As expected, the past few months have been fun and eventful! I must admit that I’ve been a little impatient in waiting for Leah to learn certain things. And it’s a little ridiculous of me to be impatient because she’s not even late on anything! I try not to compare her to Caelan, but it’s difficult because he’s really my only frame of reference. I know that all children develop and learn new skills in their own time, and Leah has made lots of strides in the past few months. Really what it comes down to is that I was EXCITED for her to crawl, babble, etc and she is in full swing now 🙂
So, since 6 months…
We got a late start with Leah on the purees. And while we were meticulous about it with Caelan – gradually moving towards 3 meals a day – with Leah, we were all over the place. Some days she got 3 meals of purees, and some days she just got 1. She started out as something of a picky eater but squash was a definite favorite and apples and green beans were tolerated. She also loved rice cereal. By 8.5 months or so, Leah was eating 2-3 good meals of purees a day (we figured out that she’d eat most any puree as long as we mixed in a tiny bit of rice cereal to thicken it up). She also LOVES puffs. We’ve started her with a few finger foods like squash, blueberries, Cheerios, pasta, and ham (and whatever else she’s been sneaked at daycare!). We’ve also given her a sippy cup of water, but she’s got to learn to tip it up 🙂
Up until about a week ago, Leah was still taking 6 bottles a day. I wanted to start cutting her bottles and beefing up her meals, but I wasn’t sure how to make the transition. Then, as it usually has been with both of my kids, she made the transition on her own 🙂 She’s still erratic, but now she’s taking 4 or 5 bottles a day and she’s not getting one at dinner time anymore. 3 more months till we can start phasing out formula for-ev-errrr!!
Sleep training. Just after Leah was 6 months old, we decided it was time. We had been putting Leah down for bed when she was already asleep. It worked out fine except that rocking her to sleep was sometimes difficult and we knew that it was important for her to learn how to fall asleep in the crib on her own. She was also waking up in the middle of the night, anywhere from 1 to 5 times and that had to stop! She wasn’t hungry or wet or anything, she just couldn’t fall back asleep again. As soon as we’d go into her room and pat her back, she was out again.
We used the Ferber method again since we had had such good luck with that with Caelan. Leah cried for 20 minutes on the first night. The next 2 nights it was 2-5 mins of crying and by the 4th night, she was going down without a peep. When we trained Caelan, he continued to cry for 2 mins or so for about a month. But Leah’s issue was never really the initial going to sleep, it was the wake ups. She would still wake up at night and cry but only for a minute or two and she was back out. We’ve had a few minor setbacks due to illness or teething, but we managed to get back on track after a couple of days. Just recently, we realized that most of the time Leah falls asleep drinking her bedtime bottle so while we intended to put her down awake, she’s already asleep. This has a caused a few blips in the sleep training process, but we’re making more of an effort to make sure she goes down awake.
For awhile, Leah was really inconsistent with the duration of her sleep. At 6 months old, we were giving her a bedtime bottle around 9pm and putting her down shortly after. Slowly, we backed that up and by 7.5 months, she was going down around 8:30pm. She would sleep anywhere from 8.5-10.5 hours. The unpredictable wake up time was really frustrating to me because it made our morning routine such a crap shoot. Leah is not very content to play in the crib by herself while I get ready in the morning, so if she wakes up before me, I need to find a way to keep her entertained while I get ready. This results in a lot of ponytail-and-no-make-up days for me 😦
But once Leah and I are both ready for the day, we go into Caelan’s room to get him up. Oh she LOVES Caelan!! He must be her favorite person in the world (with Daddy a close 2nd). She squirms and kicks and grins as soon as she sees him and he is equally excited to see her.
Around 7 months old, Leah really got the hang of sitting up on her own. Something just clicked one day and she had it down. It’s been very convenient because she seems to prefer to sit up rather than laying around on the floor. However, it did cause quite a few diaper explosions
Leah is a roller. Caelan never really did this so despite Leah being our 2nd, it was new to us. By 7 months, she hadn’t yet learned to crawl, but she was still completely mobile. She could purposefully pivot and roll around the room to get to wherever she wanted to be. Finally, a week shy of turning 8 months, Leah managed to army crawl. A week later, she was doing a weird combination of army crawling, push ups and the worm thing that Caelan did. She even threw in a stride of normal hands-and-knees crawling. I love watching the evolution of it. She works so hard to figure out how to get where she wants to go. Now, at 9 months, she’s a crawling pro. She can also get from a crawling position to a sitting position and back on her own which has gone a long way in keeping her happy.
Despite her new-found mobility, Leah still loves her Jumperoo. She can REALLY jump in that thing!! Her other favorite toys lately are anything she can put in her mouth which means we are having to keep a close eye on Caelan’s smaller toys. When she was younger, we didn’t leave her alone on the floor very often for fear of her being trampled by Caelan. But now that she’s bigger and Caelan is more used to her being around, she’s on the floor pretty often. She follows us around, follows Caelan into the bathroom, etc. We have to be careful not to step on her! She’s starting to pull up now too and she loves to stand (provided that we hold her up). Who knows, we may get another early walker 😮
When Leah was about 8 months old, I started thinking “hey, shouldn’t she be babbling by now?” At that point she was still just sticking with the vowel sounds (“ahh ooh ahh”). But, as is often the case, out of the blue one day she just started up with “dadadadadada bababababa” and she was off! She also learned how to clap and she’s working on waving, but at the moment it’s still a little random. She and Caelan have “conversations” which basically consist of yelling nonsense sounds at each other but it is pretty cute. I can’t wait until they can REALLY talk to each other!
Leah has her cranky moments, of course, but she is the smiliest, happiest baby! People are always commenting on how much she smiles. She LOVES to have her picture taken. Whenever she sees the pre-flash on my phone, she turns and flashes a huge grin! You can kind of see her 2 little teeth in this picture. She still just has the 2.
We’re still kind of in “divide and conquer” mode when it comes to parenting both kids. Maybe we just got used to it when Leah was a newborn and we never transitioned out of it. Hopefully in the next few weeks we will start to alternate bedtime routines. I’m also hoping that we can start giving the kids their baths together and we can streamline the whole bedtime process.
There have definitely been a few times recently when it’s been really overwhelming with the kids. Maybe they’re both screaming at the same time and I just have to close my eyes for a minute to try and tune them out so I can figure out what I was doing. Caelan has been a handful lately and now that Leah is older, she’s into everything. Add to that, one house on the market, one house about to be built, packing, apartment searching, emails, phone calls, and oh yeah, work and kids…It’s been stressful. But the kids keep us laughing we we need it most. And since we moved Leah’s bedtime up, we have our precious 2 hours or so in the evenings when both kids are sleeping. We’re finally into something that resembles a schedule and that makes me happy!
However, I’m sure our schedule will implode in the next few months. It’s going to be crazy. In just 3 short months, my last baby will be a toddler. It’s terribly bittersweet and exciting all at once. Leah’s beautiful personality has come out so much in the past few months and I can’t wait to see more. She laughs spontaneously, she “talks” to Caelan”, she objects if a toy is taken away from her…She’s becoming a REAL girl, lol. But nothing is better than picking her up out of the crib in the mornings and having her snuggle into me – even if she pinches my neck at the same time.
Happy 9 Months Leah Bug ❤
Leah’s 9 Month Stats
- Wearing 9-12 month tops and bottoms, and 9 month sleepers (only until I can get her some 12m ones)
- Size 3 diapers
- Weight: 19 lbs 4 ozs
- Length: 26 inches
- Usually takes 4-5 bottles a day, 6-8 ozs each plus 3 meals of purees/finger foods a day
- Loves rolling/crawling, chewing on anything and everything, puffs, and, as always, her brother