The 3 Toddler Words I Need to Stop Saying. Like, Right Now.

The 3 Toddler Words I Need to Stop Saying. Like, Right Now.

Unless you’re one of those people who commits to never, ever using anything except the Queen’s English and proper scientific terminology with their kids — and actually follows through — as parents we all end up using our own lexicon with our kids after a while.

With a 5 and 3 year old, I long ago stopped with any semblance of real “baby-talk,” with the exception of when I am doing a funny character voice for a book or to bring a toy or puppet to life. But there are still a few “toddler words,” as I call them, that I use so often with my kids, that I am having a hard time breaking the habit of using when talking to adults.


I’m guessing that, with the boys, this term will actually continue for a while. They still call it “going potty,” and so do I when talking to them. That’s totally fine, for now.

But… it might be time for me to start trying to drop it from my lexicon. Because, man, now that I have a few hours per week where both boys are in school, and I am on my own, I really, really need to learn to stop using the term with adults and when talking about myself.

The nice barista at that coffee shop got a good laugh today when I asked for the key to the potty, though, so it’s cool. I like making people smile.


Yesterday, I was leaving a voice-mail with our pediatrician’s office, and caught myself ending my message with a quick and jovial “Bye-bye!”

You could almost see me gleefully waving with a goofy smile on my face.

Ugh. So. Embarrassing.

In my defense, when they called back and I actually talked to the nurse, before she hung up she said “bye-bye” to me. So maybe this is a problem that also plagues medical professionals, and I shouldn’t feel so bad.

That, or she was mocking me.


Since my kids were really young, whatever their drinking vessel of choice at the time may be, it was called a “ba-ba.”  If it’s not clear, this came from our then-infant’s understandable difficulty with the word “bottle.” But the name stuck past bottles, and on to sippy-cups and straw-cups and sometimes even those cheap plastic “kid’s cups” that they give out at restaurants.

Recently, we upgraded both of the boys to much more “big kid” reusable water bottles, and my wise and beautiful wife has (seemingly) been able to easily and gracefully transition into only referring to them as “water bottles.”  I, on the other hand, still have a really hard time not yelling to the boys “We’ve got to go! Where is your ba-ba?”  Then I get a dirty look from my wife.

But the worst — the absolute worst — is when I accidentally use the term to refer to my own or another adult’s water bottle in public. Oh, the shame.

 Is there a word or phrase you use/used with your kid(s) that you’ve had a hard time letting go of, or find yourself unconsciously using at really inopportune times?


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