There is a precious, fleeting stage in early childhood that passes as quickly as your little one’s latest obsession.
It’s called ‘boddlerhood’ and it describes those few short months when when he is no longer a baby, but also isn’t quite a toddler yet.
Here are some telltale signs your baby is now a gorgeous little ‘boddler’.
1. He’s sporting a ‘bublet’
If you keep snipping wispy baby hair to keep it from getting in his eyes, but can’t bring yourself to give him that first haircut, because then he REALLY won’t look like your baby anymore – then he is most likely rocking a ‘bublet’ hairstyle.
This is shorter at the front and longer at the back. Behold the ‘baby mullet‘!
2. He doesn’t need words
You know that any day now his grunts will form actual words but until then, you understand exactly what your boddler is trying to tell you.
MORE Learning and Development
He doesn’t need to be able to say the word ‘car’, for instance. He has his pointy finger to do that! He also likes to grunt, jiggle and squeal with delight.
But it’s cool. You are totally fluent in decoding ‘boddler-speak’.
3. Still needs to suck
Lots of boddlers have dummies, or like a bottle of warm milk or a breastfeed to get off to sleep.
It’s what they’ve always known.
They often ‘feed’ in their sleep, too – their cherub lips mouthing that familiar sucking motion as they snore.
Sweet milky dreams, little boddler!
4. He moves in and out of Snuggleville
Somedays he likes to curl up on your lap and have you cuddle, sing and pat his bottom for what feels like forever.
You breathe him in and just let your hearts beat together as your tea goes cold. He’s your baby, again. Swoon.
Then on other days, he squirms out of your embrace like you have germs and you feel a pang of, ‘Oh no, he doesn’t want me’.
But don’t worry, before you know it, he’ll be back in Snuggleville again.
5. He can but he won’t
He CAN drink from a cup, but he prefers the bottle or sippy cup.
He CAN also feed himself, but somedays he likes you to. Sure, he’s developed that pincer grip, but right now, he’s decided he’s still a baby and is opening his mouth like a hungry baby bird.
In fact he can do lots of things but often decides to stay being a baby. That is until the Big Boy drive kicks in and he grabs that toddler fork off you. “Me do it” he says, and then promptly spills spag bol all over the floor.
6. He’s getting stuck in the baby swing
He sometimes makes a bee line for the toddler swing when at the park. He can’t yet swing but that big boy swing is easy to flop onto, and he can toddle there himself! So he does.
But other times, it’s the baby swing he wants, only his little shoes get stuck in the holes when you try to pull him out …
Soon he too will know he has outgrown it.
Then fast forward and the day will eventually come when he doesn’t even need you to push him at all.
It all flies by too fast so enjoy!