About 6 weeks ago Benjamin started crawling. Now he's already toddling. With two big brothers who love to be around him, Benjamin can't wait to be able to keep up with them. Neither of the other boys ever really toddled (shuffling along while holding on to furniture); they went straight to walking. Benjamin just started it today, well, right now. It's really cute. Who knows how long it will last. I have a feeling he'll want to walk so badly he won't bother much with anything that slows him down.
He's also at that stage where he loves to toss things. Food from the high chair, clothes from the laundry basket, toys from the toy buckets. I'm very lenient in this area. If I look at the big picture, tossing things from a container will occupy him for a good 3 or 4 minutes. It will take me 20-30 seconds to clean it up. That is an excellent messy:cleanup time ratio. It means I get about 3 and a half minutes to get something done, which is really tough these days.
This is an interesting stage in a baby's life, nine to twelve months. Benjamin's little personality really start to shine. He is starting to be excited to play with me and enjoys little games. He is moving and discovering all day. He is also in the separation anxiety phase. Luckily it is not overly pronounced in Benjamin. He is fine being with other people, as long as I'm not in eye sight.
Sleeping seems to be a write-off currently. Sometimes he only naps a half hour all day, and he's always up every couple hours through the night. I would work harder on sleep training, but my motherly instinct says that this is just a phase, most likely linked to brain development of some sort. No, I have no child psychology training to back this up; but the way I see it, child studies only ever confirm what mothers have known for centuries. My mother senses say that trying to do anything about the current exhaustive sleep situation would only result in failure to change much, except adding to my stress levels.
Benjamin is still a really good eater. Vegetables like sweet potato, squash, carrots and peas are his favourites. Cheerios are also right up there. You should see the arm speed he can get from tray to mouth: there isn't the slightest hesitation! Fruit, other than the occasional pear, is a waste of time and money, he won't bother with it. He still nurses regularly, although he can go longer stretches (5 hours) if need be. He nurses for comfort and relaxation as well as for food. Interestingly, there was a study just published in my parenting magazine that highlighted the importance of the alternative reasons a baby nurses, other than for food. Again, a mother's instinct has told mothers for years to nurse when a baby cries if it helps him to calm down, even if he's not hungry. I do it often with Benjamin. I guess it's nice to have the experts finally agree so that we mothers can point to the study when others frown at our nursing habits.
Benjamin also still nurses with one leg pointing straight up in the air. This morning he actually stopped nursing, pushed my arm that was cradling him out of the way, reached down to pull his leg up, then continued nursing.