Feeding: Nursing as well as supplementing with breast milk from my (small) stash and formula. Eats four times a day, 7-9 oz at each feeding. Also eating solids, loosely following Baby Led Weaning.
Clothing: 12 - 18 month
Bedtime: 8 p.m., although this has been creeping up to 7 or 7:30 many nights when he doesn't get his evening nap. Sleeps 12-13 hours consistently each night.
Nursing: Well, last month I had a feeling my supply was dwindling, and my hunch was correct. I had to start supplementing from my frozen stash (which was VERY small) towards the beginning of the month, and pretty soon I had to supplement with formula. It grows every week how much formula he needs, but right now at the end of the month I nurse him for as long as he wants, then I supplement with anything from 4-6 oz. He usually takes about 8 oz. total, so I assume I have about half a feeding for him. This is a bummer for sure, but I think I'll write more in depth about this in a different post, since the last nursing one was so popular.
Baby Led Weaning: Baby Lead Weaning is still going really well. I'm not too intentional with anything, he probably gets one or two meals a day when it's a "regular" day home with me. We traveled a TON in November, and were with a lot of family, so that means a lot of days he ate his weight in regular food. We had some issues with constipation (TMI? Probably not if you're a mom. Everyone else, just skip to the next section.) after flying, plus I think he was eating SO much regular food it was hard on his tummy. He went on pretty much an all pear diet, and I also started having him eat my oatmeal every morning with me - the flax and chia seeds are both digestive aids, and I think that - more than pears - got him regular again.
This month, sleep was a little crazy - again just from all the traveling. He actually slept pretty well when he had the chance, but he wasn't really on a schedule. I tried when I could, but I also didn't want to be too crazy about it and be the mom that everyone rolls their eyes at, so I tried to be flexible. Although at some points I'm sure I was. But suffice it to say, we had lots of delirious laughter turned to spontaneous bawling because he was so exhausted. It took him a couple days each time we returned home to get back to taking a full two-hour nap, then we'd usually leave again mixing up his schedule, so the poor kid had a lot of schedule-whiplash.
I'm still contemplating how/when to really drop that evening nap. I'll probably try in January, with the holidays here, his schedule isn't getting any better, so I don't want to do it this month. When he missed it this month, I did often move his bedtime up to 7 or 7:30 p.m. and it works okay, but I can just tell he is absolutely exhausted by then and I don't love doing that to him. I found this article on how regular bedtimes are good for kids interesting- and in the eight short months we've had Eli - absolutely true.
Everyone always asks me if he is crawling yet, and the answer is nope - he's not even showing any real signs of wanting to crawl. He sits up like a champ and will reach and grunt and reach and grunt for a toy that's too far away, but quickly realizes it's not worth the effort and will sit back up straight and look around for another toy to play with. He doesn't seem to be super motivated to try to get something yet. I put him on his stomach a lot and while he tolerates it, he flips on his back pretty quick and is content to suck on his toes.
He's starting to understand object permanence (picked up that term from my Baby Center updates!) and he'll look around for something he's dropped. It's a blast to play peek-a-boo with him as he waits and watches for me to pop out from behind something. He used to always look away between "pop outs" but now he waits and watches the spot he knows I'll return to. He has the absolute best laugh and I love how he first looks terrified, then dissolves into giggles a second after. He literally will throw his head back and laugh - it is the cutest. At the end of the month, right around Thanksgiving, he also started to wave. At first we thought it was a fluke, he waves his arms around all the time, but pretty soon it became obvious it was intentional so of course, Mike and I can now be found waving at Eli like goons all the time.
He still talks all the time, lots of babbling, tongue clicking, fake coughs, raspberries, whisper voices and he's just started trying to blow. We blow in his face and hair all the time and he now attempts to blow back at us.
This month, Eli turned into a real bouncing baby boy. This kid loves to bounce. He absolutely goes to town in his jumper. He'll stay in there for a good 20 minutes bouncing like a mad man. He does it with such intensity - head down and feet slamming into the floor - you'd think his life depended on how hard he jumped. He has this adorable one footed bounce that ends up spinning him in a circle while he does it. Sometimes I'll help him bounce a little higher by pushing up and down on the jumper and he just goes nuts. He also loves to bounce when he's being held, he'll bounce on my lap and I'm always a little surprised at how strong he is. Usually when he gets going in my lap, I know it's time for the jumper - which saves my arms from being sore the next day.
He loves looking out the windows and watching people and cars pass by. The first thing we do when he wakes up is open up the shades in his nursery and look out - he always has the biggest smile on his face. He also loves hanging out in the kitchen with me, I'll pull his high chair in while I cook dinner and he usually plays with the whisk, measuring spoons and unopened bags of whatever food I have on hand, like rice or chocolate chips. He loves to watch anything be mixed up or even watch water boil - let's just say he's pretty easily entertained.
New This Month:
Let's start with the biggie: First plane ride and first visit to the ocean! He actually did really well on the plane - he didn't nap at all which made it tough, but he also didn't have any major meltdowns. Even though he didn't sleep, I think I ended up more tired than him at the end of the flight, just because it took so much work to keep him off the ledge. I talked a bit about his first visit to the ocean here, he wasn't a huge fan, but he warmed up to it eventually. He loved getting to play with his cousins while we were down there and was completely entertained by them - it was fun to see them all together.
He also experienced his first Thanksgiving, and was a HUGE fan of the smoked turkey his Grandpa fixed in the Big Green Egg. He also had a couple sleepovers at Grandma and Grandpa's house and all reports tell me he did amazing and was requesting to stay every night until the end of time.
I love being Eli's mom. I think I thank Mike three times a week for letting me stay-at-home with him. Being Eli's mom is the best job I've ever had and I'm so grateful that I get to hang with him all day. Everyone told me it would just keep getting better and better and they were right. Mike told me the other day, "This is it. This is my favorite stage. He's so awesome and so much fun." And he's totally right. I love watching Mike and Eli interact, they actually play games together now. Watching them roll around on the floor or sprint around the house (Eli on Mike's shoulders of course) makes my heart so full I think it could burst. Being a parent is awesome - it's not dull, boring or even restricting like so many people think. (Even I thought it would be - at least a little!) There are moments, of course - but really it's so exciting and fun to watch your baby change and grow, and even though you have to be home for bedtimes and nap times, you WANT that. You want to give your kid the sleep he needs, the schedule he needs, so it's not hard or inconvenient, it's just your life now and it's so worth it that you don't think of it as intruding on your needs and wants, because your kid's needs and wants ARE your needs and wants. It's weird. But awesome.