10 Things That All Toddlers Do

I know they say “every kid is different.” And while they’re right, there are a few things that all toddlers do (well, almost all anyways). Here are the things that pretty much every toddler has in common, from two moms with 6 kids between them.

I mean…toddlers. Am I right? How can something be so cute and so ferocious and SO.DANG.PICKY all at the same time? It almost defies belief.

Never did I guess that I would spend so much time arguing with a tiny version of myself about a green plastic cup. Or that the seeds on a strawberry would need to be individually removed before it became fit for consumption.

I never expected to read the same book 13 times in a row, nor did I expect to have weaponized urine used against me.

And yet- here we are.

Over time, a pattern of behavior starts to emerge. At first, you might think it’s just you. Maybe you wonder what’s gotten in to your particular child, or you’re wondering how your house has been hijacked by a miniature dictator.

But spend any time at all with other toddlers and their parents, and you’ll realize that all toddlers are pretty much the same when it boils down to it. Here are 10 things that all toddlers do. Which ones look uncomfortably familiar to you?

toddler on swing; text: 10 things all toddlers have in common

If It Can Be Climbed, You Must Climb It

Same goes for anything that looks kind of like a balance beam or can be jumped off of.

toddler climbing tub

Toddlers have a desparate, bioligical need to scale anything humanly possible (and even some things that don’t look at all possible to us).

Everything is a Choice (Or It Should Be)

If you haven’t found this out yet, you need to ask your toddlers permission before you just go making decision. And that goes for things you think aren’t even options.

toddler crying

Don’t just go pushing elevator buttons without asking- maybe THEY wanted to push it. And you can’t just decide it’s time to leave the playground. They’re going to want to have a say.

As much as you think you should be in charge of how your day goes? Your toddler is pretty sure THEY were supposed to be in charge. And they’re not afraid to tell you so.

They Get Mad When Their Parents Aren’t All-Powerful

Would you like the sun to come out in the morning, or to keep the moon? Would you like the waves to come and go at the beach, or would you like mommy to make it stop?

toddler crying

And they don’t actually care if it’s a choice that’s within your power. They trust you to take their requests and make. it. work.

That Cup Is Wrong

It does not matter which cup you give them. It will be the wrong cup.

Did they ask for the red cup? Well you better believe that by the time the water arrives at the table, red will be all wrong. 

toddler happy with cup

Did you give them a sippy cup? Because they’re two now, so they don’t need sippy cups anymore. They’d like a standard 16 oz pint glass, please, just like daddy’s.

toddler drinking from cup

You better brace yourself, because for the next three years, every cup in your house is going to take turns being The Wrong One. 

Related Post: Most Hillarious “My Kid is Crying” Tweets

Louder is Better

Daddy sleeping? Crank it up. Time for bed? Demand Alexa play some tunes. And, for heaven’s sake, why sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star when you can SHOUT IT.

toddler yelling

Your pleas for inside voices and “quiet” down are going to be met with even louder noises. It’s best to just invest in some noise cancelling headphones and think of the teenage days, when they’ll  finally be oh-so-quiet that you’re basically begging them to make a sound.

They Believe in Extremes

Either you’re the best mommy ever or the meanest, and it’ll be the best day of their lives or the worst.

Toddlers live in the world of never and always, and hop back and forth between the two on a regular basis. Try to ride the wave, because they don’t really mean it.

Or they won’t for long, anyways.

There Are Rules About Food. So Many Rules.

Maybe their food can’t touch each other, or has to be delivered on a special plate. Maybe you need to shake the salt shaker above their chicken three times– BUT DON’T ACTUALLY ADD SALT.

Meal times are a toddler’s favorite time to throw down a gauntlet, so don’t be surprised if they choose even snack time to show off their new control issues.

Take a deep breath, replate the food, and just pray to God they eat it.

Related Post: How to Stop Fighting with Toddlers at Dinner Time (Once and For All!)

They Must Collect the Things

Toddlers are a little like raccoons- if it’s shiny, they want it. And they’re gonna keep it.

toddler with hand full of flowers

I once found a pinecone, two sticks, and a seashell in my daughter’s crib after naptime. Expect to find pebbles, leaves, and, heaven-help-you, bug collections scattered throughout your house from now on.

The Worst Time to Throw a Tantrum is the BEST Time to Throw a Tantrum

They know when mom is trying to sneak into senior citizen hour at the grocery store, and they know when the world is a little too quiet. And we can just about promise that this is prime tantrum time.

Little people can sense when we’re stressed to the max and, frankly, sometimes it stresses them out too. And while we’d like to sprawl out in the middle of the freezer aisle and cry about them being out of our favorite brand of ice cream, we can’t.

But they can, and you better believe they’re going to take advantage of the opportunity.

Related Post: The 11 Types of Toddler Tantrums (Don’t Worry, You’ll Hate Them All)

Mommy and Daddy are the BEST

At the end of the day, there is one toddler truth that stands out above the others- Mommy and Daddy are the best people in the whole wide world.

toddler hugging mom and dad

It won’t always be this way, so we’ll try to relish these moments when they think we’re the prettiest, smartest, funniest people in the world.

Thankfully, it makes all those other Toddlerisms feel totally, absolutely worth it. 


So that’s it, the 10 things that all toddlers do. What did we miss? What other toddler stereotyps need to be
added to the list? We’d love to hear about your favorite toddlerisms in the comments!

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