6 things to do before your baby turns into a walking, talking toddler
When my daughter was in the squidgy baby phase, I used to get so excited thinking about all the amazing stuff we would be able to do together once she was a toddler and moving around on her own.
At the time, it seemed so surreal to think of her as an actual walking, talking little person, but times flies when you're raising a human, and before I knew it my squidgy baby was suddenly toddler-sized and racing around the place.
This new more mobile stage can be so exciting, but it can also get really difficult to do a lot of the stuff you used to take for granted. Which is why these days I spend a lot of time chasing around after my almost two-year-old and wondering how on earth I found the pre-walking days so tough. Such is parenting and hindsight.
So before your little one takes their first big steps, enjoy that brief window of motionless time by taking advantage of things that become more tricky once your baby becomes a walking, talking toddler. Such as...
1. Walking / running
Before my daughter found her feet, I spent a lot of time walking with her in the buggy or sling. The odd time, I even attempted to go for a run with the buggy - despite not owning a baby jogger. Most of the time though we wandered slowly and aimlessly, which kept us busy and out the house in the fog of early parenthood - until she started demanding to push her own buggy.
2. Family travel
It doesn't have to be to an exotic destination (although if you can, you totally should), but take advantage of any opportunity to travel whilst your little one is too small to run riot around an airport/ferry/train/service station. Given the fact that children under two fly free with many airlines, I definitely should have hopped on a plane back home to visit the rellies more.
3. Catching a movie
Catching a movie might not be an obvious thing to do with your new baby, but a number of cinemas in Ireland hold screenings exclusively for parents and their pre-crawlers. With reduced sound, price and coffee (hallelujah!), this is an amazing baby-friendly activity that I discovered just a little too late. Although I did consider trying to conceal my baby's new moves just so I could go.
With less cash and more weight, I spent a lot of my maternity leave browsing and trying on clothes that didn't fit, rather than buying them. But it's more than I get to do now that I have a toddler whose idea of shopping is attempting to push over every mannequin in sight. Whilst your baby is happy to snooze in the buggy, make the most of all that (window) shopping.
5. Enjoying your home
I remember a mum friend looking nostalgically at my fireplace and telling me to enjoy sharp corners while I still could. It was only when my baby started to roll that I realised what she meant. Seriously, enjoy your home as you currently know it; before it becomes an adult obstacle course of stair gates, door stoppers and other cushioned safety precautions.
6. Go for coffee
Navigating a buggy around a cafe full of tables and chairs is a tricky test of your spatial awareness when sleep deprived, but this is probably the biggest thing you'll have to worry about when having a coffee out with your new baby. Being able to enjoy that much-needed caffeine fix in relative peace, and whilst it's still hot, is definitely one of life's little luxuries as a new mum.