There was so much anticipation and excitement leading up to Caelan’s first birthday and I remember telling a friend “I feel like 12 months is the edge of some kind of cliff and I have NO idea what’s on the other side!” Now that we ARE on the other side, we are slowly getting used to having a toddler, rather than a baby. I think that has been the biggest change in the past few months.
We started transitioning Caelan from formula to whole milk a week before his birthday. It ended up taking much longer than I expected and we weren’t completely off formula until he was about 14 months old. It took awhile for his system to adjust to the milk but we changed his diet a little and cut back on the total amount of formula/milk he was getting and he adjusted (mostly). In the process, we cut back from 4 bottles a day to just 1 bottle at bedtime and sippies of milk with meals/snacks. Hopefully that last remaining bottle will be gone in the next few months. We are worried about messing with his bedtime routine (which has been working so well for the past 9 months) but given how easily he dropped the other bottles, maybe it won’t be as bad as we are fearing.
As for naps, we have finally made some progress on that front! Caelan has never been a good or consistent napper but now we are usually able to put him down without too much trouble. How long the nap will be is still pretty variable, but I’d say he usually naps for about 1.5-2 hours, and usually just 1 nap per day.
For meals, we all eat dinner together, which has been a nice change. We used to feed Caelan first and then take turns eating ourselves while the other kept an eye on him. Mealtimes still aren’t relaxing or anything, but it is nice to sit down together and Caelan is often eating the same thing we’re eating. Since we are over the 1 year mark, Caelan has tried strawberries, chocolate, honey, and shellfish (crab) and seemed to have no objection to any of them! We’re gonna have to try peanut butter soon. I’ve also started offering the spoon to feed himself (with a lot of guidance). He thinks it’s lots of fun, but we have a long way to go on that one.
Caelan’s vocabulary is ever-expanding. I think he’s up to 16 words now: hi, bye-bye, ba (bottle/cup), all done, all gone, up, outside, ball (gall), bird, puppy, Dada, go down [stairs], Cookie [Monster], apple, uh-oh. And Mama – he finally came through with that one just last week! I was so surprised I didn’t know what to say but there is nothing like being called “Mama” for the first time…or the second time, or the third… 🙂 Some of his words aren’t quite real words yet but they are close enough and they are getting clearer and clearer by the day. He’s learning SO fast these days!
Caelan has 12 teeth now – all 8 in the front plus all 4 first-year molars. The molars took a long time to come in but Caelan has never been bothered too much by teething and this was not really any different (thankfully). Brushing his teeth while that last molar was coming in was an all out wrestling match but now that the tooth is in, he seems better. If that is the worst teething is going to give us, I’ll take it!! Next up are the canines, so we’ll see how that goes.
It’s seemed like Caelan’s milestones these past few months haven’t been as…obvious?…as they have previously been. Slowly we realized, hey he’s tripled his vocabulary in the past 3 months. He’s much better at stacking blocks or rings than the last time I saw him do that. We are fascinated to watch him learning. He is also doing a lot of limit testing. He knows very well that he is supposed to sit down when drinking, when on the couch or in his chair, and when in the bath tub, but he gleefully stands up and smirks at us. I’ve pretty much given up on the bath tub battle and taking him off the couch doesn’t work as well now that he can climb up on his own. Sigh. Remember when he just laid on the floor and flew?
Discipline is coming into play. But he’s still too young for time-out and we’re unsure what he is old enough for. He understands that there are some things that he’s not allowed to do, but then he does them anyway. Yes, I know, he’s testing us. But what do we DO about it? Mostly, we take away the toy/item or remove him from the scene, but that doesn’t always seem effective. When we take away his chair, he runs after it, gleefully waving and saying “bye bye!” and then doesn’t care that it’s gone. (We ended up giving up on the chair battle – if he falls, he falls, and hopefully he’ll learn!) On the other hand, when we block him from getting on the couch he screams and cries. (We’re making some progress on this one.) We are constantly second-guessing ourselves, wondering if we’re taking the right approach on things. Is this the right thing to do? Is this a battle worth picking? Are we being too lenient? Are we being consistent? A year ago at this time, we were second-guessing ourselves on things like bottles, nap times, and bed times. Now that we’ve got that under control, it’s something else. I suspect it will always be something. Being a parent is never dull 🙂