When Natalie turned 12 months old I started receiving the emails that said “Your Toddler This Week” rather than the ones that I was getting before that said “Your Baby This Week”. In all honesty I thought it was a mistake. She was only 12 months old there was no way she could be a toddler already! I started calling her my “baby toddler” that way it didn’t seem so bad. Slowly we lost the baby part of that. In the last few weeks she has shown me that she is no longer a baby. Where oh where did my little baby go?
A few months ago we started the transition from two naps to one. That is where is the real baby to toddler transition started. One morning I got her out of bed at a normal time, put her down for her morning nap and she did fine. She had a normal 1 hour nap. We had lunch as usual and played. I attempted to put her down for her second nap and this is where the protest began. We tried and tried but she didn’t nap. I thought something was wrong. The next day happened exactly the same. It then dawned on me that she must be ready for one nap. But how do I do this? She is so crabby if she is awake for more than 3 hours.
The third day I kept her up about an hour longer than normal and she went down for a nap and still napped an hour. She ended up being up from 12 until bedtime at 7:30. It was a very long day for us. The next few weeks went pretty much the same; only some days she would want two naps and some days only one. I never knew when to schedule anything because I wasn’t sure if she would take one nap or two. It was really difficult, I was cranky and so was she! Finally we are down to 1 nap around 12 or 12:30 and she will nap for 2 hours.
With the nap transition came the “toddler” behavior. My mom actually told me that she thought Natalie was getting her “terrible two’s” early. Great.
Last week she bit me for the first time. I was completely heartbroken. She was into something she wasn’t supposed to be (cat food) so I picked her up and carried her away, this is when she proceeded to bit my neck. It scared me and of course I yelped and told her not to bite. She hasn’t done it again (yet).
Yesterday she hit me and scratched me in the face for the first time. I picked her up to change her diaper and apparently she was mad because she just started hitting me in the face! That quickly turned to scratching. I was trying really hard to think about my reaction and not overreact. I calmly said “Natalie, please stop hitting mommy, you are hurting me.” Luckily we got to her bedroom so I could put her down. She hasn’t done it again (yet).
My point is that I’m not really sure when EXACTLY the transition happened, there was no screams, or physical changes. Natalie’s attitude just completely changed. She now tells me no all the time even when she really does want something.
She is so much fun at this stage but yet so challenging. I am reminding myself to cherish each moment even if it is a bite or a scratch. I am just lucky to have her.