What is the line between toddler and baby?

Baby has been a baby for their whole life, but they have also been growing and changing every day since long before you ever saw their face. Sooner or later, you might start to hear the word ‘toddler’ thrown around – or you might even be the one doing the throwing yourself. Where is the line, though? Where does babyhood end and toddlerhood begin?

The clue is, of course, the name. Toddlers become toddlers when they start to toddle – that is, make those wobbly first steps towards walking. The difference between babyhood and toddlerhood is usually a difference in mobility more than anything else, though of course children with different mobility timelines and abilities grow out of babyhood as well. Mobility is an easy shorthand for a developmental moment that’s hard to pin down because neither ‘baby’ nor ‘toddler’ are really scientific terms, so the difference can be subjective.

Generally, the baby-to-toddler shift happens around a year old, or a little before, so Baby is probably right on track for a change in terms, but that doesn’t mean they're all grown up – they're definitely still your baby.

So what’s in store for you, as the parent of a soon-to-be-toddler? Some mobility of your own, probably. Just because Baby doesn’t need to be literally attached to you at the hip anymore, that doesn’t mean you’re not still their favorite person to be around. Now you’re just expected to keep up, too!

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