Last month, we covered what to expect during your first 6 months of parenthood. This month, we’ll wrap up the rest of baby’s first year with the next 6 months. Enjoy!
Fun developments continue to occur. Baby will be even more aware of her surroundings and she’ll react to many things like turning in the direction of sounds, picking up things that drop, etc. The fun moments are when baby laughs with all her might.
“Solid” feedings continue to take place in between milk sessions. I have “solid” in quotes because it’s actually just rice cereal mixed with milk, so it has the consistency of porridge. Hopefully, your feeding technique is a lot better than ours.
Please teach mommy and daddy how to feed me!
|Wifey’s Tip Corner:
Noele and Shorty help wifey put the decals on baby’s bedroom wall
Up until this point, baby would randomly laugh, but it was difficult to make her laugh consistently. That or daddy’s jokes weren’t very funny perhaps? 😉 I think it was right about this time when she actually started smiling on the regular. The kind of smile where you could tell that she was actually smiling because she was happy, as opposed to some involuntary mouth muscles creating what appeared to be a figment of a smile.
Now is also the time when they say you can start feeding baby snacks or finger foods. Baby and wifey both seemed to like these Graduates Puffs from Gerber. It also came in a convenient container that we could take on the road with us.
| Wifey’s Tip Corner:
For us, month 9 marked the beginning of baby’s “real” movement. Up to this point, she’s only been able to roll around all ova and sit up, but that’s pretty much where the buck stopped. We could run and get something in the other room and when we came back, baby would still be in the same general area we left her.
Once baby discovered the world of crawling, taking an eye off of her for extended periods of time was no longer an option.
Ready, set, crawl!
This also means that babyproofing your house (if you haven’t already) is a must. Outlet covers, gate systems, childproof latches on cupboards and toilets, etc. Securing heavy objects (e.g. TV) from falling down is also a good idea. You want to protect your precious one as much as possible.
Look at those eyes! Babyproofing the house is not even a question for our precious one (Photo Credit: Justin Shin)
| Ed’s Tip Corner:
If some of baby’s teeth came in by this point, you may start to hear some grinding action going on. It sounds like the noise your comb makes when you run your finger across the top of it. Ack! On the flip side, they will thoroughly love it when you brush their teeth. Not necessarily because they hate cavities as much as you 😉 , but more because it feels good on their itchy gums. Just be careful because they will bite the brush and not let go sometimes. 😛
Speaking of biting, baby will do this periodically. On shoulders, hands, arms, legs. Almost anywhere. Strange thing is, it’s mostly on mom (in our experience). Either, my skin is too sour, or she just loves her daddy that much! 🙂
Me and the little squirt
We also noticed that when baby got sleepy, she would pull at her hair. Like hard! Supposedly this is a somewhat normal act of trying to relieve stress. Just watch her to make sure she doesn’t make herself go bald.
| Ed’s Tip Corner:
Up until this point, baby would look at me when I got home and then go back to playing with her toys like she could care less. At the 11th month, she actually started recog-ma-tizing who the heck I actually was (or at least showed it). Now, when I come home from a long day at work, baby would stop what she’s doing, stare, smile, and lean into me when I came in for a hug. Awww, daddy is so happy!
You’ll also start to see quite the personality from your Mini Me. Ours is a rascal sometimes. She’ll pull out all of her diapers from the diaper bag and fling them all about. She’ll also test her boundaries. She’ll touch something and when we say “No!”, she’ll start to reach for it again while looking right at us. Too funny!
The little rascal
Another milestone for us this month was baby taking her first step. She was previously able to stand up on her own, but it wasn’t until this point when she stuck out her leg and placed it down. The first step on her road to walking.
The point between standing up and taking the first step, and walking, was literally like a week or two. FAST! Perhaps it had something to do with the “training” in the walker (or not), but either way, know that it won’t be long until you have an actively walking baby shortly after she takes that first step!
| Ed’s Tip Corner:
WE MADE IT! One full year or baby rearing and we’re still in one piece! 🙂 Congratulations gang! Give yourselves a hand!
Smiles and hugs (and waving now) continue through this month, and, now that she can walk, she likes to follow me around the house. So cute!
With this continued physical and cognitive development comes what appears to be some level of separation anxiety. All of my friends (who are parents) warned me of the dangers of allowing baby to sleep in the bed with you. They’ll get used to it and not want to go back to sleeping in their stiff, cold crib. I always thought I was in the clear since we never had that issue up until this point (baby slept like, well, as a baby in her crib). Boy was I mistaken. For us, it was only just the beginning. Here’s a hilarious diagram that my friend tagged me in on Facebook that pretty much sums it all up.
Baby Sleep Positions (Credit: HowToBeADad.com)
They say that you should start weaning baby away from breastfeeding at about this time. Easier said than done. Cutting baby off cold turkey is difficult because the woman’s body continues to produce milk as if it has to feed a hungry baby. Start with cutting one meal out, then another, and then another. But this should be at your own pace and at your own personal comfort level. It definitely feels like you get part of your life back because it’s easier to spontaneously get up and out of the house, and to ask for babysitting help (no need to worry about pumping and packing breastmilk, etc), but there’s that intangible mother-child bonding time that you (she) will lose.
How much babies absorb is amazing! Scary even. Be careful what you say around them! We usually test our baby with certain words. “Where’s the oven?” “Where’s the fan?” “Where’s the ukulele?” and, one by one, she’ll point each item out. Once, our sister-in-law tested her with words we didn’t really teach her yet (table, arm, etc.). Amazingly she knew exactly what they were and pointed them right out! Lesson learned: they are listening and learning more than we think!
Baby stay listening!
| Ed’s Tip Corner:
Everyone warned us that “they grow so fast” and you don’t realize it until, here you are, one year later, and your little one is already like a mini person. It’s crazy. I’m dreading the day when she starts dating. I’m gonna have to lay down the law if the boys “ack” up. I already know I’m going to be SUPER protective. That’s my little girl for Pete’s sake! Here’s a funny picture my friend took with his daughter that pretty much sums up my sentiment. This is a JOKE people. No take um serious k? Funny though right? 🙂
Dad Reid with his adorable daughter
Every kid is different. Getting caught up with what the books say is fine, but my suggestion is to do what works best for you and your baby. You really grow an intuition for this type of thing and whatever you think is right for your child, probably is.
Every day is like a HUGE psychological experiment. It’s fun to watch your baby grow and learn and how she reacts to nurture as well as nature. Her little idiosyncrasies is what makes her her and I look forward to learning more about them myself every single day.
And with that, I leave you with a (paraphrased) quote that my neighbor Emi Kaneshiro absolutely loves. It’s from a blog she reads regularly called MODG. Best of luck to you new parents, or parents to be. Here’s to going through this adventure together!
“Parenthood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It’s about understanding that she is exactly the person she is supposed to be. And that, if you’re lucky, she just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be.” – Joan Ryan