Size Clothes: Starting to grow into 12 month stuff
Night Sleep: Big changes to report since last month!!! I had been getting Graham up every night to nurse him before I went to sleep in hopes that it would help him sleep better at night. On the nights that I didn't do that, he would wake up between 11:00 and 12:00 in addition to waking up around 3:00 a.m., so I just continued the "dream feed" because I didn't know how to break the habit and I was worried that dropping that meant he would wake me up at least two times every night. Right after Graham turned 11 months old, though, I talked to a sleep coach who gave me some tips for cutting the dream feed and the middle of the night feed. On April 1 we dropped the dream feed for good! It's hard to believe that it's already been three weeks since I've fed him before I went to bed, but it is so freeing. I'm happy to report that as of the night of April 16 we dropped the middle of the night feed! For the first couple of nights I went in and comforted him a couple of times during the night when he woke up, but as of April 18 he has slept all night without my help! I can hardly believe I am saying this since a month ago I felt like this was impossible, but I have now gone an entire week without feeding Graham between the hours of 7:30/8:00 p.m. and 6:15/6:45 a.m. It's still not a full 12 hours like a baby "should" be doing, but I am satisfied as this sleep schedule actually works well with the other kids' schedule. Friends, let me know if you want the contact info of the sleep coach that I used as I don't know that Graham (and I) would be sleeping this well without her advice and encouragement!
Naps: Graham’s naps have still been going fairly well. I made a few changes with these after talking to the sleep coach which I'm sure helped his night sleep. 1) I no longer nurse him before naps so that he doesn't associate sleep with nursing. Once in awhile I still have to nurse him before because our schedule will be thrown off (Sundays are hard since church is during nap time so basically everything looks different for nursing and napping on Sundays). 2) I moved up his morning nap a little bit as I was putting him down closer to 10:00 and now it's more like 9:15/9:30. 3) I no longer let him nap until he wakes up. He has a set nap window (with a little flexibility since our days don't always follow a rigid schedule), and even if it takes him awhile to fall asleep I still wake him from his naps at the same time (+/- 15 minutes). This helps keep him on a more predictable schedule for playing and eating. His morning nap is usually from about 9:30-11:30, and his afternoon nap is from about 2:00/2:30-3:30/4:00. Sometimes it takes him awhile to fall asleep for his afternoon nap, but he generally he 3-3.5 hours of naps each day. For me the morning nap is the most important since the big kids are in preschool three mornings a week and that is when I do work for my job, so the afternoon nap ends up being shorter.
Nursing: Because we dropped the dream feed and the middle of the night feed, Graham now nurses for about 35 minutes a day spread over four nursing sessions (morning, after each of his naps, and before bed) instead of the 1 hour of nursing spread over six nursing sessions that he was doing a month ago.
Solids: Some days Graham loves to eat and some days he doesn't. From what I've read this is fairly normal for babies, though. His current favorite foods are breakfast sausage, Chick Fil A grilled nuggets, vegan & gluten free mac n cheese, strawberries, grapes, and bananas. He also likes toast with butter, Coconut milk yogurt in a straw cup, baked chicken, gluten free chicken nuggets, blueberries, and a variety of baby food pouches. He hasn't been very interested in vegetables, so the pouches are an easier way to make sure he is eating those since it's a combination of fruits and vegetables. When I write out what he likes to eat it sounds like a lot of processed meats, but I am struggling a bit to find foods he CAN eat that he is excited about since I can't give him the standard gluten and dairy products that I give our other kids. So no judgment please :).
|I promise there was only ice left in my lemonade cup at this point, but he really wanted it ;)|
|Graham's first time eating dinner in the backyard. We love doing this during the spring since the weather is beautiful. In the summer it just gets too hot for this in ABQ.|
Food Intolerances: I’m using the “dairy ladder” to slowly introduce dairy into Graham’s diet. We started with baked in dairy for a few days, then we tried butter, and after that we tried milk in gluten free pancakes. Thankfully he did great with all of those foods! The next step was yogurt, though, and I only gave him a few bites but he ended up spitting up three times over the 24 hours after he ate it. It was just small amounts of spit up but, considering that he almost never spits up, I felt like that was a sign that his body wasn’t tolerating it well. Once I feel like that is no longer effecting him I plan to trial gluten. We will continue to give him the dairy products that he can tolerate and we'll try yogurt again in another month or two.
Cruising furniture: He's not doing this a ton, but he's definitely capable of it. He's just at that stage where it's still faster for him to get down and crawl to the other side of the couch than to cruise there.
|I don't have photos of him cruising furniture, but he also enjoys cruising on the motorcycle|
Walking while holding our hands: Depending on his mood, he can do about 10 steps this way.
Practicing standing without holding on: He is so proud when we catch him doing this!
Pulling up properly: He has finally figured out how to bend his leg and plant his foot on the ground to stand up instead of rolling over his toes. He has spent a lot of time practicing this and now he has it mastered.
|I don't think he's really using the window much here, but he can also let go completely for a few seconds|
No more army crawl: He now crawls on hands and knees 100% of the time.
|Because Graham is a much faster crawler now, the gate is up|
|He spends a lot of time watching the big kids through the gate if they take the time to move their toys into the other room|
Teeth: No new ones...still has front 8. Sometimes he grinds his teeth, which he thinks is funny, but it sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard to me 😬. He has been going through a biting phase so I keep thinking that other teeth will make an appearance soon! One day he even bit Faith on the cheek, which was both surprising and very painful.
Likes: Chasing a ball around the house with big siblings, playing outside on the trampoline (crawling on it, not jumping of course), being tickled, looking out the bedroom windows, looking at books, and just being outside.
|Jack was excited to have matching coats with Graham|
|Trying to stand up on the trampoline|
|A picnic at the zoo|
|He can actually sit and look at books for quite awhile|
|With his friend Peregrine|
|With his friend Max|
Speech: Graham says “ball” whenever he’s playing with a ball. He signs “more” when eating, which looks like a clap or he makes one hand into a fist and one hand is flat, and it’s super cute. He is suddenly much more vocal when he is mad or frustrated as he seems to have figured out that crying and making a lot of noise gets a response (I think he learned that from his big siblings!).
Places he’s been: We haven’t been getting out much so nothing new to report here. He did get to ride in a grocery cart a few times this month and he also got a new convertible car seat so we are no longer using the infant bucket seat.
First Easter: Graham got an Easter basket with a few goodies, although the chocolate bunny wasn't really for him. We enjoyed an Easter Service at our church followed by cinnamon rolls, bacon, and mimosas and then Easter egg hunts for all of the kids under 10 (they did three separate hunts so Graham only had to compete with other babies, which was hilarious since none of them really understood the concept).
|Graham read the ingredients right away and realized he couldn't eat the bunny...maybe next year!|
|Alexis, Faith, Graham, and Jack|
|Church photo booth after the egg hunts|
Things he does to make us smile: Our whole family just adores Graham, so pretty much everything he does makes us smile!
On Graham's birthday I asked the big kids, "What do you like best about having a baby brother?"
Alexis: Cuddling him
Jack: Playing swords
Faith: Getting slobbery hugs
|At the zoo|
|Alexis reading him a book|
|Our family band singing for Grammy's birthday|
Graham's First Birthday
We had a very low-key birthday celebration with our family. We had dinner in the backyard, during which Graham whined until I gave him some of my chicken sausage which he apparently really wanted! The other kids think it's too spicy so I didn't think Graham would like it, but apparently he has very different tastebuds than they do. After dinner we arranged the cupcakes into a "1" just like we did when our other kids turned 1 and took photos, we all helped Graham open a few presents, we sang Happy Birthday, and then Graham got to eat his first ever cupcake (which was of course dairy, soy, and gluten free). He seemed to enjoy it, although I'm not sure how much he actually ended up eating.