'Toddlers are the best!' 17 women on their favourite age to parent (so far).

Is there such a thing as a 'kid's best age'? The answer will probably depend on where you are at in life and your kids as individuals. My two boys are very different. My eldest was a challenging baby but a dream toddler. We spent a lot of time doing fun mum-and-son activities like library story time or music classes, and he was always happy to sit and zoom his cars along a table for a babycino while I enjoyed a coffee.

My youngest, however, let's just say he was a different child. Not-so keen to sit still; he has very big (and loud) feelings that didn't work so well in a cafe. He was THE most adorable baby, all smiles and cuddles, and as he has grown into a big six-year-old, I would have to say his current age is my favourite. 

I asked the Mamamia community how they felt about the different ages and stages of parenting and what were their favourite parts. 

Here is what 17 of them had to say:

1. Megan: Age five.

" I'm a mum of two girls, almost five and nine. I think it's age five for me just before they start school, so innocent yet sassy. They are sleeping well, they are easy to go out and travel with. They are really funny... lots of singing and dancing concerts. There is this confidence and carefree nature before they start school (that actually makes me feel sad when I think about it). Big fish in the small pond – big kids at daycare ready to take on the world!"

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2. Michelle: Every age!

"I'm in the camp of 'this age is the best age'. I have two boys, five and eight, which comes with its own challenges as they are constantly at war with one another and I have to play referee! But I love that we can have interesting conversations about their days (well, some days) and how their own unique personalities and expressions keep unfolding."

3. Andi: 18 months.

"I have a 1.5-year-old daughter, so in my very limited experience, this is so far the best age! She's giving so much more back in interaction and we have so much fun together. I can see her personality developing really quickly now, and it's cool to see what she gravitates towards: books about pets, the word 'stinky', handbags."

4. Frankie: Age eight.

"I would say eight years old is definitely a sweet spot – you are still the centre of their world, but they are also independent, cute... and compliant!"

5. Leigh: Newborns.

"Mine was the baby stage: Give me a newborn over a toddler any day!"

6. Pip: Age seven.

"I feel like every age as they grow is my favourite age! Every time I think I've topped out, there is more goodness around the corner. My daughter is now seven and I now think THIS is my favourite age. She reads, we have cool conversations about friends and life and human rights. I can take her to shows (she has been to four musicals with me now, and I am LOVING how much she loves it); I've introduced her to the films I loved growing up. So, seven is my favourite age to parent so far, but I'm hanging for when she's about 11 and I can introduce her to Clueless for the first time."


7. Stacey: Toddlers!

"It might make me weird but I love the two-year-old stage. Yes, there are a lot of meltdowns, but she says things like 'It's a beautiful day, Mama' and 'Do you want to get a milkshake?' (when she means she wants to go get a milkshake) and I am just obsessed with the conversations that are starting to happen."

8. Kate: Age 15.

"Every age has its ups and downs. My son is about to turn 15 and it’s bloody tough – but oh so good. He’s absolutely a joy to engage with and I’ve been known to give him the middle finger to his retreating back…. Just embrace it and go with the (very bumpy) ride."

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9. Jess: Age 18 months to two.

"My oldest is only three, so I haven't experienced beyond that age yet, but I love 18 months to age two. They still have some baby tendencies but walk, talk, and copy everything you do. Loving this with my daughter at the moment!"

10. Shauna: Bigger kids.

"My oldest is only seven (almost), so I have a long way to go, but for me personally, the older that my kids get the more I enjoy parenting. I hated the newborn stage, and really struggled with it, so the terrible twos or the four-year-old tantrums were nothing to me! I love their personalities that are growing as they do."

11. Rachel: Younger kids.

"My favourite age is all the ones in the past! My nostalgia (and I can only assume sugar-coated memories) makes me pine for when they were young. On some level, I know it was bloody hard work and not the fantasy I've made up. I'm also aware this moment right now is the youngest they will ever be. And as challenging as the present is, I will someday look back warmly. So my favourite age is the one I am not actually dealing with in reality!"


12. Amelia: Age eight to 10.

"My favourite ages are eight to 10 I think. They are still sweet and not embarrassed of me, but not as grumpy as 12+. I found the early dependent stages very tiring although somewhat nostalgic to look back on!"

13. Alysson: Adult kids.

"My favourite age is adult children. They are delightful. They come home from university or work with such interesting stories to tell. They are independent and adventurous, but still sometimes need a lamb roast and a hug from Mum."

14. Kerrie: None.

"None so far! Maybe the newborn to toddler phase?"

15. Georgia: Two-year-olds and teens.

"I know what I don't like, and that is 10- or 11-year-old girls. My girls were complete A-holes at that age. Give me teenagers and two-year-olds any day!"

16. Brooke: Just before they start school.

"I like it when they can talk! And that last precious year before they start school is golden!"

17. Mel: Bigger kids.

"I much prefer mine as they get bigger. Mine are five and seven now and they’re pretty adorable. I struggled with babies – big time."

Laura Jackel is Mamamia's Family Writer. For links to her articles and to see photos of her outfits and kids, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Feature Image: Getty.

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