9 Ways to Tell Your Toddler is a Second Child


June 23, 2015 by Katia

Empirical studies conducted by me show that toddlers with an older sibling are 100% more likely to use the expression “buttface” before they turn three. And while not all households house an older sibling who is as committed to the use of the term as mine, there are other revealing tells to help you gauge whether a toddler is really that far ahead of the curve or simply is a second child.

toddler second child

When a toddler is a second child:

They’re the toddler running alongside a group of five and six year-olds at soccer practice

Alternatively they might be the toddler glued to the glass, longingly staring at the skaters on the ice rink. Either way they’re convinced that it’s all about them. Whether they’ve been brought here to suffer as the victims of a cruel joke or to practice their own soccer skills (soccer being that game where you lift the ball up with both hands then toss it way up in the air and try to avoid it hitting your head)  it’s all. About. Them.


They’re the toddler who talks zombies

“Goodbye, Ethel, go back into your house and don’t let the zombie catch you!” my toddler considerately warned our ninety year-old neighbour the other day. She couldn’t heed the warning as she didn’t hear it, but the premature exposure to zombies sure makes for some cringe worthy moments.


They’re the toddler with the Halloween costume that was all the rage back in 2012

Want a glimpse into the evolution of the pop culture scene in the last decade or so? Raid a second child’s costume wardrobe. To add insult to injury the costumes you’ll find will probably also display some wear and tear and at least a couple of non-removable chocolate stains.

Speaking of chocolate, they’re that toddler who knows about it. They’re also familiar with lollipops and juice

And they’re probably corrupting other toddlers around them.

That being said, it’s possible that they’re the ones with the more advanced dental hygiene practices

They’ve been exposed to mint flavoured toothpastes and the likes, after all, and some of them are very open to experimenting with them.

They’re the toddler who when asked about their friends are more likely to provide a lengthy list of six-year-old kids than they are to name friends their own age

If you have a toddler with an older sibling, your toddler is probably in a non-reciprocal relationship with a bunch of school kids or preschoolers. I’d venture a bet that your toddler is probably a play date crasher. We’ve all seen it happen. A second before the door closes behind your preschooler arriving at their friend’s house for a play date your toddler will make their move and weasel in.


They ‘re the toddlers who haven’t properly mastered the tricycle but are insisting on removing the training wheels

Because if all of their six year-old friends are doing it, why shouldn’t they?

They’ll laugh at a lot of jokes they don’t understand

They’re the toddler laughing louder than anyone else in the room, because what the heck (an expression they use, of course) did the pink panther just do and why was it funny and let me just blend in with the crowd.


It’s very possible that they’re the toddler who hit a preschooler on the head and not only did they get away with it but they somehow ended up getting hugged

Because they’re the baby and God forbid we upset the baby.



Have a toddler? Had a toddler? Your turn!

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19 thoughts on “9 Ways to Tell Your Toddler is a Second Child

  1. They’re eventually the 13-year-old watching Breaking Bad…

  2. Yes, yes and yes! I don’t have a toddler anymore but when I did she: played football with the older kids (when she was two and really was still toddling – but thought she was Lionel Messi); was riding a bike, without stabilisers (“no – take them OFF please mummy”) when she was three; made “friends” with all of her older sisters’ friends as soon as she started school. Well, they played with her for a while, until they lost interest….; and yes, she regularly beats up her older sister….and gets away with it!

    • Katia says:

      Isn’t it hilarious the inflated ego they have? I think it’s probably not entirely a bad thing growing up thinking they’re capable at the same time, of course, it’s interlaced with a lot of frustrations.

  3. Corinne says:

    If my second was the first, he’d be an only child. Or there would’ve been a HUGE gap between the next, lol!

  4. lesliesholly says:

    My baby was calling the big kids things like “FeakAss” and “BeegBully” and telling them to “shubbup” before she turned two, I’m pretty sure. Now she’s 10 going on 17. This post was hilarious.

  5. ohmandelynn says:

    Yes all of this- it’s the truth. a large helping of truth. Hilarious!

  6. sara says:

    Omg look at that face! It’s all too true – I don’t have a toddler or a preschooler anymore thank goodness, but they are 4 years apart, so my eldest had loads of good, inappropriate things to pass on. I have a photo of my youngest at 2 wearing her brother’s Spider-Man costume, batman cape and holding a light sabre. Classic!

  7. ajoyfullhome says:

    The expanded vocabulary of the second toddler amazes me. Sometimes in a good way, but unfortunately is always more often in a not so pleasant way. The words he picks up on… My least favorite is all the potty talk that they think is funny. I can only imagine what number 3 will be like when he starts talking…
    Great Post!

    • Katia says:

      Oh, I know! The things that come out of this toddler’s mouth constantly shock me. And yes, I can only imagine throwing a third one into the mix! 😀

      Thanks so much!

  8. aileencooks says:

    My second child “toddler” is only 14 months, but she is well on her way to this list. She is already trying to run and climbs everything in sight. She can already make her brother cry if he does something she doesn’t like. She bites him, hard. Oh boy, I guess I’m in trouble!

    • Katia says:

      14 months is a respectable toddler age 🙂 I remember how difficult it was chasing my younger one who seemed to be into running before he started walking… Which was really early. Good vibes senr your way!

  9. Too funny! I love the bit about the treats. Refined sugar didn’t touch my first child’s lips nearly until she was old enough to spell sugar on her own. My son on the other hand was eating cotton candy at the fall fair as he toddled around uncertainly taking his first few steps. He’s glad for the way our parenting has evolved.

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