In a word: Tired. (That’s us, though.)
Around the end of October or so, I guess around when they turned 11 months old, the babies ended up changing their routine in an important way–they basically dropped two feedings. We’ve also changed their sleep routine a little. And naps are in the process of changing too, I think.
They now wake up–rather, we get them up–a little later, around 7 or sometimes 730. This is a nice holdover from the sleep regression (they regularly slept until 730 because they were awake for so long overnight).
They still do their big (7oz) breakfast bottle right away, and then a breakfast of oatmeal and mashed banana around 830. They still go down for a nap around 10, but without another bottle. This week, the morning nap has been 45 minutes or less.
This change came about because twice I just totally forgot about that feeding–I put one or both babies down without remembering to give them a bottle. Mother of the year, right here! But the babies didn’t seem to notice or care. So, it became the routine. I figure if they were hungry, they would let me know and wouldn’t just fall asleep. Plus, I knew that as they are getting older, their liquid intake is supposed to taper off, so I wasn’t worried about them. (Plus, I really try not to stress about how much they eat or drink. It’s crazy-making if you do that, and there’s really no way to force a baby to eat if he doesn’t want to. [Medical issues notwithstanding, obviously.])
Around 12/1230, they have lunch of fruit puree and yogurt (plain whole-fat yogurt mixed with blueberry-banana puree that I make) and maybe some additional fresh fruit in mesh feeders (we were good about doing this over the summer but haven’t done it as much lately). Plus cheerios and puffs as a before/after play snack–a good way to keep them busy as everything else gets set up and then put away.
They’ll want 6ish ounces anywhere between 130 and 230, and then they go down for a nap. The last few months, the nap would start around 2, but lately it’s been starting after 3–some days as late as 4. And since the morning nap has been short this week, the afternoon nap is on the earlier side, and long. But sometimes it’s been flipped, or sometimes the babies switch–one takes a long morning nap, one takes a long afternoon nap. A couple terrible afternoons this past month, one baby has refused the afternoon nap altogether! Those were not fun times and thankfully it’s been a rare occurrence.
This later nap does mean an extended outing timeframe! We haven’t done much interesting stuff yet, but it’s a relief to have a little more wiggle room. However, it does mean that we really need to bring bottles when we go out, because when they get hungry they get HUNGRY and do NOT want to wait to get home!
After the nap, they want a little snack–a couple ounces maybe. (I’ve been trying to work in some (organic, whole) milk for that snack instead of formula, since they’re supposed to be off formula by 12 months or so. We will not hit that deadline, but whatever.) Then they have dinner around 545. They eat veggie puree, meat puree, and again some cheerios and puffs.
Their 8.5oz dinner bottle is now at 7pm. We used to do it by 630 because they would get so crazy cranky. But as they’ve gotten older, we noticed that they will happily play a little longer before getting fussy. We really pushed it the week leading up to the time change, and we’ve been able to stick with it being a little later. I am now being more careful to do it right at 7, though, instead of in a range around 7. I suppose I do that to build routine for all of us, and so they don’t end up staying up too late. After they take as much of the bottle as they can (Malcolm will usually finish his and Emmett will leave a few ounces), they will play a bit, we read them a couple stories, and then at 730 (again, actually *at* the time), we bring them upstairs, for the last of the bottles if needed, a song, and goodnight kisses. They usually settle and quiet almost immediately.
There are still occasional wakings during the night, but most of them are pretty quick to deal with. Generally it just means that we, the adults, aren’t getting super great sleep.
It’s so interesting how our babies have changed and adapted what they want to eat/drink over time. They’re getting hungrier and more demanding at the solid mealtimes. Which is good! (Now we have to start thinking about non-pureed food. Ugh.) But a lot of the bottle routine I think was the babies being used to the routine, rather than hunger. But eventually I can start noticing their actual cues and adjust what we give them. I couldn’t believe that they dropped so much liquid so quickly! That cut down their intake by like a third! And with hardly any transition time.
I know that there are a ton of transitions on the horizon–they’ll drop one of the naps (and the process of that transition must be a nightmare of constant fussiness), they’ll start eating regular food, they’ll start working on feeding themselves, which means the meal messes will increase exponentially. They’ll transition off formula and in theory off bottles entirely. Maybe they’ll start sleeping better again, which would be nice. I think they’ll be walking in the next month or two, which means a whole new level of vigilant supervision and babyproofing. Blergh.
But maybe they’ll start talking too, or at least making clear attempts to communicate, and they’ll be able to do and understand a lot more. I do think that part will be fun and fascinating!
Mostly I just can’t believe that they’ll be a year old next week!! How is that possible?!