Life with a Toddler: An Update on Leo’s Milestones

Jillian HarrisAdvice, Baby, Life, My Heart50 Comments

Jillian Harris Leo's Milestones

I cannot believe how amazing being a mother is, I just FRICKIN love it!! I absolutely love the stage that Leo is at right now, I heard you tend to love every stage but I think so far, this one is my favourite as he is like a little sponge right now and we are having so much fun watching him learn, grow, and develop, day by day!

First of all, I’m loving how much his vocabulary is progressing and how much he LOVES books! Every night before bed he says “book, book, book” and he grabs one of his favourite books and we read it to him, when we reach the end of one book he says “all done” then puts the book away and grabs another! Before he goes to bed we will have read him around 3-8 books … we could honestly sit there and read him 14 books and it wouldn’t be enough. LOL!!

There are a few books that are his favourites right now and one of them is “Up, Up, Down” by Robert Munsch and to be completely honest, it’s my LEAST favourite … LOL!! Have any parents out there hid one of your child’s favourite books so you can get a break from it?? Asking for a friend … lol. But in all seriousness, this is the one book he can’t go without each night … he’s even starting reciting pieces of the book throughout the day! For example, when he’s climbing something, I tell him “Leo, don’t climb” and he will respond with “ouch ouch ouch” which is a line in the book! LOL!!

Jillian Harris Leo's Milestones

So I mean, even though I don’t LOVE the book, it’s obviously teaching him some things so I suppose we will keep it around … LOL! A few more of his fave books include:

At this stage, Leo is also understanding almost everything even though he can’t fully speak! He’s starting to use more and more words and I believe he is up to at least 30 words now (however, he still can’t say Nacho … maybe it’s because of their love/hate relationship?? ?). He’s also repeating almost EVERYTHING we say which is cute but I tend to have a potty mouth which includes some (not so cute!) 4 letter words … thankfully he hasn’t repeated any of those yet! However, I’ve noticed that I have a bad habit of saying “oh god, oh god, oh god” if something breaks or spills and Leo has picked up on this! ? Whenever he is trying to put on his shoe or if he is struggling with something, he will say “oh god” … so I’ve started trying to get him to say “oh gosh” instead. It’s a work in progress to say the least. We have also taught him to use the word “help” so whenever he gets into a situation that he knows he can’t tackle on his own, he asks for a helping hand!

We also believe that it’s important to teach Leo confidence as well and to encourage him to try new things. I think it’s so great to teach kids that they are more than just “cute” but that they are strong and kind too! We have these great little affirmation cards from Love Powered Co that are perfect for helping your little one recognize that they are courageous, loved, and so much more!

Jillian Harris Leo's Milestones

Leo has always loved music and recently he has been infatuated with the Baby Shark song … which I’m sure MANY of you have had stuck in your heads, thanks to my Insta stories! LOL! Can we all agree that it’s slightly addicting though?? When Leo was first born, up until now, I’ve always sung “You Are My Sunshine” to him and now that he has learned some more words, he is able to sing a few words with me and finish it off … it’s the cutest thing ever!

I know this is a controversial topic and everyone frowns upon TV time – before Leo, I would tell myself “I will NEVER let my kid watch TV or play with my phone” HAHAHHA … ok, Jill… You know what, sometimes I feel a bit guilty but I KNOW that I’m a good mom … there’s lots of balance in our home and we aim to give Leo as much “real” learning time as possible … but when it boils down to it and you just need to get shit done, sometimes this comes in handy!

Jillian Harris Mothers Day Gift Guide

One thing that we have been struggling with lately is the fact that he is territorial of his things and he doesn’t like to share … which should prove to be interesting when we have our second babe! Currently, he’s not the nicest to his baby cousin, Hayden, when it comes to play time. We’ve been trying to teach him how to take turns, give Hayden hugs… and he is getting better but he still needs some work! At the moment he will just say his name and go grab the toy without waiting for approval to get it.

Up until now, he has never had a “favourite” toy … in fact, he doesn’t really love toys (unless Hayden, his coursin, has them! LOL!), typically he would prefer to be outside digging in the garden or hanging out in his helping tower in the kitchen and “cooking” … aka making a huge mess … but I would rather him happy and making a mess than tugging on me! Anyway, back to my point, he has never been one of those kids who has had one special material item but I’ve noticed in the last few weeks that he likes holding on to his stuffed bunny and he carries it around with him and tries to give him some milk. It’s pretty cute watching him take care and nurture something.

Jillian Harris We're Pregnant with Baby 2

I could go on and on forever because there is so much to talk about at this stage but if I were to leave you with one piece of advice from everything I have learned so far as a parent, I would say to slow down, enjoy, and be present. Even though our lives are always on the go and a bit crazy at times, some of my favourite moments with Leo are the times when we snuggle up and read a book or when we’re getting covered in dirt in the garden.

If you were to offer one piece of advice to a new parent, what would it be?? Make sure to comment below!

xo

Jilly

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50 Comments

  • Vivian St Andre  • 

    Honestly his mind is a huge, curious sponge – expose him to as much as you can. Music, books, instruments, sports, nature-if you are excited & engaged he will be too!
    I am curious as to why repetition is so important to toddlers. So interesting, is it an innate learning tool! As Leo wants to reread his favorite books for example.
    What an adorable age❤️❤️

  • Alison Beatty  • 

    Jillian, I really don’t think you guys need any advice! You are doing just fine. What we all need to be mindful of sometimes, is “not to sweat the small stuff” and “ will it matter in 10 years”! And I’m sure you’ve heard those before! Xo

  • Charlotte  • 

    Jilly where did you get your robe from??

  • He is adorable !! Can’t wait to see him with his new sibling…

  • Bernadette  • 

    Whatever you do, just be consistent. This helps with trust and discipline as well. Have fun! I am a proud Grandma..loving it?

  • Shannon  • 

    That baby shark song and Leo’s dance is the cutest!!!
    My advice to a new parent (not sure if this is advice or not) but more of a statement) is: “everything is going to be ok” – you are going to feel all the emotions in the world all at the same time and a million times more than you have ever experienced those emotions before and it’s going to be overwhelming but everything is going to be ok, and your going to feel like some of those hard times are never going to end, but they will and you will be ok, and when you have your second baby you will hold onto those snuggles and sleeps on your chest for dear life as you now know that time goes by in a blink, you will close your eyes and soak up that feeling and beg to not forget it as it’s pure magic – it’s amazing and terrifying at the same time and you won’t even know if you are you anymore … but you are – and everything is going to be ok 🙂
    – Shannon – Mama to Luka and Leo (ages 5 and 3) 😉

  • My advice would be Let kids be kids! You are right they are like little sponges so even if you are not actively sitting then down teaching them, letting them experience life along side you is learning too!

  • Definitely cheerish these moments and every age as they really grow up fast. Always be available to listen to your child and always have your child know that you will always be there for them good and bad. Teach manners and respect and support them no matter what they want to do. Always love.

  • Deborah Hanes  • 

    You and Justin are doing an amazing job of parenting!!

    I love the details in your posts and I now have some new books to get for my granddaughter.

    Enjoy all the little moments along the way as time goes by so fast and they grow quickly!!

    Take lots of pics and videos!!! They are priceless!

    ??

  • Wow….I just love reading you and watch you become the best “mom” version of yourself!
    You are so right about being more into the present. Life goes so fast. I always ask other human: do you have another life in your pocket?! Well I don’t. So let’s enjoy it and make the best of it.

    The best piece of advice for new parents is: whatch the signs and listen to yourself. No kids are the same. Listen to your little one. They will always let you know what’s best for them 🙂

    Thank you Jill for sharing all that happiness!

  • Falicia  • 

    My advice would be to not listen to everything people tell you. I have 4 kids and I love getting advice but it doesn’t mean I have to follow it. What works for some may not work for me. You do what you feel in your heart is the best for you and your children and that’s what makes you a good mom. Your doing a great job and love following you on Instagram and Facebook.

  • Tracy L Gaudette  • 

    That is exactly the advice I give, slow down it all goes so so fast, enjoy every moment you have -sharing and talking and reading and singing and laughing and playing and just plain snuggling…… He is the cutest baby shark!

  • Kelsey  • 

    One piece of advice for a new parent would be to focus on finding balance . I’m guilty too of being that pre-mom that would neevvvvverr let my kids watch a bunch of tv or play on my phone (HA) but in reality just learning balance has been key. Making sure they grow up feeling loved and secure is my priority… i feel pretty confident when you do that, you just figure the rest our.

  • Do not compete compare or concern yourself with anything that a parent or baby is doing. No matter how close in age or how far apart! You and your baby are unique to one another

  • Charlene Severin  • 

    Keep up with the books! My son read back every book we read…at first by pure memory and then of course by reading and….he is a 99% average in school (graduated Ryerson U just this month…so yes I agree with the slow down and appreciate every moment) and excels at everything he does. I am convinced BOOKS helped him and lead the way to this fine young man well rounded in his knowledge. PS love your family and watching your lives!!

  • B is for Bear!! My “almost one year old” absolutely loves this book too- it’s so fun to see his face light up every time we pull it out! And he loves to kiss all the babies in the book which is just the sweetest thing.

    Advice for new moms- Google is not always your friend. Let things happen in their own time!

  • Love him and hug him and squish (kiss) him every single day!!

  • Daniela Maiuri  • 

    It’s ok to take the easy route from time to time! You’re sanity is just as important!

  • Joanne  • 

    You two are just so sweet together. My son is 37 (OMG!) and I believe the most important thing when raising a child is positive reinforcement never followed with but – “That was so good, but…” breeds insecurity and frustration.

    • Joanne  • 

      I also want to mention that my son’s favourite “toy” when he was a toddler was a small pot – he even slept with it! And to this day I wonder why I never took a pic with him cuddling his pot.

      • Jillian Harris  • 

        LOL!!! OMG I wish you would have! That would have been the best photo to look back on!! xoxo

  • My son just turned 2 , and his absolute favourite books are “Everywhere Babies” and “Digger Dozer Dumper” – if you’re looking to switch things up and not go crazy!

    My only piece of advice to a new parent would be hold on- for the ups and downs, for the cries and laughter, for the love and hilarity… parenting is quite the ride!

  • Carrie  • 

    Highly recommend reading to our kiddos from the start. Some early faves in our house: Peep and Ducky, The Very Cranky Bear and of course Good Night Moon. I am going to check out your list too. Love the toddler stage when they start talking more & more. Super cute! Thanks for sharing. P/S totally agree re screen time. All in moderation and we stayed away from it as much as possible until after 2-2.5 yrs.

  • Teresa Shergill  • 

    when baby is born pack a gift in your hospital bag to Leo from baby so first time Leo sees baby in hospital he’s getting a gift from him/her. Start to a good relationship?

  • marcos donizetti  • 

    Ola, meu nome é Marcos Donizetti, sou de Várzea Paulista interior de Sao Paulo, Brasil.
    Sua familia é linda.
    Seu trabalho é incrível. Ficou com tanta pena quando não escolhem ficar com a casa reformada…hahaha.
    Parabéns que vc continue a brilhar muito.

  • Jessie  • 

    When I had my second our oldest son was only 15 months. The best thing I did was buy him his own baby doll! She came with a bottle and made al other sounds, drinking, burping, crying, laughing , sleeping etc. every time I was nursing the new baby I would have my oldest come and feed his baby beside me, it helped sooo much with the tantrums and jealousy! I would try and buy Leo a baby now, and shoe him how you feed the doll and burp the doll, he will pick up on it quick!

  • Jessica Smith  • 

    My son Connor loves ‘A very Angry Bear’, ‘A very Hungry Bear’ and ‘A Very Noisy Bear’. They are all written by Nick Bland. I highly recommend them. He loves doing the roaring of the bear in one of the books.

  • Camile  • 

    So sweet <3 I love yout's blog.

  • Bride7/18  • 

    Jillian, you are so inspiring. And so good mama! You make me smile every day!
    I’m a mother of three boys and also nanny to four kids. So my life is full of toddlers and children in young age, LOL. But I love it, children are so genuine and pure.
    I also wanted to comment because you and Justin have same age difference than me and my fiance. Only that I was born in -88 and he -79. We’ve been together over 12 years and now at this summer we finally get marry!
    Lot’s of sunshine to your family and spend lots of time with your children, they grow up so FAST!!
    xo

  • Tara Connolly  • 

    Leo is the best Jill & Justin! You two are doing a wonderful job. Our son is only 7 weeks but we can’t wait to watch him grow. I have no advice yet but will check back for comments to get some for myself. Thanks for sharing!

  • My son also loved lots and lots of bedtime books His favourite was “The Cat In the Hat”. Well I read this damn book so many times I memorized it… I would attempt to skip some pages when I was tired or just couldn’t face another night reading this book ?. But he had also memorized it and would always catch me if I would skip a page (or pages just to get through it faster ?) and I would always have to say, “Oops, I didn’t mean to do that!” ?. I’m so glad that Leo loves books, and it’s also such a nice snuggle time. Leo is so precious, and you are an awesome mom. I predict he will be a doting and protective big brother. keep up the good work. ❤️

  • Laying in bed this morning, I peeked to see my little one whispering to himself and chomping his hands to ‘Baby Shark’. I blame you for the epidemic this song has caused and yet it was the cutest secret concert ever. THANK YOU!

  • I raised 4 kids and wish (or maybe not) I’d counted how many times we read “Are you my Mother?”. probably thousands — sometimes twice a night! Now I love the book and bought it for my grandchildren to enjoy.

    • Heather Doyle  • 

      Totally again with your IG clip. I don’t believe a child has to share everything. I do feel they need to be kind to each other, of course. I have a home daycare and I teach the children to say “I’m busy” or “it’s busy”. I try to teach the child wanting the toy etc to ask “ can I have a turn when you’re done?” I know it’s a lot for toddlers who do not have a lot of language but consistently modelling this helps with learning to share.

  • Emily Budac  • 

    My little guy is the same age as Leo and we’re running into the same issue. Janet Lansbury has been super helpful for us in navigating how to handle not wanting to share.

    http://www.janetlansbury.com/2011/10/these-toddlers-are-not-sharing/

  • Randy Lee  • 

    Just a quick caution
    As you get used to having Leo around the pool don’t ever become complacent re thinking he will never venture out on his own toward the pool .
    And of course swimming lessons for him as soon as possible since you have a pool in your yard is a must.
    I have a feeling you both are well aware of all this…… just a reminder??

  • My daughter is the same age and I think this stage is awesome! She’s becoming a little person and even had a sense of humor! Also, I’ve definitely hidden a few books. Especially the counting books where I’m required to count… The one that goes up to 20 has gone “missing” along with some other long ones!

  • Hey Jill! Love reading your posts. I saw on your insta stories this morning that you are looking for advice around the topic of sharing. I read a while back that the way we’ve been teaching our children to share actually satsop a negative relationship with the activity of sharing. When faced with a situation where a child is playing with something and another child takes it from the original child, we have been taught to politely encourage the original child to give up the toy. Then we get embarrassed if the original child won’t share. However, what we should be doing is allowing the original child to play with the toy until he or she is no longer interested in it. Then tell the child who was trying to take the toy that it’s the original child’s turn right now and when they’re done with it you can certainly play with it. When the original child just finished with the toy then encourage him or her too now go give it to the child who wanted to take the toy away. Offer praise when the original child gives up the toy. This shows the original child that they are important and that sharing feels good. I have tried this with both of my children and it works pretty well. It’s not perfect, but we definitely had more positive experiences with this method than what I was describing at the beginning of my comment. Good luck! By the way pregnancy looks good on you. ?

  • Hi Jillian,
    I just watched your instagram story regarding Potty training.I am the mother of 3 .I found with my daughter and two sons that realistically they were not ready to be trained until close to 2 1/2 yrs and then it only took a week to train.I am also a nurse.They need to be able to pull up and down their underwear on their own and understand why they no longer wear diapers .People who say they children were or are trained before age 2 usually have several accidents daily and the process goes on for 6 months until they are close to 2/1/2 years.Do not get frustrated you will know when he is ready.

  • Hi Jillian. I’m curious to know what type of milk beverage Leo drinks? I’m breastfeeding my 3 month old and hope to continue till a year but then don’t really want to give her cows milk as we don’t drink it now we drink almond. Curious what other non milk drinkers give their kids?

  • Bonnie Sugar  • 

    Where you having another baby!? ??

  • Katie Cole  • 

    I follow you on Instagram and was wondering what brand is the little kitchen helper/step stool thing that Leo is always standing in? I want one for my daughter who loves to help in the kitchen.