My Nine-Month-Old Toddler (Almost!)

Harper turned nine-months-old on March 5. I am in absolute amazement at the little girl she's becoming. A few updates:

She finally figured out how to crawl. It is adorable. She puts one leg out to the side to propel herself in the right direction (a new thing, since previously she always went backwards and ended up wedged under the coffee table), and her arms do most of the work. She sounds particularly clumsy when she's clomping around on the hardwood floor.

She can stand by herself for a few seconds at a time. She doesn't quite have the courage to attempt any steps by herself, but BOY does she love to hold onto my fingers and walk around the house...over...and over...and over. We are going to have our hands full when this little one starts walking! And I don't think it will be long...

We finally had to invest in some babyproofing items. Okay, one babyproofing item - a gate. I decided to start with just one so I can put her in her room when I am showering or doing the laundry in the basement. Her room isn't completely void of Harper hazards, but it's better than the other rooms in the house. I'm working on making it 100% safe for her. If I leave her in the living room, she inevitably finds whatever is super dangerous and potentially poisonous. She wants to pull up on the plant stand (which wobbles like it will fall over on top of her) or eat cat litter. You know, really awesome things for a little baby to do.

She has her first bad cold. She had one a few months ago, but it went away in three days. This time, she has the cough. The wheezing. The incessant snot bubbles. The fever (not too high though - and it was only one night). The sleepless nights. It's been tough, but she's pretty much been her happy self through the whole thing. Even when I took her to Instacare the other night in a semi-panic, she was waving at everyone and babbling away. According to the doctor, she has either a cold or early bronchialitis. It's one of those watch-and-wait illnesses. There's not much we can do except make her as comfortable as possible and keep an eye on things to make sure they don't get worse. Oh, and since it's viral, we've been avoiding activities involving other babies. She misses her friends. ;)

She has four teeth. The top two came through right at her 9-month birthday. She didn't make a huge fuss about it, but she has started this very annoying tooth scraping thing. She scrapes the top teeth against the bottom teeth...and if you've never experienced this phenomenon from a baby or toddler, I will tell you it is a million times worse than any other annoying sound you've ever heard. It puts fingernails on the chalkboard to shame. She has also bitten me a few times (fingers, nipples, etc.) which is never fun, but she seems to be getting the hang of having teeth now. I haven't let out any blood-curdling screams in a few days.

She loves cuddling. In the morning, she will bury her head into the space between my head and chest, and she will lie there like that making little Harper noises. She also does this when she gets tired. For a while, she hated being carried in her Boba Wrap, but lately she has been loving it. I especially love putting her in it while shopping. If she gets tired, she will put her head on my chest and fall asleep for a nice, long nap. I am able to get things done while kissing her little head over and over. I absolutely adore this child.

She is sleeping through the night again, and IN HER CRIB. Oh this has been heavenly. We stuck with the cry-it-out method, and she now goes to sleep without much of a fuss. While she's been sick, she's been a little more needy at night...and I have obliged her. But once she's better, I expect she will be back to her 10-hour nights.

Speaking of nights, I had gotten a little lax on my cloth diapering for the last few months. (GASP!) I was still using prefolds/covers throughout the day, but since she was coming into my bed a lot at night, I was putting disposables on her for sleeping. Now that she has gone back to sleeping through the night (for the most part), I have switched her back to cloth. We may have to adjust her routine now that she's getting bigger (and wetting more!), but I trust that we can find a solution that works for us.

She claps. And gives high-fives. And waves hello and goodbye (at everything and everyone). And I think she even signed "milk" the other day. It's interesting to see that she knows when these things are appropriate - for example, if I say "Good Job!" or "Yay!", she will start clapping. And in the morning, when Wonton jumps up on the bed, she waves "Hello!" to him. Precious.

She is still almost exclusively breastfed. I give her solids whenever we're eating something that's appropriate for her, but we don't push it. She pretty much loves everything we've given her, and she hasn't had any digestive/allergy problems. However, I feel confident that breast milk is all she really needs until about a year-old. I'll be more diligent about preparing her structured meals then. Call me lazy, but it really is nice not having to puree and specially prepare food for her. Delaying solids has been really nice because now, she has teeth. She can chew (and she knows how - a problem that I hear some babies have who are introduced to pureed food early-on) - we just give her small bites that she can easily handle.

I think that's about it! Enjoy the photos. Oh, and expect a lot more now that the temperatures are heating up. I anticipate that we'll be spending many hours at the park and out-and-about in the new few months!

PS - The pants Harper is wearing in the photos in this post are some of the prototypes for my Baby Got Back sewing pattern for cloth-diapered babies!!! I am getting SO CLOSE to being ready to roll out this pattern. I gotta tell you - pattern making isn't anywhere near as glamorous as one would think. Sewing the same thing over and over 30 times or so = NO FUN! But it will be worth it soon! :)

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