How to Cope When Babies Are No Longer Babies


My baby turns six today, and unless a miracle of science or divine intervention happens, he is our last baby. If you have a uterus and are willing to breed at one point, you know that pregnancy, parenthood, and all the emotions that come with those are not easy. No one says that they are. That’s why I felt so overwhelmed when I woke up this morning, probably. My six-year-old is now in first grade. I knew he wasn’t a baby in kindergarten, but he still felt so small. He still needed me like he needed me when he was four and three, and he still felt like my baby. 

He’s not a baby anymore. He has thoughts, is confident, funny, and generous – by all accounts, he is developing into a healthy kid. My kid. Our kid.

So, how am I coping today? I wrote down a few ways to process this milestone, and I hope you find them helpful.

  • Today, I will remove (and keep safe somewhere in an album) the framed baby pictures on his bedroom wall. Especially the ones that note my early obsession with his beautiful tiny feet. 
  • Today, I will collect and donate his stuffed animals and only keep his favorites out for him to reach if he chooses. 
  • Today, I will go through his sock drawer and toss the socks that don’t fit, along with the hope of ever matching the lost pairs. 
  • How to Cope When Babies Are No Longer Babies
    How to Cope When Babies Are No Longer Babies

    I will go through the kid cutlery and donate what still looks half decent. They can use the big spoons now. 

  • I might as well throw out the sippy cups, keeping only a few for our friends with smaller kids. 
  • I will go through their toys and decide how hard and how often I’ll allow myself to cry because I have to plan for crying while going through kid toys on days like today. 
  • I will go through the collection of early childhood development books and flash cards. I’ll remember how that collection got us through COVID and how productive it made us feel. 
  • I will go through their art – the dried paint brushes, the half-used watercolors, and I will regret nothing about the damaged furniture from doing crafts indoors with toddlers. 
  • I will cry when I look at his kindergarten projects and remember that I made a professional scrapbook for them, and I’ll smile as I toss all of those originals. 
  • I will go through their clothes and keep my favorites and I’ll cry when I hold the fabric that survived toddlerhood – like we survived – and I’ll box it up. I’ll donate that box in tears.

You get it. I have a lot of work to do today. As I go through these steps, I’ll give myself the grace to feel all the feelings and remember all the moments I spent loving the time when my babies were babies. 



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