Every parent has a favourite age group. Studies confirm that for the majority of parents, this age is five. But I tend to disagree.
Sure, aged five is fantastic – kids at five are funny little humans with heaps of quirky questions, plenty of sass, and a dash of independence too – plus no nappies to change. #SCORE
But you know what’s better? The second year, when our babies are one, turning two. 12-24 months, if you prefer to work in months. After the newborn stage but before the terrible twos, the toilet training (unless you’re keen to start early), the intense temper tantrums. Before the start of school, homework, sports, friends. A time when their only job is to explore. And your job is to nurture this.
My youngest daughter is at this golden age right now and it’s been an absolute delight. The best. Honestly, I wish I could press pause or at least be able to rewind back to this stage later in life. And here’s why.
The second year
They can walk and talk, but aren’t super great at it yet
Which means you can probably catch them when they take off down the street in their adorable unsteady wobble run.
And while they can string a few words together, most likely “mummy” on repeat, they can’t argue with you just yet. That comes later.
All can be cured with snacks
I know many one-year-olds can throw a tantrum like a boss, but my little one isn’t there yet. At this stage, almost anytime she starts to feel that baby rage, I can toss her a snack and peace is restored.
They are seriously so so sweet
I love how nurturing and loving kids are at this age. They learn to give kisses and cuddles, to give the dog ‘gentle’ pats, to hug their dolls, to share (sometimes) and to simply be kind.
Kindness is amazing at every age, but there’s something so heart-warming about seeing a one-year-old display this quality.
TV entertains them
How cute are they watching TV too? Because they don’t just watch. Oh no, that would be far too boring for an active baby. They stand in front of it, and bounce to the songs and mimic the movements. As much as I HATE the constant twill of baby nursery songs in the background, I love watching her groove to them.
They actually sleep! (sort of)
I breed bad sleepers. All three of my kids have been awful sleepers but my youngest is the worst. However, now when she wakes at night, I can say, “Head down, SLEEP!” and she does it without much argument. Unlike when she was a newborn.
Older kids, well, they can escape their rooms, demand water and ask a trillion questions before actually falling asleep. At this fleeting age, one-year-olds are still imprisoned in a cot and naps are non-negotiable. Plus, because they are so busy, most kids this age will nap for two hours straight!
They are so extremely cute and cheeky
That one-year-old smile, with their little teeth poking through? And the adorable top-of-the-head ponytails!!
I. Can’t. Even.
Everything is AMAZING
Rocks. Grass. Flowers. Water. Sand. Pens. Don’t even get me started on the power of pens! I love how exciting and entertaining my daughter finds the littlest things. Watching her little brain tick over as she examines a toy or discovers a new texture or tries a new taste. Priceless!
They want to help
They are so keen to help you unload the dishwasher, or put the clothes away, or mop the floors. Sure, they suck at it, but it’s nice to have a genuine offer to help.
They think you’re the greatest thing in the world
Not only that, but they WANT to hang out with you all the time. This is a stark contrast with my oldest, who is nearing 11 and is discovering PlayStation is actually a lot cooler than mum.
But not to my youngest. To her, I am the coolest. To her, I am the smartest, most fun thing that ever existed. Her best friend, her playmate, her comforter, her safety net, her teacher, her chef, her sidekick.
I am literally her everything.
Here’s the thing about this age. To our one-year-olds, we are perfect. And through their eyes, we learn to see ourselves in a better light. Because, if our little ones adore us this much, then we must be doing an alright job.
The many ages and stages ahead
Yep. It’s a great age and a great year for our little ones and ourselves. But it’s not the only amazing year ahead. Have a read of some of our other stories about the various ages and stages of kidhood. With every birthday candle they blow out, comes another year of adventure.
If your baby is turning one soon, then this story is a must-read! My Baby is Turning One and I’m Just Not Ready
If you’ve got a two-year-old, then have a read of I may be two, but I still need you. Warning – you may need to grab the tissues for this one!
Got kids starting the kindy or big school? This is such a massive milestone for them and for us too (one that I did not handle very well). Case in point? Don’t Judge Me, But I’m THAT Mum Who Cries at Kindy Graduation.
We’ve got some advice and tips for mums with older kids too. Have a read of Why Eight is Such a Hard Age for Boys: Parenting Expert Explains All as well as Are All 10-Year-Old Boys This Hard? Yep, Apparently So!
Moving into the tweens and teens, check out 16 Simple Rules to Follow When Raising Teen Boys and To My Daughter: 20 Lessons to Take With You, No Matter Where You Go.
And, finally, for those parents with kids about to embark on adulthood, have a read of My Son Just Turned 21 and I Absolutely Wasn’t Ready.