Baby Girl is 11 months next week. 11 months!!
At nine months, I read a post over on Circus Queen (a beautifully written blog by the lovely @AdeleJK) about The Second Nine Months. A theory suggesting it takes you nine months to ‘grow a baby’ & nine months for you both to detach from each other. By nine months, your baby can sit, probably crawl, feed themselves (albeit with a great deal of mess); they’re curious & into everything. In short, their world is expanding beyond just you & they’re loving it.
This theory made a lot of sense to me. A few people I know said at nine months it was like a fog lifted. Suddenly, things felt easier; them & baby seemed to have found a rhythm together at long last.
This didn’t happen for me.
Nine months was awful. Not only was it the run up to Christmas, in which we spent three days each week in a different part of the country running round seeing various members of the family, which probably didn’t help; but also, Leap 7 hit. And it hit hard. Baby Girl was no longer sleeping. She was clingy, fussy, frustrated by everything. And finally around the nine month mark I realised I couldn’t go on with so little sleep anymore & we started gentle sleep training. Then the OH got the most horrendous flu over New Year & then finally, Baby Girl had flu around ten months.
This fabled second nine months appeared to have passed us by. It seemed to me nine to ten months was hard & not getting easier. Yet everything & everyone suggested it should be.
My only light at the end of the tunnel was The Wonder Weeks app, telling me, as it always does, that she was in a leap & that it would end. In mid January. Which felt so far away…
But about a week before the end of Leap 7, everything did indeed change for us. Baby Girl started sleeping through most nights. She was happy again, eating vast amounts of food & happy to play on her own whilst I made a cup of tea. And just like that, the fog began to lift.
Which, just confirms to me that The Wonder Weeks is in fact genius. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; I think Baby Girl gets up in the night & has a sneaky peak at what’s coming just to make sure she’s ticks all the boxes in the next leap. Because it’s that accurate.
Baby Girl is still a bit clingy; she seems more aware of where I am when we’re at playgroup & wants more cuddles than she did between six and nine months. But I don’t mind the cuddles. Unless I need to empty the dishwasher, or put the laundry away, or get out of the house. Then it gets a bit tricky.
And with sleeping through the night, she has now decreased her naps to a single 40 minute slot. At six months she moved to a two hour nap at midday of her own accord & It was brilliant. Midday, on the dot, every day, I knew I would have two hours. It’s been an adjustment the past few weeks coming to terms with the fact I have 40 minutes from 7 til 7 every day & that’s my lot. But also trying to find ways to fill the time & keep Baby Girl busy & stimulated. All new territory.
But then there’s the days like last Tuesday, when I woke up feeling rough with a runny nose & a headache. I sat in the arm chair & watched Baby Girl play as she held up different toys for me to look at then went back to playing on her own. Then played peek-a-boo over the coffee table with me from a far, then went back to playing on her own. Just leaving me to drink my tea peacefully. It was like she could sense I wasn’t 100%.
Her personality in the last month has really started to shine through. We can see the little person she’s starting to become rather than just the little baby she is. She’s absolutely desperate to communicate with us, staring earnestly into our eyes as she babbles away then waits for a response as if speaking as clearly as the Queen herself.
While writing this, I asked the OH if he had any examples of how Baby Girl has changed, any nice anecdotes he’d like to share. The grand total of his input is, “she’s more playful”. And this is why I write the blog & he does not. Let me elaborate.
For instance, she’s learning to walk in her own, unique way:
- She’s able to point. I can’t tell you what a relief this is. Suddenly we’re not second guessing what she wants or needs but following her lead.
- She can shake her head for ‘no’. And does so a lot. Like when it’s time to get out of the bath & she lies down in the water. Or at nap time.
- Baby Girl is so cheeky! She’ll sit patiently & wait for you to look at her, smile & then start doing whatever it is she knows she’s not supposed to do. Like stick her fingers in plug sockets. Or chew the iPhone charger.
- She has six teeth & a seventh on it’s way.
- She can feed herself. (Also known as smearing food all over her face & throwing the bowl on the floor – but I’m told this is classed as learning to feed herself.)
- She can drink from a sippy cup & even hold it herself at long last. Although she’s lazy and often points to the cup, then just tips her head back & opens her mouth like a baby bird knowing full well you can do it for it. Clever girl.
- She absolutely loves music. We’ve put the radios on the floor in every room now & she’s learned how to turn them on & off. So she can play music wherever she goes. And she loves it. She even does a little dance, rocking back & forth or waving her arms side to side & clapping. Whether it’s the radio, the music on her walker or me singing, as long as there’s a song playing, she’s in her element.
- She can identify well known objects. One of our favourite games at the moment is ‘Where’s Sophie?’. She’s had Sophie the Giraffe since before she was born & has always been fond of her. We’ve always called her Sophie & now if you ask Baby Girl, ‘Where’s Sophie?’ she’ll go looking for her. (Though her attention span is short so if you hide her too well she loses interest & goes & turns on the radio.)
Baby Girl is already wearing 12-18m clothes due to her long legs (not sure where she’s got them from…) & though I am enjoying the wider range of choice of clothes (Hi, I’m Amie, I’m a baby clothes shopaholic…) I felt a pang of sadness being in the toddler section of Baby Gap last week or the ‘Under 5s’ area in Next rather than Baby. Times, they are a’changing.