The past month has been a blur. It has been a month full of firsts. It has been exciting and tiring and amazing and stressful all at the same time. Here is a run down of all of the developmental milestones Leo has accomplished in five short weeks.
Sitting Up. Leo started sitting up with the support of his arms while we were on vacation at the end of August. He teetered a bit for a few weeks, but his balance was getting better everyday. All of a sudden one day I check the baby monitor to see if he had fallen asleep and I see him sitting up in his crib! My first thought was, “how did he do that?” followed by, “he’s still awake!”. Ever since then he goes from crawl to sit like a pro. It’s amazing to see how strong and independent he is becoming!
Solid Foods. We started Leo on solid foods right after Labor Day. I pureed a few things like strawberries, blueberries, and sweet potatoes, but I chose to introduce Leo to solids using mainly the Baby Led Weaning approach. As a Montessori teacher, this approach seemed so natural – encouraging baby to fed himself by providing safe and appropriate foods in forms that they can handle. Practical Life at its best! We eat breakfast and lunch together and dinner as a family. For the most part Leo eats whatever we are eating as long as it is big enough for him to grab and soft enough for him to mush with his gums (no teeth yet). Leo’s first solid foods were a spear of zucchini and a slice of red pepper. He loves bananas, peaches, plums, avocados, applesauce, cottage cheese, yogurt, fresh mozzarella, beef/turkey patties, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes, both red-skin and sweet. I’m still working on introducing more protein and grains. I will detail our adventures in Baby Led Weaning in a separate post.
Crawling. Leo started to army crawl during our August vacation. By the time we got back home he had really gotten the hang of it. Now, I was thinking that he might stick with the army crawl for a while, but nope. He started rocking back and forth while on his hands and knees, which my mother-in-law said is common for babies to do before they start to crawl. And sure enough, just last week, after taking only a few “strides” up until that point, he started crawling. Now he’s all over the place. He even went for the stairs the other day. I sat next to him and watched as he tried to scale up the bottom two stairs. Time to bust out the baby gates and clear off the low furniture because he’ll be trying to pull himself up soon enough.
Parent and Tot Classes. Leo turned six-months-old just five days before the Fall session of Parent/Tot swim class was scheduled to start at our local YMCA. The timing was perfect! The class focuses on water safety and teaches us parents ways to help our little ones feel comfortable in the water. We practice everything from blowing bubbles and floating to how to get in and out of the pool safely. The class if for children ages six months to 3 years old, so a lot of the skills we practice are a bit advanced for him, but the instructor helps us with modifications. We hope to take swim class every fall as a family until he’s old enough to join the bigger kids.
We also started going to storytime at our local library at the beginning of September. Every Tuesday afternoon we go for half an hour of stories and songs with about a dozen other babies and their parents/caregivers. Leo loves playing with the scarves and egg shakers. He especially loves when the one librarian brings out his guitar. It’s nice for me too because it gives me a chance to meet other moms that I normally wouldn’t. Sometimes being a stay-at-home-mom can be lonely, so it’s nice to share stories and experiences with other mothers.
Swing. I took Leo to the park to ride in the toddler swings for the first time just a few weeks ago. He looked so small when I first put him in the bucket seat. I pushed him ever so lightly. Back and forth he went and it wasn’t long before he started to smile and giggle. He loved it! After a few minutes I strapped him back into our Ergobaby and took him over to the big swings. With him strapped in on my lap we rode on the swing together. It reminded me of the scene in “I am Sam” where Sam and Lucy are swinging together. I hadn’t been on a swing in so long (well, more like a few years). I think I had more fun then he did.
Solo Parenting. This was a first for me. My husband had to go out of town for work for three days so I had my first run at solo parenting. It was just me, Leo, and the dog. The first day wasn’t so bad because I don’t really see my husband before he goes to work anyway, he leaves so early. But by the time 4:00 p.m. rolled around, the day was starting to feel long. Although our routine was the same – wake up, breakfast, play, nap, errands, lunch, play, nap, play, dinner, bath, bed – I missed having an adult to talk at the dinner table. And I definitely missed vegging out in front of the TV with my husband after Leo was in bed. It was a long three days, but they went by fast. Needless to say, I was very happy to have my husband home that weekend.
I know that babies grow and develop a lot in the first year. They go from helpless newborns to toddlers that can walk, feed themselves, and sometimes say a word or two. But this past month, phew, it’s like every time I look at Leo I think to myself, “When did you get so big?”. Each time I see a newborn it reminds me that not so long ago that was my son, so small and new and helpless. Like I said before, this month has been a blur. I can’t wait to see all of the new skills he will learn over the course of the next few months (I keep telling my husband, I think he will be walking by Christmas). Watching this tiny human that was once growing inside me come into his own is an amazing sight. I got to say, I’m loving this mom gig, even if it is kicking my ass!