Just the other day I was scrolling through baby pictures of my daughter on my phone and I swear to god, my ovaries started to ache. I missed the days of feeding her at my breast, cuddling her for hours in my arms, and smelling that sweet, sweet baby smell. Just kidding. Having a toddler is so much better than having a baby. Here are seven reasons why the second year beats the first, hands down.

1. I am extremely well rested

Not only does my daughter sleep at least 11 uninterrupted hours every night, she also takes a consistent 2-3 hour nap in the middle of the day. I get the best of both worlds—the ability to get work done during her daytime nap and enough time with her awake during the day to actually do fun activities together.

2. She eats normal food

I don’t have to deal with breastfeeding, preparing bottles, cooking special baby purees, or even chopping up food into teeny weeny bite sized pieces. My daughter has a full set of teeth and can now eat basically anything I eat. This means I can even take her out to restaurants and just order her something off the menu. It makes leaving the house easy because if I forget to bring enough food along, I can always just buy her something wherever I am.

3. I can ignore her

You can’t really leave a baby alone for even a second. Trust me, I learned this the hard way when I turned my eyes away from my daughter when she was an infant and she promptly rolled off the bed onto the hardwood floor (she’s fine). You can’t really leave a toddler alone either, but there is this magical thing called “screen time” that they seem to be addicted to. If I need a few moments to myself I can hand my daughter the iPad and she is instantly hypnotized. This comes in super handy for emergency situations like needing to use the toilet.

4. She’s my best helper

Babies are really needy. Toddlers are needy too, but they are also super eager to please. My daughter will now actually try to help me with tasks like unloading the groceries into the fridge. Granted, she’s not very good at most things, but she’s really adorable when she tries to help which makes up for her incompetence. Also, I can tell her to bring something to her dad when I actually just want her to get away from me and she will comply.

5. She thinks I’m really funny

In another life, I’m a super funny standup comedian. I always wanted to tell jokes for a living but something about my delivery has always fallen flat. But now I can live out my Jerry Seinfeld fantasies with my daughter, who thinks I’m the funniest person alive when I do something as basic as sticking out my tongue.

6. She identifies issues with my appearance

My daughter is currently obsessed with “boo boos” so she will be the first one to identify any mole, acne, or other imperfection on my body by pointing and screaming “boo boo!!”. This can be embarrassing at times, like in public spaces, but it’s also saved me from leaving the house with food on my face or (gasp) no makeup.

7. We can explore together

As a baby, my daughter didn’t care too much where I took her as she spent most of her days napping. Now that my daughter is older, she loves to explore fun museums, play at new playgrounds, and even go out to fancy restaurants. Seeing the world through her eyes is so refreshing and rewarding.

So, moms of infants, cheer up. Yes it’s hard to watch your precious baby grow up so quickly, and yes you will occasionally mourn the first year, but trust me, you will never want to go back. Now my only question is: does the same thing hold true for year three?

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