10 Phases of Toddlerdom

10 Phases of Toddlerdom

My post the other day 10 Truths About Little Boys was so popular that I decided to follow it up with some of the more universal habits of small children. These are not specific to just boys by any stretch of the imagination, rather they are specific to toddlers in general and I am pretty sure you will be able to tick at least one of these 10 phases off your list as a battle you have fought with your child at some point (and hopefully emerged victorious, though I confess I am still fighting some of these on a daily basis and my kids are now 2.5 and 4!).



My husband did something really stupid one night when C was about 2 years old. He removed the plug. WHILE he was still in the bath. And then he said ‘Look Cohen, the bath monster is taking the water!’. I was scared of that damn water down the plug sound as a teenager child let alone a poor 2 year old! He was also terrified after daddy (silly daddy again!) teased him by turning into the ‘bubble monster’ and F became terrified after the incident where the shower was turned on while he was in the bath and it was freezing water that streamed out (that was his own doing though, not dads!).

For C the plug incident resulted in weeks (and I literally mean weeks!) of bathing him in the blow up paddling pool. First we had it set up next to the bath and then when he got a bit braver it was moved inside the bath and eventually (amid the screams and tears) we managed to get him over it but boy, it was an exhausting and messy phase!

Do not let out the bath water out while your child is still in the bath! Ever.

Regardless, most toddlers still go through the scared of the bath phase at some point, plug/shower/bubble monster aside. Usually followed by a love of the bath that is the complete and utter opposite (not sure which is actually more annoying, when they don’t want to have one or when they want one alllll the time and refuse to get out!).



Ah, the phase that inspired this post! I was mentioning to a workmate the other day how my 2 year old puts his name in front of everything while talking about himself:

‘Finley wants popcorn’ (at 6am in the morning)
‘Finley likes chocolate cake!’ (Upon seeing his brothers birthday cake)
‘Finley not sleeping’ (2am in the morning running around the lounge in circles)
‘Finley did it!’ (when my iPhone screen was smashed on the floor after being tossed off the kitchen table – at least he’s honest I guess!)
‘Finley broken heart’ (when his brother does anything he doesn’t like)

‘Finley this that and the other, wants, likes, needs, loves …’


If I run fast enough I can have a swim!

I tried one of those leash things when this phase started with C but I had very little success as he would instantly plonk himself down on the ground screaming and point blank refuse to get back up again until it was removed. As soon as he was out of the pram/car/door he would take off running and you’d be in pursuit two seconds afterwards as they charged through the mall, carpark, supermarket, beach. This phase is designed to keep you fit.


I hate this phase with a vengeance. I’m up at 5am every morning to get ready for work and we are out the door at 6.15am. Of course it is when you are running late that your child refuses to sit in the car seat, instead opting to do the plank and somehow making it absolutely impossible for you to bend them into a sitting stance. They plank it and twist like mini hulks while you huff and puff and try to force them (often resorting to bribes) just to get them to bend and sit in the damn car seat so you can do up the straps, often accompanied by screaming. This results in quite the workout and a sweaty faced stressed out mama before you even leave your driveway.


First it was Toy Story that captivated my oldest boy for well over a year and now it’s Cars. Unlike adults, when a child loves a movie they want it daily. Multiple times a day. One time after the other. And when they’re not watching it they are asking to watch it. You will know every word of that movie forever and ever, even after the next movie that grabs their attention comes along. You will be relieved until you’re sick of that one too. I hear it is an endless cycle and I can vouch for that because I remember pretending to be sick off school the day after I watched Grease for the first time and then watching it four times in a row (sorry mum!). My sister reminds me I did the same with The Sound of Music and Dirty Dancing.

Get ready for it, the movie marathons are coming to a TV near you!


Following on from the movie phase is what I like to call the fixation phase.

an obsessive interest in or feeling about someone or something.
synonyms: obsession with, preoccupation with, mania for;

informal hang-upthing, yen, rage, bug, craze, fad, bee in one’s bonnet

Here are just some examples of fixations:

TV Programmes: Is your little one a Thomas fan or is it Peppa Pig, Henry Hugglemonster or perhaps Mickey Mouse Clubhouse?

Music: In our household it’s Sugar by Maroon 5 that has my little one dancing up a storm and singing along, he even has the ‘Woo!’ towards the end down pat and it doesn’t look like it is going to change any day soon as this fixation is going on 6 months now …

Television Adverts: Yes you read that right, we have an obsession with a Kiwibank ad going on right now and (you guessed it!) that’s it below! I would love to make this a social experiment and see what your wee one thinks – is my kid strange or is it rather entertaining for a 2 year old?! I have to rewind this again and again and DANCE MUMMY! Backwards! Forwards! Again, again!

I have this dance down pat people!

Please offer your child’s feedback in the comments.

Food: Our food obsessions have included particular flavours of chippies (green chippies and yellow chippies are the two of note, toddlers don’t understand flavours so packaging it is), yoghurt has been HUGE for my youngest who constantly helps himself to them out of the fridge, removing the lid and proceeding to eat attempt to eat it in a hurry before he is caught. You can imagine the mess that makes! I now have to actually try and hide the yoghurts in the fridge (yes, we have tried fridge locks but they were broken within 2 minutes and I was told off by my 2 year old for even attempting something so ridiculous ‘Finley break it mummy!’). He will also climb on things to reach the top shelf. It is a sad state of affairs.

For C it is bread crusts. No, he’s not fixated on eating only the bread, quite the opposite! He will only eat the crusts. Same goes for buns, he will eat all the crusts from around the bun and leave the soft white bread in the middle (the only part that 98% of all children will eat). Go figure.


This phase can also include toys, places and even you!


Dinner time! ‘NO WANT IT’. Bedtime now! ‘NO’ Would you like … ‘NO’
Ah, the NO phase. Where everything is no even when it’s yes!


My cat likes to hide in boxes! The cat from France likes to sing and dance, but myyyy cat like to hide in BOXES!

Similar to the movie phase, the ‘bedtime story on repeat’ phase involves reading the same story over and over and over and over.

I can literally dictate some stories from beginning to end off by heart without missing a beat because I have read them SO MANY TIMES. In a row. Why they don’t want to change it up I don’t know, but no other book will do and you will go craaaaaazy reading the same story again, and again and again …

Where the hell is that damn green sheep anyway?! Tucked up under the mattress faaaaaast asleep FOREVER is where he is.



You decide to take the little monkey to the park for the afternoon. You swing a little (you may even attempt to jump off just like the old days which is a very bad idea!), you feel sick on the roundabout while they laugh gleefully unaffected (why is that?!) and they run around having the time of their lives. Awesome right? Until it is time to leave.

They will kick and scream and cry and you will end up looking like you are kidnapping your own child as you attempt to leave the playground. It doesn’t matter if it’s an outdoor playground, the playground at Bunnings, the little slide at the cafe – you are a bad mother for making them leave and they will make sure everyone (EVERYONE) knows it.

This is usually followed by the planking car seat maneuver and if you are unlucky enough to have them slip from your grasp during the attempted kidnap you also get the running phase and the NO phase thrown in for good measure.


But, but, but … I’m thirsty!

Ah, the age old bedtime battles that we have all had the pleasure of experiencing at one time or another (and if you say you have never had an issue, not even once, I may just decide to hate you because in my household this phase has been going on far too long!).

Toddlers are sneaky little buggers and will do anything to get out of going to bed. Not only do they do the fake crying (or real crying if they are great actors and committed to the get up cause), they have the: ”But I’m not tired’, I need a glass of water’, ‘I love you sooooo much! You’re my best friend!’, ‘I forgot to tell you …. um …’ delay tactic or the ‘I’m not feeling well’ trick.

They can actually get really sneaky. In C’s case it is the ‘I’ll wait till I’m in bed and then I will poo on demand so I get to get back up and have an excuse to go in the lounge’ maneuver. Every single night. Cunning little bugger knows this will buy him time and has this down to a fine art. I know when I put him down to bed at night that I will see him again within half an hour and then we get the ‘But Finley’s asleep mummy so I can stay up now!’ logic.

And it doesn’t end there. In the middle of the night they will get themselves up, open the door and sneak around the house, often unseen and unheard. Kids these days are way too technologically advanced and I often find one of them in the lounge in the middle of the night watching cartoons (yes, my 2 year old also knows his way around the remote, so much so that he can get into the OnDemand settings of our Sky TV box, select his favourite movie and get it going all by himself, then increase the volume for good measure). We have taken to hiding the remote now. And the tablet. And my phone (after alarms were getting set by little hands to go off intermittently in the wee hours of the morning giving us a complete heart attack).

Has your child been through any of these phases? Which one did you find the most annoying/frustrating/challenging? Can you think of any I have missed?

The List

62 thoughts on “10 Phases of Toddlerdom

  1. OMG love this! I don’t have kids but my three nephews have given me plenty of experience with all of these. Right my almost 3 year old nephew has me watching bubble guppies from morning to night over and over and over until my eyes bleed for the three days a week I take care of him. :-/ I can’t wait for it to end!

    1. I have never seen Bubble Guppies but I am told that they are one of the most annoying! I’m glad my two haven’t discovered it! At least it’s only 3 days a week you have to endure it 😉

  2. Oh, this is so incredibly accurate. It made me tired just thinking about some of these things, especially the car seat plank and chasing them everywhere.
    I showed my 2-year-old the Kiwibank ad, and he giggled the whole time. He said he liked it. So strange.

    1. Lucky for you you don’t have to see it on everyday TV and be yelled at ‘AGAIN AGAIN!’ constantly! Last night we had a train (that would be me and the two boys) having to do the dance backwards out the lounge door and then boogie our way back in! 6 TIMES.
      Haidee recently posted…10 Phases of ToddlerdomMy Profile

    1. 9 is a universal problem! It can be embarrassing too but most people just nod in commiseration! The pram isn’t much better than the carseat, in fact it’s worse when you forget to have the brakes on first and they kick it away into some unsuspecting strangers ankles!

  3. Hilarious Haidee! As you saw from my post, I can sooooo relate! My kids are both obsessed with the Pooh movies at the moment, so all I get from the moment my eyes are not yet open til they finally close theirs is: ‘Teesie watch Heffalump movie!’ ‘Want Pooh’s Grand Adventure’ or ‘Watch Tigger movie now’. At least there’s some variety in the monotony!
    Zoe Meunier recently posted…10 quick ways to guarantee a tantrumMy Profile

    1. Oh god, we have the Pooh movies too! My 2 year old sings along to every song in the Heffalump one and we have the spring cleaning/Easter one and the Grand Adventure too. I was relieved to pass that stage but we occasionally revisit it. I feel your pain!
      Haidee recently posted…10 Truths About Little BoysMy Profile

    1. Sounds like a smart idea Kirsten, sometimes waiting it out helps, other times it just winds them up worse! I find bribes good. Haha.

    1. We do that now too, or rather they fight over who gets to do it. We tell them they are letting the water out to the ducks 🙂

  4. This is another great list and also very true! My son has been going through the refusing to go to bed stage ever since he was born. He has also been through the beating up other toddlers stage which was not fun at all! #TheList

    1. Haha, we haven’t had the beating up other toddlers phase unless you count them beating up each other! I guess that kinda counts. The refusing to go to bed stage seems to last the longest.

  5. I was nodding along with most of this! Especially the bedtime stories on repeat bit, I’m starting to get really fed up with reading Tiddler every night. I do feel like I’ve got off quite lightly in some respects though, my son has never ventured further than the bathroom in the middle of the night! It would freak me out if I woke up and found him downstairs! x #TheList

    1. Yeah, dark and stairs and toddlers is a scary combination! Never heard of that book, if he loves it that much it might be worth me looking it up!

  6. I’ll put my hand up and admit, I’m still scared of the gurgly noise when the last of the bath water goes down the drain – there is totally a monster in there!
    The planking car seat phase – sigh. I found tickling helped. If you could time the tickle right and quickly click them in, it works!
    You are most welcome to send your crust lover to our place. Miss E thinks crusts are poison, they could be the perfect match!
    Mel B recently posted…5 Meals to get Kids Cooking in the KitchenMy Profile

  7. Ah, yes. I was nodding my head in agreement through this list. My boys are 5 and they still need to watch movies over and over again. At the moment it’s The Lorax. At least that’s a nice movie.
    Grace recently posted…FYBF – Highs and lowsMy Profile

  8. Haha amazing list. I am currently dealing with the no phase..Leo says no to everything except when we ask him is no his favourite word…then we just get a cheeky grin. I am not looking forward to the running away phase..sounds terrifying! xx #TheList

  9. Loving these. We’ve been through a few – the food phase is still ongoing (I don’t think it ever stopped), nothing is safe because there’s chairs and table to climb on to access things. And music fixation…ACDC, aided by his dad. He even takes a DVD of them into nursery in the hope that one day the other girl who’s there for after school club with him, will allow him to watch it!
    Emma T recently posted…My Sunday Photo / Silent SundayMy Profile

  10. We are slap bang in the middle of no.6 & 7 and have to say I find the fixation stage the most annoying – SCOOTER SCOOTER SCOOTER ARGHHHHH! *head explodes* #sharewithme

  11. These are brilliant and so true on so many levels. I think have experienced every single one of these this week alone with my two toddlers. lol Toddlerdom really can be challenging and entertaining all at the same time. Good thing I have lots of hair to pull out. lol 🙂 Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme
    jenny recently posted…What my Momma taught meMy Profile

    1. Hahaha, more things you can add to the next addition of ‘Things that annoy me’ blog posts! I loved that one of yours, so funny!

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