It feels like Amalia has grown up more this month than in any past month. Maybe it’s because she’s eating solid foods (not just purées) and looks so grown up doing it, maybe it’s because she’s standing up and crawling and try to escape her crib, and maybe it’s because her face has changed to look less like a baby and more like a little toddler. Either way, it feels like she’s more of a person and less of a baby. She cracks me up, and I feel connected to her now more than ever.
After a very brutal winter of multiple illnesses and ear infections, it feels like I can finally be calmer as a mother now and enjoy my time with her instead of worrying so much. And that’s a really nice feeling!
Nine months has always been my favorite age for babies, so I’m trying to soak up every second that I can now that I know how fast she’s growing up.
Milestones this month
Crawling: She can finally crawl after only army crawling for almost two months. That said, she prefers her scooting situation and only truly crawls once in a while. She’s pretty fast with the army crawl so her upper body strength is getting kind of insane.
Pulling to stand: One day I turned around to pet the dog and when I turned back she was not only standing up but pushing her V-Tech cube and taking a step. She did it all in one fell swoop apparently! She stands up in her crib so we had to lower it a few weeks ago after she almost toppled right out of it. So scary!
Clapping: She learned how to clap on our flight to Sarasota last week and had a whole audience saying “yay” back to her. She was loving the limelight, let me tell you. She then proceeded to start clapping during nap time at day care and got all of the other babies to start a clapping revolution to boycott their naps. We have a defiant little trouble maker on our hands!
Crawling to sitting: One morning I went in to get her up in the morning and she was sitting up in her crib. All of a sudden she had learned to go from laying down or crawling to sitting up. It’s crazy how one day she can’t do something and the next she’s a pro.
Another tooth: Her first two bottom teeth came in at five months and all of a sudden a third popped out on top a few days ago. The only sign of teething she showed this time around was drooling and chewing which was a nice change of pace from a very fussy first round. The tooth isn’t showing when she smiles yet, but it broke skin, so will be visible in photos soon!
THE BIGGEST LESSON I’VE LEARNED THIS MONTH
My biggest takeaway this month is that she is going to be ok. Whether she had to go on antibiotics for her ear infection (twice!) or fell off the bed (more on that below under “worst moment”) she was always ok at the end of it. That realization might sound obvious, but in the moment sometimes I get so worked up that I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Using the mantra, “She’s going to be ok” helps me stay cool as a cucumber in almost every situation now.
6:45am- Wake up, her wake up time seems to be creeping earlier each month but I’m hoping this is where it stops #fingerscrossed
7:00am- Feed 1- 7 oz of formula (plus probiotics and Vitamin D) and solids (usually eggs or oatmeal/yogurt with applesauce, and blueberries)
8:30am- Off to day care (on weekdays)
9:30am- Nap 1
10:30/11am- Wake up and hang out/play
11:30am- Feed 2- 7oz of formula and solids
1/1:30pm- Nap 2
1:30/2:30pm- Wake up and hang out/play/go for a walk until she gets hungry.
3:30pm- Feed 3- 7oz formula, no solids
5:30pm- Dinner time solids
6:30pm- Feed 4 (10 oz), then right to bed
The one big change we made to her schedule was that we now don’t give her solids right after her third feed. We’re trying to get her used to a “dinner time” around 5:30 based on advice from our pediatrician. She’s usually hungry at that time so it also makes bedtime go down a lot easier. She still drinks her full pre-bed bottle too!
The other change we made is that we re-sleep trained her after multiple sicknesses led to her being used to getting held and rocked when she woke up from coughing or from an ear ache. It took about five nights of letting her cry it out which was brutal. Amalia crying is a major trigger for my anxiety so I’d have to let Anel sit with the monitor while I took a shower or left the room. It physically hurts my body when she’s upset so those five nights were tough, but now she puts herself to sleep every night and doesn’t wake up at all until the morning which is amazing. She’s happier and more well rested, and it’s nice to have our nights back.
Amalia is a little spitfire. Her ever-spunky personality has taken a turn for the defiant which is both hilarious and challenging. I figured that I had at least another six months before I’d have to worry about saying no and disciplining my child but no, it has started already. She’ll look me dead in the eye and spit out her food or throw a book on the floor after I’ve told her not to multiple times. And she knows, trust me! Our doctor and daycare teachers have all emphasized that with a kid like her, we have to be strict and stick to our guns when it comes to disciplining.
If you have any book ideas or online resources for how to deal with this, let me know. In the meantime, Anel and I are just focused on being on the same page, not backing down when we say no and trying not to laugh when she’s naughty but it’s funny. That’s the hardest part!
Her favorite foods
She’s been eating a mix of puréed foods (either homemade or in pouch form) and finger foods. At her nine month check up the other day, our doctor let us know that by 12 months she should be off of purées entirely which is kind of a bummer because they’re so easy. She also encouraged us to feed her what we’re eating and to not make any special “baby foods” for her meals. I think her exact quote was, “I don’t want to hear about her having mac and cheese if you’re eating fish tacos!” I like that attitude and it also keeps things easier to make one dinner for the family even if it’s just modified for her.
Blueberries: We joke that Amalia’s eyes are so blue because of all the blueberries she consumes. They’re a great finger food for babies because they’re so easy to chew and the size is perfect. I gave them to her to try one day and it’s been no turning back since! At one point she was refusing all food except for blueberries, and her poop started to have a blueish tint. We nipped that problem in the bud and cut them out for a few days!
Bolognese: She is a true Italian just like her mama. This girl loves anything with red sauce but bolognese is her favorite, especially if I make it with turkey. Go figure! I usually give it to her plain, without any pasta.
Watermelon: I try not to give her too much fruit because of all the sugar but it’s so cute how much she loves it! I basically lived on watermelon when I was pregnant so her love for my favorite fruit is no surprise.
Sweet Potato: This was her first food and still one of her favorites. Instead of puréeing it, now I give it to her in cubes, steamed with a little salt and cinnamon.
Creamies: These Happy Baby snacks have an unfortunate name, but they’re a great consistency and flavor and made from freeze dried fruits and veggies only. They melt in her mouth so I never have to worry about her choking on them.
Yogurt: I mix plain, grass fed yogurt with other fruit purées or chopped up berries and sometimes ginger and cinnamon. She still loves it mixed with avocado and banana too. We do yogurt mixes for breakfast about twice a week. I don’t buy the flavored ones because they’re full of sugar. Mixing my own takes a little more time but it’s worth it!
Bamba: Our doctor suggested giving her Bamba peanut butter puffs for her first taste of peanuts because they’re so easy for her to eat. She loved them and when she sees the bag, she goes nuts. I had to stop buying them because we were both a little too obsessed!
HER FAVORITE THINGS
Boots- She’s still madly in love with her doggie. She won’t get out of bed in the morning unless he comes to greet her first! If he’s across the room, she’ll call him by yelling “Buh Buh!” until he comes to her. It’s so cute and I can’t wait to see how their relationship progresses as she grows older.
Bath Time– I wrote about it more in our bedtime routine post but bath time is one of her favorite times of day. This is a repeat from last month but it’s worth noting because she really loves bath time as evidenced here.
Books– If there is a toy and a book on the floor, she’ll go for the book every time. She obviously can’t read, but likes to hold them and turn the pages… and eat them! She pretty much always has a book in her hand as you can see by the photos in today’s post. I couldn’t get her to sit still without one!
Peek-a-Boo- She’s finally in the obsessed with peek-a-boo stage and can’t get enough of the game. She’ll hide behind anything… Her bib, a blanket, her shirt, basically whatever she can get her hands on. When she pops out and we act surprised, she cracks up every time. I don’t think it will ever get old.
Taking things out of baskets- A basket full of toys, or better yet books, is her life dream. She will sit for a full hour and just pull things out one by one to inspect them.
Favorite Clothing Brands
Gap Kids– Gap’s baby line is far and away our favorite. I think the quality is so good for the price, which is often majorly marked down, and they have the cutest patterns. We love their footed PJs too!
Old Navy– At day care, her clothes get wrecked, so we try to put her in more affordable pieces for school. Old Navy is a favorite. She wears their ruffled leggings almost daily (we have them in every color) and I love their simple cotton dresses that are often on sale for under $10.
Ralph Lauren– It’s definitely pricier but for things like my sister’s bridal shower last onth (she got this in pink) and the dress I bought for her school photos, Ralph Lauren makes the most beautiful baby clothes.
H&M– I forgot to mention this one last month, but H&M’s baby line has been our go to from day one. Their sizing is awesome (She lived in 0-1 month and 1-2 month sizes for a while at the beginning when nothing else fit correctly. The pricing is unreal too. They have the cutest dresses for $4.99!
I had her on my bed while I was folding laundry. She was in the center of the king sized mattress when I turned for a second to put something away. When I turned back I watched her dive headfirst, seemingly in slow motion right onto the ground. I picked her up and she cried for about two minutes before calming down. I felt around her head to see if she screamed in pain at any spots but she didn’t, so I knew she’d be ok. I felt like the worst mom in the whole world until I brought her to school that day and the teachers said, “Well, she’s officially a baby now!” Apparently this happens to every kid which made me feel a little better.
There was this moment on vacation with her last week when I felt so happy and complete. I was sitting on the edge of the pool while Anel held Amalia in the water and she kicked around and was laughing and splashing. All three of us were so happy and relaxed! When I was trying to desperately to get pregnant, I would imagine moments like this to keep myself hopeful, and to actually live it made me so full of joy and a hundred other emotions.