My 16-month old just can't sit down- correction, my 16-month old just WON'T sit down.

He is a VERY busy toddler always looking for what to discover next, he moves from one thing to the next literally every 15 seconds. He never just sits down to play with something, and if he does, it doesn't last too long. Even if he is eating a snack out of his booster chair, he takes one and walks around while eating it, looking for something to do in the 10 seconds before his next bite.

I encourage exploration, discovery & physical activity and don't mind running after him all the time at this age- I'm used to it and wouldn't have him any other way!

My concern is though, is in looking ahead to the future- will my child be able to sit still for a full day of school when the time comes?

Is there any evidence that these "busy" babies end up being over-active children (I don't want to use the term "hyperactive" here, since that is an actual diagnosed condition)?

Does anyone here have an older child who was a busy toddler like this and can offer their experience in how the child behaves now?

asked 17 Dec '10, 13:28

DazedandConfused's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

Yeah, all toddlers are busy, but some are busy!

In my experience, you don't need to worry, both of my older boys were really busy, really, really busy, little guys. I wasn't really sure why we had toys when they were small, since their main purpose seemed to be being tossed around for me to pick up again. They certainly never played with them in the manner intended.

By the time my oldest started school he'd settled down a lot and has always done very well in school (very well, he has a full academic scholarship for his undergraduate degree). I don't think my second oldest actually sat still for a moment at home until he was 12 or 13, not hyper, just busy and always moving, but he never had any real problems at school. His teachers said he was very well behaved and must be waiting and burning the energy off at home (except he had trouble being quiet, he's extremely social!).

I think really busy toddlers are really curious and engaged, and they turn into curious, engaged children who turn into curious, engaged adults and they're a hoot at every stage. Lucky you.


answered 17 Dec '10, 16:48

Neen's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%


Thanks so much for sharing! :)

(17 Dec '10, 19:27) DazedandConfused

I think that toddlers are and can be little busy bodies, although I have often wondered whether boys are more busy than girls and whether the change that occurs as they grow is because of their environment or because it is somehow instilled into them.

My daughter was and still is a very inquisitive little girl. As a toddler she would not sit still for more than a few minutes, and would always wonder around looking and touching things, we would always joke with my husband if this would continue once she started to talk, and sure enough, once she was able to talk, we were forever answering her. She is now 6 and her inquisitiveness is still certainly there, and laughs when we use the phrase "do you have ants in your pants" because she can't sit still for very long.

But I do recall that once she started nursery ( around 24 months ) and she was spending her day with more children she did seem to calm down slightly. Whether this was because she was worn out or because there were quite a few boys and girls that were even more busy/energetic than her, I don't know. But the interaction with other children, and the new environment did seem to effect her energy levels. Energy levels exploded again when she was around 4, and this time after discussions with the Nursery teacher, it became apparent that she was not stimulated enough, so that was our cue to change establishments and enroll her somewhere we felt was more suitable.

She is still "hyper" in the sense that she runs in to class everyday and is full of energy, and during a Parent Teacher meeting a few weeks back, we were told again that her presence was very prominent in th classroom, and she is always keen to volunteer for most chores. She is popular with friends and doesn't seem to like being stuck to any group but floats around being friends with all.

Overall, I can say that her "business" has subsided but quickly flares up again when she is over or under stimulated. She becomes inquisitive and questions and wants to have a better understanding of the situation or take control of a situation she is familiar with if she sees the opportunity.

I think that once your little one comes into contact with any kind of playgroup or nursery/creche you may witness an increase and then perhaps a slight decrease as he adjusts to these new stimulating environments.


answered 17 Dec '10, 21:12

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

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Asked: 17 Dec '10, 13:28

Seen: 13,865 times

Last updated: 17 Dec '10, 21:12