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Katy England Katy England
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Age appropriate

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Edge Staff Mom Edge Staff Mom

Before I had kids, I never understood the whole age-by-the-month phenomenon. It's something of a mystery to non-parents. Once I had kids it became abundantly clear why the month-by-month (or even week-by-week when they are really new) age calendar was used universally. 

Babies grow at astronomical rates. It was hard for me to wrap my mind around the milestones and sizes and bell-curves. And I was in the thick of it. I can now only imagine what it must look like to someone on the outside of the discussion.

But one of the things that really defines it for me was clothing sizes. Much like most clothing for women, the sizes for infants and toddlers fluctuates wildly. You can look at two different shirts, each labeled for 18-month-olds, and have them vary greatly in size. 

I'm not saying this doesn't make some sort of sense I mean, these kids are growing and growing, so something that fits them loosely one week they will grow into overnight and you'll have to place it on the giveaway pile the next morning.

But when do you stop with the months? When can you say, with dignity, 'My kids are [this many] years old'?

It will probably differ depending on the parents and I'm not here to tell you that you have to stop. Well, that's a lie you should probably stop after 24 months. I mean, really, even the clothing makers stops after that and you know they would milk it if they could. 

It may depend on who you are talking to. If I'm talking to one of my male co-workers who doesn't have children, I refer to their ages in the biggest possible block even when they were younger I'd hedge it to the closest year (i.e. when they were 9 months, I would say 'they're almost one' and so forth).

But when talking to other moms or my doctor, splitting hairs isn't just expected, sometimes it can be necessary. Remember those milestones? Well, doctors and other moms really like to talk about those things. 

It's not that the moms are crazy (necessarily), it's that they can get used to talking about them in a certain way. Don't get on someone's case for saying their nugget is 18 or 20 months. They do it for a reason. Words, walking, fine and gross motor skills have various month-ranges to them. So even if there is a kid who is a year and half, don't give them grief for saying 18 months. Just don't they have enough going on. 

If they are saying their kid is 36 months well, rounding that out to three years is no bad thing.

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