Thursday, June 20, 2013

Maggie : Pre-Toddler Summary - 17 Months

I am going to start keeping track of Maggie's months by doing monthly summaries. Hopefully, when Bean is born sometime in October (oh yeah ... we're having another baby - yippee!!) I'll be able to keep a weekly baby log as well as Maggie's monthly summaries. I've thought about doing these summaries for awhile now, but haven't done it. Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with this stuff for my own records. I want to remember the good, bad, and the ugly. :) Someday, I'll have a good laugh. Plus, it'll be nice to look back on this for future reference with future children. So without further ado:

Maggie was 18 months old on June 17th. This is a summary for her 17th month:

Maggie eats a ton of food at every meal. She out-eats Matthew (my husband.) It's fun to watch her eat. She still refuses milk. She had almond milk this month, and would drink it if Matthew did, but wouldn't initiate drinking it on her own. She drinks water at all of her meals. At breakfast this month, I increased the amount of protein and fiber she was eating (more on the affect of that later.) The protein that I gave her was Greek yogurt. I figured it's a lot less fatty than breakfast sausage and it's cheaper, too, plus because she doesn't drink milk, I want her to get calcium from something! She has been eating table food since before she was a year old, but she's been done with purees since about 12 months. The only thing she will tolerate being spoon fed is yogurt and applesauce. However, this month, she started to want to feed herself with the spoon. I figured it's the age that a lot of kids start eating with utensils, or at least make an effort to, so I let her practice every morning with her yogurt. It took a few days of fits and me telling her that yogurt wasn't finger food and then she decided she wanted to use the spoon. She's really proficient at it now! It didn't take very long either - about a week. She can even get it out of the bowl with her spoon. It's been a big month in development of fine and gross motor skills. 

Increasing Protein Intake:
Around 13-14 months, Maggie started sleeping a long time for her morning nap and wouldn't fall asleep in the afternoon. That's not uncommon at that age. I decided I just wanted her to drop the morning nap. We just did it cold turkey and dealt with the inevitable grumpiness for the adjustment period. Except the adjustment period was months and months long. All of a sudden, she would get incredibly whiny and clingy around 11 am. She would throw major fits at lunch almost everyday. It was pretty exhausting. But the days I would try to lay her down for a catnap, she either wouldn't fall asleep, or she would and even though I would wake her up after about 30 minutes, she wouldn't sleep for her afternoon nap. I decided to just deal with the whining and clinginess. Around 16-17 months, we were at my parent's house in KC for a week. My parents love to feed Maggie (like I said, it's fun to watch her eat) and my dad loves to cook big meals for breakfast every day. So Maggie was getting her fill of protein every morning. It made a big difference in her level of contentment during the time before her nap. I know it was the increased protein, because when we came home, I was not making huge breakfasts everyday. Maggie went back to being whiny and clingy. That's when I decided to feed her Greek yogurt. It's ridiculously high in protein and she likes it. Whining and clinginess gone again. Ah ... If only I had thought of that 3 months ago. 

Like I said before, Maggie has been taking one nap since she was around 14 months old. I think in conjunction to increased protein at breakfast, this month, she finally started to really only need one nap. She naps everyday from 1pm-4 or 4:30pm. She was finally content to stay up all morning everyday and really didn't start to show sleep cues until around 12:45 or 1. I know this is the right time for her to start her nap, based on how long she sleeps, as well as the fact that on Sunday, when we're at church, she no longer has a weekly meltdown. Yippee!!

Independent Play:
Just thought I'd note that this month (as in every month past) independent play is essential for Maggie's happiness and well-being throughout the day. We were in KC at the earlier part of her being 17 months and of course, independent play doesn't happen with Gram and Pops and Aunt "Mo" and her uncles around. There are too many people who want to play with her. That's totally fine with me, but towards the end of the week, she was just emotionally spent. She needed some time to regroup. So one morning, while everyone was at work, I put her in her crib with her toys. She played happily for an hour. It seemed to be just what she needed, too. She was much more emotionally composed after that (as much as a 17-month old can be :))

First Chores:
I started having her feed the dog with my supervision this month. She goes to the dog food, scoops some into the cup, carries the cup over to Ike's bowl and dumps it in. Then, she brings the empty cup back over and puts it back in the bag. It gets a little messy sometimes, but I don't really mind. She likes to pick up the dropped dog food pieces around Ike's bowl and put them into the bowl. She does it one-by-one, of course. :) It's good fine motor skill practice. She's taken a lot of responsibility over the food being in the bowl already. When Ike eats and drops some pieces out around his bowl while he's eating, she makes sure that she picks up the pieces and puts them back into his dish. 

Sundays were rough for a long time. Once she went to one nap, things got easier. But things got even easier this month, because she was finally really able to stay awake without any drama. She usually takes a 20-30 minute (or less) catnap in the car on the way to lunch (we go out to eat with Matthew's family) and then is good for the duration of lunch. We keep her awake on the way home and then once we get home, she crashes. :) 

Schedule This Month:
9:00 (yes, seriously, although this changed at the end of the month. She started waking up closer to 8. I think she was sleeping until 9 for her period of adjustment to one nap and once she adjusted, she is waking up at a more "normal" kid time.) - wake up and eat breakfast
9:30 - 10:45 or 11:00 - independent play in room in pack-n-play
11:00 - chores with Mama. Usually she "helps" me unload the dishwasher and we feed the dog together.
11:30 - free play with Mama. Usually reading books or blowing bubbles.
12:00 - pick up toys and get ready for lunch
12:15 - eat lunch
12:45 - 1:00 - change diaper, naptime routine
1:00 - 4:30 - naptime
4:30 - 5:00 - snack time (we eat a pretty late dinner)
5:00 - 6:00 or 6:15 - structured play. Sometimes in the high chair. She will color or play with a whiteboard and dry erase maker (don't worry, they're non-toxic.) Sometimes we do puzzles. It really varies and depends on what I need to finish for dinner prep. Matthew comes home during this hour, too, so she plays with him when he gets home.
6:15 - 6:45 - dinner.
6:45 - 7:10 - bathtime
7:10 - 7:30 - play with Daddy. Wind down for the night. Bedtime routine
7:30 - bedtime

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