An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Letting Your Toddler Be Little

Monday, December 4, 2017

Letting Your Toddler Be Little

In an age when kids take admittance tests for preschool and face the pressure of standardized testing, I'm letting my toddlers be little

This post is sponsored by Comforts™ Brand on behalf of Kroger. All opinions are my own.

The other day, I was at my favorite barre class. I went to the 9:30am one, the class I affectionately call "the stay at home mom hour" because all of us are either SAHMs or work at home moms (WAHMs) and have the flexibility to go mid-morning. Anyway, I was getting on my shoes after class and overheard a conversation between two women who had also just taken the class. One was asking about a STEM program-based preschool for her three year old daughter. She was concerned her daughter wasn't being challenged enough at a regular preschool, and wanted STEM (science, technology, engineering and math, for those who don't know) based curriculum so that she would be challenged. In preschool. Now I don't know what school this child goes to or if she is indeed gifted, and I happen to personally really like the mother, but it got me thinking: Why don't we let toddlers just be toddlers?! What happened to allowing our toddlers to be little?

I remember when I was little, all I did was play with my sister. We didn't have cable at my mom's house and were only at my dad's every so often, so we played with dolls, Barbies, made up games, played with our pets, played outside (even in the cold Minnesota winters - sledding and ice skating were our favorites!). We weren't attached to screens doing "learning apps" and we weren't forced to do homework at an early age. Our learning came from play.

Fast forward nearly three decades, and the biggest comment I get on my Instagram photos is, "Your kids are always outside playing! You're always being active with your kids!" And it's true. Henry is only allowed limited time on his iPad on the weekends, the boys only get a half hour (max) of TV a day, and we are always busy playing - usually outside! I structure our days like this because I'm letting my toddler be little. I'm letting them play, and run, and get dirty. I chose their preschool because they believe in play, too. There's no flashcards, the rooms are full of toys, they don't expect three year olds to sit and learn math.

Otto is BIG on playing, constantly! This kid doesn't sit still. One minute he's racing cars with his brother, the next he's dangling from the side of his crib, attempting to reach a toy. Outside, he's helping me water plants, then he's picking up bugs. At 22 months, he's still in diapers, and we're big fans of Comforts™ Brand, available at Kroger stores. They feature Total Fit, which means they'll move with Otto's every twist and turn. They have a wetness indicator so I know when to change him (he see's it now too and tells me when he's wet - first sign of potty training perhaps?!) and they come in fun colors and patterns. The wipes are stationed throughout our house, and work on runny noses, dirty bums or hands that just squeezed a worm. Check them out on Facebook here and grab a coupons for all Comfort for Baby products here.

Look, we all parent differently and we all at least try to do what's best for our kids. For me, that's letting my toddler be little and promoting active play! I'm not going to push spelling or the arts or joining a soccer league this early on in either of my children's development. I want them to be little, enjoy childhood,  and shake and run and wiggle! Comforts™ diapers enable Otto to do that, minus any leaks or blow outs. Let's let our kids and toddlers be kids and toddlers, and let them play freely.


  1. Kids need to be kids. I think we push kids too hard too young these days. When did it start to be like this?

  2. I think priorities in general need to shift or we as a society are going to be *very* sorry in 20-30-50 years. That rat race is TOO real for people of all ages. That said - I do think STEM is important, but I don't think kids that young should be forced to sit in their seats and do flashcards. You can teach them that stuff while they're doing their normal kid things - it's how I learned as a young kid. I watched my animals birth their young and counted rows of veggies while I was out doing my thing. Let's do more of THAT kind of learning.

  3. It is absolutely crazy how many people start rigorous academic programs for young kids. We LOVE our play based Montessori preschool because it is all kid led. Kids learn best being kids! I hate this rat race people are starting in their kids so early!

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