not a big girl yet

I learned very quickly after having MacKenna 2+ years ago that I was no longer on my timeline.  I mean, having to be induced and then having an unplanned C-section should have been my first clue, but the sleepless nights and mini-naps certainly solidified that I had to go by her timeline.

I had MacKenna around the same time as a bunch of other bloggers.  Jen, Brittany, Emily, Madeline, Callie, etc.  I have loved keeping up with their blogs and watching their kiddos grow with MacKenna.  Most of them have already had their second child or are getting ready to pop out their second, and most of them are in the process of transitioning their first baby to “big kid” status.

Yes, I am one of those moms who compares myself to other moms.  As I am watching reading my fellow mommy bloggers expand their family, I feel so far behind.  MacKenna is getting close to that 2.5 year mark and (1) there is no second child on the way and (2) we are not even close to making her a “big girl”.

But, like I said, it didn’t take me long to realize that it’s all about doing things when she wants to do them.  I started MacKenna on solid foods at 6 months, thinking I had given her plenty of time to grow and develop the way she needed to.  She had shown no interest in food prior to starting her on solid foods, but she was 6 months – isn’t that when you’re supposed to start them on solids?

Well, I learned pretty quickly (again) that we needed to go by her timeline.  We struggled for a good 2 months, trying to force solid food down her throat to no avail.  She didn’t want baby food, nor did she want real food.  Eventually (2 months later) she just started eating on her own, but as most of you regular readers know, even that has been a struggle (read: she is picky).


I’m pretty sure she’d still devour Mum Mums if I let her…

MacKenna will be 2 and a half in 2 months.  I really was hoping that I would have her potty trained by that time.  In reality, I still could, but I am starting to realize that it might take her a little longer until we get to that point.  She will go sit on her potty, flush it, and give her Minnie and Mickey on her potty hugs and kisses (yeah, I know, I probably will need to stop her from doing that), but she just sits there and says she’s done without making a drop in the potty.  Sometimes she’ll let out a little toot, but that’s as good as it gets.

She has a little bit of interest in going potty like a big girl, but she’s just not quite there yet.  And I’m not going force it on her.  Yes, I want her potty trained by 2 and a half, but if she’s not ready by then, that’s OK.  She’ll get there.  She’s always been behind her peers in pretty much everything else, so why should this be any different?

The other thing I was hoping to do sooner rather than later is transition her into her “big girl” bed.  Right now, we’re in the process of selling our house, so until that happens, she’s going to be happy in her crib.  And she is happy in her crib.  Believe it or not, she has not climbed out of her crib once yet (knock. on. wood.).  The pediatrician asked me at her 2 year checkup a few months ago if we had moved her yet or if she showed any interest.  Since she hasn’t, the ped said to keep her in the crib.


Right before we moved her mattress down and the last time we adjusted her bed, almost 2 years ago!

But I know that once we sell our house and either move to a new one or over to my parents for an extended period, her big girl bed transition is going to happen.  And that freaks me out!  We don’t have a video monitor and I worry that with her nap strike at home right now (she’ll nap at the babysitter’s but it’s been hit or miss for us lately), she’ll be doing a lot more playing than actual sleeping.  Plus, I’m scared to death of my little peanut rolling out of her bed.  (Thankfully, Brittany suggested these magic bumpers that I’m pretty sure we will be investing in.)

The big girl room might happen a little sooner than what MacKenna’s timeline is, but I am going to try to go in to it being flexible, knowing that she just might not be ready yet.  And that’s OK.


This face makes it easy to wait until she’s ready.

Someone told me when MacKenna was still an infant that it was OK if I needed to rock her to sleep every night, or go into her room to rock her back to sleep if she woke up in the middle of the night.  Their point:  you won’t be rocking her to sleep still when she’s going off to college.  Sometimes you just have to do things because it’s right for your child, even if it’s against all the parenting books or not on the timeline you want.  Chances are it’ll get better with time, and that’s OK.



  • What an honest post! I think everyone struggles with comparison in some way shape or form in their life whether it be job, running ability, children, etc. I think “looking” at others is ok and healthy just don’t take it to far and let it stress you out! I know your daughter will be just fine with everything when the time is right!

    • Kristen

      OMG, YES! I compare myself to others all the time (I always envy your Disney adventures and job!).

  • Sarah

    I’m so glad you shared this. My baby just turned 9 months old and sometimes it is really hard to see (read) what other babies are doing and yours isn’t quite there yet. But then again, there are times that I’m glad he’s not doing certain things yet because I’m not ready for him to grow up 😉

    Your last statement is so powerful and true. I’m getting better at trusting my instincts as my baby’s mother, even if that goes against what all the books and “experts” say.

    • Kristen

      The experts are self-proclaimed experts – you are the expert of your baby. My baby took a paci at day 1, slept in her crib from the beginning, was on a very strict schedule, and I’m OK with all of that. Totally against what most of the experts say, but it worked for us – and kept me sane!

  • marie

    Claire is 2 years and 3 months – she is exactly the same about going potty as MacKenna – interested but not motivated or fully aware. She has also never once tried to climb out of her crib (knocking hard on wood here…) so we are staying in the crib for awhile, until we need to. Also – no baby #2 on the way for us – although every child in her class at daycare is becoming a “Big Brother or Big Sister” in the next few months. I just want you to know that you are NOT behind. I think you sound like you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Also, I have to say, as a working full-time mom outside the home, I really appreciate your blog and honesty. Thanks!

    • Kristen

      Aw, thank you! My blog is my outlet and hobby! I love having readers that can relate!

  • I’m very much in the “take your time” camp. It’s easy to compare when they are little because the developments and milestones are so much bigger than when they get older. But when they get older you realize that you miss the little things they did when they were small. You will not regret rocking MacKenna, letting her take her time to do things, or letting her be your baby.

    Both of my older kids didn’t potty train until they were almost 3. I thought maybe my daughter would be easier/do it sooner – but nope. And when they did learn it was pretty quick! I did move my son into a bed at 2.5 – and I had my second when he was 2 yrs 9 months — BUT I realized later that I was rushing it. My daughter didn’t move into her bed until she was 4(!!) because she loved her crib so much. Again, taking our time made the transition so much easier. There’s such a rush today to push kids to grow up — and FOR WHAT?? I, too, have to remind myself of this sometimes – but it’s really worth it.
    Michelle recently posted..Things I Keep Meaning To Tell You

    • Kristen

      OMG, you make me feel so much better! Kenna LOVES her crib! I don’t really think she knows there is such a thing as a “big girl” bed, besides mommy and daddy’s. And seriously, I want her to be my baby as long as possible!

  • Sarah

    We read a lot of books about going potty before we started. We practiced going for about 3 months before I finally took 2 days off of work and we did the ol’ 3 day method. It actually worked in about 4 days. So there’s no need to rush it, they will get it when they want to.

    • Kristen

      Hmmm… I might have to look in to that. I though about doing it over spring break, but I think it will be better if we wait until we are off for the summer. Which means, we will probably be doing that on my parents brand new hardwood floor. I’m sure they’ll LOVE that! 😉

  • Lee

    Even though Alex is only 1 month old, I already find myself googling when he should do things. This is a good reminder that I don’t need to do that. He’s not going to go to college and not know how to track objects with his eyes!

    MacKenna is kissing the potty? lol
    Lee recently posted..Alexander: 4 Weeks

    • Kristen

      DON’T DO IT! 😉 It’s so much worse as a new parent – you learn as you go that you just can’t compare them to others. MacKenna rolled over from tummy to back at 7 weeks, but couldn’t roll over from back to tummy until she was 6+ months old, when everyone else was sitting up on their own or crawling. She takes her dear sweet time, and I just have to be OK with that. I actually think it might have to do with being a smaller baby, so just be warned that he might be a little behind since he was early too. (Sorry, not trying to push my parenting advice on you too much!)

    • Kristen

      And yes – they are on the lid and she must kiss them once she’s done. She’s a weird kid…

  • ErikaMC

    Our son is not a big boy yet either. He is 2-1/2 and he isn’t potty trained and still sleeps in his crib – with a pacifier! I know! We talk about potty all the time but he has no interest in it. He has never even attempted to get out of his crib so I’m not forcing that yet either – and we don’t need the crib for anyone else. We are working on the pacifier thing though and he only has it when he sleeps. I can hardly even remember the first year of his life it went by so fast that I am not going to rush anything now.

    • Kristen

      That’s how MacKenna is too – she knows the potty and we talk about it, but she just doesn’t “get” it. Thankfully, she stopped taking the paci on her own around 10 months, so we haven’t had to worry about that in a long time!

  • jen

    you aren’t alone. i feel like i have gotten a lot less worried about what we “should” be doing with each kid. our oldest was in a toddler bed at 20 months but she was ready and did great. our 2nd turned 2 in november and there is no way i’m moving him out of that crib anytime soon-or potty training him for that matter. i just feel like there is no reason to make your life or your child’s life more difficult if it’s not necessary. just wait it out and eventually the time will come and waiting makes the transitions easier and faster!

    • Kristen

      OMG, I can’t imagine how much I will compare our second to MacKenna. And I definitely agree – waiting will make transitioning easier!

  • Oh giiiiiiirl ;), take your time! I swore I’d be done with the paci before age 2 and at almost 2.5 Hailey still uses it for bedtime and in the car. I said we’d be potty-trained… nope! And honestly, she’d probably still be in the crib except for the fact that I’m due in 3 months- AH!

    I’m all about letting them do things in their own time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Kristen

      It freaks me out to think that we might be moving her into a big girl bed sooner than I want when we sell and move out of our house! But, I just really don’t want to have to pack up, unpack, repack, and unpack the crib that much! I am enjoying reading your updates on Hailey and Baby #2!

  • Jen

    YES. Wyatt is somewhere between a big boy and a baby still. I’m not transitioning him out of the crib (i’d rather borrow a crib from a friend for awhile) or potty training him before #2 arrives. And one of the reasons I stopped doing baby updates on him is because he was so behind other kids! He’s all caught up now but I felt like a failure because he did most things late in the beginning.

    And umm honestly? I wish I could have spaced my kids out more! I had to get pregnany before Wyatt turned 2 to avoid more surgery. Enjoy your time with just M! I have very mixed feelings as I approach my due date.

    • Kristen

      I think you’re having a 2nd one at just the right time – you have no idea how often I am asked when we are going to have another one. It’s starting to drive me crazy! And I totally understand why you would stop updating. I don’t feel like I update on MacKenna nearly as much as I used to because she is so far behind other kids. She’s one of the oldest in her gymnastics class, but physically behind the rest of them. Oh well – she just wants to do her own thing…

  • Kristen’s Mom

    Great post, Kristen! You are a wonderful mommy and MacKenna is doing just fine. I don’t think she is behind at all. She is just perfect to this grandma!

  • Angela

    We have a potty for our 21 month old daughter, and she sits on it from time to time, but we aren’t going to push her until she’s ready. She still sleeps in her crib with her pacifer and that’s totally okay too. We’ll work on those when she’s ready. From what I understand, it’s much less a challenge than instigating the change when they feel ready for it.

    If I were in your shoes, I would wait until after moving before considering potty training and changing beds. Some kids get totally thrown off when their usual environment and schedule changes. Too many changes all at once can a bit much for a little kid to handle.