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Stop Trying to Control Your Toddler's Life

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Posted by on Jan. 29, 2014 at 10:22 AM
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1 mom liked this

Stop Trying to Control Your Toddler's Life

by Nicole Fabian-Weber 

nicole fabian-weberI recently shared with the class how my 21-month-old daughter has taken to sleeping on the floor. Last week, she learned to climb out of her crib, so we removed one side and added a mesh rail, but she's chosen to sleep on a pile of blankets and pillows not in her crib instead. I suppose it's not ideal, but going off of the comments on the post and other things I've read, it's certainly not all that uncommon. She's safe; she's well-rested; she's happy. And that makes me happy.

However, I had a realization last night when I was puttering around the house, picking up toys, etc., after I put her to bed. I wasn't ready for her to be in a bed (or, in her case, a floor). Babies sleep in cribs; big girls sleep in beds.

Just like the past 21 months, it happened in the blink of an eye. One night she was in a crib; the next, she wasn't. She's been asserting herself much more lately, voicing her opinions on her clothing, food, and games she wants to play, but the fact that she was still in a crib, in my eyes, kept her more of a baby. Babies sleep in cribs; big girls sleep in beds.

When my husband and I were lying in bed last night, I told him how I felt. "She's just so big now," I said, trying not to cry right before I went to sleep. But I realized in the midst of our sleepy conversation that it's one of the many ways she's going to surprise us in life -- by doing things when she's ready, not when we're ready. I was planning on keeping her in a crib until she was 3 or so, as that's what "people" said. But she had different plans. She isn't anything people say; she's her own person. And I'm sure she won't follow the exact age guidelines for other milestones either -- potty training; reading; dating, eventually. I, as her mother, need to not only accept them, but support her and let her know she's doing a wonderful, wonderful job. (You climbed out of your crib at 21 months? Go you! That's impressive as hell, little bunny!)

Milestones are hard; they're exciting, but they're hard. And they're never going to happen at the exact moment we're ready for them. The best way to handle every change, in my opinion, is to just go with it and let your child know that you're there for them; that you support them; that you're their biggest cheerleader.

And, for what it's worth, our babies will always be our babies -- whether they're sleeping in cribs or not.

How do you handle milestones?

by on Jan. 29, 2014 at 10:22 AM
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by Ruby Member on Jan. 29, 2014 at 10:28 AM
1 mom liked this

I liked it when my children showed signs of independance. I encouraged them to do and keep trying at new things. But they are still kids and there are things that I didn't allow like bathing by themselves, going outside without me,etc. If it wasn't dangerous I let them try.

by Jasmyne on Jan. 29, 2014 at 10:28 AM
1 mom liked this

My son just turned 22 months and I love seeing him grow. Sometimes I think "where did the time go" but I love that he's growing and learning :)
by Brandi on Jan. 29, 2014 at 10:32 AM

 They're harder for me with my teenagers, I think. I'm acutely aware of how fast the time is going. I'm enormously proud of the people they're becoming but I'm not ready to let them go.

Talk about ready or not. Lol

by on Jan. 29, 2014 at 10:37 AM

I told my girls when they lose a tooth I get a gray hair lol. Just as a joke but my oldest told her teacher that she could not pull her tooth out at school because mommy would have to take pictures of it. Lol 

by Platinum Member on Jan. 29, 2014 at 10:37 AM

 We feel a sense of pride, certainly, but we don't feel sadness. I mean, these are things that are going to happen if your child is developing normally. I love that my kids are independent and want to do things on their own. To me, this means I'm raising them right. The whole point of being a parent is to raise responsible, respectful adult individuals. I don't want them to be babies forever.

I'm sure I will be nervous when they go out on their first sleep overs, first day of high school, first date, first dance, when they get their driver's licenses, first jobs, and graduate high school. I'll be nervous when they go to college, or join the military, and I'll probably worry about them for their entire adult lives but I'll always hope for the best. That's what parents do, we raise them and hope for the best.

by on Jan. 29, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Every little milestone makes me so proud of my kids. My daughter is finally putting sentences together, and sometimes I almost cry at how happy that makes me. Yet, at the same time, I can't believe we're already to this point. I can't imagine how hard it'll be when she moves out!

by Ruby Member on Jan. 29, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Most I handle okay, some make me a little sad since they are growing up

by Gold Member on Jan. 29, 2014 at 10:59 AM

LOL....This is a lesson that can only be learned with TIME!!!   And it's funny how (at least I) feel so different with each kid.  When #1 went to kindergarden or high school or college, I worried and obsessed. Now with each step #4 makes, I think, "Go on, you'll be fine!!!"  I push him So much more!!!!!  As you see other people's kids (who you wonder how they make it to the bus stop each day!!! LOL) get thru life, you realize your kids can do ANYTHING!!!!!

by Silver Member on Jan. 29, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Well, okay. Pick your battles I guess.

by Anonymous 1 on Jan. 29, 2014 at 11:28 AM

That's the ugliest damn hat.

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