Eleven Month Checkup

The concepts this baby understands these days are amazing to me. If you hold out your hand and say "please" she'll give you whatever she's holding (unless it is of particular interest to her, of course). If you hand her a comb, she'll hold it up to her head and swirl it around. And last week, at his parents' house, Ez gave her a foam sword and swatted it with his; she swatted it back a couple times, then stood up for battle and started full on swashbuckling, edging forward until she had him pinned up against the wall. She is a little sponge, soaking up the world and learning to wring it back out again.

TEETH. This month she got two new teeth in one day. (We're now up to four teeth, and I think a few more are coming soon. Lord help us.) While I was taking a shower one morning, I could hear her starting to freak out in her crib, where she was playing. She was suddenly screaming and crying and banging her head on the rails, like she does, well, never. Still dripping wet, I ran into her room to see what was wrong. I reached in her mouth, knowing to expect something soon, and there was a new little chomper freshly popped through the top gums. Later that night, Ez was changing her diaper before bed and she started screaming and kicking and writhing around. I stuck my finger in her mouth again and BOOM! -- there was top tooth number two. It was an eventful day for sure. There is a huge gap between these two front teeth, for which I blame myself. Back in high school I had to have oral surgery and braces to fix my gappy teeth, so I think it's not out of line to start a "Johnnie Dentistry Fund" right away. (Of all the traits of mine she had to get, and there are very few, I feel bad it had to be that one. But it is so darn cute I laugh every time she smiles.)

SLEEPING. We've fixed some of the sleeping issues we were having, thank the good Lord. Though I think teething does at times contribute to night waking and poor sleeping (though not all doctors agree on that, apparently), after some book reading and internet searching, the long-term solution I thought we needed was an earlier bedtime. Instead of aiming to have her asleep between 8 and 8:30pm, I started aiming for between 7 and 7:30 to better align with her natural circadian rhythms. While we still have some sleep training to do before she's where I think she needs to be, this has been a huge improvement. When I lay her down at night now, she rolls over and is asleep within a few minutes without a fuss, and she seems to sleep better overall and with less waking. We're a bit off schedule this week due to family visiting and more teeth on the way, but I'm confident we can get back on track with a few good, consistent nights of our handy new routine.

EATING. Since we backed up her bedtime, we decided to eliminate one of her bottles this month because we couldn't fit it into the new routine. She doesn't seem to miss it. We finally used up the rest of my frozen breastmilk last week --just shy of 11 months -- so now she's just drinking about 20oz. of formula a day. She's starting to flat-out refuse being fed with a spoon, shaking her head no and pushing the spoon away, so we're trying to get creative with finger foods during her breakfast, lunch and dinner. Her favorite new things are a mixed squash casserole (which is especially tasty because my mother-in-law grows her own squash) and buckwheat pancakes made with mashed banana (torn into little pieces).

TALKING. She babbles, but the only real words she seems to say are Ma, Dad and sometimes Uh oh. She points at things and says "Ta!" a lot -- which I think maybe sort of means "Look at that!" Not a whole lot of real talking going on.

FIRST BIRTHDAY PLANS. I tend to keep things low key, so we're just having a little family picnic at my mother-in-law's. Just a special little cake for Johnnie (need to find a recipe for something healthy) and surrounding her with people that love her.

I can't believe that next month will be her ONE YEAR CHECK UP!!! The thought alone is making me misty-eyed.


  1. I am a huge believer in the earlier bedtime. If we put Zoe to sleep between 7-7:30 everything is golden. Later is much more of a struggle.

    She is getting sooo big.

    1. For awhile, 8-8:30 was perfect for us. She went down well, slept through the night, napped well, etc. Then all of a sudden it was a fight to get her to sleep, and she was waking often, and something just WAS NOT RIGHT. I don't know if her rhythm changed, or if she was slowly heading toward sleep deprivation all those months. Backing up the bedtime worked so well to resolve the problem that I suggested it to another mom who put out a call for help on Facebook. She tried it that night, and instead of fighting sleep and jumping around in her crib for the next two hours, the baby rolled over and went right to sleep.

      Early bedtime for the win!!!

  2. Oh my goodness, I can't believe she's going to be 1 already! It's amazing how smart they are and how quickly they pick up on things. Did you by chance have to have a franectomy done before you had braces, too? When you mentioned oral surgery, I couldn't think of anything else as I had to have that done before my braces were put on as that muscle was actually pushing my front teeth apart. The post-op pain was the worse!

    1. As a matter of fact, that is the surgery I had too. They did it at the same time they removed my impacted wisdom teeth. I was a bundle of misery for several days.

      When Johnnie was born, they had to clip her tongue because the tendon underneath was too thick. I'm wondering if that's related. Of course, her other teeth will come in and they may push the top two together. I guess we'll see!


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