When Is Your Baby No Longer a Baby?

When is your baby no longer a baby?  I recently asked this question to my husband.  His answer mirrored my own suspicions: "I'm not exactly sure, but I think Kerrington is approaching it."

Will she stop qualifying as a baby when I no longer can hoist her easily onto my hip?  When another tooth emerges from her swollen gums?  When her hands, still plump and dimpled near the knuckles, thin out?  When her wispy hair thickens?

It's difficult to know.

Right now, when a new adult appears, Kerrington toddles to me, clutches my legs, and buries her face in my knees.  Like a young buck rubbing antlers against a tree to mark his territory, Kerrington rubs her face side to side into my legs, designating me as her own.

I've noticed how often I do the same to her.  When she sits in my lap, I often nestle my face into the top of her head or the crook of her neck and breathe in her smell -- sweetly sweaty, reminiscent of Cheerios and strawberries.  Lost in thought, I turn my face side to side, nuzzling her, marking her as mine.  She never resists.

She has no words to ask me to stop.  She hasn't learned to extend "mom" into multiple syllables and reveal annoyance at my unbridled affection.  Rather, she permits me to revel in her, just like I let her cling to me, never wanting to rush this time when she'd have nowhere else she'd rather be than right with me.

After all, she is my baby.


  1. You see that chubby little left leg? That proves that she's still a baby. I love that little area so, so very much and miss it hugely in my now 5 year-old. I love the drunken sailor walk of the toddling baby too. Ah, I wish I could have grabbed it harder and kept it longer. It's as elusive as time, no? :)

  2. What a sweet post. I think about that often.

    My husband is excited about having a “big boy” to teach baseball and football, but I love having my little cuddly, chubby baby.

  3. So true. My "baby" is almost 4. Sometimes her independence is nice, but sometimes I really miss the "baby" that she is no more!!

  4. Sweet post! For me it is when they don't want your help with things any more, even when they still need it....so like 25 maybe! lol


  5. I am a mom of three grown children. They may not be tiny and can't fit on my lap but when I see them smile and I give them a hug they are my little angels.

    Technically they are considered adults but to me they will always be my babies.

  6. AnonymousJuly 05, 2011

    Here are some hints you may find helpful regarding car seat safety. Did you know you could (and should) rear-face your baby until she reaches the limits of her car seat? Also, the chest clips should fall across her chest, level with her armpits.

  7. The above comment was mine. Sorry for the anonymous.


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