Saturday, January 11, 2014
Big Baby Steps!
The last couple of weeks have been very eventful in our home. The holidays were rough on Squeeker, although she did have fun opening all of her gifts and getting all of the attention. She seemed very pleased to be home again and settled into a comfortable routine quickly.
This routine, however, included a new form of entertainment. The likes of which included throwing her pacifier out of her crib during naps times and screaming as though she was being tortured to death until I went in and gave it back to her. She also started to reach for her pacifier more often, paying attention to where it was and being ten times more fussy if I took too long giving it to her when she was going down for a nap. I've had her down to only getting the pacifier at nap times and bedtime for months, but these signs made me decide to take the next big baby step and take the pacifier away for good. It has been five days and I am very happy with my decision. The first couple of days were difficult, namely nap times were filled with screaming herself to sleep and sleeping more irregularly. However, now she is starting to even out and understand nap time in a new way, as well as sleep her usual length of time again. A few weeks ago Squeeker started to reach for her stuffed animals and grow more attached to them, snuggling them and gabbering in her baby language to them. One of her stuffed animals in particular, the Scentsy Buddy 'Lenny the Lamb', has become her favorite and I think it made this transition away from the pacifier easier. I am grateful because I think it is cute to see her cope and find comfort in her "Lambie", plus I would much rather see her toting around a lamb stuffed animal than growing more and more fond of her pacifier. I am grateful that we used the pacifier when she was younger, it made public outings easier and taking naps in strange places easier, but it was becoming more of a burden than a help. I think overall it was the right time.
Apparently Squeeker decided that it was also the right time to start walking because she has now taken about 5 steps and is standing on her own often. We went to a baby movement/dance class for the first time this week and it will continue it for the next 11 weeks. I think that it helped her to see some bigger kids walking, as well as help her to become more excited about moving on her feet. They started with some simple ballet moves and more infantile forms of fun dances like "head, shoulders, knees, and toes". Squeeker loves music and dancing.
She also recently learned how to suck through a straw and has started to use her sippy cups more, as well as a new cup I bought her that came with a straw. I have started to transition her little by little to drinking some of her milk, like at lunch time and during snacks, out of these cups instead of using her bottles. I was talking to a friend, who had recently been advised by her son's pediatrician, to try to get rid of bottles completely by around 12 months of age. So, since we are rid of the binky, why not get rid of bottles in the next few weeks too?
I can't believe that my baby is 11 months old, those first few weeks of her life went agonizingly slow at times, with my uncertainty about how to best manage having a new baby and the debilitating exhaustion, but now I'm scared to close my eyes around her because I know I will miss something. I love witnessing her becoming more independent everyday.
On a very different note, Squeeker got some yeast on her bottom around the New Year's holiday and I didn't know what it was at first. I figured out that it was yeast by doing research online and then confirming with a nurse over the phone. The rash lasted for days without getting better or worse, not responding to the normal diaper rash cream I use. The nurse recommended an over the counter remedy, as aposed to getting a prescription for Nystatin. The cream I used was LotriminAF, an anti-fungal jock cream. I used that every 6-8 hours and it cleared up within three days. It was amazing and I didn't notice any adverse effects on the cloth diapers I used while the cream was on her bottom. I think it washed right out, or else I didn't use the cream enough to create a barrier on the diapers, which would result in them repelling water/not soaking as well as they should. I'm so grateful for modern remedies!
To conclude this post of taking big baby steps, Squeeker has been learning some words and I can tell that she understands me more and more. She says things like "uh-oh", "uh-uh" (sometimes while shaking her head vigorously, "hi", "Mama", and "Dada". I think she understands, or at least generally grasps the meaning of each of these terms. She definitely knows who Husband and I are and that we are "Dada" and "Mama". I love hearing her call me Mama, or point at pictures of me and say, "Mama" over and over again. With this further understanding, however, I feel that I am getting closer and closer to a point where I will have to start figuring out consequences for Squeeker. It isn't enough anymore to simply redirect her attention anymore because she keeps doing the same things I don't want her to do over and over again. I know that she understands that I don't want her to do them, so how can I further deter her? What kinds of punishments or consequences are fitting for babies her age? Squeeker is entering that abstract area between baby-hood and toddler-hood. I'm just not sure what to do with her sometimes. I guess that's why we have to take things in "baby steps".