Childhood Transitions

What every parent needs to know about childhood transition.

When you ask parents which age was the most difficult when raising their kids, it is often whatever age their children are right now.

While that may seem like a simple way to look at the demands of parenting, when you look at parenting more objectively, you usually do find that each age does have its own challenges.

Many of these difficult times revolve around transitions, such as when your baby weans from the breast, moves from a crib to a bed, gives up his naps, and starts nursery, etc.

Learning about and anticipating childhood transitions can make parenting a little easier.


The transition of moving from two naps to one and then finally giving up a nap altogether can be very difficult. For a few weeks or months, until they get used to their new sleep schedule, children can be very tired, extra sensitive, and irritable, especially in the late afternoon and early evening.

Make sure your children get enough sleep, including daytime sleep from their naps, and don't give up their naps before they are supposed to. Keep in mind that most 2 and 3-year-olds won't take a nap if you give them a choice.

If your older toddler has given up taking naps, but then quickly falls asleep in his car seat or is fussy late in the day, then you likely let him give up his nap too soon. You might have to change the time of when you were putting him down for the nap, be more consistent in your daytime routine, or simply have some afternoon quiet time if you still aren't able to get your toddler or preschool age child to take a nap and you think he needs one.

Eating Habits

Many parents also encounter problems when their child's diet transitions from that of a baby to a toddler and then to a diet that resembles the rest of the family, which is hopefully a healthy diet.

Reviewing the 'normal' times that infants start baby food, finger food, and table food can make feeding your baby much easier, especially for new parents. It can be just as important to understand that many toddlers have a big slowdown in their eating, like to feed themselves, and can become very picky.

At Wriggles and Giggles sessions we share with you transition techniques as well as many other parenting techniques to help you take the stress out of parenting. The sessions are not just for the children.

At Wriggles and Giggles Sessions we repeat activities that will help with all stages of development from birth to 5 years We also help with ideas to take home and parenting tips and techniques. To join a group in Yarm, Darlington, Hartburn, Ingleby Barwick, Newton Aycliffe send us an email

Common Childhood Transitions

Other common childhood transitions that parents should, or will eventually, be familiar with include:

Moving your baby to a crib from a bassinet (around 3 months of age)

Teething and getting a first baby tooth (between 3 to 15 months)

Sleeping through the night (around 4 to 5 months)

Starting baby food (around 4 to 6 months)

Starting finger foods and table foods (around 8 to 9 months)

Weaning from infant formula to whole milk (12 months)

Changing from a bottle to a sippy cup (around 12 to 15 months)

Moving from two naps (a morning and afternoon nap) to 1 afternoon nap (age 12 to 18 months)

Weaning your infant or toddler from breast milk to infant formula or whole milk, depending on his age

Temper tantrums and the terrible twos

Starting potty training (age 18 months to 3 years)

Moving your child to a toddler bed (age 2 to 3 years, once your toddler is climbing out of his crib, or he is 36 inches tall)