I recently reposted this popular post on Instagram with a photo of a guy holding a sign saying “Your Baby Is Not 18 Months Your Baby is 1” and clarified that I do not agree with it.
My son is currently 23 months and I have always counted his age in months.
I was flooded with messages from parents who understood and agreed with me. Clearly this guy doesn’t get it and maybe isn’t a parent. However, I did have a few friends who commented that counting in months, especially at my son’s age, is ridiculous and confusing.
Now before I was a parent this made NO sense to me beyond the age of 1. If someone told me their child was 15 months, I was always wondering in my mind why they couldn’t just say that their child was 1. I didn’t get it at all. But now, as a parent, I am that parent. I surely get it now. So in defense of the month counters, let me explain why I continue to count age in months and find it beneficial.
Months make a huge difference.
Telling someone a child is 1 really doesn’t tell much. Let’s compare a child who is 13 months and has just turned 1, to a child who is 23 months and reaching the end of their 1st year. The 13 month old may or may not be walking, might still drink from a bottle vs. a cup, and maybe says a word or two. They are still working on their fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination.
While the 23 month old has likely been walking for months and spends their time perfecting their speed and ability with running and jumping. The 23 month old has a bank of words and is working on putting them together to express themselves. This toddler has a big personality, may have tantrums and their parents may be beginning to potty train.
These are two very different “one year old” kids!
Additionally, months make it easier as a parent to communicate and track milestones. When speaking with doctors, teachers and other parents it is usually appreciated to share the child’s age in months. It gives the best full picture of the child and it’s the most practical way to keep up with growth and development. If you were told that all kids typically do everything I listed above at 1 you would have no clue what milestones you should keep an eye out for or when. And lastly, kids clothing is still measured in months until 2!
As I approach my son’s second birthday, I don’t know how long I’ll be counting his age in months, but for now, he’s 23 months. Period.