I thought the above photo was pretty apt.. since it was taken today, his 13th month birthday 🙂
Boy, it’s true what they say about kids having a HUGE developmental leap at the 1 year mark. Even friends that see him pretty frequently have noticed how different he is and all the new stuff he’s learned. He watches me very carefully and will mimic my actions and words – very cute 🙂 It’s pretty cool watching a kid just ABSORB the information and world around them, and spit it right back out after they’ve learned it. Their brains truly are like a sponge! It makes it a joy to be around Hunter, because he’s responsive and we can have little ‘conversations’ with him.
What we find something AMAZING to do with your child, is baby sign language. It has really helped us so much, AND I feel it’s really good for the child because it means they can express themselves properly. It’s because of baby sign that I feel Hunter screams less than normal, simply because he can express his desires. It also makes him feel more in control, and able to communicate with us, which I feel is really good for a child’s psyche. The signs he’s mastered are:
- Milk (squeezing hands into fists) – he will squeeze his hands repeatedly when he’s hungry and wants his milk. Really useful, because he’ll just tell us when he wants a drink, instead of us having to figure out when he’s crying. So because of this, he doesn’t cry for milk anymore. This sign is easy to teach – he started doing it at around 6 months or so, from memory.
- More (touching fingers together) – his favourite sign, I’m sure! Whenever he spots food that he wants, or simply wants more of whatever he’s eating, he’ll point at the specific food, then do the sign. It means we know exactly which food on the plate he wants, and he doesn’t have to scream for it. Well, unless we still deny him! 😛 He also uses this “More” sign if he’s pooing and there’s “more poo” in him… hahahahaha.
- No More (wringing hands) – this is to tell us he doesn’t want to eat anymore, or doesn’t want something anymore. He probably uses this sign to a lesser extent to the first 2 signs, since it’s to communicate a negative-want instead of a positive-want.
These signs each took about 3 days to master, which I think is not too bad, considering the long term benefits! Short term pain (lots of repeating yourself and helping them make the actions), long term gain 🙂
Next up, I’m planning to teach him Sleepy and Diaper signs. But they’re not very critical because he sleeps at such specific times, and he’s already poo-diaper trained.. I’m a big believer of baby sign language though. And despite some people thinking it may prevent a kid from speaking, I don’t think it’s affected because Hunter makes noises/says words in addition to signing. And regardless, it makes all our lives easier!
MONTH 12-13 PROGRESS:
- Eating – Exactly the same solids/milk routine as last month. Works a charm. Hunter is, in general, and ‘okay eater’. It’s actually pretty borderline, because he is so aware of what he’s eating (will inspect the dish prior) and if it doesn’t take his fancy, it’s a huge struggle to get him to eat. Thankfully his fave foods are still all super healthy (steamed fish/tofu/avocado/banana etc). Still, it’s particularly difficult when I’m out at lunch, because he goes mental trying to get at my food instead!
Still fully potty-trained for poop. And not only that, but he’ll only ‘go’ when he’s at home, and will get really upset if he’s out of the house and wants to do his poo. This means we’re constantly alert and worried that he might get constipated because he’ll really hold his poo in until we get home! D’oh..
- Sleeping – He does his 7PM – 7AM sleep-through-the-night-without-waking.. except for the past week when something made him go haywire. He suddenly had ‘night terrors’ and ‘night separation anxiety’ and will insist that someone stands there watching him sleep, until he finally falls asleep. ARGHHH!! Currently trying to get rid of this issue and tonight we let him cry-it-out (with 5min intervals) and miraculously it worked. He’d better go back to his 7-to-7 routine or I’ll be one unhappy mummy!
His nap time is at 12PM and goes for about 1.5 hours. I guess in general he hasn’t had sleep issues this month as usual, apart from the past few days.
Funny thing about Hunter, that seems to amuse our friends so I’ll put it down here too – he is obsessed with drinking water (like me). So much so that I leave his straw-cup in his cot at night.. and he’ll scuttle over semi-asleep in the middle of the night, take a long drink, then continue sleeping. He is the ONLY baby I know that does that, and he’s been doing that since he was about 6 months old, LOL.
- Motor control – He holds with one hand and walks. He can stand for awhile by himself, but hasn’t taken his first steps and I think he is at least 1-2 months away from doing so. For now, he adores toddling around holding our hand 🙂
He can follow the hand action for songs, such as Wheels On The Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, If You’re Happy And You Know It, etc. Will give us a pat when asked “can you give me a pat?”, as well as lean his forehead in when asked “can I have a kiss?”
Oddly, he has a toy old-school style telephone and knows to hold it to his ear/month to ‘talk’ into it. Odd, because we don’t have a telephone like this at home, and he’s never really seen anyone talk into a phone before! Wonder if talking on a phone is innate behaviour in humans 😉
Loves to arrange and re-arrange stuff.. as in taking stuff out of a box, and putting it all back in again.
- Talking/listening – At the start of this month, I wanted to list the words that he understood. But then it became INSANE because we realised the sheer amount of words he understands. It’s literally like having a mini adult in the room!
He listens and understands so much.. and can follow instructions, like when asked to dress/undress (holds out his arms accordingly), when asked to sit down, asked to raise his arms to get picked up, etc..
He can correctly point to his body parts when asked, such as ears/head/nose/tongue/belly/belly button, etc etc.
He can also accurately answer questions that we ask, such as “What sound does a motorbike make?”, “What sound does a lion make?”, “What sound does a dog make?” etc..
He learns how to say new words by pointing at objects and repeating after us
He can help sing some words of a song, such as Wheels On The Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Old McDonalds Had a Farm.
Specific words he likes to say are: vrrrmmm, wow!, star, playground, “haaaaah taaah” (Hunter)
Hunter’s now at such an interactive age that it makes each day and moment with him so exciting. We really do experience second childhood through our kids! Wish I could capture this moment in time and remember it forever..
- 12 months
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