AVOCADO MAG’S GUESTLIST: How to Parent a ‘Babbler’


By Alice Stanton

Uhh ohh.

Uhh ohh.

What’s a ‘bobbler?’ – good question.  I may well have just made it up. It’s that awkward phase your kid goes through at about 14 months when they are neither baby or toddler. Just a tricky combination of the two.

Brilliant Alice is hoping to shine a light on this no-mans land. I can throughly recommend flicking through her fab creation Avocado Magazine a gorgeous e-zine full of great articles about Motherhood. Not preachy. Not know-it-all. Thoughtful and beautifully put together

But before that, here’s her list ‘How to Deal with a Not quite a Baby not quite Toddler:’

  • You have to have the patience of a monk – They get frustrated very very easily. They know what they want to do but their bodies don’t always know how to play ball, learning is hard and tiring at any age. They want to practice their new talents all the time so if they’re learning to walk they hate the pram, if they’re learning to talk they will never keep quiet, and if they’re learning to use their own knives and forks then dinner will never be the same. 

  • You have to become very entertaining – Generally not-quite-babies-not-quite-toddlers have the attention span of an ADHD gold fish. They want to run, play with toys, watch TV, eat, and learn how to jump all at the same time so keeping them entertained can be tricky. Trust me – the park is your friend here. 

  • You have to learn to bend and run – If your mini is an early walker this is imperative in keeping them alive. They move and they move fast, and in most cases they don’t understand STOP no matter how loud you shout it. Running while bending to grab them is hard but a necessary move to keep your little one away from danger. 

  • You have to start skim reading – Potty training, sleep training, life training; everyone has their methods and regardless of what they are, if this is your first mini, you are going to need to do your research. But make sure you skim otherwise you’ll find that you’ve waisted 500 hours reading about a method that just isn’t going to work on your mini. 

  • You have to watch what you say – I will freely admit that I am not the best at watching my ‘naughty’ words. Not-quite-babies-not-quite-toddlers copy and don’t understand that certain words aren’t for them (at least not until they understand context – like when you tread on a piece of lego, s*&! is a totally natural reaction but saying it over and over again when you are at a wedding is not exactly ideal).

  • You have to plan with military precision – Leaving the house with nothing but nappies and your boobs is probably no longer an option. You need bottles, food, water, nappies, wet wipes, extra clothes and toys just to go out for lunch. The ironic thing is that even though you are ready for anything, chances are that the one thing you aren’t ready for is the one thing that will happen so don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as planned.

  • You get to see the world through their eyes – The shock and amazement at their own ability to do something or the fascination with the squirrels in the park; everything is new and everything is amazing. It’s infectious and it will give you a new perspective on the world around you. 

  • You get to find out who they are – You gave birth to them, you kept them alive, but who they are as people is really down to them. Discovering your mini’s personality is probably the best thing about having a not-quite-baby-not-quite-toddler. Do they smile at everything or make you work a little harder for it? Do they love animals? Are they caring? Silly? Brave? The possibilities are endless. 

  • You start to get something back – Cuddles, kisses, smiles, giggles – the love is flowing and it is amazing to finally get the affection running in both directions. 

  • You are the absolute best person in their eyes – They look up to you, physically and philosophically. Whether you’re doing something clever or funny (like touching your nose or sticking out your tongue) you are absolutely amazing to your mini and it’s hard not feel honoured by that. 

  • You get a sense of achievement – At the end of every day, when your mini is tucked up in bed and that glass of wine (or gin) is finally in your hand, you really feel like you’ve achieved something. No matter how hard a day it was, you kept them alive and they are developing into beautiful little people – well done!

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