9 Survival Tips For Raising Toddler Boys

When I was pregnant for the first time, I wanted a boy – so when we found out that we were indeed expecting a baby boy, I was ecstatic.

I dreamed of the messy faces that were soon to come.

The Tonka trucks and Hot Wheels explosion on my living room floor and the rambunctious chaos – I couldn’t wait!

Everyone and their mother told me that having boys was so much easier than girls…

Yet, as I’m scrubbing dried-up pee off the bathroom floor because my oldest can’t quite aim well and nearly having a stroke over my youngest climbing out of the wagon, I’m not too sure where this ‘easy’ part plays in.

I have no idea how true that may be but I can tell you that raising boys is surely NOT for the faint of heart.

I can attest for nearly losing my mind most days.

Are you a boy mama? Then you will feel me.

Below I listed survival tips for raising toddler boys – because somedays, we just need to make it to bedtime.

1. Snacks, Snacks, and Snacks

We snack all day in this house – my oldest really doesn’t like to sit down and eat a full meal so I feel like he’s constantly eating small portions of anything.

You definitely want to make sure that your kitchen is filled with snacks (and the kind they like).
And just a lot of food in general.

This will also help prepare you for those teenage years of puberty driven growth spurts.

2. Lower Your Expectations on Cleanliness

I’ve come to realize and quickly learn that raising toddler boys means that I need to lower my expectations on cleanliness.

My home will almost always have a sticky floor because of spilled chocolate milk and someone will still have a dirty face from God knows what.

My boys are either presentable with clean clothes or they have dirt stains and chocolate pudding on them. There is no in-between.

3. Dress Them in Dark Colors

Refer back to number two for reference ’cause, ya know, boys live in dirt.

I’ve learned to not dress them in any light-colors because that stuff is hard to get out – dirt, ketchup, blood.

4. When They’re Driving You Crazy, Take Them Outside

My boys would play outside all day long and never get bored.

There’s only so many Peppa Pig episodes we can watch before they get stir-crazy and begin wrestling one another – so I take them outside as much as I can.

And don’t overthink it – see number seven – a walk around the block can be just enough to break up the monotony.

They can’t bounce off the walls if there are none, right?

5. Walk Into Your Bathroom Always Expecting the Worse

Now that my oldest is potty-trained, I feel like walking into my own bathroom is like stepping into a land-mine – because there’s a strong possibility of urine on the floor, on the seat or something else equally disgusting (refer back to number two).

Life pro-tip: buy cleaning products in bulk. And teach them to wipe their own pee off the seat.

6. Keep Your Hair Up and  Jewelry Minimal

Well, boys are rough and your hair will get pulled out and necklace ripped off of your own neck – both happened to yours truly. And then they will give you sweet kisses and it won’t even matter that your brand-new anniversary present is broken.

You can enjoy those things again in about five years.

7. It Doesn’t Take Much to Entertain a Toddler Boy – Don’t Overthink It

I used to believe that I had to plan out these super-engaging activities with a zillion supplies and so on…not the case at all.

It turns out, my boys are content with a box and crayons. Or some paint and matchbox cars.

They will find joy in the smallest things. Take advantage and admire this – it won’t last forever!

8. Keep Band-Aids and Antiseptic Ointment in Stock

Because boys will run and fall… and scraped knees and elbows are inevitable.

But mama’s kisses always make it better.

9. Never Let Them See You Sweat

If your son climbed up on the table and is about to leap off – don’t panic, because I’ve learned that if I have a crazy typical mom-like reaction, he will find fun in it and do it again!

Try to remain calm and rational and redirect to somewhere else.

And then will come the day where they WILL do something crazy, get hurt, and you will say “well, I told you not to do that!”

Raising toddler boys is exhausting and every-day is a new adventure. I’ve learned to totally embrace the chaos and enjoy the journey of life with boys – they can be rough and tumble but there’s no love quite like that of a little boy.

Messy face and all.

Laura started her blog, Excuse The Mess, as an attempt to cope with her postpartum depression and moving half-way across the world. She hopes that her words can somehow help other struggling moms that feel like they don't have this 'mom thing' totally together. She has two boys under three and in her spare time(what's that?) she enjoys being out in her garden, biking and vegging out watching Netflix. She will never pass down a warm cup of coffee and her favorite past-time is forgetting where she put her car-keys. Her work has been featured on Scary Mommy, Blunt Moms, The Mighty and Imperfectly Perfect Mama.

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These are sooo true!!! Especially the jumping off the table part. Whenever I react my son will keep doing it. Thanks for the reminders. 🙂Reply to Maria
I can feel you mommyReply to Elizabeth
I had a daughter first. Now I have a son who is 16 months old and everything here is SPOT ON. Thanks for the laugh, encouragement, and tips as a newish boy mom. 🙂Reply to Val
Hey Laura! Loved this! I have SIX Boys ~ made it through the toddler years five times!! (two of them are twins!) My favorite is number six ~ I haven’t worn jewelry in five years and my hair is in a permanent pony-tail! But all of your tips are absolutely true and I found myself giggling at them all!!Reply to Shannon
Laura, I LOVED this post! Even though my twins are boy/girl, my ONE boy acts like TWO boys. I can’t take my eyes off of him – and he’s five years old! We just moved into a new house and I swear…he’s flicked the light switched in every room about 347 times! These are the same type of switches we had at our other house… And the food!! We buy 5 bunches of bananas and three bags of apples and it’s gone mid week! They snack all day. I can’t keep up! Thanks for the tips!Reply to Elna