t leave them awake in their cot for hours on end in the morning while you attempt a lie in, this is when they are energetic and will attempt an escape. Once they know how to climb out that’s it, you’re into a bed. Try and put this off till at least 2 as the lunch time sleep then becomes very difficult to maintain.