I can’t believe my little baby is almost one year old! I remember this time last year: I had reduced my hours at work to part-time, I was cooking and filling up our freezer with meals, and we were preparing to move into our new rental home. And of course, I was was preparing for the birth of ‘baby A’!
Here’s what Alma’s been up to this past month:
We hit a few rough patches this month with sleep. For most of the month, Alma continued waking up just once a night to nurse (no more sleeping through the night like last month). However, towards the end of the month, she reverted back to nursing twice at night. I’m guessing either my milk supply is dropping because I’m taking less domperidone, and so she is actually waking due to hunger, or the wakings are related to her developing the new skill of walking. We also were struggling with habitual very early wake-ups (5-5:30am).
After reading a lot about what causes early morning wake-ups, my best guess is that her sleep schedule is just too inconsistent. As much as I hate to ever wake a sleeping baby, I’m experimenting with keeping her on a more strict sleeping schedule. I’m making sure to put her down for her naps at the same time each day, and waking her up if she sleeps longer than 1.5 hours. This way, I can be sure she will be ready for bed at 7pm. We’ve had the most success with that bedtime (i.e. she sleeps in more, closer to or past 6am). Ironically, when we’ve tried a later bedtime (7:30 or 8pm) in hopes of getting her to sleep in a little, it never works.
She’s been making up for her missed night-time sleep by taking longer naps, so that is why I’m waking her after 1.5 hours. If she takes super long naps (sleeping until 4:30/5pm), then she’s not ready to go to bed until later, which causes an early morning wake-up. A bad cycle!
So far, it’s going pretty well. We’ve had a couple of 6am-ish wake-ups, and a few times, she woke to nurse around 5:15, then when back to sleep until 7am! I’ve only been trying it for less than a week, so we’ll keep it up for awhile longer to see if it’s really helping.
We’ve had some new developments with nursing. Alma is still nursing 8-10x per day, but lately she is only nursing on one side per feeding. Not sure what that is about, but it’s possible she is just not needing quite as much milk now.
I’m planning on cutting back to around 5 feedings per day after she turns one. I’m waiting to start cutting back on nursing sessions until I’ve completely weaned myself off of the domperidone (a medication nursing mothers can take to promote lactation). When I cut back on those feedings, I will add an extra snack to Alma’s day, and offer her a litte more hemp/coconut milk to sip on.
Alma’s solid food intake has ebbed and flowed. Some weeks she ate really well, and other weeks, we had to really work at getting her to eat anything. I wrote about what Alma’s been eating lately in this post. I’m going to swing by our lactation consultant’s office to get a weight check for Alma next week, just to make sure she’s been getting enough. Her last weight check showed a slower gain.
The biggest change in Alma’s development is that she is now walking! She took her first wobbly steps right before she turned 10 months, and she has been getting steadier everyday. I’d say she still uses crawling 50% of the time to get around, and the rest of the time, she pulls herself up to stand (still can’t stand up on her own), cruises, and takes off into the middle of the room. She has walked up to 20 steps in a row before falling. She’s pretty good at falling down safely.
The day before her 11 month birthday, it was like a light switched, and she suddenly started walking so much more. I remember because we were at the Children’s Museum meeting up with another vegan mama, and all of the sudden, Alma went from mostly crawling around the room to mostly walking! Ever since, back at home she has been walking at every opportunity. Here she is walking:
She also loves to walk while holding onto our hands, which is something she never wanted to do before. She is very fast when we do this!
No new teeth this month – still just the top four and bottom two:
Alma says about five words: mama, dada, bye bye, na-na (what we call nursing), and baby (buh-buh). She likes to imitate the sounds of a lot words we say, but these are the five that she consistently says, and I’m confident she knows what they mean. Her babbling has reached new levels this month – it’s so much fun listening to her “talk”.
I’ll write a full post-partum update next month, but things are going well with me. I’m really glad that I’m weaning off of the domperidone, because I never expected to be taking it for so long. I don’t like to take any kind of medication, generally. I’ve gone from 12 pills a day to 6 pills a day. Next week, I will try taking 5/day and see how that goes. I’m on track to be completely weaned from the pills a week after Alma turns one.
I have no idea how the decrease in medication is affecting my supply. I’m really hoping that I continue to produce enough milk for Alma to still have several feedings a day. I would be sad if I couldn’t produce enough milk to continue nursing without the medication, but I have decided to stop taking it no matter what. One year of nursing would still be a major accomplishment (though I’d love to nurse for another year!). Time will tell.
I think I’ll skip the ‘day in the life’ post this month, since they have been pretty much the same. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been having to wake Alma up from some of her naps to keep her on this schedule. I really don’t want to do this, but letting her have unstructured naps was leading to inconsistent and often late bedtimes, and therefore, early morning wakings. So this is what’s working for us now most days:
- 6am: Wake-up! Diaper change & nurse.
- 6:30-8am: free play downstairs while Andrew and I eat breakfast (one of us squeezes in a workout); short nursing session somewhere in here
- 8am: breakfast for Alma, then she plays in play pen while I clean up
- 9-10:30am: Nurse, nap
- 10:30-11am: Alma gets dressed for the day, quick nurse
- 11-12/12:30pm: Outing to playpark or OMSI (sometimes another nursing session)
- 12:30-1pm: Back home; Andrew takes his lunch break with us
- 1pm: Lunch for Alma, then play in play pen while I clean up
- 2/2:15-3:30pm: Nurse, nap
- 3:30pm: Nurse; play downstairs (I’m trying to start a structured activity here)
- 4:30pm: quick nurse and small snack (O’s, puffs, mum-mums); more play downstairs
- 5:00pm: Andrew is off work; he plays with Alma while I make dinner, or we have family time if we are having leftovers
- 5:45pm: Dinner for Alma (and sometimes we eat at the same time with her)
- 6:15pm: Bath, if needed, then play time upstairs in Alma’s room (pj’s/nighttime diaper); we encourage her to drink a few more ounces from her sippy while she plays
- 6:50pm: Lights out and I nurse her; sometimes she falls asleep, often she doesn’t
- 7/7:15pm: Alma is asleep!
- 10pm: My goal to be asleep
- 3am(ish): wake to nurse
*Sometimes Alma wakes twice at night to nurse, and when she does that, the times can vary wildly from night to night.
Here are this months posts:
- solids at 10 months
- a day in the life: 10 months
- our christmas tree
- alma’s presents
- alma’s first christmas
- my new year’s intentions
Happy 11 months, Miss Alma!