10.5 Months

10.5 months old.

My daughter has been on the outside longer than she ever was on the inside. She’s gone from a squishy little newborn that you could set down anywhere and she wouldn’t move a muscle (why did I not cherish those moments more?) to a completely mobile fearless almost toddler in what feels like overnight.

I used to roll my eyes when my mom would say, “You kids just grow up so fast!” They said it all the time but it’s never felt more true or more real til right now.

I’m finding this stage so far to be one of the hardest ones, if not THE hardest so far. The hard part at the beginning is the adjusting. You just went from only having to care for yourself to caring for someone else entirely and continually putting their needs above anything else. For me, doing that was natural, but it’s exhausting and it’s an adjustment.

After a few months go by, you go from super sleepy newborn, seriously, it felt like all she did was sleep those first couple months, to a more curious baby. While they still aren’t mobile, they’re awake more and yearning for your attention, which who isn’t going to give it to them, they’re so cute and cuddly.

Then they start rolling around, and that’s SO exciting. You see their little wheels turning and they figure out how moving their leg one way and arm the other gets them from their back to their tummy or vice versa.

They then master the roll, they become barrel rollers. This is how they get from one side of the room to the next and it’s SO funny.

Then they learn to sit. Which at first is comical because they fold in half like a pancake and just have no clue how to get out of the described position. You do some silly, but beneficial, exercises with them to help them learn how to sit up. When they finally are able to hold themselves up it’s SO exciting. They look so happy and you can almost see the look of, “That’s how the world looks at this angle!” radiating from their faces.

The next step, unless they skip it, is the booty scooting. They want to move but they aren’t sure how yet so they just wiggle until there’s forward movement. Again, this is a hilarious move!

Transition to crawling…this is where life get’s so wild. They first are little army crawlers and pretty slow so you think, “How cute!” Then they turn into speed demons. Seriously have you seen a confident crawler? They ARE SO FAST. You put them down and they’re in a totally different place almost immediately.

At this point their motor skills are in overdrive. They can pinch and pick up small items. Everything goes into their mouth. They want to try all of your food. They want to eat paper. They stand up in their crib. They start using words like mama and dada. They spot you across a room and if you leave their line of sight after they see you, they meltdown. They’re attached to you.

This is the most difficult stage so far. I arrive home from work and have to strategically put my stuff down because if I have to pee and she sees me, and then I disappear she cries so hard. If I want to eat something and I’m not comfortable giving her what I’m eating, I’m hiding in the kitchen eating. You can’t leave them unattended unless they’re in a full baby proof space, which there is no such thing unless they’re in a box, but they’ll try and eat the box anyway. They stand up everywhere so putting them to bed can be a challenge because if they don’t want to be in there they pull themselves up and stand there until you come back. They realize when you’re dropping them off somewhere and some days that just fine but others they are not happy about it.

This is the most difficult stage. It’s so hard because I realize she’s not little anymore. She doesn’t count on me to feed her anymore, she feeds herself if I hand her a bottle or a piece of food. She no longer wants to be cuddled every second of everyday, she wants to crawl and explore. She doesn’t need to be wrapped up like a burrito to fall asleep anymore. She’s outgrown several of the toys I put her in. She’s flown through her clothes and wears 12, 18 or 24 month items. This age is hard because I’ve gone from being her constant to feeling like sometimes she doesn’t need me at all. That she’s gone from not being bothered or aware I left the room for a second to freaking out if she can’t see me. It’s hard because I’m in limbo of infancy and toddlerhood and I have no clue how to make that transition work.

It’s hard because now I’m worrying about sleep training and what method to use. What allergens to give her to see if she has a reaction. Not being too close of a shadow behind her so she feels confident to stand on her own and get ready to walk. A whole new set of issues is about to arise as she gets a little older and all the possibilities makes my head swirl.

While this stage is hard, it’s also rewarding. She recognized me and her daddy. She knows who her other caregivers are and gets so excited to see them. She laughs so hard and at pretty much anything. She’s shows her delight for bath time and her disdain for being changed. She is spunky and still the biggest lover of people. She is the light of my life and her daddy’s.

While I find myself at moments like I did this morning and my wits end and my patience was shot due to poor sleeping, I know at some point I’ll miss this stage. She’s not always going to be learning this much, loving so hard all while getting 6 teeth at once, and while it’s a lot for all of us to handle at one shot, we’re doing pretty darn well if I do say so myself.

This age is hard, but it’s not forever, just like all the other ages so far have proven to me. Nothing with these littles is forever and it all flies by so fast so on a day where you feel like your patience is GONE, just know you’re not alone and while it feels never ending, this stage and age will be in the rearview mirror.

While this age is hard, I’m sure there will be harder ones and I’ll be wishing I was back here, which is why I am documenting this time. They’re only little for a little while ❤

 

Baby “Must-Haves”

I’ve been wanting and meaning to write a “must-haves” list of baby products that I’ve basically been thanking God for since Kennedy was born, what better time than now to do so, especially with so many friends of mine that are now having babies I’ve had to seriously ponder what things made a HUGE difference for us.

Here is my disclaimer: all babies are different and without a doubt they will tell you what they do and don’t like, it’s all trial and error after all! Also, I am just giving my full and honest feedback on items that I’ve used, none of this is sponsored, just my go-to items! I think I’ll also add at the end things I never used and wish I didn’t purchase, just for fun.

Here we go!

Rock N Play Sleeper (or a similar product)

I SWEAR by this thing. I honestly give it the credit for helping me get Kennedy used to sleeping in something other than my arms. We had the Ingenuity Soothing Light Rocking Sleeper (that was a mouth full) which is a comparable product to the Rock n Play. This was a cozy, slightly inclined sleeper that made Kennedy feel cozy and like she was being snuggled. I remember after about a week and home and taking turns with Anthony at night of holding her while she slept, I prayed to God that I could place her in the sleeper and she would stay asleep. What do you know…3 hours of uninterrupted night sleep! Small victories people. We used this for the first couple months of her life and for the price and ability to sleep, totally worth it.

Wrap Carrier

I adored baby wearing for so many reasons. One, it kept snuggle time a priority and two, it gave me two free hands when I just needed to get something done. I had the Boba Wrap which I truly liked a lot. I did some research on wrapping and I landed on this one due to the price and ability to buy it in store so I could test out the fabric. There a MANY brands with this same style so just note that Boba’s fabric is a bit thicker so it does wear hot, if you want something lighter I would opt for a Solly Baby Wrap, their fabric is lighter and breathes easier, perfect for warmer climates or seasons.

Velcro Swaddles

Swaddling saved my life. Well when it came to sleeping anyway. We used the SwaddleMe blankets until Kennedy was rolling over at about 5.5 months. These are SO easy to use with the velcro and they stay on so well. Again, when baby needs to feel cozy and wrapped tight, these were a no brainer. We owned 6 in the small size and 2 in medium and used them religiously!

Baby Bouncer

We didn’t initially own one of these until I was on the phone with my mom one day telling her I needed a place to put Kennedy that was more than just laying flat on the floor on couch next to me. She said she used a baby bouncer with me and it was a lifesaver. We picked one up second hand, it was a Fisher Price Baby Bouncer, holy moly it was such a blessing! It had a mobile for Kennedy to look at, played music and had a light vibration which would put her to sleep sometimes. We used the heck out of it and had to replace the batteries multiple times because of how much we used it.

Nosefrida

Probably not the most appealing looking thing or concept but let me say, stuff noses stand no chance against the Nosefrida. I know many will say you can use the bulb they give you at the hospital, this thing is no match for that, it blows it out of the water 100x over. Must have this at home or in the diaper bag!

Pacifiers

These were a no brainer for us. She didn’t NEED one but in those fussy moments we liked being able to give her something to help calm her down. There are sooo many choices out there, but it’s definitely trial and error to find one that they will take. We were, and still are, huge fans of the Mam Pacifiers.

Bottles

Whether you plan to breastfeed or not, having bottles on hand is super important. I attempted to breastfeed but ended up needing to formula feed. If we didn’t have bottles, I wouldn’t of been able to feed Kennedy that night at 2 AM that she was screaming out of hunger. We are huge fans of the Dr. Browns bottles. They have several size options and are great for gassy babies.

Things I wish I didn’t Buy

I may have some stones thrown at me for some of these but I’m just being honest.

Diaper Genie

This has got to be the grossest invention of all time. I didn’t think anything of it until after Kennedy was born but wowza. Just think, you’re putting only used diapers in one little pail that will eventually need to be emptied. One, two, three not it on that chore. Mine is currently sitting in my garage.

Formula Bottle Maker

I had high hope for this thing as we were having several wake ups per night but was so severely disappointed. We bought the Baby Brezza Formula Pro and were soooo frustrated with this thing. It didn’t measure water properly and I wasn’t confident in the amount of formula it dispensed either. As a first time mom, I couldn’t confidently feed my child when I knew it wasn’t working properly.

Socks

I just can’t keep them on her feet. Still can’t, so I wish every single pair I had ever gotten just went straight back to the store!

There definitely are items that are a no brainer, diapers, wipes, onsies, those are all pretty universal!

I will say, Babyganics makes one heck of an absorbent diaper that’s PERFECT for nighttime diapering. We are huge fan of the Kirkland brand diapers and wipes from Costco, you get so many for a great price. Carter’s clothing runs perfect in the size spectrum, Gerber runs a bit smaller.

We’re HUGE Graco carseat fans. We bought the Modes Jogging Travel System and the Extend2Fit Carseat, we love both so much.

I’m sure there are some other items that we used pretty religiously but the ones listed above come to mind immediately. Hopefully this list can help another momma that’s trying to complete her must-have list before baby arrives!