Most parents would probably agree that raising a baby is incredibly challenging. Babies are so helpless, and days spent taking care of them are often an endless blur of feeding, changing, playing, and trying to get them to sleep. As challenging and frustrating as it can be, however, I think most parents would also agree that the whole thing goes by way too quickly. Long before they can sit up or talk or use the potty, there are so many ways your baby is showing their independence. And that means that before you know it, they've grown up before your very eyes.
It can be scary to think of your child getting older and needing you less as they become more independent. My little girl is on the cusp of walking, and I know once she figures that out, it'll be that much harder to catch her for some snuggle time. Although part of me is sad about that, it's also amazing to watch her interact more with the world and see how comfortable she is on her own. Missing out on some cuddles is a small price to pay for knowing that she's happy and confident.
Here are seven signs your baby is becoming more independent.
1. They Cry To Get Your Attention
Your baby might start showing their independence way earlier than you'd think. According to Baby Center, you might realize around 4 months that your baby has figured out crying to get your attention. It shows that he or she is now aware that they can take action and impact others.
2. They Make Choices
Your baby might express their independence by making deliberate choices about their toys, according to Parents. At around 9 or 10 months old, you may notice that they're grabbing a specific toy and not just reaching for whatever is at hand.
3. They Feed Themselves
You'll know your baby is growing up and becoming more independent when they start trying to feeding themselves, according to Baby Center. They might try holding their own bottle, grabbing the spoon or fork out of your hand, or picking up small bites to eat on their own.
4. They Learn To Walk
Learning to walk is a huge step toward independence (pun intended)for a little one, according to What To Expect. Greater mobility gives your child so much more to explore, so you'll probably want to double check your baby proofing.
5. They Play Alone
It's fun to play with a baby and make them smile and laugh, but letting them entertain themselves is a great way to boost their independence according to Baby Center. Playing alone also has the added benefit of giving mom and dad a much needed break.
6. They Try To Dress Themselves
Your baby will probably show their independent streak at some point by wanting to get dressed alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. My daughter is just over a year old, and while she's totally incapable of putting on clothing by herself, there's nothing cuter to me than when she decides she wants to put on her own sock (which never works).
7. They Constantly Say "I Can Do It Myself"
The more independent your child becomes, the more you'll hear the phrase "I'll do it myself," according to What To Expect. Whether it's eating, getting dressed, or buckling into a car seat, your little one won't want any help. Although it's good to let them try things on their own, at some point you may need to jump in for your own sanity.