12 Signs Your Baby Isn’t a Baby Anymore (Tear!)

Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump

My 21-month-old daughter and I recently had a rare Saturday to ourselves – a true “Girls Day.” We went shopping and to a local children’s museum and out to lunch and had a lovely day together.

At some point during the day, it hit me: my baby isn’t really a baby anymore. I suspect the signs have been there for a while… I just haven’t wanted to acknowledge them. Why? Because I know she’s our last and part of me wants to hang on to every last moment of her babyhood. Yet every time I look at her, I see an increasingly independent little girl who is so curious and excited about the world around her.

Sound familiar? I know it’s hard mamas, but here are the 12 signs your baby isn’t a baby anymore. (So wake up and smell the dirty diapers, ’cause they won’t last forever!)

1. So long sippy cups! Your toddler refuses sippies and insists she have her juice in a “big girl” cup, which she can drink from without dribbling everywhere.

2. She regularly asks to use the potty – even if nothing actually happens.

3. She wants a “big kid” bed and/or has mastered the art of climbing out of her crib and showing up in your bedroom at 2am.

4. She remembers parts of her favorite bedtime book and tries to “read” along with you.

5. Strangers compliment her on her manners and for being polite.

6. You find you don’t really need to lug the big diaper bag around anymore. Instead, you can throw some diapers, wipes, toys and snacks in a tote or purse.

7. She tries to be helpful, whether it’s picking up her toys, getting dressed in the morning or (in my daughter’s case) emptying the dishwasher.

8. You can actually have semi-conversations with each other, and you can give her complex instructions that she completely understands.

9. She calls herself a “big girl.”

10. She wants to make her own decisions and has her own opinions. For example, if we’re out shopping and I hold up two outfits for my daughter to choose from, she’ll point to one without any hesitation and clearly say, “That one.”

11. But she regularly tells you, “No, Momma.” And she means it.

12. Yet she also tells you, “I love you.” And she means it.

What would you add to the list?

Plus, more from The Bump:

10 Biggest New Mom Surprises

7 Surprising (and Sweet!) Things About Being a Mom

The Best Advice Your Mom Ever Gave You About Parenting