One one and a half hour nap in the morning and one two hour nap in the afternoon - although this can be hit or miss (see below).
Feeding: Whole milk (16-20 oz./day), water all day, and table foods three times a day with a snack after his afternoon nap.
Clothing: 12 - 18 month.
Bedtime: 7-8 p.m. Sleeps 12 hours consistently each night.Eating:
Eli is still eating really well. I feel like overall he might be eating a bit less than normal, but I'm not too worried. He's not acting hungry between meals, so I don't push the food. He's still obsessed with eating with a fork or spoon - so much so that he's starting to not eat at all if his food isn't on a utensil, and he'll fuss and wave his fork around until I do it. He does try to stab and scoop his own food, but as you can probably imagine, he's fairly unsuccessful at it. But when he does stab something by accident, he's pretty much the king of the universe - it's hilarious how shocked and proud he is at the same time. While I love that he likes utensils and it's adorable to watch, it does make meal time quite a bit longer and more work for me, since he really doesn't like eating with his hands at all anymore. It was kinda one of those issues I didn't realize I was creating until it became hard to go back. I've been working on not pulling out the utensils unless they're truly necessary for the meal and to appease his need for a "vehicle" for his food, I've been giving him lots of things to dip, like toast cut into sticks with pesto, or quesadillas cut into strips with salsa.
Thankfully the milk issue has totally cleared up. I'm so glad I wrote about it last time, you guys gave me tons of advice and let me know that it was totally normal and many of your toddlers went through it too, so thank you! Apparently it was just his body adjusting to the proteins in milk and while I probably should have rationed it from the beginning, his body has now fully adjusted and he's totally normal. I'd say he drinks about 16-20 oz./day, and I usually only offer it at breakfast and dinner. I'm so glad that turned out to be an easy fix!
The first half of the month was super normal, but the past two weeks have been a bit more difficult. I'm thinking he might be ready to drop his morning nap, but I'll be honest, I'm sorta holding out because I'm not sure I'm ready for him to drop it! Here's what has been happening - he's been on a really weird schedule lately. He wakes around 8 a.m., has twoish hours of wake time before he goes down for a nap at 10-10:30 a.m. He sleeps for at least an hour and a half to two hours without fail. He falls asleep easily and is super tired for this nap. Then he's awake for about three hours, which means he goes down around 3-3:30 p.m. for his second nap. This worked for a while, but over the past two weeks, he's just been lying there, trying to sleep, but never doing so. He'll play, roll around, talk, be quiet for a while and just when you think he's asleep, he's back up standing in his crib. I've gone in and out, trying to get him to sleep - cause, here's the thing - when I put him down at 3, he's acting SO tired! All the usual signals are there, but he just never actually falls asleep, and I can tell he's trying. I've let him lay up there (with me checking in on him periodically) for as long as two hours and - nothing. On those days, he's pretty exhausted by 6 p.m., but we really try to keep him awake until 7, then he's out like a light.
The fact that it was his afternoon nap that he was skipping threw me off for a while, but then I googled it and talked with a few friends, and apparently that's the usual sign. I'm still holding out for another week or so to just see if it was a blip in the radar. He was sick all last week, and he's not skipping the nap every day, just most days. But I just want to be sure that's what it is before I truly commit - I think it's going to be kinda hard to keep him up until 1 p.m., he's so tired acting by his first morning nap! We'll see what happens.
This month, Eli's vocabulary has exploded. He talks a ton, and he's totally mimicking everything I say. I think he actually knows the meaning to about five words: "woof, "dada," "hot," "hi," "all done" and "nigh nigh." He says these words all the time and uses them appropriately without prompting. But as far as other words, I swear I've heard him say at least 20 other words, either from me asking him if he can say something, or him just repeating a word I've said. The other day I swear he said "Grandma," but it came out "Ga Ga," and he also said, "Costco," like "Coco" Adorable. I always hesitate to say he "knows" or "says" words, mostly because I don't want to be the mom that's acting like, "My kid is sooooo smart!" (Although I do think that and probably do act like that sometimes!) and I do want to be realistic - it's hard to know what's what when you're trying to "hear" a word, and I sometimes think I can convince myself to hear him say anything. But usually I don't count him saying a word until I've heard him say it a few times in a row, with some time in between.
He's still crawling around like a champ, and is getting more and more brave to cruise around the coffee table and couch or with his walker. The other day he took about two or three steps on his own, but he's still pretty nervous to walk without at least one hand helping him out. I know he could do it, it's just a confidence thing at this point I think. He loves climbing stairs and we finally had to put up a baby gate for going upstairs after I found him at the very top of our stairs one day. Yikes! He's so quiet when he's climbing!
He keeps getting smarter and smarter with his toys and I feel like he's truly playing with them rather than just throwing them around or staring/studying them. He'll put things together, drop balls in a hole or push a car down a ramp. He has a garbage truck toy that he can roll around the house and Mike taught him to make motor noises with it so he does that all over the place. It's hilarious to watch a three-limbed crawl as he tries to move it on the floor.
His likes and dislikes are nearly identical to last month - being outdoors is his favorite thing in the universe, and he has most definitely thrown himself on the floor in tears when the door has been opened and he's not allowed to go through it. (Usually when people are coming over and they step inside - welcome to our home!) We been biking a whole lot more lately, and while I think Eli still likes a walk in the stroller better, he seems to enjoy a good ride in the trailer too.
For a few months, Eli wasn't showing any interest in the camera - like when I put my phone on "selfie-mode" and try to take a photo, he didn't really smile or anything, just went back to staring at his hands or the sky or a toy, but this month he LOVES watching himself on camera. There have been a few times I've just set up my laptop on the table with him on a high chair and recorded him hamming it up. I can't figure out if he knows it's just a reflection or if he genuinely thinks it's another baby. He waves and says, "Hi," wiggles his head back and forth, sticks his tongue out, laughs and just generally makes goggly eyes at it. It's hilarious.
This month, he is way better about being attached to us. I can drop him off in nursery and he just waves at me and I can't remember the last time I saw a tear when stopped holding him in a new place. It's awesome. He'd still prefer to be by me if we're somewhere new, but he's getting more and more brave, which is super nice.
We still love parenthood, but are a bit fearful because we know we're headed down the road of discipline. Overall, Eli's a super easy child, very sensitive and seems to want to please us by being pretty naturally obedient. But that's not to say Eli's perfect by any means. It's tough to know where to draw the line and say he's just a baby and doesn't understand, to yes, we do think he understands and he just did that (behavior X, Y or Z) out of defiance. We don't want to be unreasonably firm, but we also want Eli to know that he doesn't get everything he wants and the world doesn't revolve around him. It's a tough balance, but we're finding our way. Eli is such a wonderful little boy and we adore being his parents - and as I say every single month - he just keeps getting more and more fun. I'm actually having a much harder time sending him to grandma's or another babysitter's because I fear I'll miss out on something funny he's done. We just enjoy being with him so much!