The Secret Signs They’re Growing Up

Baby monitor

We usually judge how old our children are getting by their age or their weight or their height. Although I haven’t had my three-year-old weighed since I last went to a health visitor many moons ago and I only know she is 1m tall because she was able to ride in the dodgem cars with us at a funfair recently. But that’s OK because there are less obvious signs that your child is growing up…

You stop buying nappies… and start buying teeny weeny pants.

You pack away the stair gate.

Your child’s preferred mode of wheel-based transport changes from pushchair to scooter.

You start forgetting to switch on the baby monitor, when your child goes to bed.

They can dress themselves, and actually manage to get everything on, the right way round.

You relax when they’re in a soft play area even though you can’t see them every second they’re in there.

They ask for CBBC instead of CBeebies every now and then. (“Can I watch Tracey Beaker again?”)

They notice more things (“Why are you wearing glasses today?”)

The decor you so carefully chose for their nursery before they were born suddenly seems so babyish.

You hear them fall out of bed with a thump and rather than rushing up to scoop them back into bed, you let them do it on their own.

They can sit through a whole movie at the cinema without announcing “Can we go now?” 20 minutes into the film.

People start asking you “When is she going to school?” or “Which school are you hoping to get her into?”

Everything in BabyGap is too small for them.

You can actually play a proper game with them (I had an awesome air hockey match with my daughter last week on holiday.)

When you go on holiday, you need less and less equipment – no buggy, no highchair, no bed guard = more room for Mummy and Daddy’s things (wine).

Which other signs have you recognised in your children that show they’re getting older?



  1. July 1, 2014 / 3:57 pm

    I feel like this post is so apt for me! Although W is a bit younger at 2.5 he’s quite tall for his age so I’m finding we are moving out of the baby ranges and into the kids ranges AND I’m just completely re-doing his room this week! These realisations are doing nothing for my broodiness, I just need to remember how easier things are now and how hard babies are! x

    • Alison Perry
      July 2, 2014 / 9:49 am

      Yes things are A LOT easier now, aren’t they? Can’t wait to see what you do with W’s room!

  2. July 1, 2014 / 6:07 pm

    Great list. Another one for me is not panicking when they get within a foot of a staircase because you know they’ll be able to handle it on their own.

    My babies are growing up *sniff*

    • Alison Perry
      July 2, 2014 / 9:49 am

      Yes! Another good one. I remember that leap towards G when she was tottering dangerously close to some steps.

  3. July 1, 2014 / 6:33 pm

    great list! my biggest baby is getting so big – realising teenager years are very nearly upon us!

    • Alison Perry
      July 2, 2014 / 9:50 am

      Eeek! I’m a long way off yet 😉 But will it arrive before I know it?!

  4. July 1, 2014 / 6:54 pm

    I so wish I could take all the bloody stair gates down! We have four and I’ve always got bruises on my legs from where I bump into them, got at least another year though! x

    • Alison Perry
      July 2, 2014 / 9:51 am

      I was forever banging my hip or leg on a stair gate! Grrr. They should make padded ones.

  5. July 2, 2014 / 12:36 am

    It’s so exciting seeing all of this happen! It’s also a bit weird that I’ve started the process again. A recent one for us is my daughter being able to play CDs on her own. Three going on thirteen…

    • Alison Perry
      July 2, 2014 / 9:52 am

      I’m just starting to trust my 3yo with CDs and DVDs without thinking she is going to wreck them!

  6. July 2, 2014 / 11:33 am

    Ah, this all rings a bell from when L was that age. I loved the freedom of going out with so much less STUFF! So much that it worried me about having a second one so much later on, but you adapt and adjust. Just watch out for the rude (honest) comments from them “Mummy you need to put more black stuff (mascara) on your eyes”!

  7. July 2, 2014 / 3:40 pm

    It’s OK, as my mum says, we’re all still her babies (despite all being in our thirties). Funny how E is growing out of all these things just as we’re about to start all over again.

  8. July 2, 2014 / 10:48 pm

    can totally relate to this – we haven’t tried the cinema yet though.

    For me, everything is easier now we can converse.

  9. July 3, 2014 / 8:16 am

    this is really sweet, but slightly sad too! not something i’ve had personal dealings with, though.

  10. July 4, 2014 / 9:41 am

    Great post and it’s so true with all of these things – I remember buying the little pants for the first time and thinking wow he will soon have no need for nappies yey! But also scary

    Laura x

  11. July 4, 2014 / 2:26 pm

    This post is so us right now. My twins are nearly 3 and we’ve just redecorated their room, they are both in beds not cots and one is potty trained, so we’ve almost said good by to nappies.

    Great thing we noticed when we went on holiday is that we can now just pop in a cafe or restaurant without worrying about beakers, cutlery, highchairs, menu. Made life so more flexible and enjoyable.

  12. July 12, 2014 / 7:37 pm

    My PP is only six months and yet I find myself in wonder at the speed at which milestones hurtle past us. I think the most poignant was switching from a bassinet to a seat on his buggy. It made the first 6 months seem so fleeting.

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