16 Months update

by thewallflowerchapter

What a difference 16 months make! Our little berry has become a toddler almost, her baby-ness is about all gone by now, and I catch glimpses of it only when she’s sleeping or cuddling up to me… How I miss her baby-ness, but how I also embrace this new fun phase she’s entering.

The biggest growth this past month has been that the impossible has been accomplished. We have successfully weaned the little berry off nursing and she’s now fully on formula milk 4x a day, 120ml each time.

It was an emotional journey for me to wean her, on one hand I truly relish the freedom of not feeling pressurized to be around All The Time as her food source (although I’m still around like 99.45% of the time, but at least the pressure’s off), on the other hand, I find myself missing the nursing relationship and closeness we shared.

I’ve also observed that she’s been napping slightly better and for longer periods independently after weaning. As in, I no longer have to do the 100m dash upstairs to pop my nipple into her mouth when she wakes up crying midway through her nap. She’s been sleeping on average about an hour for each of the two naps. I wonder if this is because the formula milk fills her up more substantially, hence she doesn’t feel hungry in the middle of her nap, or that she previously fell asleep suckling and just wanted to suckle back to sleep. Whichever the reason, I’m just glad I get longer stretches of time to cook/clean/launder while she naps now.

The last time we visited the PD, we were encouraged to try and get her weight up, because she seems to be on the lowest percentile of the growth chart – which is fine, except that she wasn’t so low on the chart before, so we should try to not let her slip off the chart altogether. Am happy to report that she has finally stepped into the 9kg range and is growing steadily now.

This weight gain is probably also because of the solids she’s been taking now. She’s no longer on mashed up food, and usually eats what we eat for meals eg. bolognese sauce, lamb stew, chicken chop, pork chop, steak… And she loves it! We moderate the seasoning on her food and add more salt up our own plates. She usually has a side of carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, jap rice, potato) and steamed veg on top of the main. She now observes what we eat very closely and would ask for our food if it looks different from what she’s having, haha…

Oh and she’s also gotten her first taste of nuts, cashew nuts to be specific, and really likes it. It’s the healthiest thing she can possibly snack on and I’m happy to let her munch on them in the car or while I’m busy cooking.

Another major area of growth has been in that of speech. I don’t even know how to describe it, it’s like she can repeat almost everything now, even words with 3 or 4 syllabus. Like “gingerbread”, “commander Gracie”, “Chopper kunnie (boy-O)”.

Just today I was flipping through one of those kiddy books with her and I realised she can identify just about every single thing in the book! From how the baby is bathing “Pom Pom”, to “towel” and “toothbrush” and “bear bear” and “wash hands” and “book”.

I’m both utterly amazed and very proud of her… And I cannot help wonder if this is normal for a 16-month old baby? Am I catching up with her in terms of her learning speed? Or are other kids just as fast, and it’s just that I’m not exposed to other kids her age?

Some of the words she can say now which I would like to remember:

Love you
Commander papa/Gracie
Mummy shoes
Papa poopoo (when GY is on toilet bowl)
Happy… To you! (Happy birthday to you)
Name… Yong Zhen (then she smiles)
Gor Gor flying (an ad she saw)
Swimming hat
Cook cook cook
Gami (origami)
Gingerbread… Man!

She’s been getting her fair share of bumps and bruises with her increased mobility. She’s sported a couple of blue-blacks on her head and face, much to the concern of her grandparents (both sets!)

I noticed that she really looks up to older kids. She loves pointing out Gor Gor and Jie Jie in the magazines we flip through, and one time in the swimming pool, she saw some older kids splashing about and went up to them and grinned very cheekily, haha! It’s because of this streak that I managed to get her to wear her hat when she goes out to the garden or swimming pool. I told her repeatedly that Jie Jies all wear “swimming hat”, and she can too. The next day, she willingly put on her hat before we went outdoors.

The activities we’ve been doing at home mainly involve lots of reading, singing, painting and drawing, coloring, playing with stickers, some sensory play with pasta, and some scooping activities (transferring pasta/colored balls). I also try to make sure that she gets a fair amount of outdoor play everyday, we do weeding together and chase after butterflies and dragonflies. She loves to point out chopper’s poo on the grass by pointing at it and going “Chopper poo poo! Smelly!”

As she grows, she’s also beginning to assert her independence and test boundaries. When she doesn’t get what she wants or when we take something dangerous away from her, sometimes she throws tantrums. She would go “eh!”, with a fling of her arms downwards or sometimes, smack us with her hands. We’ve communicated to her that this is not acceptable and she’s also learned to say “sorry”, sometimes voluntarily.

I think whilst she knows how to exhibit the right behavior, it’s a matter of her heart that I’m concerned about. I hope that one day she’ll truly understand what it means to be sorry and to repent from her mistakes. I think the path ahead will feature quite a few lessons for both herself and us as we learn how to celebrate and also discipline her while she tests boundaries.

All in all, I think I’m really enjoying this interactive, active phase she’s going through. My heart melts each time she greets me “Goodnight” and “Love you” with a kiss… I can only hope this ritual will last for many many years to come.