Happy First Birthday, Cody!

I am officially the parent of a one year old! What a fun year we’ve had with our little mischief-maker.

Cody has been developing his personality even more in the past month. He’s such a silly, smart, curious, and affectionate boy. He loves to snuggle, climb all over us, give us hugs and kisses, sit in our laps, and be held. He enjoys his bath time, especially now that he has free range of the entire oversized bath tub, so we’re back to bathing him almost every day now. After his bath at night, he usually gets extremely hyper and starts acting super silly and wild. Fortunately, he usually calms down in time for bed and falls asleep pretty easily.

He’s still extremely clingy, especially around new people or in crowded places. Some days, it’s still hard for me to even get ready in the morning because he cries every time I put him down! Usually, I have to get ready in small increments and hold him to calm him down in between. He’s also been becoming more particular about me holding him even when Cory’s home and available. It can be pretty frustrating, and it makes Cory feel a bit sad sometimes. Fortunately, Cody isn’t that clingy towards me all of the time, and he still always wants his daddy to hold him as soon as he gets home from work. Even when he is being particularly clingy, I try to focus on balancing my own needs for sanity, taking care of myself, and resting with meeting his need for closeness. Sometimes it has to be okay for him to whine or even cry in the loving arms of another caregiver, so I can get some things done and have time to myself. On the other hand, I also understand and care about his developmental need for security, which often translates into lots of love and holding from his mommy.

He plays a lot of silly games with us now. One game we play is chasing him on our hands and knees and saying “I’m gonna getcha!” He gets this manic smile on his face and toddles away until we corner him, then turns around and waits for us to snatch him up and tickle him. He also likes to play a game where he hides behind us while we’re sitting on the floor, and we pretend not to know where he is. Then he comes into view and we act surprised to find him. One other game he plays lately is “pushing” me around the house—he pushes on my legs and directs me where to go. He thinks it’s even funnier if I say, “Push! Push!” while he’s doing it. So silly!

He’s been signing “milk” more and more, and he definitely understands what it means when I ask if he wants “milky.” He also understands a lot of other things we say. He knows that when we say “watch your head” that he should duck or be careful because he’s close to hitting his head on something above him. He knows what “hug” and “kiss” mean, and we know he understands “clap your hands.” We made up a song to keep him from crying when we change his diaper, which is basically “If You’re Happy And You Know It” but with slightly different lyrics, and a few weeks ago, he started to clap his hands whenever we sing the song, especially when we get to the “clap your hands part.” He’s such a smarty! I’m sure there are many, many other words he understands that we don’t even realize yet.

As far as sleep goes, his naps have improved but his night time sleep is still not good. We finally decided to give up on his schedule because he started fighting his naps so hard and it was a battle every time we tried to put him to sleep. Instead, we started allowing him to play until he fell asleep on his own, usually while nursing, being worn in the carrier, or in the car. It turns out that he was ready to transition to one nap per day, and now he’s fairly predictable in taking his nap around 11 or 12 each day. He sleeps anywhere from an hour and a half to a heavenly two and a half hours—a couple times, we’ve even gotten a three hour nap out of him! The best part is that there is absolutely no fighting or frustration over naps anymore. He goes to sleep when he’s tired, and he sleeps much more soundly. Whereas before, on his schedule, we would almost always have to help him fall back to sleep sometime during his naps, now he often stirs and falls back to sleep on his own or simply doesn’t have any wakings. Occasionally he still needs us to snuggle him back to sleep when he wakes up in the middle of a nap, but it’s much rarer now.

As far as bedtime goes, we try to let him fall asleep on his own, but we have a limit of 8:00 PM. If he’s not asleep by then, we will try more actively to put him to sleep. Usually nursing or a few minutes of rocking will do the trick. He’s been choosing this option more and more these days, which isn’t as easy for us, but it’s still so much less stressful than the 20 minutes or more we used to spend trying to coax him to sleep every night.

He still wakes up around four to five times a night to nurse, although he rarely needs to be rocked in the middle of the night anymore. There are still occasional nights (such as last night) where he has a really hard time sleeping and ends up crying and needing a lot more from us to get through the night. Often, this is caused by teething, and usually a dose of infant ibuprofen does the trick. Still, those nights really suck. And even on “good” nights, I long for the night sometime in the future when I will be able to sleep for eight hour straight—or even seven! Even six! Heck, I think even five hours straight would be heavenly at this point. I have my suspicions that Cody will only start sleeping through the night after he’s weaned, or at least almost weaned.

Speaking of weaning, Cody is still nowhere remotely close as he is still exclusively breastfed. He occasionally eats a few bites of my yogurt, or a few sips of a smoothie, or a few licks of whatever food we’re eating (he will lick solid food, but not take bites yet). Still, he is a long way from getting any of his nutrition from solids. Fortunately, I still treasure our nursing relationship, and he’s still thriving on my milk, so there’s really nothing to be concerned about in this area, as uncommon as it may be. He’ll start eating real food when he’s ready. 🙂

For his birthday, we had a small party with family and it was lots of fun. It was an important day for me and Cory, to celebrate our little man’s first year of life, and even though Cody won’t remember it, we definitely will. Never again will we celebrate our first’s first birthday! It was definitely special to us.

That’s about it! From here on out, I’m planning to do updates about every three months instead of monthly. Thanks for reading and following our journey as a family!

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