I remember feeling super pregnant with Alice when Vivienne was about 18 months and thinking… ‘how am I going to take care of a baby when the current toddler won’t let me put her down?’ 18 months was tough stage for Vivienne and I can’t believe we are almost at this stage with Alice now. I know I’m super cliche with the phrase, ‘it goes by so fast’ but really… especially your second child, it really really does!
I wanted to write an update on Alice. I know you see her often and I update you on stories, but there is something about writing it down here. I love comparing milestones, looking at photos, and truthfully just remembering what it was like at this current stage. Even if you do not own a blog or have no plans of sharing your life with the world, I still recommend you having some sort of journal during these first years because you really do forget so much.
When Alice was born, she was my angel baby… she was so easy going and I think it had a lot to do with me being more confident as a mom and her need to be more go with the flow as a second child. We still kept to a schedule and I LOVE that we have both girls napping at the same time now. A game changer for the work from home mom.
Let’s talk weaning. You guys… I’m officially done breastfeeding. It is so crazy to say because I truthfully did not think it would be as easy as it was but a HUGE SHIFT happened when I had two nights away in Cincinnati last month. Before then, I was ready to rip my hair out waking up multiple times a night to comfort nurse her back to sleep. I’m fully aware that I did it to myself. So many people told me to sleep train or take Cara’s second phase class, but I never did. It was a combination of laziness (because sometimes just going in and feeding gave me more sleep and I never found the time to sit and take the course…excuses I know) and I wanted her to just do it on her own time. It’s an odd thought because I am SO the person to also want to just get something done and feel better about sleep/motherhood/etc. The two nights away were huge for me, leaving JJ to wake with her, and since she knew I wasn’t coming in… she started sleeping better after the first night. It’s amazing how that happens. When I got home, I told JJ that we need to keep this system going and if she woke at night, I’ll have him go in to help get her back to sleep vs. me. I had a few early mornings of feeding her back to sleep (when she would wake at 4-5am) but stopped breastfeeding altogether other than those couple mornings. Eventually, she slept longer and we just never fed again. She used to slap at my chest and ask for it when she got upset (needing comfort) or random times during the day. She doesn’t do that anymore. When she would do that and ask for it a few weeks ago, I said all gone. She cried for a moment but I would immediately get up and get her some whole milk in a sippy cup and she would happily take it. Some babies don’t like whole milk and truthfully once they get to a certain age and have enough in their diet… they don’t actually need it so don’t stress if they don’t. I just started offering whole milk here and there around 1 years old and would try to wean her with offering it, but clearly that didn’t really work for me ( I also clearly wasn’t pushy with it either). Now, she goes to sleep at 7pm and wakes around 6-630am.
Hallelujah! Ever since weaning her off breastfeeding, she has slept so much better! She was in a routine with nursing back to sleep and now… she sleeps! Of course there are some moments that she will wake but majority of the time she will put herself back to sleep. This is something I am SO happy I did with Alice at an early age… have her learn to put herself to sleep. Even though we struggled with some night wakings, she was so much better at this than Vivienne was. We don’t have too much of a bedtime routine with her, as she doesn’t take a bottle and will get into her pjs, put on her sleep sack, give her a pacifier, her doggie, and night night she goes. It’s the best and I wish I did this with Vivienne.
Alice takes one nap from 12pm-2:30 or 3pm. 3 hours max. It is so nice to have her on the same schedule as Vivienne, being able to take them out in the morning and afternoon without having to rush home to get her to nap in her crib. She goes to sleep by 7pm and awake by 6-630am.
I mentioned this above but Alice does not have a designated time that she has a bottle. She truthfully doesn’t even really drink whole milk other than random times when offered. She no longer drinks breast milk.
I actually haven’t thought too much about weaning the pacifier. She really only uses it during nap and bedtime and wanted to wean the boob and then deal with the others. She doesn’t take a bottle like Vivienne did so I figure… I’ll pick my battles.
Alice can walk, run, wave hi and bye, say mama (mommy currently which is my favorite), dada, vivi, sissy, hot, happy, hi, and sings along with all her favorite songs. Alice still sits in her highchair for the messy meals, but she prefers to sit with sissy at the big girl table, which we allow for not as messy meals and snacks. She loves it. She has a ton of teeth, brushes daily, and I believe has a few more coming soon.
I truthfully thought Alice would be way more chill than Vivienne but she is proving to have just as much character and it is amazing to watch. The one thing she does that I wish was a little quieter was screaming when she wanted something. Like a piercing scream. She is super goofy, loves to dance, and is constantly putting her arms out for a hug yelling “mommy!” A major mamas girl, again. She loves her sissy, but gets VERY frustrated easily when she takes something away from her and usually results in slapping her (second child defense mode)- we are working on it.
Alice is such a great eater and truthfully always has been. She was feeding herself at a young age and is adventurous in her food choices. There really isn’t a lot of food that she doesn’t like but is a little particular on the time she eats meat. Everything else is pretty fair game.
Alice is a hard age for discipline, even though they said you could start at around one years old. I TRY to say no, re-direct, and the most important… explain why. You actually would be shocked at what she does understand. It’s more about her being ok with sissy takes away toys, which V was taught to give her something else (but now, we are going to need to figure out the sharing part a little more now that she cares).
WHAT ACTIVITIES DOES SHE DO:
We currently have her in swim class once a week and I’d like to enroll her in little gym now that she walks but have yet to do that- Vivienne did that and it is just a great way for play and socialization. We are always going on playdates or outside activities as a family.
NEXT PHASE LOOKING FORWARD TO:
TRYING to love every phase, but I won’t lie… it is SO nice once they have more of a vocabulary and can tell you how they are feeling and what they need.
FAVORITE ON THE GO SNACKS:
Cheddar bunnies, squeezable yogurt/apple sauce, string cheese, crackers, dry cereal, veggie sticks, etc.
FAVORITE THING SHE IS DOING NOW:
Calls me ‘Mommy.’ Affectionate hugs and kisses for no reason.