Chase turned one at the end of July and the fact that I’m typing up his 12 month update more than two weeks late should tell you how life has been around here lately… Action-packed, on-the-go, exciting and ever-changing.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times but it is truly mind blowing to me to think that Chase was born a year ago. HOW is my tiny 5 pound 10 ounce baby boy ONE year old!?
This year has, without a doubt, been the fastest year of my entire life and Chase has brought more joy into my days than I ever thought possible. I love him so completely and it’s the most consuming, vulnerable, heart-wrenchingly strong, protective, I’d-do-absolutely-anything-for-you kind of love I’ve ever known.
I have so much fun with Chase every day and now that he’s mobile, our playtime is definitely not sedentary. He will occasionally sit with books and toys once he’s expended a bunch of energy but absolutely prefers to crawl everywhere, pull himself up over everything, climb on top of anything and explore every inch of the space he’s in at the moment. (Not long after I shared Chase’s 11 month update, he finally abandoned his crazy push-up inchworm crawl for a super-speedy “normal” crawl. I guess he had it in him after all!)
Chase is a social little guy and flashes his goofy 6-tooth smile at everyone who passes by. He has a myriad of “baby tricks” in his arsenal and loves showing everyone how he can wave, clap, dance, do the “spider” in Itsy, Bitsy Spider, raise his hands above his head to show how he’s “so big!” (<— oddly comical to us since he’s still in the first percentile for weight), point at “dog,” “mama,” and “lights” and more. He’s been saying “mama” and “da” (meaning “dog” or “dada”) for months now and loves practicing a handful of other noises, tongue/mouth tricks and goofy baby babbling sounds. He is a little sponge who loves to imitate the random noises and motions we show him every day.
During Gymboree, one of the teachers often opens class with an icebreaker question for parents and caregivers to answer. One of the questions posed asked our group what surprised us most about having a baby. When I asked Ryan what his answer would’ve been later that night he said the way he feels inside when he makes Chase laugh.
There’s something about making a baby belly laugh and dissolve into giggles that makes you feel like everything is right in the world. I could be worrying about a laundry list of things or consumed by outside stressors, but the minute Chase breaks out into his contagious laughter, my perspective shifts and I’m filled with joy and an understanding that no matter what else may be going on in my life, if I can make Chase laugh, fill him with joy and offer him comfort and safety every day, I’m doing something right.
It’s so easy to second-guess every tiny detail as a mom but I think it’s important to remind myself of the basics when I start to get overwhelmed and doubt myself. Focusing on gratitude continues to be imperative for me as a mom. When I start to worry or stress out about something related to mothering Chase, I pray, count my blessings and focus on how incredibly lucky I am to be his mom and how small my worries are in the grand scheme of things.
After a short reprieve, I’m back to being stressed out about Chase’s eating again. I had high hopes for some quality weight gain over the past few months but during his one-year pediatric visit, he registered in the first percentile for weight again. Our pediatrician is amazing and always reminds me that Chase is growing on his own little peanut curve and that he’s developmentally doing just fine. That always makes me feel a little better but it’s still hard no to get in my head and worry about our tiny little man.
To help with weight gain, our pediatrician encouraged us to continue giving Chase foods with higher fat content. I feel like we’ve already been doing this but I’m trying my best to keep it going.
Chase loves nut butter and I recently introduced him to green smoothies made with spinach, frozen bananas, peanut or almond butter, whole milk and full-fat yogurt. He seems to like the smoothies a lot but getting him to sit still long enough to eat or drink anything is a challenge. Playing still trumps food for Chase and it can be frustrating for me when I just want our little guy to eat, eat, eat. I have to trust that he will eat, grow and gain weight all in good time.
I am still nursing Chase quite a bit but over the course of the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to wean him off of some of our daytime nursing sessions and get us down to nursing first thing in the morning and right before bed (and sometimes in the middle of the night because I’ve succumbed to the fact that sleep is always all over the place in our house).
Transitioning away from daytime breastfeeding is going fairly well and I do think that dropping some of his daytime nursing sessions results in better eating during the day, but I am feeling a little challenged because Chase definitely prefers breastmilk to whole milk. He looooves water but when I offer him whole milk, he will only take a couple of small sips before pushing the cup away. I’m not sure how to get him to drink more milk, especially if that is supposed to be a decent part of his calories right now, but at least he likes the smoothies I make him that have a whole milk base.
Ugh. Sleep. Here we go again… We’ll have Chase sleeping through the night until something changes – traveling, a guest in town, etc. – and then it’s like we have to start from scratch and really work toward a solid night’s sleep. With such an unpredictable summer full of travel and house guests, I just don’t have the energy to go through sleep training 10,000 times a month when one little outside factor throws everything out of whack.
Everyone has their challenges and even though we’ve had some good nights, Chase still does not seem to be consistently sleeping through the night. Sometimes I feel like a big fat failure because we’re still waking up to nurse but other times I am just over the whole thing and think to myself, “If unpredictable sleep is one of our biggest battles, I consider myself very lucky.” (Well, unpredictable sleep and a child who doesn’t love to eat real food. Fun hurdles, right?)
Chase still wakes one or two times a night (his second waking is usually after 5 a.m., so I really don’t mind it since I wake up early to work anyway) and, honestly, at this point I’d rather just feed him and put him back to sleep since the whole ordeal takes less than 15 minutes versus listening to him fuss or cry on-and-off for an hour or more. Plus, our next two weekends include even more travel and more guests staying with us and I know that would foul up any headway we make if we started back up with sleep training again. I don’t feel comfortable letting Chase cry for long at night when we have guests staying with us since our guests sleep in the room right next to Chase’s nursery, and everyone knows that travel totally messes with a baby’s sleep, so that’s where we are right now. I’m eyeballing September as our “return to sleep training” month. Get ready, Mr. Chase!
I waffled back and forth as to whether or not I should skip the above part of my monthly recap because sometimes I feel like a broken record regarding our sleep hurdles but then I realized there may be someone out there in a similar boat who feels like they’re surrounded by stellar sleepers (and eaters) who might take comfort in knowing they’re not alone. I was actually reading a blog post Jessica shared a few years ago when I went back to read some of her baby posts that said her son wasn’t sleeping through the night at 11 months either and I felt myself exhale. It felt like a giant relief to read that I’m not the only one struggling with sleep a year into the whole baby thing! Everyone has their challenges related to parenting and motherhood.
As far as naps are concerned, Chase is still a good napper which is a HUGE blessing. As a mom who works from home, I’d happily take good naps over good nighttime sleep any day since we don’t have any childcare help and I rely on Chase’s naps to work.
For the most part, he’s still taking two 90-minute to 2-hour naps but there have been a few very unpredictable days in there where Chase refused to nap in the afternoon and skipped a nap altogether. When I observe his demeanor after a skipped nap, I feel pretty confident that Chase still needs two naps a day and thankfully he napped normally again yesterday. I’m still trying to figure out if he’s working toward merging his naps and dropping to one, but right now my gut says he’s not ready. Time will tell!
- Climbing over everything
- Slapping his hands/banging on everything
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear (He loves the sliding windows in this book and it comes with us everywhere)
- Doors (Apparently doors are magical)
- Splashing in the pool or bathtub
- Watching Sadie
- Super-speedy crawling
- Hide-and-go-seek around our kitchen island
- Flicking light switches on and off
- Music and dancing (He raises his arms and motions his hands up and down and it’s just the cutest)
- Pointing at everything
- Peanut butter sandwiches
- Having his nose, face and hands wiped
- Getting dressed
- Being held for too long
- Sitting in his high chair for too long
- When we take something away from him that he’s not allowed to have (Pens come to mind…)
- When we pick him up after he starts speed-crawling toward Sadie’s dog food (He is obsessed)
- When Ryan walks away to go change into comfy clothes after he arrives home from work
12 Month Baby Favorites
We’ve had some new discoveries this month that Chase seems to love and I’ve added them to the beginning of this list that also includes some of our tried and true favorites that continue to be go-to items for Chase at 12 months old. (I also removed some past favorites that Chase decided he was no longer into this month.)
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear Slide and Find Book
- Pat The Bunny Touch and Feel Book
- Oball Rattle and Roll Car
- Melissa & Doug Pull Along Zoo Animals
- Little People Activity Airplane Ride-On
- B. You Turns Steering Wheel
- Grandma Wishes Book
- B. Parum Pum Pum Drum Set
- V-Tech Sit to Stand Learning Walker
- Step2 Finding Dory Water Table
- Infantino Turtle Shape Sorter
- Tuffo Outdoor Water-Resistant Blanket
- SpringWays Swim Float with Canopy
- Sesame Street Silly Sounds Remote
- Baby Einstein Take Along Musical Toy
- Munchkin Snack Catcher Cups
- Munchkin White Hot Infant Safety Spoons (He loves carrying these around with him everywhere)
- Protective Floor Mat
- Chicco 360 Hook On High Chair
- NUK Mash and Serve Bowl
Past Baby Updates
- Eleven Months
- Ten Months
- Nine Months
- What I Wish I Knew Before My Baby Was Born
- Eight Months
- Seven Months
- Six Months
- Our First Sleep Training Experience
- Traveling With A Baby For The First Time
- Five Months
- Four Months
- Three Months
- Two Months
- And Then He Smiled
- Three Weeks
- The First 12 Days
- Q&A: All About Birth & Life With A New Baby
- Chase’s Birth Story: Part I, Part II