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Eureka! The Exact Moment When Babies Change Has Been Pinpointed (by Me)

Baby girl

When did this happen? Oh, wait. Now I know.

My sweet little Peony turns 1 at the end of this month and I’m shaking my head wondering where the time has gone, exactly, and when she got so big. She went from a tiny little peanut to this crawling, cruising, babbling little tornado in under a year’s time and I haven’t a clue when it all happened.

Well, I didn’t know when it happened. Until last month.

I finally figured out when exactly babies change before our eyes, and how to get them to stop (assuming you want to freeze time in the cute, early months and don’t want to fast-forward to the later, cuter, but even more hectic months).

Here’s what I discovered:

As was the case with my older daughter, my younger daughter doesn’t transform right before my eyes. When you spend all day, every day with someone, it’s hard to notice how they’re growing and changing. Every few months I’ll sort through Peony’s clothes and realize she’s outgrown half of her wardrobe, which is how I know she’s bigger. I shrug and wonder when it happened, exactly.

Now I know.

We went away for a couple of weeks in July to visit my family and hang out at the beach. During that time, Peony started to start crawling (which is slightly different than starting to crawl, exactly). She also started to lift herself up on stuff and cruise around holding the furniture. She became more aware of other people. She became more vocal about what she wanted (and didn’t want).

Just like that.

I realized the same holds true for my older daughter, which is this: When we go away, the kids change. A lot. They adapt to their new surroundings in a hurry. And they move forward developmentally in a hurry, too. When they’re out of their routine, they take the opportunity to try out the handy skills that have been latent and lazy while hanging out back at home. They change so much when we’re away that even I notice it, and I’m with them all day, every day.

Whenever we get back home after some time away I notice their sleep patterns have changed (even after the time zone difference is all sorted out). Their playing habits are altered. They eat a little differently. They communicate just a little bit more clearly.

Want to save your baby’s babyhood in a bottle? Don’t go away. But when you do (because everyone has to get out at some point, right?), that’s when you’ll stop wondering when they started changing. Because you’ll see it right before your very own eyes.

Can you pinpoint any exact moments when your baby changed?

Photo credit: Meredith Carroll

More from Meredith on Baby’s First Year:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Strollerderby, follow her on Twitter, and read her weekly syndicated newspaper column at MeredithCarroll.com

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