The 5 Stages of Losing Your Baby to Toddlerhood

Happy girl running on a dusty road

She’s done it. She’s evolved from that cooing, drooling human full of goo-goo-ga-gas to a running, screaming monkey-like child filled with “NO!”s and mimicking. I wanted her to stay my baby. Why couldn’t she just stay little and nursing and sleeping every two to four hours??

It reminds me of my classes in psychology. The ones that showed your future without you wanting them to.

When I read Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s book, On Death and Dying, and her five stages of grief, I thought they could apply to many other things as well.  Like the baby-to-toddler phase.

The stages in Kubler-Ross’s theory are as follows:

• Denial and isolation: “This is not happening to me.”

• Anger: “How dare God do this to me.”

• Bargaining: “Just let me live to see my son graduate.”

• Depression: “I can’t bear to face going through this, putting my family through this.”

• Acceptance: “I’m ready, I don’t want to struggle anymore.”

So, being a soon to be mommy that just went from baby mama to toddler mama, here’s how I felt:

• Denial and isolation: “Oh no, she’s still so little. why is this happening to me? I just got used to her routine of feeding and sleeping and WAAAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!!”

• Anger:“I’M NOT READY FOR HER TO GROW UP YET!! SHE’S MY BABY!! SHE’S MY LAST BABY EVER!!! Why must life punish me???”””

• Bargaining: “Just let me have one more day of pacifiers and sleeping all day long and wanting mommy all the time. give me this and I promise you can make her walk in a week and I’ll be fiiiiiiiiiiinnnnneeee…..sob…….”

• Depression: “I can’t handle this. I’ll be giving up the crib soon and the bottles for sippy cups. NNOOOOOOOO!!! NOT SIPPY CUPS!!!!”


• Acceptance: “She’ll have some independence and I’ll get more online time. This might work…Until potty training….”

I might have made it this far but soon she’ll be heading to school.