Tag Archives forstorytelling

When do babies become toddlers?

It’s a common question: when should you start thinking of your baby as a toddler? 

When you’re deep into the day-to-day experience of raising a young child, time is lightning fast. You see your baby everyday. Being so in the moment makes it harder to take a step back.

When you do, it’s easier to realize just how many milestones have passed since that transformational first week at home. As American author Gretchen Rubin once wrote about parenthood, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

So when should you start the mental head shift?

Your Child’s First Birthday: The Day Toddler Life Officially BeginsY

As the name implies, the toddler development stage is defined by “toddling” or unsteady walking. While all children take their first steps at their own speed, it’s common for children entering the toddler stage to make more effort to move under their own power. 

You can expect them to become steadier on their feet and more interested in exploring their own ideas as they move through this stage. 

The U.S. Center for Disease Control defines two phases of the toddler period, each of roughly 12 months. 

  • The first stage begins when your child turns one. What should you expect? According to the CDC: “Their desire to explore new objects and people also is increasing. During this stage, toddlers will show greater independence; begin to show defiant behavior; recognize themselves in pictures or a mirror; and imitate the behavior of others, especially adults and older children.” 
  • The second spans ages two to three. Again, from the CDC: “Toddlers will experience huge thinking, learning, social, and emotional changes that will help them to explore their new world, and make sense of it. During this stage, toddlers should be able to follow two- or three-step directions, sort objects by shape and color, imitate the actions of adults and playmates, and express a wide range of emotions.” 

See the CDC’s toddler pages for more information about safety tips and positive ways to help your child develop a healthy mind and body. 

A child walks on a wooden boardwalk. During the toddler years, children show greater interest in exploring their world. Photo courtesy of Japheth Mast via Unsplash.
During the toddler years, children show greater interest in exploring their world.
Photo courtesy of Japheth Mast via Unsplash.

Popular culture is full of nightmare stories about the “terrible twos,” reflecting the growing adventurousness and, yes, willfulness your child will demonstrate through this period.  

Strong, consistent boundaries will help you and your child to navigate this exciting growth stage together. You will also likely find you now enjoy more variety in your daily activities than you did during the infant stage, and more opportunity to experience the world together. 

Looking back down the first year mountain: Here’s what you’ve accomplished

By the time your baby becomes a toddler, you will have helped them to explore their: 

  • Bodies—This journey began with learning to focus their eyes to look at your face, and progressed to the beginning of motor control over their fingers and toes. It’s the beginning of a lifelong journey in using their body to explore the world. As Australian director Baz Luhrmann once observed about the human body, “It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.” 
  • Language—Babbling sounds and forming simple words in context (“mama” or “dada”) are common at this stage. Reading, talking and responding to your child will continue their development and growth in this key area. 
  • Food—With solid foods introduced sometime between four and six months, your child is developing the beginnings of their interest in food. What have been the hits? The misses? The sudden rejections? Jot them down in a LifeTales story to remember the ups and downs of vegetables.  
  • Family—Your child has begun lifelong relationships with you, your partner, and other key family members, such as siblings, grandparents, and other special caregivers. The feelings of safety, security and trust will help to define their sense of being and personhood.  

Capturing the moments that matter most to you

Living in the smartphone age means that it’s never been easier to capture the parts of childhood that speak to you. Starting a Child Journal is a great way to capture the stories inside your photos and video, and tell your child what they were like at each stage of their life. 

A toddler cruises on a couch, ready to take those important first steps. Photo courtesy of Meghan Thompson via Unsplash
A toddler cruises on a couch, ready to take those important first steps. The LifeTales mobile app helps you capture and remember the moments the matter most to you.

What are the sweetest or most challenging moments of your child’s toddler stage? Get in touch at hello@lifetales.com. We’d love to feature your toddler memories or hear from you about other topics we should explore. 

Why We Created LifeTales — Part 1

What will our kids know about our parents?

“Tell me a story about Grandpa when he was a boy” said my 5 year old son at my father’s funeral.

To my dismay, I realized I COULDN’T. We never talked about his childhood … even the basics, like his favorite subject in school … or anything about his first job. And I sure didn’t know anything about his dreams growing up … what made him who he was. 😩

Even though my kids were alive when Dad passed away, they would grow up thinking they never knew Grandpa.

I looked through his photo albums … but all I saw were a bunch of people I mostly didn’t know or events I knew little about. I needed the stories behind the pictures — the context … the narrative.

But it was too late. All I had was some useful life learning.

How do we get the stories?

I thought “The world could use a service where everyone, everywhere had a way to easily create, share and preserve their stories … stories they could revisit themselves … and stories that keep their memory alive after they’re gone.”

More than just pictures or video, we need the stories — sometimes short, sometimes long. Sometimes just fun, sometimes thoughtful.

Writing wasn’t the solution. Few people start … and even fewer continue. It just takes too darn long. And it’s hard to stay motivated!

Social media wasn’t the solution — that tends to be a river rushing by of happy faces and highlight reel moments. And it was way too public. I hungered for something more authentic … more intimate.

And something better than just emailed or texted pictures/video that I’ll never find again.

And it had to be easy 😀

“Must-have” features

I wanted the following:

EASY AND VISUAL: Really easy to create and view stories — even for Grandpa — with each story made up of any combination of pictures, video, text and audio.

PRIVATE: Tight control over who sees what — the ability to choose to share every story differently, each one just with the people who will care about that story.

COLLABORATION: Most of the time, it’s not just about me. I often want to let people add content to the story as collaborators — like my wife when we’re on a trip. We both take tons of pix/video!

A CURATED COLLECTION: Not an everyday diary — that was too much work. And not just a few precious moments — they’re only a small part of life’s journey. And especially not a repository for every picture and video I ever take (I admit I’ll probably never organize them!).

I wanted a collection of many life stories and experiences that would be easy to find, relive, share (or not) … some that might be memoir-worthy and others that are just things I want to remember with friends (like that great restaurant we went to!).

The need for LifeTales

There was nothing out there with this combination of important features. So we created LifeTales. And one of the features we’re excited about launching in 2019 is Grandparent’s Story — a service specifically tuned to helping you capture and preserve your parents’ stories … so your kids (and their kids!) will know who your parents really were.

Harvey Beck
CEO & Founder

Do Pictures Tell THE story?

Great song by Rod Stewart … but only partly right. Every Picture may tell “A” Story, but it sure doesn’t tell “The” story! His song could never have been interpreted from pictures. You would have missed the the most important parts … feelings, behaviour … the intangibles!

Closer to home, have you ever tried to piece together a story from pictures — either combing through a deceased parent or grandparent’s collection … or even looking back in 10–20 years at pictures of your own kids?

Can’t be done for your parents who are no longer with you. Who ARE those people Dad’s with? I wonder what they’re doing here? And that’s just the “What’s happening” part. Nothing about feelings, excitement, plans … the important stuff of life. At best, you can decide whether you like a picture. Pretty thin gruel.

What will your kids remember?

Today, people take millions of pictures and videos — and they’re excited by the legacy they’ll leave their kids (if they can ever wade through them). However, the pictures are usually in deep storage on their phone or computer, or in multiple social media sites, posted as happy faces with emojis and clever captions. Fun in the moment — but not much in the way of everlasting value that grows in time as it ages.

Even putting aside the lack of organization, they’re missing the intangibles: behavior, emotions — the context.

Will your kids be able to recall the stories of their own youth when they look back at the pictures? They might like a picture. But will they know how Mom felt? How they behaved? What Dad said later? Or even cooler, will they be able to look back on themselves someday with a different perspective, now as a parent of a young child themselves?

As parents, we remember the highlights years later (well, maybe for your first one or two children 😉. So if we’re still around, we can regale them with some context.

However, there’s really no replacement for the narrative, the commentary, as it happened. As told by Mom of 20 years ago … and 15 years ago … and 10 years ago. And by Dad back when he had hair. And Grandpa when he was alive. Maybe by a Caregiver … or a favorite teacher way back in Grade 2!

That’s why journals and diaries exist … and are often magical, especially when it’s about you!

But who the heck has time for that? Typing is slow and life’s usually crazy busy.

That’s why LifeTales Child Journals was created. It’s a way to create this amazing story, bit by bit, and eventually create an epic!

LifeTales Child Journals — the digital journal for the modern era