"The love that slightly older babies and toddlers have for even younger babies was a nice surprise. When ours was about 1 year old, we introduced him to a newborn, and he very gently tried to stroke her face."
– Sarah T
"I was surprised by how quickly they learn and how their memory develops even at a really early age. My son Bobby now sees a bath – any bath! – and will go absolutely mental because he thinks he can get in and have a splash around!"
– Emma B
"I always expected toddlers to enjoy being held and played with, so I was a bit shocked to learn they can actually be pretty independent and aware of their own personal space. For almost his entire first year, my boy wouldn’t let anyone pick him up apart from myself and my wife, and sometimes he didn’t even like that if we did it when he was quietly playing! Saying that, he now loves it when practically anyone picks him up and will lean in for cuddles all by himself!"
– Richard W
"How glorious the sound of their little knees pounding the floor is when they are crawling behind you!"
– Jane T
"People who don’t have kids are the worst judges. They say they will only play their child music like David Bowie and not The Wiggles. They’ll soon find out though that it's cute when your toddler stands in the middle of the room singing 'Rock-a-Bye Your Bear', but it’s Paranormal Activity when they stop in the hallway and sing 'Ground Control to Major Tom’."
– Nick R
"I never even thought our cat and toddler would become best friends, but they get on so well."
– James P
"Toddlers will speak up at the most inconvenient of times! We recently took ours to a wedding, and it was without a doubt one of the most stressful things I have ever done. We were the only couple with a child at the wedding, and while he's usually very well behaved, he decided to play up on this day. He was finding it very hard to stay still during the ceremony, and the sounds of him wiggling and farting were echoing round the church. To make matters worse, he hadn’t spoken up much until this point but decided it was time to when the couple was saying their vows. Cue him shouting, ‘Blah, blah, blah’ loudly! Everyone turned around and looked at me as if I had said it.
"We made a swift exit from the wedding and haven’t spoken to the couple since!"
– Joe B
"I found it really surprising to discover that it is pretty easy to travel with him. I thought I’d need to take hundreds of suitcases full of his stuff and it would be exhausting, but after visiting New York, I looked back and realised we did so much, and it was all pretty much stress-free."
– Nick J
"My little girl loves music and ‘dances’ to '80s pop by bending her knees and rocking her head to the music with a massive smile on her face and arms in the air."
– Joey G
"It is pretty shocking how much wee comes out of a little boy as soon as you undo his nappy!"
– Gemma B
"It still surprises me how demanding he can be. You could have had a full day of activities, but he’ll still be looking at you at the end of the day expecting more exciting things to happen."
– Patricia K
"As a parent to a toddler, one realisation is that it’ll be years until we can all eat out as a family in a restaurant that doesn’t have a ball pit!"
– Terrance R
"My daughter really surprised me when she started calling blueberries 'boobalies'!"
– Joey G
"Ordering food for a toddler at a restaurant is complicated! They are so small but can be so difficult – you have to weigh up the cost versus the actual likelihood of them eating it and ask questions like, 'Does this meal have the necessary nutritional benefits?' The food might be great, but they won’t eat it, so you usually find yourself asking, ‘Do you have chips? And no, kale chips won’t work.’
"All in all, the biggest surprise of all is that even though it is hard sometimes, we wouldn’t change it for the world. We love our boy so much...even if he doesn’t eat £8 kale chips."
– Nick R
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