I read a lot of parenting and mommy blogs, and in my experience you don’t often come across an article about 1 year olds. Lots of bloggers focus on the newborn stage, the “terrible twos”, or their “threenagers“, but this age seems to be somewhat neglected (in the blogospere at least). My youngest daughter turned one at the end of last year and I’ve suddenly been reminded of what a delightful age it is!
Life is so sweet and uncomplicated for a 1 year old.
So long as she’s not hungry or overtired, my littlest is generally happy and contented. She takes great pleasure in the simplest of things. We’re completely spoiled with smiles and giggles at this age. It’s easy to anticipate her needs. By comparison, her older sister, who is four going on fourteen, is becoming more and come complex with every passing day (a joy and a challenge!).
1 really is a wonderful age.
And sorry for sounding a bit gushy about all of this. Parenthood has changed me in so many ways… not least the fact that I’m a zillion times more soppy and sentimental than I ever used to be, haha! Sometimes I panic that this magical experience is passing me by far too quickly. I
probably absolutely over-think things! And of course, it’s most definitely not always plain sailing.
But I’m also trying to appreciate and soak up every precious moment as best I can.
So for the sake of posterity, here are a few of the things that I’ve loved most about my 1 year olds.
First words and first steps
This is a time of HUGE milestones for such a little person. And they really are game changers in terms of how our kids can interact with the world.
I expect that our daughter will be taking her first independent steps any day now – a prospect about which I’m simultaneously excited and filled with dread! But mostly I can’t wait to see her wobbling about like a tiny drunk person, haha.
And even if you had an early walker, who’s been tottering around for quite some time already, there’s still so much more to come.
It’s not long after the walking that the dancing starts. Is there anything more adorable on this planet than a bouncing, twisting, wiggling, grooving baby?? I doubt it!
There’s also the talking of course. Our daughter recently started uttering her first real words – “hi”, “cat” and “panda” (sort of!) and I can tell that she’s as thrilled as we are to have broken through the communication barrier. I can’t wait to know what’s going on inside that little head of hers!
However, we also know that once they start talking, they never stop 😉
Ahh, sleep, beautiful sleep!
With both of my daughters, turning 1 definitely marked a distinct improvement when it came to sleeping habits.
We did our best to establish a good routine early on with both, but for the most part I found that the first year was basically a write off in terms of consistent sleep. I have no idea if this is the case for most children, but things really started to improve for us after the first birthday. I suspect that it may have had something to do with weaning, and less incentive to be getting up at night!
Either way, right now, my 1 year old reliably takes two solid naps a day (although I’m sure that we’ll be saying goodbye to the morning nap soon – nooo!). She mostly sleeps well at night. And in general, she’s started to enjoy her sleep rather than fighting it, which makes things so much more pleasant for everyone!
I’m still exhausted pretty much all of the time (for ALL the reasons to do with just being a parent) and running on caffeine, but I’ll definitely take the extra shut eye.
An emerging personality
It’s around this time that you really start to see a personality develop. It’s so nice, because you get that first glimpse of the person they might grow to be.
Will they be serious or silly? Cautious or fearless? Outgoing or shy?
With our oldest daughter, I clearly remember how much fun it was just getting to know her a little better each day at this age.
And if early indications are anything to go by with our baby girl, I think that she’s set to have a sunny disposition and cheeky sense of humor, but with one very strong will to match (diaper change time has already become something akin to a wrestling match, and I don’t always come out of it feeling like the winner!).
But still our baby
Despite all the major milestones, I have to admit that I do love the fact that she’s still really a baby. Even though we’re already starting to pack away a lot of the infant paraphernalia and teeny tiny onesies, her baby cuteness is going to stick around for a while yet.
I obsess over her little toes and chubby legs. Oh and she still has that irresistible baby smell.
Perhaps best of all, she’s just so darn cuddly and will happily sit on my hip, squidging up to me, for as long as I can hold her there.
I won’t lie. Part of me is definitely yearning for a little more independence at this point. I could do with a bit more time to do the stuff I want/need to… like breathe. But I also know how much I’ll miss my smiley little snuggler when she’s off doing her own thing.
We’ll see how things progress as she gets closer to being a two year old (hello tantrums!), but for now I’m loving every moment.
Do you have a 1 year old? What’s your favorite thing about this age??? Was this a stage that you really loved? Or not so much?! Let me know in the comments!