From cute babies to raging toddlers

Look out for tantrums, crying sessions and food aversions

In Summary

• Wondering if your baby has hit the terrible twos milestone? Here are the signs

A baby cries
A baby cries

Overnight, my baby has gone from a loveable infant to a spirited toddler. He used to love reading and playing nicely, but now everything he does must have chaos in it. We have a ball pit he would spend hours in. Now the balls go all over the floor far away from the pit. The trucks he spent time sliding on the floors are missing tyres and other parts. Everything that is put away must be ‘organised’ in his fashion, that is, strewn all over the floors and turned upside down.

Just two months ago, my sweet baby would sit for long periods in his strollers, enjoying long walks. Now he arches his back while fighting to avoid being strapped in. My little adventurer enjoyed the kiddy parks and picking up flowers. Today, he loves splashing puddles and making a mess of the mud and sand.

Nobody warns you. You don’t even see it coming, but the change from infanthood to toddlerhood happens overnight. My child is only 20 months old. Technically, he is still considered an infant, but technicality and reality are two different things. The new tantrums, the crying sessions, the food aversions are all signs that the toddler era is upon us.

It’s a new phase for all of us. Everything we knew about our child has been replaced by desperation and shock. For instance, for the last eight months, our son has completely detested anything to do with potatoes. Yet, just this week, he kept picking up pieces of fries from my plate and devouring them like never before. His father and I just looked at each other in bewilderment.

My baby has never been the crying type, yet now he cries anytime. It’s not so much a real cry but a whiny crying sound that is not accompanied by tears nor caused by any physical discomfort. It’s literally his new way of expressing himself. The throwing of food and toys is another sign of toddler tantrums. Anything we give him or anything he dislikes at a moment is sent flying into the air in frustration.

Toddlerhood, like its sister teenagehood, is a very tricky and challenging part of a child's development. Much like teenagehood, where hormones start taking over the body, toddlerhood is driven by a myriad of mental and physical development awakening the body and mind of a little human to endless possibilities. These new developments are known to overwhelm any little human, which is why the term ‘terrible twos’ was coined.

I know a difficult phase is upon us, but much like all the other milestones we have overcome, I know this phase, too, shall pass. All we need is to keep nurturing and supporting our baby as he grows into the most wonderful little human.

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