Thursday, March 1, 2012

Parent Life: The Age Old Question

The other day, a mother told me her child was 27 months old.  Twenty-seven.  It was all I could do to bite my tongue and not say, "So, he's two?"

It's a colossal joke of motherhood that we all refer to our children in precise dating system that makes no sense to anyone who doesn't have children (or has children above the age of four.)  I mean, we're not carbon dating a T-Rex here, it's just a child.

So, I decided I would publish my guide for telling people how old your baby is.  This does vary slightly when you are talking to parents in a similar situation, and I have noted such exceptions below in italics.

Birth to one week:  You can safely refer to your child by how many days old he/she is.  Feel free to round up when getting close to actual time of delivery.

One to six weeks:  Use weeks here, as babies can change drastically from one week to the next.  When speaking to other parents with babies still in the sleeps-anywhere-through-anything stage, you can use half weeks too.

Six to twelve weeks: Continue to use weeks, but cut it out with the half weeks.

3 to 11 months:  Use months.  Once you hit three months, using weeks is silly.  Don't let me catch you saying your baby is fifteen weeks, I don't like to have to do mental math.  Also, once you near the next month, just round up.  Another thing that really bugs me is when people tell me their child is five months and three weeks.  Six months may be a big milestone to you, but it's not to me.

One year to 15 months:  This is where it gets tricky.  To those who have children, I use months.  There is a big difference between a 13 month old and a 15 month old.  To people in the elevator who ask, I just say one year.

15 months to 18 months:  Even trickier, and where I am right now.  Saying 17 months sounds stupid, which I'm trying to avoid.  I've been road testing "a year and a half."  Once you hit 18 months, I think that's acceptable to say to both the with-childs and withouts.

18 months to 2 years: Ditch the months.  I don't want hear that your baby is 21 months.  I think the elegant solution here is to say when the child will turn two.  "Oh, Madison will turn two in April." (they are always named Madison.  Or Ava.  Or Max.)

2 years and beyond: Years.  No if, ands, or buts.

photo courtesy of


  1. I LOVE this post - my former SIL referred to her child as 36 month - WHAT???

  2. haha, love it! as an expectant mom, this is actually quite helpful :) thanks!

  3. Love this. LMAO. Totally. I could never remember weeks. ever. can barely remember years. and they're little.

  4. Wow, 36 months is a new one. That is really pushing the limits.

    Glad you found this helpful!

  5. love this...In fact, I am in the last trimester of pregnancy and have ditched the weeks reference. It's so confusing for most!


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