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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Wednesday, June 17

Turn it up to 11

Mac is ELEVEN months old! Won't be long before the big O.N.E! Time is flying by and while him getting older gives me a little more freedom, it makes me sad to know how quickly the last months have gone and I'm sure they will just continue to speed up. Here are the eleven month milestones and my comments regarding where Mac is.

Baby Development: Your 11-Month-Old

Below are the baby milestones you can expect your child to achieve when he’s 11 months old.

Motor Skills

At 11 months, your baby should be cruising around while holding onto the furniture or your hands. He might even let go of your hands to try out a few tentative steps alone or he might even be walking independently. Some babies at this age experiment by standing on their toes or on one leg. Not yet. We are working on it at PT and he's started letting go with one hand to reach for toys and also bending his knees instead of having locked legs.

A few particularly adventurous 11-month-olds find that climbing is a fun way to explore. They’ll scale counters, get over their crib railing, and put themselves into some pretty precarious situations. If you have one of these little climbers, don’t provide an easy access route. Move chairs away from tables and countertops so your baby can’t get up high enough to take a nasty spill. Your baby will also love opening drawers and cabinets, so be sure to lock up any chemicals, cleaning products, or cosmetics that are within his reach. Mac HATES when we work on climbing on the stairs. It will likely come when/if he crawls, which he isn't doing.

As your baby’s hand-eye coordination improves, he’ll enjoy learning how things work by arranging toys by size and color as well as taking them apart and putting them back together. Stacking blocks and nesting cups are excellent toys for these pursuits. He LOVES blocks and just started liking to play "catch" or rolling the ball back and forth. He loves to put toys in and take toys out of things.

Eating

Your baby should be feeding himself by now, either with fingers or a spoon. Fill your 11-month-old’s diet with a variety of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy products -- cheese and yogurt -- and protein -- beef, chicken, fish, tofu. Offer a snack in the morning and afternoon to give your baby enough energy to make it through the day. Crackers, fruit, and dry cereal are all good snack options. Mac LOVES to eat "real" food. In fact, I rarely give him baby food any more. He is good at chewing and figuring out what size of food to eat, so I'm able to give him "whole" foods some times, which is nice and good for him.

Your baby’s sense of taste is developing, so keep adding different flavors to the mealtime repertoire. If you have a particularly picky eater who constantly pushes away the spoon, don’t give up. Keep trying new foods. Sometimes, babies have to be exposed to a food eight to 12 times before they’ll eat it. At the same time, never force your baby to eat. It’s better to let young children decide for themselves when they are full. Research has shown that kids who are made to clean their plates often turn into overeaters later in life. Mac definitely lets us know what he wants and what he doesn't want. I try to keep offering things to him. He LOVES bananas and fruit in general and anything grain related.

Communication

Eleven-month-olds realize that they’re unique people. They have a strong sense of their likes and dislikes, and they’ve learned to use their emotions to get what they want -- like throwing a temper tantrum when you try to take away a favorite toy. Your baby may already have discovered the word “no.” If so, you’ll probably be hearing it a lot. Mac has "found" his voice. If he wants something or wants our attention, he just screams REALLY loudly. I try not to encourage it...but it IS effective! He can shake his head "no" but hasn't learned to say it. I keep telling the kids NOT to use "no" around him but instead to use descriptive words like "danger" "hot" "stop" etc.

Communication begins to take on a more mature rhythm at 11 months. Babies at this age can engage in a regular back-and-forth conversation. When you ask a question, you’ll get a response, although you probably won’t understand most of that response. When you name something -- like the family dog -- your baby can point at it. You’ll also probably notice that your baby has a longer attention span and can focus on you or a game for more than a few seconds at a time. Mac doesn't look or point to us when we use each other's names, but I KNOW he knows who we are. Stubborn? He can play with blocks forever...and with his siblings (even if he is just by them and not actually playing WITH them). Jim was pretty sure Mac said "banana" the other morning. If he does it again, that will be his first official word (besides dada and mama, of course).


Tips for Your Baby’s Eleventh Month:

Now that your baby is crawling and walking with help, let him explore many different types of textures, including grass, carpet, and the floor. Nope, neither yet but I do try to provide different stimuli either by bringing it to him or bringing him to it.
Read together with your baby every day. Involve your child in the experience by pointing to people and things in the pictures and asking your baby what they are. You can also involve him by letting him turn the pages. Honestly, I'm terrible with this. Just so much going on. I need to be better about it.
Start reinforcing good behaviors with praise, and correcting inappropriate behaviors with a firm “no.”
Encourage your baby to start becoming more independent while dressing, eating, and getting ready for bed. I'm not good at letting him be independent but am trying. I've incorporated "gentle" a lot into our conversations since he loves to poke and scratch and sometimes hit (but not with malicious intent).

He has seven teeth (just missing his upper front right tooth). He nurses about 4 times per day now. You wouldn't think going from 5 to 4 would make a big difference but it does! He sleeps great at night and has been for a while. I'm SO thankful for this. He naps at least two times per day and sometimes need a quick power snooze either right away in the AM or in the late evening. He loves snacks and eating. He chews really well for not having molars. He talks/babbles a ton, especially to his siblings. He is a happy boy most of the time and easily entertained. But when he's not happy, EVERYBODY knows it! He loves showing off and hamming it up for the camera or people. Nobody thinks he is funnier than he does. We are working on transitioning to and from sitting and he CAN do it but still has a hard time with it. He is doing great with the standing exercises but I still want him to crawl, if we can get him to. I just think his whole world will be rocked if he can just figure out how to MOVE! I still enjoy putting him down and knowing he'll still be there, or close to there...but enough is enough!

Here are his monthly pictures:

   
   
   
 

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