Sadness Of Toddler Growing Up

I was prepared to open my heart up to another child.  I had been pre warned not to worry about sharing my love between two children, because you don’t share it… if anything your heart grows bigger to accommodate the other child.

And that was true.  Oh my goodness how that is true.

What no-one prepared me for was the emotional loss of my first born as my baby.

When I left my three year old son with my parents the night before my caesarean I left behind my baby.  The baby that made me a mum.

As I waved him goodbye I didn’t realise that those last few moments would be so precious.  In my eyes, he was still a chubby cheeked little person that needed me.  He was still too young to understand the world and take it on without me by his side guiding him.  We’d obviously continue where we left off when I got home from hospital with his little sister.

I should have held him a little bit tighter and breathed in those last few moments with my nose pressed to his head.  I should have relished in that unique ending of babyhood.  Because its transference was imminent.

If only I’d known but no one had warned me.  And so I look back with almost regret that I didn’t realise what I was saying goodbye to when I left him.  I was closing a chapter, not just on him being an only child but on his very existence as a baby.

Overnight he aged.  Overnight he grew.  Overnight he became less dependant.

And just like that he moved on from being my baby and he became a boy.

He never warned me he was ready for me to release the reigns and so it came so unexpected.

After tending to his sister at bedtime when we got home from the hospital, I went into his room to check on him.  He was sprawled out because of the heat, and it was the first time I noticed just how big he’d become.  I just didn’t realise.

He doesn’t wake anymore when I go into his room.  He’s a heavy sleeper.  He’s no longer a newborn that jumps at every sound.

His ability to talk and communicate is that of a boy now.  Not the broken words of a toddler.

I stroked his hair and mourned the loss of him being my baby.

Even now it breaks my heart.  I’m proud of the boy he’s become.  He’s just beautiful inside and out.  But I really wish I’d known.  I was spending so much time preparing him for his new role, that I forgot how those changes would affect me.



  1. I also worried when I had Sophia that I wouldn’t be able to share my love between the two but your heart does just grow bigger enough for the both of them 🙂
    I love watching my girls grow, Abis now 8 going on 18! Enjoy all your precious moments xx

  2. It really does change you. There are almost nine years between mine, and I still wasn’t prepared for it. You’re right it’s something we don’t really talk about.

    • I wondered if it would happen with all first borns irrelevant of age, and it seems it does.

  3. This is what I’m worried about with my daughter… Slowly but surely, she isn’t need me or my OH as much… And it makes me both proud and sad at the same time!

    • It’s so bitter sweet. All I wanted was for him to be independent and happy. Now I just want him to still be my baby! typical!

  4. I can imagine it’s sad to see little ones growing up. I think I’d have to take a million photos everyday!

  5. I can imagine it’s sad to see little ones growing up. I think I’d have to take a million photos everyday!

  6. I remember shedding a few tears in the hospital after having my daughter, as it completely hit me that it wouldn’t just be my son and I now. Sounds silly, but it is a big adjustment for everyone when a new baby arrives and your older baby isn’t that little one anymore x

    • It’s such a sad moment. It’s a guilty moment too because you don’t want to feel sad but you can’t help it. Typical mum life!

  7. Aww what an amazing post, you obviously have so much love for both your children and seeing them grow up so quickly must be hard.

    • It is hard. I’m making sure to appreciate my daughter for her age instead of wishing it away like I did with my first born.

  8. Oh hun, it must be difficult to let go of a baby when they become a child and it really does seem to happen overnight. Hope you are ok, your children are gorgeous x

    • It is so hard to let go, but I need to with my little boy. He’s such a wonderful independent little thing and he now needs his freedom to explore *sob*

  9. I wouldn’t have even thought about the change in your older child. Seeing a newborn again must have made you realize how grown up your eldest was x

  10. This has made me so sad. My daughter is only 8 months old, but I am getting more sad everyday that she is growing way too quickly.

  11. I have 5 kids and as each of my 4 older ones became big siblings, I too had the same feelings you did. They weren’t babies anymore, but little boys.
    The years go fast so my 5th child will be my baby a little bit longer than my older four were. Enjoy all the moments with your kids.

    • Everyone says they go fast but when you’re living through those years on borrowed sleep it feels like a life time and you want them to grow older.. until they actually do… *sob*

  12. That sounds like it was a really defining moment for you and you write about it so beautifully – well done for opening up about it!

    • Maybe that’s it now and I’ll forever be mourning those early years of his.

  13. I TOTALLY relate to this and I feel exactly the same in so many ways. I hate that my babies are growing so fast, but I am so proud of who they have become.

  14. I TOTALLY relate to this and I feel exactly the same in so many ways. I hate that my babies are growing so fast, but I am so proud of who they have become.

  15. This was a really lovely post and really makes you think about how something like a newborn can affect the slightly older ones, even when you think they aren’t old enough to fully understand!

  16. Aw bless you lovely. It’s such a big change for us mums too. You have two lovely children now and like you say your heart does grow. But still nothing prepares you for you first baby not being the baby any more xxx

    • I wonder if I had a third if i’d feel the same with my little girl.. (although I certainly won’t be having a third lol)

  17. OUCH … what a realistic ‘heart-on-the sleeve’ post LondonMum!! – life already wearing its ‘racing onwards’ badge?? As you know, ‘L’ & I can’t speak from experience but we have so many parental friends who’ve said practically the very same thing – but watching (& having taught many of their talented energetic little whirlwinds (while at the P/A Chicken Shed school for the disadvantaged) & having done so many past impromptu tutorial lessons on … ‘MY PARENTS’ – (from a child’s viewpoint) with them – I remember 99.99% of opinions being heartwarmingly: “I will always love & need my Mum” & so will your Little Prince! I remember thinking it was sssooo good to listen to my students at the time being so openly proud of their parents! … your ‘LittleLondonMan’, albeit he probably doesn’t realise it yet, ‘L’ & I think, that he’ll later realise himself that he’s been so lucky &’ll be so proud & thankful of just how brilliantly you’ve (both) guided him – he’s an absolute credit to you!! You’ll be so ultra-proud of him when the day arrives & you’ll realise that he towers over you, picks you up in 1 hand & says “Thanks Mum” (just before he runs out at Twickenham to win his first England International rugby cap haha?) … & so will your LittleLondonPrincess … (just before SHE runs out at Twickenham to “………………………..”) YOU’LL BE EVENMORE SO PROUD OF THEM BOTH haha! Hang on to your LondonMumsie memories! Onwards LondonMum. (‘O’ received-n-understood – “THANK YOU” – I can’t ask for anymore … JUST MAKE SURE YOU DO eh? hahaha.)

    • Every morning he asks if he’s taller then me yet.. he knows already that it won’t be long 😉 haha

  18. I think even when you know you can’t really prepare yourself for it. But you get to step into new adventures with both your kids and he’ll always be your baby, even when he’s all grown up and moved out

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