Mira had her 12 month checkup today. Let me just say that I love her doctor. He is amazing. He doesn't over-prescribe, over-analyze symptoms, intimidate me or Mira. He always eases my worries, allays my fears, and gives me facts I know I can trust. His nurses are so nice and they all love and coo over Mira. He has two wonderful nurses with super speedy hands who are designated to delivering shots and getting them over with quickly, so that Mira doesn't come to associate Dr. Dan with needles (at least not directly). His waiting room has a separate area for well patients with separate toys. So yay for Dr. Dan. And yay for my mother AND my Ob/Gyn who BOTH recommended him. The only little issue I take with him is that he is against co-sleeping, but not overly so. If you tell him you co-sleep, he'll be like "Well, you probably should think about getting her into a crib. She'll sleep more soundly in her own bed." But he's not overly pushy about it. And I don't co-sleep anyway so that's not an issue for me personally, but I *do* think that there are some parents who find that is what works best and so that is what they should do: what works for them. But if that's the only thing I can find that I don't like about Mira's doctor, then I say "yay". So yay.
Anyway, back on topic.
She had her 1 year checkup. Here are her measurements:
Weight: 18 lbs, 5oz (10th percentile).
Height: 28.5 in (30th percentile).
Head size 47 cm (77th percentile).
So she's still got a big ol' noggin but she's slipped a bit further down on the growth charts for weight (last time we went she was 30th for both height and weight). When I talked to the doctor about that, he just asked me how frequently she was eating/nursing and whether I felt that she ate a good amount and variety of solids. She is currently nursing 3 times a day: first thing in the morning, right before nap, and right before bed. She eats solids 4 times a day: breakfast, lunch, snack, then dinner. She eats a good variety of solids, but she doesn't seem to eat very much at a time. Anyway, Dr. Dan says that she's probably still getting a majority of her nutrients from breastmilk, and for now that's perfectly ok. And given that she's so active and getting essentially 7 meals a day, he's not concerned about her low weight.
I asked him about Mira's teeth (she's only got 3 incisors on the bottom). He said not to assume she's missing one yet. Apparently, those outside lower incisors are sometimes the last teeth to emerge, so one could just be lagging behind the other. And I asked if she should start seeing a dentist, and he said to wait till she had her full set of teeth, so somewhere around 2-3 years old.
Last I asked about vitamins. I had heard some of the mothers in my mommy's clubs talking about which vitamins they give to their babies and I went "... hang on... I don't give Mira ANY! Am I doing something wrong?" So I asked Dr. Dan, and he said she didn't need any as long as she got a few minutes outside most days, and he said that even just going for a car ride to run an errand is enough, since the sun shines into the car and it doesn't have to be direct sunlight. So no vitamins needed here! He did say that some pediatricians will recommend them to all babies, and certainly you're not hurting your baby by giving them the prescribed amount of vitamins, but he doesn't think they're necessary unless they're really picky eaters who are no longer nursing.
And then the shots. Poor baby, she got 6 sticks. She hasn't had that many since she was a newborn! I don't know what it says about me as a parent, but this time, despite the fact that she was getting so many shots, I didn't have that mother-bear-don't-touch-my-baby-you're-hurting-her reaction at all. On the contrary, I was like, "Shoot her up! I'll pin her down!" Heh. The doctor told me that two of the vaccines were ones that parents sometimes like to postpone: MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) and chickenpox. I said, "Let's do 'em all! No baby of mine is getting measles." He smiled and said, "Good!" So then the nurse came in and stuck her a bunch. Luckily, those vaccination nurses have hands like lightning. She was done with the first 3 sticks before Mira even knew something bad was happening. Luckily, since I had heard that the 1 year checkup is heavy on the vaccines, I had given Mira some Tylenol in advance!
She's napping now, so I'm going to go enjoy the rest of my quiet time before she wakes up!
Mira's started using a big girl cup! No top, no sippy spout, no straw, just a plain plastic cup!
Apparently, Brian had been letting her practice in the bathtub. I know what you're thinking, and, no, he wasn't letting her drink bath water. In the tub, she would get thirsty, so Brian would let her drink some fresh tap water from a plastic cup. He said that eventually she got so good at it that he let her try it one morning at breakfast. I was shocked! No spilling, no dribbling, she just drank. Like a miniature adult.
It's funny how much her development just astounds me. I worked for 4 years as a private nanny, watching kids as young as newborns, and my little sister is 12 years younger than me, so I helped a bit with her when she was a baby. So you could say I'm going into this whole parenting thing with a good bit more experience than most new parents. But still, I get so surprised by her! It's wonderful how each new development has my jaw on the floor. Even when I know it's coming, like when she was learning to crawl and she worked on it for months before actually doing it, but then still the first time she took off on all fours I was so surprised. And it's not just Mira that surprises me either. The other children in her playgroups are growing just as fast as she is and it is just as astounding to me. One week, we'll meet up and one of her friends is not walking yet, and then the next week they're practically running across the room. Then again, it's so hard for me to believe that she's a year old today; it seems like the time has just flown by; it can't have been more than a few months, right? Maybe that's why it feels like she's developing so fast: my perspective is out of whack.
Mira's made great progress with utensils. Often now, I'll help her to use a fork or spoon by placing the utensil in her hand and then guiding it with my own hand. And if the food is sticky or thick enough, she can do it on her own, dipping the spoon into the food and then bringing it to her mouth without assistance or interference. Interestingly enough, she seems to be a bit more adept with her left hand than her right, though she still switches back and forth readily. And it's less of a mess than you might imagine. I put a towel in her lap to catch the drips, and put on one of her big bibs, and that pretty much contains the mess. Her face and hands are usually covered when she's done, but she doesn't fling the spoon around much or experiment with putting spoonfuls of food where it doesn't belong... yet. I'm pretty impressed with her!
I have to give Brian credit for this one; he's the one who showed me that she could do it. I've noticed that I tend to stick to routine and Brian's the one who tends to push her to try new things. I guess it makes a good balance, between the two of us.
Another great thing that Mira has started doing in the last month or so: sleeping through the night. Starting in early December, Mira would occasionally skip her mid-night milkies and sleep all the way through the night. 8:30pm to 7:30am, 11 hours uninterrupted. As the weeks went on, this became more and more frequent. She went through a period where she was waking at 6:30am instead of 7:30am, but that only lasted a couple of weeks. Now she is sleeping straight through from 8:30pm to 7:30am nearly every night. I get up with her maybe once a week. And sometimes if she does wake up, she puts herself back to sleep quickly, without me ever having to get out of bed. It is wonderful.
I waited quite a while to start telling anyone that this was happening. I was a bit superstitious that if I told anyone, then it would stop. Back a few months ago, Mira had a few nights where she slept straight through and I announced it loudly to everyone I spoke to. Then, sure enough, she stopped doing it. Sure, it could have had something to do with that trip to Dallas which messed with her sleep schedule, but I'm positive that it was actually the fact that I was running my mouth about it that caused it to stop. So anyway, this time I was determined not to fall into the same pit-trap again. So I've been telling people, just a few at a time, with periods in between to make sure I didn't upset the powers-that-be... seems to be working.
But seriously, I'm so glad to see that all my night-time parenting is finally starting to pay off. Mira sleeps easily now, at nap time and at night time. She takes one two hour nap (usually around noon, but she is somewhat flexible on the timing of the nap) and then sleeps 11 hours at night, making her total sleep 13 hours per day, which I think is right were it should be for a 1-year-old. To put her to sleep, she nurses for 20 minutes, ten minutes each side, then I break her latch and rock with her for just a second till she is just starting to nod off, then I place her in her crib and pat her back while she falls asleep. (She does have occasional rough nights, but usually it's due to something bothering her like gas or teething so I can hardly fault her for that.) And in the middle of the night she has gotten so confident that I will always come for her when she calls, that she rests peacefully without needing me, and on the rare occasions when she does need me, her calls are not panicky or upset, just merely a kind-of inquisitive noise, like "Yoo hoo, are you there mom? I would like some milkies now please."
I just hope that this isn't a phase and that she'll continue sleeping so easily. I know several children who began sleeping well at around a year old and then, for who knows what reason, after a few months they reverted back to being up multiple times a night. In an attempt to avoid that, I'm going to try to keep her sleep as routine as possible over the next few months. No overnight trips, no sleeping in strange locations, no sleep interruptions, no changes in bedtime routine, etc...
Last month Mira made great progress with her balance. She will now occasionally let go of all stabilizing implements while standing and just stand on her own for a few seconds. Also, she began to walk while holding someone's hands.
Now she's a pro at assisted walking like that. And she LOVES it. So much that she almost always cries when you stop. As a result, it's pretty rare for me to do it with her because I don't want to put up with the complaining that inevitably follows. (Is that a bad thing to do? Keep your children from doing things they love just because you know they will complain when it's over? Anyway, back on topic...)
I've tried to get her to use a walker. We have this toy car that converts into a push-along, like a stroller or a cart. But she won't use it. Every time I position her behind it she just sits down. I think she got turned off to it early on when I let her try it and a time or two she wound up face down on the floor. Whoops. I just hope that doesn't translate into an irrational fear of pushing grocery carts later in life.
Anyway, I'm not in any real rush for her to start walking. Kinda like how I felt about her starting to crawl: the new mobility will only lead to more trouble-making, so there's no need to push her into it. She'll learn in her own time. Though I can tell that she is really starting to *want* to do it. A month or so ago, she was perfectly content with her crawl speed, which is quite fast, but now it seems she is starting to want more. So I'm sure she'll be walking pretty soon. Hopefully I can catch some of those first steps on video!
Over the holidays I've been pretty busy, so I haven't been doing much in-depth blogging. So over the next couple of days, I'm going to be catching you up on all Mira's recent developments.
Around mid-December, Mira discovered that she could point.
She started by pointing at things and I would describe them to her. Well, really quickly she figured out that this was a great game and a cool way to get my attention and interact with me. So it evolved into her pointing at something and saying "Ha!" and me telling her about that thing or even bringing it over for her to investigate, if possible.
Pretty soon she started pointing at the pictures in her books, getting me to tell her more about the images on the pages.
Shortly after that, she began to point at things while she was eating, to indicate what she wanted another bite of, or what she wanted more of, or when she wanted her sippy cup. Now she is pointing all the time. I've really enjoyed it, because there are so many different things she can communicate to me simply by pointing at something. I feel like for the first time, she is *telling* me what she wants rather than me having to guess.
Well, not too long after she learned about pointing, she got her first word: "cat". She has said "mama" and "dada" before, but never with any meaning behind it. But she uses "cat" in context, so I feel like it is her first real word. She doesn't use it correctly all the time, though. Most anything furry is a "cat", including our dogs.
Toward the end of December, Mira and I went with some of Brian's family to the San Antonio zoo. I had the opportunity to go to the Austin zoo when Mira was about 9 months old, but I decided not to go. At the time, whenever I'd point at something, she'd just look at my finger instead of looking beyond to the thing I was pointing at. But by December, she'd learned to look beyond my finger and I could point to things and she would see them, so I felt that she was ready for a zoo visit. Sure enough, she was able to see quite a few things. For the most part, an animal had to be moving for her to see it, but since the weather was cool and clear alot of the animals were up and about so it worked out well. She really enjoyed the flamingos who were wading around and flapping their wings, the black bear who was pacing his enclosure, the tiger who got up from his nap right when we were watching, the elephant who came right up to the edge of his enclosure and begged us for food by stretching his trunk out to us, and the monkeys who had a couple of curious and playful babies. But as you might expect, if you asked Mira, all of them were "cats". >.<
Today Mira cut her first molar. She's been a tad fussy over the last few days, and hasn't been eating as much solid food, but other than that she seems to be teething pretty easily. That makes 8 teeth total now. She has the front four on top, and then only 3 in the front on bottom, and now one molar on her top left. I'm starting to wonder about those bottom 3 teeth. Seems like the fourth should have come up by now to balance it out (she has the front two in the middle, but then only one more on her left side, not on her right, making her look a little off balance). Do any of you experienced parents remember your child's teeth coming in unevenly like that? I guess even if it never comes in, I'm not really worried about it, since it's just her baby teeth, but if she doesn't end up having the corresponding adult tooth, then that could make an interesting conundrum for her future orthodontist.
Also, Mira had her first bubble bath tonight. Feast your eyes upon the cuteness:
Today when Brian got home, he was giving me a hello hug and Mira started fussing because she felt left out. So Brian scooped her up and hugged the both of us together. As he did, he patted my back. Mira immediately responded by also patting my back. Too cute.