Nine months! I remember seeing nine-month-old babies when M was very little, and that seemed like so far off. But here we are, at nine months. She’s such a little person — full of opinions and creating new ones every day. We have a lot of fun, and it’s hard to imagine anybody feeling too down if they got to spend time around M. People always say that she seems so happy, and she definitely is!
Size: M is about 18lbs8oz (55th percentile) and 27.5” long (50th percentile), with a head circumference of around 18.5” (giant). We’ll find out her real size at her nine-month check-up — I always feel like my measurements are pretty rough. Most of her clothes are either 9mos or 12mos, or that strange 6-12mos size. She can still fit into some of her 6mos onesies, though.
Likes and Dislikes: Let’s get the dislikes out of the way — she doesn’t like being on her back (except when she’s sleeping). Or her front, really. She just doesn’t want to lie down! So getting her dressed can sometimes be a challenge. She gets frustrated more now that there are things she wants to do or places she wants to go — and her plans don’t always go perfectly. She’ll cry for a few seconds if I take something away that she really wants (and shouldn’t have). There have been a couple of times that we’ve been about to go outside, and then I’ve remembered there’s something I have to grab, so I shut the door again, and she gets upset. I guess that means she likes being outside!
M’s favorite object has to be Kitty Cat Doll. It’s been in her crib ever since she started sleeping in her own room (around 3.5mos). I had to wash it a while ago, and she slept fine with another stuffed animal, but she was SO happy to get Kitty Cat Doll back once it was dry! It usually stays in M’s crib, but if we take it out, M loves to hug it and bury her face in the ‘fur’.
She’s fascinated by books, whether I’m reading them to her or she’s just looking at them by herself. She likes to turn the pages over and over again. I think I Kissed the Baby is her favorite, and when I get to the page with ‘…and I’m going to do it again!’ she smiles big because she knows I’m about to kiss her. She discovered the stack of books and magazines on the bottom shelf of one of the end tables this month, and she really enjoys pulling them all down and looking at them. Even though everything else goes in her mouth, she rarely chews on books these days. She knows they’re something special!
Eating: M’s still doing great with her bottles. We switched to Level 3 nipples a few weeks ago, and she barely noticed — but she can sure drink a lot more quickly, now! I know that some babies never use Level 3s, so it’s amazing how well she does with them, considering how long it took to transition from preemie to Level 1 and then Level 2.
When M was 8.5mos, she had a swallow study, which found a narrowing where she’d had surgery on her esophagus. So then she had to have that dilated, which was a day spent in the hospital. The nurses were impressed with how upbeat she was! She’s been doing a little better with solid foods since then, but I’m not sure whether that’s due to the procedure or the fact that she chews food up now. She really likes the little baby puff cereal, and she’s been very willing to try other little bits of food — unlike her boredom with purees. She still doesn’t eat much solid food, but she tries something new most days.
Sleeping: Sleep hasn’t changed much since last month. She still takes her two naps at the same times, but I’ve been trying to move her bedtime to 7:00pm. She’s made it that late only a few times, but she’s been staying up until at least 6:30pm for a week or two. I haven’t seen a change in how late she sleeps in the morning, but I’m hoping that will eventually kick in! She’s usually up around 5:00am and amuses herself for half an hour.
Working On / Accomplishments: It seems like she’s started doing so much this month! One of the biggest milestones has to be her teeth. One (the bottom left) came through right at the beginning of July, and the bottom right one poked out about a week before she turned 9mos. She didn’t make a fuss either time!
She started using consonants right after she turned 8mos. She started with ‘dadada’ and now also does ‘bababa’. Sometimes I catch a ‘lala’, and she likes to make ‘ffff’ sounds, too. Her language comprehension also seems to be growing. She loves the wooden bird that hangs in her room (a recent development), so I started calling it ‘Flappy’ a while back. After a few days, she understood that that was the bird’s name, and she’ll look right to it if I ask her what Flappy is doing. She recognizes lines from her favorite books and seems to prefer the ones we’ve read over and over to new ones.
It’s been a little over a month since she switched to part-time brace wear, and she’s definitely taken advantage of the freedom! She still doesn’t crawl-crawl, but she’s getting better every day at getting where she wants. She’s really good at putting her hands down and pivoting around to face the other way when she’s sitting. She can combine that with some modified sitting-crawling to move a short distance, if there’s something she really wants that’s out of reach.
She also started pulling herself up to stand this month. She’s been able to pull up on my hands for a while, but now she can get on her knees and slowly stand up on her own. She also walks if somebody holds her hands, but she hasn’t done much cruising on furniture yet.
A week ago, she graduated from her hat and physical therapy! She made all the improvements she needed to, and we’ll both be happy to not have those appointments every other week from now on. We can use that driving time to do something FUN instead!
Other Stuff: M is generally very good at playing independently. She just sits amongst her pile of toys and goes from one thing to the next without needing me to entertain her too much. But after a while of that, she’ll want to have a cuddle or just sit on my lap while she plays. I’ve been reading Playful Parenting, so now I think of these times as ‘filling her cup’. Once she’s filled up, she’s happy to go back to playing on her own. I’ve got a pretty high tolerance for playing baby games, but I think it’s good for both of us to have the time to ourselves (even though I’m just a few feet from her).
I still feel like I won the baby lottery with M! She’s so sweet and happy, and not much gets her down. I’m so lucky that I get to watch her grow up!
It was really difficult to get a sitting photo this month. As soon as she realized how close she was to the windows, M wanted only to get over there to look out. She had no problem scootching over and then standing up to see what was happening outside (and put handprints all over the glass).