Every time I think Rhett is in the cutest phase of babyhood, another month pops up and, like every mom ever, I’m left thinking, no, no, no now THIS is the cutest phase. Pretty much every phase with a baby is filled with cuteness but right now the way Rhett’s whole body shows excitement through rapidly kicking legs and flailing arms and the biggest six-tooth fang-y smile that crinkles up into his eyes is hard to beat.
These past nine months have been a bit of a blur but overall they’ve been so, so good. Rhett hasn’t been a particularly chill or laidback baby but he has been a fun, excitable little guy who melts my mama heart all day long. Just like his big brothers, he never stops moving! He inch-worm crawls his way over to Chase and Ryder and always wants to be included in the brother fun.
He’s happiest when he’s outside and we spend a lot of time taking him on walks, laying on blankets in the grass and exploring! He’s truly easier when we’re not at home and seems to thrive off of new experiences, outside stimulation and sunshine.
Rhett makes us laugh a lot because he so badly wants to be independent but then he’ll have moments of wanting us to hold him only to twist an wiggle and want out of our arms. Aaand then when we put him down he’ll cry and want to be held again. Basically Rhett wants to be free to explore but have Mom or Dad right next to him the whole time. He absolutely loves climbing all over my body and watching him pull himself up on my legs and then look up at me with his big, proud smile is just my very favorite. Rhett may not be one for peaceful cuddles but he is one for cuddly climbing!
Rhett is in such a fun stage of exploration and never fails to shock us as how quickly he can get from point A to point B with his crazy belly crawl. He gets the cutest look of concentration on his face when you present him with something new or exciting and I adore his little furrowed brow and his looks of wide-eyed wonder. He’s also a big time water baby and loves bath time, lake time and swimming!
If there’s water nearby and he spots it, you can be sure he’ll start inch-worming his way toward it. This includes Sadie’s water bowl, aka his favorite thing in the world. And speaking of Sadie, Rhett is 100 percent infatuated with her! Sadie warmed up to Rhett faster than any of our other kids and seems to semi-enjoy his little love taps on her back when he finds his way over to her. This is huge for our sweet Sadie girl!
I am still exclusively breastfeeding and it’s going well! Our only challenge at the moment is one I remember surfacing with Chase and Ryder as they got older — distractions! Rhett is a very distracted eater and we’re at the point where he will basically refuse to nurse unless we’re alone in his dark room together. Every time I try to nurse him on the go, he’ll latch for less than a minute before deciding breastfeeding is boring and he’d rather do pretty much anything else. I’m nursing around five or six times a day but most nursing sessions are rather short and sometimes a session or two gets skipped because Rhett wants nothing to do with nursing and there’s no forcing him to latch if he’s not interested.
One new-to-me thing we started with Rhett is occasionally giving him pumped breastmilk in a sippy cup. He started refusing milk from a bottle from Madison (she watches the boys once a week for 3 hours — more about her amazing help here!) but will sip milk from a sippy cup fairly well. I think he prefers being able to easily hold his cup and look around while he drinks so he doesn’t miss anything. (He has some serious FOMO. Ha!) Whatever works!
Over the course of the past two months or so, Rhett’s interest and excitement over real food has skyrocketed! He’s an adventurous eater at the moment in that he’ll try most things we put in front of him but that definitely doesn’t mean he’ll continue eating it if it doesn’t light up his taste buds. We’re doing a mix of real food and purees in the form of baby food pouches and it’s working well for him. We’re also smack-dab in the middle of the very messy feeding phase of life and mealtimes always involve some serious cleanup after he’s done eating.
(Rhett is the unofficial captain of the A Little Dirt Won’t Hurt Club. Also, check out his little baby fangs! Love those crazy teefers!)
Rhett’s favorite foods include baked oatmeal, peanut butter on whole wheat bread, banana oatmeal blender muffins, strawberries, sweet potatoes, pancakes, bell peppers, smashed blueberries, bananas, muffins and baby food pouches. He also seems to really enjoy meat and fish and loves ground beef and my Paleo marinated chicken thighs!
Oh! And one more thing that semi-relates to feeding. Guess who has a lip tie? Yep. Our little tongue tie baby also has a lip tie. His tongue tie revision was a success but somehow his lip tie went undetected until his four upper front teeth came in and now it’s glaringly obvious. He has a large gap between his two front teeth but thankfully the lip tie is not impacting his feeding. Right now it’s just something we’re keeping on our radar. Ryder actually had a lip tie and we never did anything about it and all is well with him. Clearly the lip tie and tongue tie genes run strong over here!
We’re in a fairly predictable place with nighttime sleep at the moment which is something I’ll never take for granted! Rhett typically goes to bed between 6:30 and 7 p.m. and wakes up to nurse sometime between 4:30 and 6 a.m. I’ll then feed him and he’ll often go back to sleep until 7 a.m.(ish).
I’m not sure if it’s the fact that Rhett is our third kid so flexibility is important over here right now, but we definitely don’t have him on a set nap schedule. He takes two naps a day — both usually somewhere between 90 minutes and 2 hours — but the time he takes them varies on a bunch of factors, most of which depend on his big brothers’ activities and schedules.
He shocked our whole family by being such a champ on our first real family vacation since the pandemic hit last weekend. He somehow skipped his morning nap two days in a row and did so happily when we were out and about. This kid thrives off new things and excitement, I’m tellin’ ya!
I distinctly remember things getting a little more challenging in terms of brother dynamics once Ryder could move as a baby and the same is proving true with Rhett. Now that Rhett can belly crawl, when he eyes one of his brothers’ toys, he can get to it which is fine for the most part unless Rhett crawls his way over to a tower they built and accidentally knocks it down or decides he wants to play with a toy that Chase or Ryder also want. It’s nothing we haven’t been through before and Chase and Ryder are learning to build their structures on top of tables right now so Rhett cannot reach them.
On the flip side of things, Rhett adores watching his brothers with some serious intensity. He finds them absolutely fascinating and always wants in the mix. Ryan and I joke that Chase and Ryder are like baby TV for Rhett because he’ll often stare at them wide-eyed when they’re dancing, flying around on their bikes or Plasma Cars, driving their Power Wheels Jeep or making up one of their many games or imaginary play scenarios.
Chase and Ryder also really, really love Rhett and want so badly to play with him (especially first thing in the morning or right after nap) which can sometimes really overwhelm him when they try to hold him, cuddle him (Chase), put a toy right in his face (Ryder), etc. He’ll often cry out for me or Ryan and we’ll scoop him up, calm him down and encourage his big brothers to give him space and show him a toy in a way that allows him to decide whether or not he wants to hold or play with it.
Brother battles are something we’re already used to over here and adding Rhett in the mix changes the dynamics slightly but they’re just a small part of the overall wonderful relationship our boys have that I feel so incredibly grateful to witness every single day. I pray our three boys will have a close relationship as they grow up and though I know their interests and desire to be with each other 24/7 will change, I hope they will always know that within our family and around each other they are safe, supported and loved unconditionally.
- Water, swimming and bath time
- His big brothers
- Being outside
- Sadie and her food and water bowls
- Ryan’s beard
- When Mom and Dad sit next to him while he plays
- When we practice clapping
- Watching his big brothers
- Investigating everything
- Going for walks
- Riding in the baby carrier and hiking backpack
- When Mom or Dad walk away
- Getting his face or hands wiped clean
- When we try to change his diaper and he’d rather be doing 5,000 other things
- Overly intense big brother love
9 Month Old Baby Favorites
- Choo-Me Food Pouch Toppers (I basically never give Rhett a pouch without one of these on them anymore! So great for grabby babies who spill pouches and on-the-go independent feeding.)
- Green Sprouts Sippy Cup
- Suction plates and bowls (Avanchy are our favorites)
- Chicco 360 Hook On High Chair
- Snack Catcher Cup (The best for stroller snacks, on-the-go snacks, etc.)
- Teether Tubes (Comes in a four-pack and I keep one in my purse, one on the changing table, one in the car and one in our stroller!)
- Mesh Food Feeders (We put frozen bananas and strawberries in these and Rhett goes crazy for them!)
- Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys
Almost every single thing on this list was something I saved for Rhett that his big brothers loved, too!
- V-Tech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker (HUGE hit with all of our boys!)
- PlayKidz Pound-a-Ball
- V-Tech Drop and Go Dump Truck
- Lovevery Play Gym
- Lovevery Play Kits
- Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
- Sassy Wonder Wheel (The perfect $7 high chair entertainment toy!)
- Fisher-Price Rattle ‘n’ Rock Maracas (The green rattle in this set is his all-time fav.)
- BabyBjorn Bouncer (I use this to keep Rhett stationary when he seems content to stay in one spot to watch his big bros dance or play basketball or soccer.)
- Swim Ways Pool Float (Great for summertime floating in the pool/lake)
- Sleep Sacks (We used the Nested Bean sleep sack to transition out of the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit)
- Hatch Light Noise Machine/Night Light
- Owlet Smart Sock
- Infant Optics Baby Monitor
On The Go
- Colugo Baby Carrier
- BOB Dualie Stroller + This insulated stroller organizer (the best!)
- Chicco Bravo for Two Stroller (Rhett rides in front and both Chase and Ryder can stand side-by-side on the back platform)
- Oball Activity Arch (I attach this to our stroller and he loves it!)