Halfway through the second year!
Alma turned 18 months on Sunday, and it definitely felt like something to celebrate. We got all of our house cleaning and grocery shopping done on Saturday so that we could have a family-fun day on Sunday. We spent the entire morning at the zoo, and Alma had so much fun. She took a long nap when we got home, and after she woke, we headed over to our favorite pool. Andrew took her down the water slide for the first time (and again, and again, and again…). It was pretty much a toddler’s dream day!
Here’s the 18 month rundown:
Not much new here since I wrote about our new routine with Alma’s floor bed. Alma’s bedtime has been anywhere from 7pm-9pm this month, but it’s typically around 7:30/8pm. Sometimes she will take an early/short nap and need to go to bed at 7pm, or she will have a late/long nap, and not be ready for bed until later. She does not sleep in later if she has a later bedtime, so we try really hard to get her asleep before 8pm.
One new thing is that Andrew now helps Alma fall asleep, instead of me, most nights. Her bedtime routine is: bath after dinner, almost every night, unless she seems too tired; brush teeth; put on pj’s and nighttime diaper (we use a disposable for this); nurse; read a few books with daddy; lights out. Andrew lays next to her on her floor bed, and helps her fall asleep by patting her back and snuggling with her.
It was taking her a long time to fall asleep after nursing – sometimes up to 45-60 minutes. Thankfully that has shortened, and now she’s asleep within 10-20 minutes after Andrew turns off the lights. Of course, there are always exceptions for nights (like the past few) where teething pain is bothering her. Not enough to need any medicine, but enough that she only wants mama to sleep with her.
We’ve had some pretty early morning wake ups this month, but that seems to be a constant ebb and flow. Alma is usually up for the day between 5:30-6:30 am. She typically sleeps 10-11 hours at night, but wakes once or twice to nurse. Often, if she wakes past 2 or 3am, I just sleep the rest of the night in her room. That way, when she stirs around 5:30am, I have more success getting her back to sleep for another hour, than if she has to wake up fully to call for me.
We have tried having Andrew respond to Alma’s night wakings instead of me nursing her, but she gets very upset and cries for me, so we know she’s not quite ready for that yet. We will keep trying occasionally, because I would like to night wean!
Naps have been going pretty well. There was a week where she only took 1.5 hour naps, but usually it’s closer to 2-2.5 hours. A few times, she has woken after 1:15 minutes, and I was able to nurse/rock/lay with her and get her back to sleep for another hour or more.
I just posted Alma’s 18 month munchkin meals link up, so I won’t get into too much detail about solids here. I’d say she’s a pretty typical toddler eater!
I am going to post a breastfeeding update in the next couple of days, since 18 months seems like one of those “milestone” months, and because it lines up nicely with World Breastfeeding Week! In short, Alma still nurses frequently throughout the day, but I’m starting to feel like my supply is diminishing pretty quickly. Often times, she doesn’t get a let down (but then again, she often does, so who knows!).
In any case, I’m happy that we’ve made it this far, and if we don’t have many weeks/months left, I’m okay with that. I hope Alma will be, too.
Alma had her 18 month check up today, and she weighs 23 lb 5 oz (60%), and is 34.25 inches tall (98%).
Her last canine came through this month (that makes 16!), and she has started cutting her 2nd year molars, though I think the process is going very slowly. Her bottom gums have been swollen for a few weeks, and I’m just beginning to feel one little sharp tooth on the left side. Molars are definitely one of those “tip of the iceberg” things – even though an edge of the tooth pokes through, there is still so much more underneath the gums!
She says a lot of 2 word sentences (‘more pouch’, ‘home dada’, ‘book mama’ etc) and is just starting to put 3 words together (‘more nah-nah, mama?’). Her vocabulary is constantly expanding, and I just can’t get over how fun it is to talk with her.
Recently, something shifted in her little mind, and she Must. Climb. On. Everything. It can be frustrating as she runs from one piece of furniture to the next, testing out her limits. But I’ve spent enough time with toddlers to know that it’s just a phase, she’s not actually trying to drive me crazy, and it will pass. She likes to point out pictures in books where the characters are standing on chairs or furniture and shouts “Bum Bum!!” (telling them to sit down).
A new favorite activity is wearing grown-up clothing. Mostly tank tops and sweatshirts that she finds laying around the house. She’ll bring them to us and insist we put them on her. So funny!
Alma has been attached to her baby dolls for several months now, but her love for them has increased this month. She now needs them (at least the soft baby) to sleep with, and actually snuggles with them throughout the night. I’ve been putting the soft baby in her bed for a few months – in fact, we purchased it with the hope that she would attach to the baby and get through her night wakings by having a comfort item in bed. But only now is she actually moving in that direction. Sometimes I’ll see her stir on the video monitor, reach around for her baby, snuggle up and fall back asleep.
And of course, the doll stroller is still a favorite. We’ve even taken it on a few spins around the neighborhood!
Another milestone this month was Alma taking her very first bike ride! We purchased a CoPilot Limo seat, and so far we are very happy with it. Alma seems very comfortable in it, and whenever she sees our bikes, she says “bike ride?!” (though it sounds more like “buh-like ryyyyye?!”).
Right now, it only works with Andrew’s bike, since it requires a special rack to mount on. The seat came with one rack, but we need to purchase an additional one for my bike. He’s more comfortable on a bike than I am, so we wanted to get used to the seat using his bike first. So for now, we’ve just been taking family rides on the weekend, though I hope to get a rack for my bike soon!
I’m going to write a ‘day in the life’ post soon, so I’ll just summarize here. Also, we may be having a significant shift in our schedule in the next couple of weeks, which I’ll write more about later. Still working out the details on that one.
As I said before, she typically wakes up between 5:30-6:30am, and it takes us until about 8:30/9am to get through breakfast and getting ready for the day. Then we usually play at a park or play date for an hour or more, and head back when it gets close to her nap time. Naps start between 11am-12pm, though I’ve been trying to push them back on the later side.
After a 2-3 hour nap, we have a light lunch, and then we either go to the gym (I take her with me twice a week), hang around the house to get chores done/dinner started, or go somewhere fun like OMSI or other indoor play areas (I try to keep her out of the sun in the afternoons). Dinner is around 5:30/6:00pm, followed by the beginning of the bedtime routine. The goal is for her to be asleep by 7:30/8pm.
While this past year and a half has been full of challenges as Andrew and I have been adjusting to life as parents, it has also been so rewarding. To watch your child grow from newborn to a walking, talking (somewhat) independent person is both exciting and heart wrenching. It really does go by so quickly. I can’t wait to see what the next months have in store for us as we move towards age two!