I haven’t written in a while, so I thought I would check in. Ellie is almost 16 months old (really something like 15.5), and there’s a lot of new stuff going on.
1. She’s mobile
*we can actually do stuff. Like, we can go to the park, we can take a walk, we can go to the museum, etc. It takes a load off of me having to carry her everywhere because even with the carrier, it was a lot. Plus, it’s hard to figure out what to do when you’re baby just sits there.
*she doesn’t cry as much. I think she just really wanted to be able to get what she wanted, go where she wanted, etc. So now that she can do it on her own, she isn’t quite as fussy. I don’t know if Ellie was an extra fussy baby or if I don’t have much patience, but I felt like 4 months to 11 months were ROUGH. It’s a lot more fun now.
*She is willing to entertain herself a little more now
*she’s mobile. I’ll take her to the park and she will be nervous and sit on my lap for an hour, but if I take her to Whole Foods, she is wide open. I’ve had to figure out ways to get her to stay in the shopping cart so that I don’t have to chase her around the entire store. One day, I only had a couple of things to get, so I gave her one of the “customer in training” carts. She LOVED that so it kept her occupied while I bought groceries. Unfortunately, when we go to the check out, she ran towards the door 800 times while I tried to pay, run and grab her, pay, run and grab her. It can be exhausting.
2. Breastfeeding update: There was a time when trying to get her to breastfeed was like pulling teeth. She wanted to be doing other stuff. Now, I can’t seem to get her to stop. Some days, she’ll breastfeed like 5 times, then twice at night. Others, she does less. Most of the moms I know stopped breastfeeding at 1. My question is how in the world did they do that because my child is not interested in stopping ANY TIME SOON. I also am in no hurry, so not looking for suggestions, I am just curious. It’s the main way that I get Ellie to sleep. I realize this is a big no-no in the mommy world, but my pediatrician said it was absolutely fine, so I’m not worried about it. One thing I have started doing is if she pulls on my shirt (always awesome when done in public), I give her regular food first. If she still wants some after, I’ll give it to her. Sometimes, I just think that’s her way of telling me she’s hungry.
3. Her likes: She really likes gymnastics. She is still too young to do a lot of the stuff they do, but she likes to run around and do animal sounds/movements. She also enjoys climbing over things and jumping on trampolines. We have a Bounce House near us, so I think I might try to take her there and see how that goes. She may still be a bit young, but I’m thinking in the next couple of months, she’ll be interested. She also loves art. There is a place that has art time for toddlers, and she LOVES that. She paints, puts the paint in her mouth, puts the paint on the wall, whatever. There’s also a sand table that she enjoys and sometimes they have water out. I don’t think they’re supposed to play with that, but Ellie does. I got dirty looks from a mom at the last Table Time, but that’s the type of stuff I have to ignore, because really, she’s 15 months. She’s curious. She has started to like the play ground more. Ellie is a very cautious baby. I don’t have to worry about her trying to jump down the steps or anything because she is very, very, VERY cautious. Maybe the play ground has intimidated her before, but she’s actually starting to warm up to it and climb. Gymnastics may be helping with that as well. I try my best to do anything that gets her to run around for a while so she’ll sleep well.
4. Speaking of…. sleep: She still doesn’t really sleep through the night. On most nights, she wakes twice. She’ll go to bed around 8:30-9:00 pm, wakes around 2 am to nurse and around 6 am to nurse. Then she’ll sleep to around 8:00 am. When she’s teething, going through a Wonder Week, going through a growth spurt, or sick, she’ll get up a lot more than that. She usually naps from an hour to two hours. Yesterday, she napped for 3 1/2 hours. She went to sleep at 8:30, then got up at 5:45. That’s why long naps suck and although I always get an “oh that’s great”, when I say she napped a long time, it never ends well. She just doesn’t need the amount of sleep that I read about. I’ve tried to implement that amount of sleep and it doesn’t work for her.
5. Words: I don’t really know what words she’s supposed to be saying but she doesn’t actually say much. Mama, Dada are the most common. Uh-oh is said a lot. Gupta (our cat), comes out as DA. And she’s says that a lot. She calls Elmo, mo-mo. and Cookie monster is cookoo.
6. TV/Phone time: I feel like this is a never ending battle/never ending source of guilt from me. I try to poll mothers to see how much “screen time” their babies get and I never get a direct answer. There are those moms who’s kids never watch tv, and I don’t like to talk to those moms. Then there are the moms that say they’ll let them watch in the evenings or whatever. You read all of those articles about how it delays their learning, etc, etc. So I just try to not let her watch it too much. But 1) she loves sesame street and gets super excited when it’s time to watch it so we have daily SS, 2) she doesn’t sleep much (see above) so sometimes, I need a daggum break, 3) we’re a tv watching family. My husband and I both like tv. So it’s hard not to have it on when we watch it so much. What I’m trying to do more than anything is have a healthy balance of activities outside the house, play outside in our yard, and tv time. The rest of it is just me letting go of the guilt. It could be better, but really, it could be a whole lot worse
7. Food: She finally is able to eat most things. I am SLOWLY implementing forms of dairy in her diet and when she hits 18 months, I think I’ll actually give her some cheese or a glass of milk and see how it goes.
I say the biggest challenge I face daily is the mom guilt. The guilt of not being the perfect mother who never lets their kid watch tv, who always has interesting activities, who always makes the most nutritious food, insert whatever quality you think is important. I know by the second or third child, you seem to just let it go, but I’d rather just go ahead and do that now because i don’t need anymore opportunities to feel guilty in my life.