Once you have a baby, time becomes a focal point of everything you do. The days might seem long at first, but before you know it, the baby-mom moments start flying by in the blink of an eye. There are never enough hours in a day. Not enough for keeping up with the laundry, squeezing in self-care, or catching up with friends. Not enough for connecting with your partner, tending to your child’s every need, or simply slowing down and breathing.
Even more, there’s never enough time for clinging to all the little moments. One minute you have a newborn; the next, a whole kid. Of course, that’s only the beginning of the ever-changing journey of parenthood. As a toddler mama already wondering where time has gone a mere 1 ½ years past my daughter’s arrival, here are some baby-mom moments I miss most now that I have a toddler.
Baby-Mom Moments I Miss Now That I Have a Toddler
1. Sleepy Snuggles All Day Long
Don’t get me wrong: toddler life is fun. It might be wild and crazy, but it’s insanely fun. Even still, I long for those quiet days full of newborn snuggles. The days that felt the longest yet disappeared quickly. Those truly were some of the good old days.
2. Rocking My Baby to Sleep
The rocking chair is a cliche image of babyhood – but a necessity. In hindsight, I wish I had realized what a sacred space it was. Nowadays, my toddler’s rocking chair serves far more time as a landing spot for outgrown clothes than it does for its intended purpose. Just as I long for those constant sleepy snuggles, I’ll always long to be rocking my tiny baby just one more time.
3. Babywearing Whenever, Wherever
Is there any better feeling than your precious little bundle nestled safely against your chest? There was something special about my daughter’s and my favorite carrier being our go-to for outings, walks around the neighborhood, and even cleaning up the house. While my child is still a major snuggler, she’s happiest running free on her own two feet these days. The independence crept up before I was ready.
It wasn’t always easy. In fact, it was almost always a bit of a challenge. That said, I miss that particular bonding time with my daughter. No, I don’t miss the cluster feeding, dairy elimination, or engorgement, but I do miss it. I miss being my baby’s source of comfort and nourishment in a practical yet incredible and rewarding way.
When our breastfeeding journey came to a cold turkey stop (by my daughter’s choosing) one night out of the blue, 14 months in, I knew we had exited another chapter of babyhood.
5. Bottle Feeding
My little one started holding her bottle around three or four months old. Sure, I still held her (and still do!). But the day she made her desire for autonomy with feeding known was a loud reminder of how quickly our children grow up and need us less for those simple tasks.
6. All the First Milestone Moments
The first coos, the first smile. Her first broken chuckle, her first belly laugh. The first time I heard “mama” from the voice of a tiny angel. The first crawl, the first independent step. I could go on about these baby-mom moments. As the saying goes, don’t blink, or you’ll miss it. Nothing could be more accurate regarding baby milestones, and that’s a bittersweet realization.
7. Waking Up with My Little One Throughout the Night
I’m fully aware this isn’t something every toddler (or older child of any age) parent misses, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t. I miss the days of feeding through the night, stumbling in and out of bed repeatedly, and surviving on far too little sleep. Because even amidst the utter exhaustion, those moments were sacred. I miss my tiny human when I’m not with her, which doesn’t change when the rest of the world is asleep.
8. Getting to Witness Milk-Drunk Smiles and Quirky Dreamland Faces
Self-explanatory. Babies are (almost) always cute, but there’s something extra adorable about those innocent grins and endless sleepy expressions. I’m so grateful for modern-day technology and the ability to have captured those heartwarming moments on camera.
9. Witnessing the Joy of Tiny Kicking Feet
At bath time, in the grass, on our family’s first sandy beach vacation as a party of three. I miss the pure, innocent joy evident in those tiny, busy little toes. Suddenly, my toddler prefers picking out her shoes from her shoe bin. While this is exciting, nothing compares to the magic of those innocent barefoot baby days.
10. Monthly DIY Photo Shoots
When my daughter was a baby, I was able to keep her still just long enough to capture all the little details in those monthly baby photo moments that made her unique. Her tiny button nose, bright brown eyes, and at one point balding head of dark hair. But now that I have a nonstop, always-on-the-go toddler, it’s tricky. Those curlier-by-the-day blonde strands, that increasingly tooth-filled grin, those growing tiny toes and fingers. If only I could bring my Nikon back out and freeze time in perfect, clear preciseness like I could for a moment then.
11. Offering First Foods
The first time my little one tried sweet potatoes, asparagus, shrimp (thank you, baby-led weaning for the confidence to try it all!), you name it; it was pure magic. Everyday experiences we as adults often take for granted take on a whole new meaning with a brand-new human. My toddler has a lifetime to keep expanding her palate, but I’ll always cherish the memory of those first bites.
12. Slow Days Soaking in All the Simple Things
Now that I have a toddler, life looks much different than it did just one short year ago. Not in a bad way, just different. It’s fast-paced, nonstop, and frequently downright chaotic. I’m grateful for it all and wouldn’t change a thing. But the baby days and the baby-mom moments came to a halt before I realized what was happening. And I will always miss that chapter in our story.
As a toddler mom still clinging to every baby-ism I possibly can with my 18-month-old, I’m here to reiterate what we’ve all heard a thousand times: don’t blink. Babies grow up faster than we realize. Once those early day moments are gone, they’re gone. Motherhood isn’t always easy at any stage, but I sure miss the new baby stage. I can guarantee that won’t ever change.