Thursday, 12 October 2017

My Toddler At 20 Months

Everything is so busy at the moment, but I need to get this 20 month update down before another month is over and all is forgotten. You would think that as Little approaches two her development would slow down and there would be less noticeable changes each month. This is partially true, in some ways she is changing less, but she continues to amaze me in her development. The biggest change in the last month has been her speech. On average Little has said a new word every day so she has gone from about 50 words to 80! 

9 photographs of Little in the last month including: jumping in a puddle, playing with playdough, standing on the radiator, surrounded by mess, close up of face, ringing a bell, with Peppa Pig toys at Smyth's, a wonky selfie and dancing in a tunnel
Little Month 19 to 20


Activities


Little now demands “TV” at intervals throughout the day. When possible I distract her until she decides to happily play on her own, but it’s hard when I’m busy or she isn’t feeling well. When the TV is on she normally demands “Peppa”, but there is only so much of that little pink pig I can handle so I try and branch her out into other programmes.

When the television is off Little can be really good at independent play. Many of her favourite toys are actually Big Sister’s and she loves to play with dolls and a tea set. I am brought multiple cups of “tea” in little purple plastic cups while I work and instructed I need to drink them. How long before I can trust her with boiling water do you think?

The creative play and associated chatter is lovely to watch. Her big sister didn’t do much of it at home when she was a similar age, but I love to secretly watch what Little gets up to. There is a fair amount of mess making and Little is getting more reluctant to tidy up, but I think that’s normal as she asserts her independence.

Little drawing on a large magnetic drawing board

Communication


Wow, so many new words, so much understanding. We really have to be careful what we say in front of her now as she picks up on words and then demands what we are talking about (sweets, ice cream, television, drink). 

While her vocabulary is good she still can’t say enough words for her own liking and there are some tantrums as we ignore her wishes. I’m having to spend a lot of my time asking her to “use words” or “show me”.

We have had a few sentences like “Daddy at work”, but mostly Little uses single words or actions to communicate.

Growth


There have been comments recently that Little has grown, but it continues to be so subtle I don’t notice. Her 18-24 month clothes still fit her comfortably (and some 12 to 18 month ones too). She doesn’t feel heavier or even look taller to me. Her weight is back up to 12.5kg (as it was 2 months ago) and her height standing is 84cm (still not as tall as she was last time I measured her lying down as it’s so hard to get her to stand straight). A couple more teeth have come through at the front, but she won’t let me put my fingers in her mouth at the moment so I’m going to guess she has 16 teeth and it’s just her 4 2nd molars left to come through. Nearly there! Just in time for Big Sister's teeth to start falling out.

Little in the rain with her waterproof hood up and tongue out to catch rain drops

Feeding 


Little continues to eat a good range of food when I’m organised enough to make them for her. Big favourites are still fruits like satsumas and strawberries and processed meat (hide the sausages!). I normally have a good selection of different foods on offer at each meal so she eats a reasonable amount, even if she isn’t interested in everything on her plate.

We started the milk ladder this month to try and introduce dairy into her diet. After a couple of days of malted milk biscuits it was unclear if there was a reaction (her sleep got worse, but that could have been caused by anything) and then she got bored of the biscuits and kept trying to steal my Oreo’s instead. I tried moving her on to the next stage to see if those biscuits interested her more instead and they too have been rejected. I have spent months looking at biscuit packets and finding dairy in the ones I want, but now I want some with dairy in (baked in rather than through chocolate) they all seem to be dairy free! 

Little seems to breastfeed the same amount. She feeds to sleep for nap time and in the evening then how much milk she demands through out the day will depend on what we are up to and how tired she is. She is happy to go without milk when I’m not there, but isn’t happy when I refuse to let her have any. She is drinking more Almond milk from a cup now and (apart from when ill or in pain) her main interest in breastfeeding is as a way to get to sleep.


Sleep


I don’t have a problem with Little feeding to sleep. Most of the time it is a quick and easy option, but the dependency on me is frustrating when I want to be out or need a break. It’s the balance between doing what is easiest for both Little and I (most of the time) or making things harder in the short term in the hope she will go to sleep independently. She will ask for feeds at night when she is hungry or something else is stopping her getting to sleep, but she sleeps through at least once a week so I know she can do it if she is satisfied. 
Some nights Little will wake at 6am, some at 5am, other nights she will wake up once or twice and need to be fed back to sleep. If she wakes up after 5 she is normally awake for the day. I take her into our bed and let her suckle until 6am when I encourage her to get up with her Dad so I can get more sleep. If she is reluctant she can normally be encouraged to go feed the cat, if all else fails getting to watch Peppa is a great motivational tool.
Ultimately Little’s sleep is manageable and it doesn’t feel worth the hassle of trying to change anything. Gradually her sleep will improve all on it’s own. One day she won’t want me there when she goes to sleep. The nights may feel long, but the years are short.
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