Happy 9 Months Birthday, Cody!

Two days ago, Cody turned nine months old. It’s almost time to start planning his first birthday party—how crazy is that?

This month, Cody finally learned to crawl. He actually started about a week after he turned eight months old. At first, he crawled on his hands and one knee and used the other foot to push himself along, which looked pretty funny. He also still preferred to walk with us holding his hands at that point, so mostly he used crawling as a way to get to us. About a week ago, he started crawling more proficiently on hands and knees, and now he’s much faster and enjoys crawling as a means of exploring his surroundings. He still loves to walk with us, though—and he’s getting closer to walking on his own! He only needs to hold one of our hands now and he also can use furniture and walls to get around fairly easily. We’re predicting that he will be walking on his own at 10 months. As it is, he’s already into everything and our house is now fully baby-proofed.

He has seven teeth now, four on top and three on the bottom. We’re still waiting for that fourth bottom tooth to pop out. I don’t see any other bumps or white shadows under his gums, so I’m not expecting another bout of teething just yet. His nine month checkup isn’t until next week, but from our bathroom scale at home we estimate that he weighs about 20 pounds now. He’s in size-four disposable diapers (although we still use cloth diapers the majority of the time), and he’s still wearing his nine month sized clothes (although some of them are 6-12 months). We’ll probably start thinking about moving him up to his 12 months clothes in the next week or two.

Cody is still almost exclusively breastfed. He doesn’t show much interest in solid foods, although at this point I’m starting to feel eager to get him started on them; most people start feeding their baby solids around 6 months, after all. Lately, I’ve been trying to feed him baby food almost every day. So far, I’ve been able to get him to eat about 2 teaspoons at each attempt. Mostly, he just likes to touch it and smear it all over the place. We’ll get there eventually!

This month, Cody said Dada, much to Cory’s delight! I wasn’t around to hear it, unfortunately, but I’m sure he’ll start using it more and learning other words soon, too. He hasn’t been very vocal lately, and doesn’t say Mama or Dada that often or anything in particular even when he is being vocal. Usually, he makes silly sounds or grunts and occasionally says “ma” or what sounds like “mom.” I think he just likes making that sound at this point. On the other hand, his comprehension is developing really well. He seems to connect certain words to their correct meanings, including Mama, Dada, and milk. I’m trying to be more consistent with using signs with him, so he can learn to communicate more easily.

Because of Cody’s persistently poor and inconsistent sleeping habits, we’ve finally decided to try gentle sleep training. As much as I wanted to be able to wait it out, I’ve reached the point where something needs to change. Waking up every hour at night to nurse him is just not working for me anymore, let alone struggling to get him back to sleep when nursing isn’t enough and he starts to cry. So we found a program to help us sleep train him, and we’ve been working on it for a few weeks now. Basically, the idea is that he needs to be able to fall asleep on his own without being in his swing or having us nurse or rock him to sleep, so that when he naturally wakes up between sleep cycles he can easily go back to sleep without our assistance. The method to achieve this involves slowly fading out these sleep crutches. It’s also important to get him on a predictable schedule, so he doesn’t become overly tired and we know that he’s getting enough sleep. His schedule dictates that he should wake up around 7:30, take a nap around 10 to 11:30, another nap around 2:30 to 4:00, and be asleep in bed for the night by 8:00.

So far, we’ve been able to say goodbye to the swing completely and we put him to bed every night now without nursing him to sleep. We’re still struggling with getting him to cooperate with the schedule, and go to sleep without Cory rocking him. Cody has a very hard time going down for his naps when I’m the one putting him down, for some reason, so weekdays are a struggle. And unfortunately, he is still waking up very frequently at night to nurse—I’d estimate about 6 times every night, on average. We’re hoping to see major some improvements in the next few weeks! If not, I’m facing a very real possibility of losing my sanity. 😉

We finally had a chance to take Cody to the pool for the first time this month, and we’ve been back again a few times since then. He gets super clingy when we go in the water, but he seems to enjoy it. He likes to splash around a little bit and watch people playing and swimming. It’s nice to have something fun and relaxing to do during the hot summer days! We also have a lot of fun going to a local indoor play gym. Cody loves to explore all of the toys and play equipment, watch the other kids, and stare at people. It’s a great way to get out of the house and keep him entertained for a while!

For the past week or so, Cody’s been experiencing an increase in separation anxiety. Some days he can be incredibly clingy, and prefers me holding him over playing. Weirdly, I feel more separation anxiety from him these days as well—I get anxious when he’s with somebody else and I can’t see him or know exactly what he’s doing. Some people make fun of me for that, or show concern over my discomfort with separation from him, but I believe that it’s natural and healthy. I know that in the months and years to come, he will become more independent and I will feel better about not being with him all the time, but right now he’s still a baby I think it’s good that we have a strong attachment and bond. He also loves his daddy very much, and is always very happy to see him when he comes home from work. He wants to be held by him immediately and likes to snuggle in his neck. It’s so cute! Being with his daddy is one of the only ways he’s okay without me for any reasonable length of time. I love knowing that their bond is very strong as well.

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