Leaving the baby stage is bittersweet. Gone are the newborn snuggles, the new baby smell, the squishy baby cheeks, the itsy bitsy outfits and the adorable milestones. But as you leave this precious stage behind, you also enter a new one – and boy, it is a doozy!
So how do you know your baby is no longer a baby (other than, you know, the obvious fact that she has turned one)? Here are 10 ways to tell:
Your little one actually cares about what she wears
Goodbye adorable onesies. Hello pants that are three sizes too big and pyjama shirts worn during the day. And most of the outfits have to be two pieces. And pink.
Don’t even get me started on shoes.
Food will only be eaten if it’s cut a certain way
And it must be cut a different way every day. Because triangle sandwiches are delicious on Tuesday but awful on Wednesday.
Baby poop explosions disappear. But so do the nappies. And your need for heavy duty cleaning supplies increases tenfold.
And often well before you’re ready to start potty training. Because little ones eventually learn how to take off their own nappies, usually to explore the contents inside. It could be a while before she is ready to toilet train. But, hey, at least she knows how to strip down naked and poop all over the bed sheets. That’s the first step, right?
Furniture becomes an obstacle course
And cushions on the floor become the norm. Because it’s better to have a safe landing spot when your little one decides to climb up on the table, out of the cot or across the living room lounge.
Babyhood tends to come to an end the moment your little one learns how to walk. And so does your ability to get anything done.
Standing up in the pram becomes much more fun than actually sitting in it
And thus, relaxing afternoon walks become a battle of wits to see if you can convince your little one to remain the right way around and securely strapped into the pram for the duration of the stroll.
Usually you lose and end up letting bub walk beside you which takes 75 trillion times longer and results in you stopping every six seconds to stare at a bug.
Bubbles become the greatest thing on earth
Bubbles have always been awesome, but when you enter toddlerhood, they become the holy grail of hilariousness. Watching them. Chasing them. Catching them. Popping them. Attempting to eat them …
Wrapping your baby up in a swaddle signals play time, not sleep time
And trying to unwrap from a perfectly mastered swaddle is pretty much the greatest game ever to your baby.
Your little one’s adoration for milk hasn’t ended, but the world is far more interesting
And often exploring the world beats out stopping and actually having a full feed. And thus, breastfeeding mums are left with the toddler glance-around move – constantly trying to cover the exposed breast as their toddler squirms and looks around every ten seconds.
Bottle-fed babies are the same, except they tend to want to carry their bottles around with them, usually hanging out of their mouths. In any case, milk is still awesome, but eating on the go is preferred.
Goos and coos are replaced with finger pointing and the word “no”
Remember when your baby’s form of communication was mostly through goos, coos and squeals? Oh, and screams, of course. Well the screams stick around but instead of those adorable baby sounds, you most likely get aggressive hand movements with that new word “no” – and perhaps “mine” thrown in for good measure too. And it’s up to you to decipher what in the world she is pointing at and what she even wants or doesn’t want with it.
And, finally, your little one starts to showcase just how much you mean to her
Through a kiss. And a proper hug. And an “I love you”. Oh, and through pointing and screaming your name at the top of her lungs. Naturally.
But, as all mums know and new parents will soon learn, no matter how old our little ones get, they will always be our babies. And we will always be there for them.