9 Month Update

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Naps: The majority of this month was spent still working on the transition from 3 to 2 naps. Henry was really struggling with taking long, restorative naps in the morning and afternoon so he was cranky and tired enough at the end of the afternoon for another nap. It seemed like no matter what we did, Henry would wake up after 35 minutes unable to fall back asleep even though he wanted to.

We decided to do yet another experiment to find the cause for Henry’s short naps. This time our hypothesis was that it was getting to be too bright in the bedroom with the lengthening daylight hours and fewer cloudy days. We hung some temporary curtains to test it out, and so far it seems to be doing the trick. Lately he’s been napping for about an hour beginning between 9:00am and 9:30am, and 1:15pm and 1:45pm.

Feeding: Henry’s feeding schedule remains the same; he still gets breastfed three times during the day and then gets a bedtime bottle of breast milk.

On days when his gums are sore from teething, he isn’t in the mood to drink much.

Clothing: 12 months or 6-12 months with some 9 month pants

Bedtime: 7:00pm

Eating: We’ve been focusing on giving Henry a variety of flavors at each meal, whether it be purees with more complex flavors or several different foods at meals.

We also started introducing some table foods, like cut up fruits and veggies or pasta, for him to practice his pincer grasp and feed himself. This is still a work in progress for Henry. He’s able to pick up the food pieces, but more often than not he just throws the food over the side of his tray. He often acts disgusted by having smooshy food on his tray or his fingers.

Sleeping: Towards the end of this month, Henry started sleeping a little later in the morning by about 30 minutes. He’s now getting about 11 1/2 hours of sleep each night.

Since he started to roll, Henry’s started to show a preference for sleeping on his side or even on his stomach. We let him fall asleep however he wants, but then flip him over onto his back when we go to bed.

Henry loves having his tiny muslin giraffe blanket in his crib with him. He snuggles it and sucks on the ribbon border as he’s falling asleep.

Development: Henry has gotten really interested in attempting to pull himself up. When he wakes up from a nap, he likes to grab onto our fingers to pull himself into sitting, and then grabs on again to get help pulling into standing. He’s tried to pull himself up on his own using the furniture a couple of times but doesn’t have to coordination in his legs.

Henry has also been getting more brave with reaching for things while sitting. He gets really close to going from sitting to being on his hands and knees, but hasn’t let himself get that far yet.

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Henry and Henri, Henry’s French doppelgänger that lives in the mirror, have gotten to be the best of friends. Henry smiles, chats, and reaches for Henri. He especially likes the mirror right after he wakes up from a nap.

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Henry certainly has a lot to say these days, especially when he’s just around us. Da-da is his most popular sound by far, but he also says ja, ya, wa, va, ga and ra. Usually he speaks a few “words” at a time, but will occasionally get really excited about something and say a “sentence” or two. When he’s thinking really hard about something or focusing on being very precise in his movements, he will say “th” and “ss”.

At the end of this month Henry started waving and clapping his hands. We haven’t completely figured out yet if he’s waving and clapping, or if he’s trying to sign “milk” and “more”. His wave right now is mostly moving his arm up and down with his hand in a fist. When he claps his hands, he claps one hand on the back of the other.

We’ve been doing a lot work with Henry to work on his signing. He recognizes “more” and “milk”; “eat” and “all gone” are a little hit-and-miss at this point. As mentioned above, we don’t think he’s gotten to the point where he’s using the signs completely on his own yet. He does know how to make the signs with help from us. When we show him “more”, he grabs our hands and moves our hands to make the sign. He also seems to think banging on the table means more.

Likes and Dislikes: As Henry’s gotten bigger, we’ve been doing more and more rough-housing with him. Henry likes to be tossed up in the air and swung from side to side.

Some of Henry’s favorite toys right now are rattles and things that we can stack into towers. He loves knocking down the towers that we build for him. Henry also loves playing with “non-toys” — things like bowls and wooden spoons. He does his own “cooking” while we are making dinner.

One of Henry’s favorite games is to roll a ball back and forth with us. He’s been experimenting with his other toys to see which ones can also be rolled.

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Another favorite game of Henry’s is testing gravity. He enjoys dropping food from his tray, flinging his clothes off of his changing table, or dropping toys while he’s sitting on our laps.

Henry’s favorite books to read right now are lift-the-flap books. His favorite is Bottoms Up! by Yusuke Yonezu where you guess the animal based on its bottom. He acts like it’s a game of peek-a-boo while we are reading it.

Henry really dislikes having his diaper changed, or being set down for that matter, right after a nap. He needs at least 5 minutes of snuggle time before he’s ready to continue on with his day.

New This Month: Henry has started to “say” no to things by shaking his head. He’ll shake his head when he is ready to be done eating or drinking his milk, or when he doesn’t want his diaper changed.

We’ve noticed that Henry is starting to show more uncertainty around strangers. He is especially nervous around men with facial hair. He also gets anxious when he wakes up from a nap and notices that we have visitors over.

We were planning to take a family trip to Bayfield, WI to visit the ice caves at the end of this month. After doing some researching about the ice conditions and considering different ways we could transport Henry, we decided against it. Instead, we had a family outing at Minneapolis’ very own Minnehaha Falls. Even though we’ve lived in Minneapolis for 10 winters, this was our first time seeing the frozen falls.

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Other Notes: Adam had another business trip to Canada this month, but everything went smoothly for Henry while Adam was gone.

Since the last update, Henry’s tooth count has doubled. We’re currently sitting at 6 teeth for the little guy. For the first 3 weeks of February, Henry got a new tooth every week. Thankfully he wasn’t super crabby. There were a few days though where he didn’t eat much because his gums were bothering him.

Now that Henry has teeth on the top and bottom, he likes to line up his teeth and bite them together. When he does this though, it pushes his jaw forward and he gets a bulldog face.

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Mama and Papa Update: This stage for Henry has been a lot of fun for us. We love being able to interact with him in so many different ways — talking and signing with him, playing games, reading, being silly together. It’s fun to watch Henry puzzle through things and challenge himself. We’re really excited for the weather to get nicer and to be able to take him outside and on bike rides with us.

Adam and I have also mentioned that we really like the routine that we’ve all settled into. While dinner and bedtime may seem a bit hectic to an outsider, we’re a well-oiled machine where everyone knows what is coming next.

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