Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Nine months

Q is nine months old today!  As promised last time, here's an update on where we are.

Stats:  He hasn't had an official weigh-in since his last doctor's appointment a few months ago, but my unscientific method (hop on scale, hop off, hop back on with baby) suggests he's 20 or 21 pounds now.  I've tried measuring his height myself and I keep getting 27 inches, but that's what he was at his last checkup so I figure I must be off at least a little bit.  Granted, I usually try to do it while he's standing at his activity table and he immediately turns to grab the measuring tape, so he's not making it easy on me.  His 9-month checkup is next week so we'll find out the official stats then.

Nicknames:  There's still nothing really specific besides honey, sweetie or baby, although an extended head cold meant that I was calling him "Booger" or "Booger Nose" for a few weeks there.  "Little man" seems to have emerged as well, but I'm really all over the map.  We also both call him "buddy" a lot, which is super confusing for the dog.

Neither one of them can figure out who I'm talking to.

Eating:  At 6 months we initially tried baby-led weaning (BLW), which involves skipping purees and letting baby feed himself with foods that are easy to  grasp in a fist.  Like Jane, I got fed up with the mess and the amount of food getting wasted so we mostly did cereals and purees for a little while until Q's fine motor skills developed a bit more.  Within a month or so, though, his pincer grasp had improved and it was clear that he wanted to be feeding himself so we started giving him more and more finger foods.  Now he's pretty much eating by himself 95% of the time.  The main exception to this is if we're going out to eat and don't want to deal with the mess, or if the restaurant has those wooden high chairs that don't have trays for us to lay his food on, in which case I'll spoon feed him some chunky store bought baby food.  For the most part, though, he eats what we eat.  For instance, last night was meatloaf with roasted squash and steamed green beans, all cut into small pieces.  Also, THIS KID IS A BOTTOMLESS PIT.  It frequently amazes me how much food he can put away (i.e. it's not uncommon for him to put away an entire pear at lunch, on top of cheese cubes and toast or rice rusks).  I'm still breastfeeding as well, although it's been getting harder and harder to make sure he takes full feedings since the world is just so damn interesting and he's the most distractable baby ever.  On the frowny side, he's still feeding at night.  He usually wakes himself for a dream feed between 10:30 and midnight, and then he's often up again around 4 or 5am at which point I nurse him back to sleep because it's either that or spend 45 minutes rocking him with a 50/50 chance of success of going back to bed.  Everything I read tells me that he doesn't need these night feedings any more and if I was really committed to it I suppose I could work on cutting them out, but in the wee hours of the morning it's honestly easier to do one quick feeding that takes 10 minutes instead of dealing with a fussy baby for a half hour or more.  He also empties both boobs so it's not like he's just waking and suckling himself back to sleep.

Sleeping:  Oh sleep.  If I had only known how much I would think/talk/read about sleep once I had a baby!  It's such a moving target.  For a long time Q was going to bed at night and putting himself to sleep without a fuss.  Then, in October/November I went to visit my family for 3 weeks while M was on an extended business trip.  When we got home, Q was a bit fussy around M so we decided that M would do the bedtime routine for a little while so they could bond again.  Somehow, this resulted in Q needing to be rocked to sleep all over again, so we're currently in the process of some sleep training to get him back on track.  We had some success around 4 or 5 months with controlled crying and timed checks, so that's what we're back to.  As for naps, somewhere around 7 months Q finally started taking naps that were longer than 30 minutes.  This seems to have coincided with him dropping his third nap, which kind of happened organically since he was sleeping longer in the afternoon and stopped needing it.  The one thing we've never been able to achieve, though, is putting him down awake for his naps.  I mean I can, but he'll cry for a good half hour before he finally goes to sleep.  I've had a lot more success rocking him to sleep for these, and we had an awesome little routine going for a while there with him taking 1 to 1.5 hour naps at 9am and 2pm.  The past few weeks have been weird in general, though.  Over Christmas he started waking every 2 hours and getting up for the day at 5am no matter what we did.  This week night sleep has gone back to semi-normal, but now he's fighting his morning nap like crazy, and this nap used to be the easy one!  He's been going through a huge developmental burst lately though (see the Milestones section below), so I have a feeling he's going through a bit of a 9 month sleep regression and I'm crossing my fingers that we can work our way through it quickly.

Clothes:  Some brands have 9 month sizing, which Q fits into perfectly.  Others have 6 to 12 month sizing, which seems odd to me since that's such a huge range.  Q seems to fit most of that stuff OK, although he's on the long and lean side so occasionally 6-12 month items are too short for him lengthwise but baggy for him in the body.  One thing I love is that his larger size clothing is more like "real" clothes (think sweaters and pants instead of one piece outfits) so I find he looks like a real little boy instead of a baby now.


Diapers:  Still Pampers Baby Dry size 3.  He has the occasional leak at night, but I attribute that more to odd sleeping positions or something rather than the diaper being overly full, since other times it's practically bursting in the morning and yet he's dry as a bone.

Likes:  Food (especially Baby Mum Mums, mom's spaghetti, and ALL THE BLUEBERRIES), bathtime, playing peek-a-boo, being turned upside down or tossed in the air, Skyping with my mom/sister/niece, chasing after Buddy, and putting iPhones in his mouth.

Dislikes:  Being in the car when he's not sleeping, having his nose or face wiped, sitting still, not being allowed to put iPhones in his mouth.

Milestones:  Q started crawling on Halloween night, just a few days shy of his 7-month birthday.  Within days he had pulled himself to stand for the first time.  Then he kind of plateaued for a little bit, although in the past week or so it seems like he's had another big developmental boost.  He got a push toy from my mom for Christmas, and within moments of standing behind it he was walking it across the floor with the hugest smile on his face.  The next day he started letting go of it and standing unassisted for increasing periods of time.  He hasn't ventured to take any steps yet, but I have a feeling we're going to have a toddler on our hands before too long.  Terrifyingly, in the past week he also climbed up stairs for the first time (with a spotter, of course).  He's pretty fearless about trying physical stuff, which is probably going to give me a lot of new gray hairs in the coming months.  Other recent new skills include clapping and what we think is some rudimentary waving.

At my last update I was worried about his communication skills since he still hadn't babbled with consonants at 6 months.  Of course, he started doing it probably a week afterwards and now he's regularly yakking away with all kinds of gibberish.  He also seems to understand his own name (he'll usually turn when it's called) and some simple commands like "no" or "give me a kiss" (which is gross and slobbery and pretty much the awesomest thing ever).  He hasn't really seemed to have any stranger anxiety at all and still loves smiling at everyone he sees when we go to the supermarket or the mall.  He's a real little extrovert!  No idea how his two introvert parents are going to handle that one down the line.

Illnesses:  The end of November/start of December was one big haze of snot and coughing.  We all either had one really long cold or a whole bunch of colds one after the other.  Q hates the snot sucker, but thankfully the humidifier seems to have worked wonders or else no one would have gotten any sleep for a while!

Looking forward to:  In anticipation of being cooped up in the house this winter, I've registered Q for a couple of activities starting next week including a music class and swimming.  I hope he likes them!  Otherwise, I've just been having a ton of fun watching his personality emerge more and more over the past couple of weeks.  He's started playing more interactive games, so now rather than simply sitting on the floor with him and watching him whack stuff together or put it in his mouth I can show him how to actually play with his toys and make them do the things they're supposed to do.  It's so cool and makes me even more excited to see what he's got up his sleeve next.

A little quiet, Mother, please.  I'm working on my blog.