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15 Signs You’re Past the Toddler Stage

When is a toddler not a toddler anymore?

That transition from toddlerhood to childhood can creep up fast, and you might be wondering whether you’ve graduated up to the next level. He still looks tiny, except…he doesn’t. And she still needs you, except sometimes…she doesn’t.

Here are 15 ways I can tell we’re past the toddler stage and in full-fledged KID mode. You too?

  • 15 Signs You Now Have a KID 1 of 16
    past-the-toddler-stage

    The transition from toddler to preschooler can happen suddenly, but the change is often drastic. It's a new phase in the childhood years, and here's how you might recognize it...

  • The Questions are Deeper 2 of 16
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    With more awareness comes more questions — including serious existential questions about death and the future. He'll make philosophical statements ("Who makes people? And who makes the person who makes people?") and startling observations. You might recognize it when this comment pops up: "This parenting thing is starting to get real."

  • Their Answers Are More Thoughtful 3 of 16
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    And his answers! If you're continuously blown away by his reasoning and vocabulary, you're probably past the toddler stage.

  • You’re Now Meeting People Through Your Child 4 of 16
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    If your child is meeting friends at preschool and requesting play dates, consequently introducing you to parents you never would have known otherwise, you're probably past the toddler stage.

  • Schedule Changes 5 of 16
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    If you've been a stay-at-home mom thus far, you might be getting used to more time without your preschooler in the house.

    If you've been a working mom thus far, you might have a sudden work conflict. While many daycares will accommodate a working parent's schedule (until 5 p.m.), many preschools are open for half days or a school-time dismissal (3 p.m.). 

    If you've decided to homeschool, your daytime schedule might be more carefully planned.

     

    Whatever your lifestyle choice, your schedule will probably change in this new "kid" stage.

  • The Sight of a School Bus Makes You Weepy 6 of 16
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    Suddenly school isn't in the distant future — or maybe it's even in the present. Things like curriculum, parent-teacher conferences, homework, teaching philosophies, and school bus shenanigans are worries that weigh on you. If you're closer to PTA meetings than diaper changes, you're probably past the toddler stage.

  • My, What Long Legs You Have 7 of 16
    Screen-Shot-2013-11-17-at-11.32.18-PM

    You'll see the difference. One day you'll notice lankier limbs, a thinner face, and the absence of those chubby rolls. If you find yourself marveling at his long legs, you might be past the toddler stage.

  • The Teaching Subjects Are Suddenly Different 8 of 16
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    ABCs? Colors? Shapes? If you're moving on from the basics — if your child has mastered the toddler subjects — you might be in the next phase. 

  • You Can Reason With Them 9 of 16
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    If they can understand the whys and the hows — if reason can help ease a tantrum — you might be past the toddler stage.

  • And They Can Negotiate With You 10 of 16
    Screen-Shot-2013-11-17-at-11.41.03-PM

    If they know how to get their way strategically, buckle up. You're past the toddler stage.

  • You Aren’t as Needed 11 of 16
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    Your body finally belongs to you. Your nighttime sleep is less interrupted. You can get things done around the house while your child plays independently and sometimes even quietly. There's less of a physical demand once you're past the toddler stage.

  • You Can Shower More Often Than You Can’t 12 of 16
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    If showers have transitioned from "rare luxury" to "normal hygiene," you're in the big-kid stage. Congratulations.

  • Your Bag Is Lighter 13 of 16
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    Besides packing a change of underwear and a few snacks, you're able to get out of the house without slinging multiple bags and a checklist of baby stuff. If your bag is suddenly lighter, you might be past the toddler stage.

  • Naps Are Reserved for Car Rides 14 of 16
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    You no longer have a nap schedule to work your day around — but still might see a quick snooze in the car.

  • What Will You Do With All This Artwork? 15 of 16
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    Whether it's preschool crafts or just the 4+ years of built up artwork, you're now faced with a serious dilemma: To store or to toss?

  • They Have Their Own Issues 16 of 16
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    So and so hurt his feelings. This person is his best friend. That person taught him a new word. He won't share his toys. She is too loud and annoying. 

    If they're coming home from preschool with their own social dilemmas, you have a KID.

How do you recognize the KID stage?

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