Toddler, Baby and Me: The Nine Month Update

toddler and 9 month baby blog

I genuinely thought that I would be able to kick this post off with some amazing news; the day after I wrote about Ted’s persistent night-wakings, I implemented some changes and he had the most restful night he’s had for months. I think that he perhaps only woke once between 11pm and 5am, which is very good going for us. Yes! I thought. My reverse-jinxing has worked! 

Not so, unfortunately because then last night we had one of the worst times we’ve had in months. Every ninety minutes and completely awake from 1.30am-4.30am, batting me in the face with his arms and generally being the most wide-awake person the world has ever seen.

Who knows what tonight will bring? I’m trying to get this written up in good time for me to go to bed straight after his 11pm feed and so let’s get on with it – the 9 month baby and body update. With, of course, news from Angelica, who is now two years and four months old.

toddler and 9 month baby blog

Toddler

Angelica is just funnier and funnier by the week. I look forward to everything that she does and says, and the first few moments when I see her in the morning are one of the best parts of the day. She’s nearly always cheery, but even when she’s not I can’t resist that warm, clammy little face and the half-finished sentences she babbles on with.

I shouldn’t really say “babbles” because she’s quite eloquent. I don’t know where she’s picked up her posh voice from, but she pronounces things in such a precise way. It’s so brilliant being able to have little conversations – I can’t imagine, now, what it was like having to just sit and say things at her, with very little back in the way of recognition or sensible response. Or actually, I can imagine, because I’m going through the same thing with Ted!

I love the way she’s so strong-minded about things that she wants to do and wear and eat. It can be a bit of a battle, but it’s a fun battle for the most part. A constant process of negotiation. There’s a massive element of her having to do what we want to do, or eat what we want her to eat, obviously – who’s the adult here?! – but I like watching what she does when I ask her to pick out her clothes for the day, and I like listening to her coming out with all the activities she wants to do.

toddler and 9 month baby blog

Potty training is no more advanced than last month really – perhaps we’ve managed to get her on it a little more during the day, but the main times that she uses it are in the morning after waking, before and after her nap and then before bedtime. Which is entirely our fault, because I think we need to take the plunge and go the full monty with taking the nappies away, but we haven’t been brave enough yet. We keep making the excuse that we have a load of other stuff going on, and I suppose we have (another imminent house move, more on that later when we exchange contracts!, frequent night-wakings, no nanny, a complete change of scenery) but still. Until we go to the next step and make her want to use the potty each time, I think we’ll be stuck in limbo a bit.

Angelica’s favourite foods: pizza, fishfingers, peas, carrots, chips, blueberries, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, “bear claws” (those pressed fruit shapes in little packets that cost about £7,000,000 per box), houmous, cucumber, mature cheddar, ham, crumpets, yoghurt, Mini Milk ice lollies.

Angelica’s favourite toys: her wooden foods, her pink Ikea table and chair, her dolly (was my dolly when I was little, has survived very well!), her wooden tool kit from the charity shop, Ted’s Jumperoo. (She likes to turn the music on and dance to it.)

Angelica’s favourite activities: dancing to the Jumperoo, going to the Old Park (Victoria Park in Bath, with loads of playgrounds in one park), going to Sainsbury’s, watching Dora the Explorer, playing catch with the stuffed reindeer.

toddler and 9 month baby blog

Baby

Ted’s month has been overshadowed by the night wakings, I’m afraid. Most days I’ve just been so preoccupied with how tired I am that I probably haven’t noticed a lot in terms of developments, though I think that he must have just had a huge growth spurt as he’s suddenly out of his old sleepsuits. But he’s interacting a lot more and responding to sounds and words that are specifically directed at him – he absolutely loves Angelica and breaks into a smile whenever she’s near to him.

He’s now chomping on things that he holds in his fists as I try to shovel in spoonfuls of Ella’s Kitchen – clumps of broccoli, slices of carrot, chunks of strawberry and cheese and toast and crumpet. He loves natural yoghurt with a bit of fruit puree and he’s partial to a pizza crust to gnaw on as well as bits of breadstick, though a lot of stuff just ends up dribbled down his front and pooled in the bottom of his bib.

I’m still breastfeeding, but we try and do a bottle of formula every day just to top things up. In all honesty, I’m not sure that this has been a great idea, because I’m sure it has messed with my supply and we are so haphazard about when he gets the bottle. Next week I’m going to write down a proper routine (I say this every Friday) and try to stick to it. Although I’m away for work a few times next week, so he will have to have a bottle then anyway. No overnights, still, and I can’t see those happening for a while yet either.

toddler and 9 month baby blog

Ted isn’t a great breastfeeder – he’s very distracted and tends to latch on and be quite violent until the milk comes in, at which point he pulls off and lets it shoot around the room. This is almost every time. I don’t know whether I feed him too much (it’s still a bit on demand, though I think I misread lots of cues) or if the let-down is too strong, but it’s a lot of wasted milk. Bloody hell. Doesn’t he know how precious it is?! There are whole bars of chocolate that go into making the stuff!

toddler and 9 month baby blog

He’s sitting very well and rarely wobbles or topples, and he’s crawling backwards. I don’t know whether that’s because we have a shiny parquet floor here in our temporary abode, or he’s just decided that’s the way things will be. But he’s very strong on his feet and likes to stand and be walked forward. I do wonder whether he will walk early, or be a late walker like Angelica. Only time will tell! He’s such a dote – so cute – and on the mornings when I’m not absolutely done in, I love just chatting nonsense to him for ages lying in bed. If truth be known, I’ve quite enjoyed our bits of co-sleeping, where I curl around him and rest his little feet on the tops of my thighs and have his little warm head right next to my face. Sometimes he cracks me one right in the nose with his fist, which is always exciting when I’m dozing comfortably, but mostly it’s a lovely, close experience. I just don’t sleep properly if he’s there! Slight problem, when the whole point of being in bed during the night is to – er – sleep.

Body

Goodness only knows how I’ve lost weight, but it seems I have. Breastfeeding must burn more calories than my one can of full fat coke a day that I treat myself to (terrible, I know, I’m stopping next week!) and my Magnum ice lolly in the evening. I’m slimmer, but I’m definitely not healthier, and as soon as we get this house move done, I’m cracking out the cookbooks and totally revamping the whole family’s diet. Enough is enough! I’m going to print out ten recipes and have some sort of loose meal plan so that if we are all tired I don’t resort to easy, bad choices.

Nothing else of note, body-wise, unless you count the fact that my ears have just pricked up because Ted’s monitor has come on! He’s crying, so I had better go on up and see to him. Did I mention this is his first night in his own room? I’ve cleared out my office at the back of the house (office/dumping ground) and we have put the cot in there. It has no neighbours behind walls, so I’m hoping that I will feel less inclined to jump to attention for the smallest cry. Perhaps he’ll get himself back to sleep for some of the smaller times he wakes up. Wish me luck!

You can read Angelica’s 9 month baby update in the archives here, if you’re interested in comparing.

The outfits in these photos were very kindly sent from gorgeous kids’ clothing brand Tobias & The Bear. It’s the Peanuts collection, which you can find online here.

 

*© 2017 The Uphill®: *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. All opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. "The Uphill" and "Ruth Crilly" are registered trademarks.

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17 Comments

  1. Ange
    November 4, 2017 / 10:34 am

    Aww I feel for you, it’s horrible being so tired. I wouldn’t beat yourself up about the formula at different times, I don’t think it will do any harm. If your supply feels low it may be because you’re so tired which is understandable. I find that mine tends to be low if I haven’t eaten enough during the day too, so never give up the magnums! Also I think persevering with the day napping will help, I have to try and settle mine at least 3 times before she’ll go to sleep, I don’t get her out but just go to her when she properly starts crying. I give her the 3 chances and if she doesn’t settle, she mustn’t be ready for a nap yet. Now by the third time she tends to fall asleep and if she doesn’t I check her nappy, feed her and start again! I also find she will only nap if I’m not in the room to distract her while she’s falling asleep, maybe that’s something to try? You sound as though you need to have some time for yourself, guilt free, even if it’s just to do something really mundane like shopping in peace or a bath with he door shut. Don’t worry if the other half has struggled while you weren’t there because you have things you may struggle with too so it’s only the same. As soon as I got that on my head it was amazing. Obviously what works for me might be absolute rubbish for someone else but you never know! Nevertheless you’re doing an amazing job because you have a happy, healthy boy, that’s surely the main thing.

    • Ange
      November 4, 2017 / 10:35 am

      Also calpol if he’s teething! Forgot to say that (baby brain!)

    • November 4, 2017 / 11:36 am

      Thank you so much Ange, great points about the other half/guilt. x

  2. Lydia
    November 4, 2017 / 11:03 am

    Hi Ruth, just an idea: if you’re really not ready to stop breastfeeding, but at the same time Ted makes it so hard for you, you can consult a lactation expert (IBCLC). They are not only for in the beginning of lactation, but can also help with the drinking technique of babies Ted’s age! Good luck and a hug from Amsterdam

    • November 4, 2017 / 11:35 am

      Good idea! I hadn’t really thought of that for this stage!

  3. November 4, 2017 / 11:21 am

    I really look forward to these updates as I can relate so much. And get reminded of so much like the interrupted nights which prevents me from wanting a third one, ha!

    • November 4, 2017 / 11:34 am

      Haha!! Ruth’s Free Contraception! : )

  4. Michelle
    November 4, 2017 / 1:44 pm

    I can really relate to the nap battle! I never thought my little one would nap for more than 40mins, which involved me rocking and feeding or pushing him about in the pram. Now he’s fast asleep for his daily 2 hour nap and all the babies I know, no matter how rubbish their sleep was, did get there in the end so I’m sure Ted will too. Doesn’t help at this hellish bit though so I do really sympathise – the lack of sleep takes over your life.

    I’m rambling on again but what I really wanted to say was how lovely those pictures are! Getting pictures of two children together is so hard! My 3.5 year old won’t let me take a picture with a ‘proper’ camera as he wants to use it… Camera phone it is then!

  5. Bethany
    November 4, 2017 / 2:24 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now but have never commented before. I found it while I was pregnant with my third son , who was born in January. So all the baby updates have been pretty close to what I’ve been going through as well !
    I am telling you , I totally get the exhaustion. My son Andrew started off sleeping amazingly well. Sleeping for 8 hour stretches at night starting at 1 month ! I was grateful but skeptical that it would continue. Sure enough around 4 months it all started to go haywire and it still is. He’s up every couple of hours throughout the night and I have resorted to cosleeping. I co slept with my other two , but really wanted my own space with this baby. I keep checking your blog to see if you’ve had any sleeping breakthroughs and hoping it’ll happen for me too. It is a phase , but it’s so hard to feel like you are going through your life not at your best. That’s how I feel at least !
    Just wanted to say hello and let you know I have really enjoyed your blog. 🙂

  6. Gill
    November 4, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Hi Ruth, this is exactly where i was almost a year ago with my then 9 month old. Sleeping with him in the spare room, rocking and singing him back to sleep every hour that he woke up. I felt like a zombie during the day, and would count down the hours till my husband would get home from work to take over. We eventually did the ferber method of controlled crying it out, and within a few nights had a baby that would sleep 11 hours straight plus a two hour nap. While the couple of nights were hard, we never looked back and it literally changed our lives. We have baby number two now, three weeks old today, and ill be ferberizing him too as soon as he gets to 6 months. Best of luck, and thanks for all your witty and truthful blogs. Theres been many a night at 2am, 3am,5am etc that ive read them during the lonely night feeds.

  7. Claire L
    November 5, 2017 / 4:57 am

    Beautiful photographs of the children! It’s quite normal for potty training toddlers to regress during big changes so you’re doing the right thing by delaying Angelica’s potty training especially as you’ll be moving again soon. I personally haven’t gone for potty training but potty learning in where it’s entirely child-led. There’s a very wide age range for children to learn to use the toilet, medical intervention isn’t necessary until the child is well into 4 years old. Most children will successfully learn to use the potty/toilet in the daytime without accidents between 3-4 years old although they do sometimes show interest in wanting to use a potty at about 1 and a half to 2 and a half, not all will be actually ready or be able to use one. Night time nappies are still needed until about 5-6 years old when a hormone controlling the bladder at night starts to be produced.

  8. Jemima
    November 6, 2017 / 1:15 pm

    My one word of advice about potty training is: WAIT.

    I think it supposed to be much easier with girls anyway, but also much easier when they are over ready. My daughter is the same age as Angelica, and she does the same – loves to use her potty when she pleases. But I think next summer, when she can get her bottom out around the house, we will go cold turkey with nappies. Because I am sure she will be super ready by then.

    My son was over 2.5 when he showed he was ready, but oh dear, it was the most stressful time I have encountered so far! Especially as I had a very wakeful baby daughter at the time, and sleep deprivation and a son who started to hold in his poo was not a winning combination! They’re all different though!

    I am not surprised by how tired you are. You are doing marvellously well, by the sounds of things. Getting yourself and your children dressed, and managing to work as well. I run my own business and find is so hard to get motivated to do stuff in the evenings, which, as all mothers with young children know, is the only time you have to yourself! I am usually in bed by 9:30pm!

    Hope the house hunting is going well. X

  9. Elise
    November 9, 2017 / 3:37 pm

    Ruth, you are a queen, and doing much better than anybody would hope to under the circumstances.
    About potty training: I thought my older son would never stop wearing diapers. He was taking the piss even, looking at us straight in the eyes and saying “Now I’m pooping in my pants”. We even turned it into a rap song (“I’m a three year-old man / poopinmypants yeah / tiny but stinky / I’m cute but my butt’s itchy “) because after a while it was that or crying each time one of us had to change his diaper (and as you know, after a certain age, they do poop like adults).
    My husband was obsessed with it, and his (Romanian) mother would use the Romanian word for potty (olita, pronounce “o-li-tsa”, in case you’re ever lost in Romania and need a potty) every 3 seconds on Skype, telling us how her kids were potty trained by the time they turned one, how we were bringing shame, no less, to the family, etc. Mind you, it did add a nice little chorus to our rap song (“Olita is for losers/ I’m a little crapper” ; insert backing vocals).
    One of the teachers at his nursery, bless her, told us something like : “Maybe don’t focus on potty training so much; he senses your frustration, a lot has been going on in his life (moving houses and countries, having a little brother), he’ll get there eventually. You could try and help him get dressed and undressed on his own, that could help him feel in control of something relating to his body”. And it did. We stopped talking about it, held our breaths (and our tongues) when changing his diapers, taught him how to put his socks and pjs on and off by himself. The little bugger potty trained himself overnight, literally. He just went there, did his thing, that was it. No bedwetting, nothing. Well, he was three and three months old, so it was about time.
    Angelica will get there, eventually. And she is, literally, stinking cute.

  10. Andressa
    November 9, 2017 / 8:22 pm

    Hi, I can totally relate, I used to make changes to my daughters routine all the time as I was trying to find out what I was doing wrong. I was so sleep deprived that I almost fainted with my baby in my arms and had chills and a fever in my worst day. I never done controlled crying as I could not agree with it (felt it was cruel) thinking back there was nothing wrong but there are a few things that I think made a difference: put my baby to sleep in her own room was the change that made the biggest improvement in her sleep. The other one was unfortunatelly stopping breastfeeding. I stopped for a medical reason at 9 months (before anyone judges) but It did make life a bit easier. maybe because she was feeding a full bottle rather than having snacks all day. Other thing is having a set routine for bath time as they learn to know what to expect! Every baby is different though so you need to find what will work for you and for him!

  11. Sadie
    November 13, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    Hi Ruth, have you ever tried Weleda Chamomilla Granules? We used them for my eldest when he was teething and my 5 month old when she was a very unsettled newborn… and they have suddenly come in useful for resettling the baby overnight.

    A bit like with you the baby had suddenly started waking multiple times overnight and I had taken to feeding her back to sleep every time, partly because I was conscious of my sleeping toddler and partly I admit because I was just so tired I wanted to get back to sleep myself asap! A few nights ago at her first waking I tried the granules and she went straight back to sleep for a couple of hours – no cuddling/picking up/feeding at all, just the granules… So using them I’ve been able to get her back to one bigger night feed which is meaning that everything is rebalancing and she’s feeding more during the day and getting more sleep at night. Fingers crossed it will keep working until she forgets the habit of waking. Might be worth a try!

    • November 13, 2017 / 1:47 pm

      Thank you, I shall look into this! x

  12. Jenny
    November 13, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    Hi, the night waking sounds such hard work. I bought an online sleep package for my daughter from Little Ones which worked so well. I’m in no way affiliated with the company and can only vouch for my experience but it really did make a difference for us. If you think you are able to follow a routine (I am not judging BTW, I just know people have different parenting styles) then this is a good one.

    My daughter is by no means a perfect sleeper! We had a bad-ish night last night ourselves. I have stopped Breastfeeding now which I felt sad about but formula plus solids equals solid blocks of sleep (for us anyway). Not such fun poos though Good luck!

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