Kids ages: The Rules


A few weeks ago (maybe months – time goes so fast!) I had a conversation about baby ages and how they are expressed.  I thought that I should do a blog post about it and swiftly let it sink to the back burner.  Of course the articulate on-the-ball blogger that is Mind the Baby beat me to it with a brilliant post on this topic.

I agree with everything she said.  I naturally fell from stating my baby’s age in days, then weeks, months and then years.  Precision is important when they change so much in the early days.

Birthday girl in hat
Dave Buchwald / Foter / CC BY-SA


I now have my own little rules about how I determine what to use and how to express children’s ages.

They are:

  1. If a child is less than 2 weeks then their age is in days. 5 days old, 8 days old, 10 days old – you get the picture!
  2. From 2 weeks onwards you graduate to weeks.  3 weeks old, 4 weeks old and so on.
  3. From 12 weeks, age moves to being expressed in months – 3 months, 4 months, 20 months etc.
  4. At 24 months the child becomes a 2 year old and from then on should be referred to in years – 3 years old, 4 years old, 10 years of age etc.
  5. The time between 12 months and 24 months is a funny one.  It should be expressed in months but you might just get away with moving to years at that point but you will probably need to employ the final rule – rule 6.
  6. The words “almost”, “just turned” “only” and “a half” can be used from 2 weeks onwards.  So your child can be almost 7 weeks, 3 and a half months old, just turned 5 years or he’s “only 3 years old” (handy when people think they should have met some milestone or other.

Now please everyone stick to the rules and we will all be happy. Not least me and I suspect Mind the Baby 🙂


  1. I agree entirely. Although we do express things in terms of quarters here. For maths, you know. I have a seven and three-quarter year old and a five and one-quarter year old.

  2. My rules are slightly different, very slightly. Rather than using odd fractions I say “Three since September”.
    So the boys go from being three, to three since September, to three and a half (in March), to he’ll be four in September.
    I don’t like the 18-23 month period where people say 20 months as I have to do sums then to figure out when the child was 1 or will be 2. Sums are not my strongpoint.


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