My one year old (!!!) is finally down for his first nap of the day and I can type without Squish trying to reach for my laptop. If you’re as obsessive about your child’s development as I am, you notice a lot of restrictions ease up at the 12-month mark. You don’t have to worry about SIDS as much (although Max started regularly co-sleeping with us at 5 months) or food restrictions (like honey, eggs, and dairy). It’s so ingrained in mothers from older generations too—a lot of times, my mom will say that we should wait until he’s a year old to do certain things.
I guess that’s why it’s such a momentous occasion for so many people. Here in our country, people spend hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions!) of pesos for first birthday parties. Sometimes, it’s likened to throwing a wedding. My mom wanted us to throw something similar for Squish, but I couldn’t get myself to spend so much money on a day that Squish won’t remember. So we opted for small gatherings with different groups instead of one big party. So far, Squish has blown candles on four birthday cakes and he’s scheduled to blow one on one last cake this Sunday. Hehe. We’re glad that we did it this way because Squish really got to spend time with our friends/family in each gathering. We’ll save the big party for when he’s older and expresses the desire for one.
The first year of your child’s life is when they develop the fastest. There were days when Squish felt like he was a different baby after every nap. He was changing so quickly! Now that we’re at the end of that first year, I don’t think he really exhibited anything completely new this month, but he’s building on what he’s learned from the past months.
He’s still talking a lot! But now he really converses with us! He’ll choose a syllable (Ma, Da, Ta, or Pa) and repeat it with different tones and intonations if you talk to him. Sometimes, it’s almost a sentence long, sometimes, it’s like a paragraph! It’s very cute! He’s most talkative in the morning when he wakes up. That’s actually how I know that he’s ready to start the day. He’ll stir, try to breastfeed, and then he’ll emerge from latching with a speech. It’s like he’s telling me everything he dreamt of that night. He’s also really talkative when he thinks you’re not paying attention to him. When I’m on my phone or watching a TV show, that’s how he chooses to engage with me.
While I don’t really understand what his sentences/paragraphs mean yet, it’s amazing how he can clearly communicate his thoughts and desires! When he’s playing and he wants to nap, he’ll come to me and hug me and put his head on my shoulder. When he’s walking around and he gets tired, he’ll stop and hug my legs. He’ll point at the things that he wants. He’ll laugh when he thinks you’re being silly. He’ll even laugh on cue when Mikey and I are laughing at something, like he’s in on the joke too. And the communication goes both ways, because he seems to understand us too! When I ask him to put things in certain places, he usually does it. Or when I tell him to come with me, he’ll drop everything and follow me. He also follows dance moves on Sesame Street! He’ll clap when Elmo sings if you’re happy and you know it and he’ll follow along Elmo and Ernie’s Pat-a-cake! He also added a new move to his twinkle twinkle little star routine—he now makes a diamond shape with his hand when you sing the line like a diamond in the sky. It’s so cool!
A cute thing he’s been doing with ANYTHING that fits in his hand is pretending that it’s a telephone. I am guilty of using my cell phone all the time when I’m with him, so he knows what it is already. Anytime anyone says hello, he’ll put his palm on his ear and start babbling. My mom gave him a small radio remote control and he pretends that it’s a cellphone all the time. Sometimes, it’s a foam block or a shoe or a spoon.
I think we’re failing though in making him understand what NO means. Hahaha. Because a lot of times, I think he sees it as an exciting prelude to getting what he wants. And he knows when you’re going to say NO. He loves playing with stickers and sticking them on the wall. Another thing that he loves doing is eating them. Or at least he pretends to eat them! He’ll look at me with a sticker on his finger, he’ll slowly bring the sticker close to his mouth, and as soon as I say “NO, Max!”, he’ll pull the sticker away and giggle. He will do this a couple of times until I finally take the sticker away. He also does this when he gets close to nooks that he’s not allowed to go into.
The few days before he cuts a tooth, he will become very quiet and clingy. He’ll want me close by whenever he’s playing and it becomes a bit harder to feed him. It’s not a dramatic change, but I only really notice it when the tooth is out and he’s back to his normal kulit self again. But I do notice him squeezing his cheeks in more. At this point, he has two upper teeth and two lower teeth. Teething is tough. I wish I would take away all of his pain.
He shuffles from frenzy playing (which is basically going around and examining whatever catches his attention) to more focused playing (where he plays with the same object for an extended period of time). I’ve been reading up on the Montessori philosophy and Max is already showing interest in a lot of the recommended activities for toddlers. I don’t want to go all out and buy new things, so we’re working with what we already have. His favorite is a long plastic cube here he can slide in small wooden shapes into. It’s pretty cool to watch his attention span develop. But apart from that, he’s also in a packing and unpacking phase. He’ll unpack all the toys in a box and repack it. If it’s something he can take with him, he’ll carry boxes, bowls, or bags full of his toys around the house with him. He will then unpack it in different locations. Our home is so messy. Hahaha. But it’s going to get messier soon because there are 12-months-and-up art materials that I’m excited to dive into! Sorry Mikey!
Lately, his naps have been a bit erratic. He can’t really nap if there are other people in the room or if we’re out (unless he’s hours overdue for that nap). There are days when he drops his afternoon nap and he’s just wound up all night. But unless he’s teething, his night time sleep seems to be smoother. Even when he wakes up in the middle of the night, it’s not hard to get him to sleep again. Sometimes, all I have to do is hug him and he’ll fall asleep. But I’ve really enjoyed watching him sleep. He looks like his infant self when he’s asleep and he’s so toddler like these days that so it’s truly a treat for me.
Now that we’re done with the first year (huhuhu), I’m not sure how much progress he will be making at each month’s mark anymore. A lot of the weekly/monthly development websites stop at 12 months/52 weeks and jump to the second year. So I have to figure out a meaningful way to document Squish’s development throughout his second year. But it’s been so much fun documenting his first year! Child development is AWESOME! I can’t believe I get to see it up close! ❤
We’re officially going to start mix feeding in the coming week! Please send us happy weaning thoughts!