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 ❤