My cousin recently gave birth to her first baby girl last August. I've watched her blossom into a new mother, attending the many doctors appointments and awaiting the exciting milestones that come within the first year. Through her, I've learned that teething can start as young as 3 months old, and that babies typically start walking between nine and 13 months.
As a childless city-dweller who's held a total of three babies in her entire life, I'm admittedly clueless about all that motherhood entails. But what's most puzzling to me about raising a young child is why the meticulous month-counting doesn't stop after a child reaches the one-year mark. Must a one-and-a-half-year-old child be referred to as an 18-month-old instead?
According to The Cut's Laura June, the short answer is yes. While there is no existing "counting cult" that she knows of, keeping track of a baby's age month by month is simply a more accurate way of communicating where they're at developmentally because they change so quickly. "It's practical: From month to month, she changes so much that counting in smaller increments is still extremely useful," writes June of her baby girl Zelda in their "Ask a Mom" column. "Would it be accurate to say my daughter learned to walk when she was one year old? Yes. But it would also be so devoid of specificity as to be useful to no one, since most babies learn to walk around one."
The hyper-focused need to catalog by month is a way for new moms to keep track of their baby's developmental progress, and social media makes it easy to catalog and communicate the updates with the rest of their community.
Looking for a way to monitor your child's developmental milestones? Download The Wonder Weeks app and share your thoughts below.