Naps: Henry was taking two naps at the start of this month, but about halfway through he started the transition to one nap. This transition was completely directed by Henry; if it were up to me, he’d still be taking two naps for another couple of months.
With previous nap transitions, I’ve been caught off-guard by Henry’s sudden refusal to go down for a nap and the emergence of short, non-restful naps. I was determined this time to pay close attention to signs from Henry that a nap transition was about to occur. Wouldn’t you know that this transition caught me off-guard again?! It wasn’t because I was being inattentive though. Henry literally changed his schedule overnight. One day he took his naps at his normal time and slept for his usual amount of time, and the next day he refused to go down for his nap until after lunch.
The transition to one nap has been a bit rocky. I was having a hard time believing that he was ready for just one nap so I tried lengthening the amount of time he was awake in the morning and still giving him a short catnap in the afternoon. There were a few days that this worked but most days he refused his afternoon nap. Henry is also not used to having to sleep for so long so he wakes up midway through what should be a long nap frustrated that he still feels tired. Sometimes he’s able to fall back asleep with some shushing and back rubs, but other times he gets so worked up that he’s unable to go back to sleep. In the mornings Henry is his normal, cheerful self but lately he’s been a lot more sensitive and crabby in the afternoons. We’re still finding when the ideal time is for him to take his nap to help him be as rested as possible. I honestly think that we’ll be going back to two naps once we break out of this weird phase.
Feeding: We’re still dealing with the dairy allergy so I have been continuing to breastfeed Henry in the morning. He gets breast milk in a sippy cup for the rest of the day.
Clothing: a mixture of 12- and 18-month, depending on the brand
Bedtime: Moving to only one nap has meant a much earlier bedtime for Henry. He’s now going to bed shortly after 7 each night. He sleep just under 12 hours most nights. He’s been starting to wake up earlier due to his earlier bedtime so we’ve been letting him snuggle in bed with us again if he’s up too early.
Eating: Henry still loves trying new foods and likes a variety of flavors. His current favorite by far is banana. If there is a banana within reach, you can be assured it will make it to his mouth. Often times he won’t even stop to chew it, but will instead stuff his cheeks like a squirrel.
Within the past week or so Henry has been starting to lose interest eating during meals. He will eat well for the first few minutes, and then suddenly decide he’s done and try to push himself away from the table. It sometimes can take a lot of work on our part to get him to eat more. Usually feeding him with utensils helps to get him focused again.
Sleeping: As with previous setbacks in naps, Henry’s nighttime sleep seems to be unaffected. He still sleeps straight through the night, often without a peep until after the sun comes up.
Development: Henry is still working on his confidence with standing and walking. We’ve just recently gotten to the point where Henry will stand on his own and self-correct his balance. We need to do a lot to distract him so that he doesn’t instantly collapse down onto his bottom and try to crawl away.
Henry’s sign language has started to take off this month. He finally signed “more” on his own (previously he thought it required two people). He also is picking up on new signs more quickly and is more willing to mimic us when we introduce new signs. “Please” and “done” are his current favorites. I’ve been working hard to introduce a lot of new signs to him to build his vocabulary.
Henry also went through a bit of a language burst this month. It’s weird how one day he wakes up and just sounds different in a way that’s hard to describe. Henry has a variety of “voices”–a soft whisper that reminds me of a discerning old woman at afternoon tea, a grouchy old man voice (“Get off my yard!”), his normal voice for babbling, and a high-pitched shrieking voice. He uses a variety of words including “dis” (this), “da” (that), and “tiddy” (kitty).
Henry does a lot of pointing, and is now pointing at things in the distance rather than just things nearby or that he can touch. He also has recently combined pointing and signing “please” which is probably the most difficult thing to say no to right now.
Likes and Dislikes: Henry still loves going outside. He gets super excited when he sees us grabbing our shoes and bags, and getting our keys out. If he wants to go outside, he’ll point at the door or window and repeatedly say “da” until we at least acknowledge his desire.
A new favorite of Henry’s is when he gets to “chase” us down the stairs or be chased by one of us. He giggles, squirms, kicks, and simply can’t control his excitement as we bounce down the stairs with someone hot on our tail.
The first thing Henry insists on doing when he wakes up from a nap is looking at the baby monitor unit that has a night light and can play songs. He loves pushing all of the buttons and dancing to the lullabies.
Henry also loves snuggling with his stuffed animals. We got him a stuffed cat for his birthday that he especially loves. The sight of him hugging his stuffed animals with a big smile on his face is one of the cutest things ever.
Henry is fascinated with buttons and knobs. He could spend all day messing with the buttons on our stereo as he switches radio stations, adjusts the volume, and changes tracks on CDs. We’ve been having a hard time getting Henry to understand that there are certain buttons that it are OK for him to play with and ones that need to be left alone. He’s done hard shutdowns on our computers, the router, and printer due to his obsession with buttons.
Henry really dislikes having to quit an activity before he is ready to go. This is especially noticeable when we are at the park. I’ve found that I have to let him warm up to the idea of getting back in his stroller if I don’t want a back-arching tantrum from him. Henry also dislikes if he has to get back in his car seat after a quick errand to drop library books in the book drop or mail in the mailbox. It’s always better if he gets at least 10 minutes out of his car seat before having to go back in.
New This Month: This month we started doing some potty-training/elimination communication. One of the reasons for embarking on this journey so soon was to get to know Henry’s “potty dance”, and to help Henry become aware of and tune into the sensation of needing to go. We also want to get Henry to get used to going on a potty rather than in a diaper before he’s able to run away or hide behind furniture when he has to go. We aren’t expecting a fully potty trained toddler at this point. There have been several weeks this month where I haven’t been home with Henry to work with him on it so it’s all been really low-key. We give Henry time to sit on his potty every morning after he wakes up and again after breakfast for sure. Most mornings he goes in the potty at least once, if not twice, and has been successful with both peeing and pooping in the potty. I sign “potty” when he goes, and he signs “done” when he is finished. Unfortunately our schedule lately hasn’t allowed for much practice in the afternoons. Right now my primary focus is on building an association between the potty sign and needing to pee or poop.
Other Notes: We finally received a call back from one the daycare centers we were on the waitlist for after 18 months of waiting. Although everything was as close to perfect as it could have been (a good start date, option for full- or part-time, our top choice in day care centers, etc.), we decided to pass on the opportunity. We decided that the situation that we have now, with me staying home and Adam working, works well for our family. We get to have a lot of family time together in the evenings and on weekends, and don’t have the added stress from my job and trying to coordinate drop-off and pick-up times among our other plans.
Mama and Papa Update: Life only continues to get busier as Henry becomes more active and curious about the world. Although his desire to be right in on the action along with us can be overwhelming at times (i.e. dinner prep), it’s so much fun to watch him grow and learn new things. It’s amazing to see his changes from one day to next as he adds new skills to his repertoire. We still love the “groove” we have, and Adam has been doing a lot to make sure that I get help around the house and a little bit of “me time” everyday.