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I decided to spend the last five days of November recapping the highlights of our fall. (Day 1 and Day 2 if you missed them.) Day 3: Adelaide’s 15-month update. I like having a record of her current milestones, so I can reflect on them later.

Today, Adelaide turns 16 months. I remember several years ago thinking it was strange when parents recited their child’s age in months. Why say “16 months” and not just “a year old”?  Well, it’s now clear that this became the standard because so much happens every month at this age.

At Adelaide’s 15-month doctor’s appointment, she weighed in at 23 lbs, 3.2 oz (75-80th percentile) and was 31.25 in tall (50-75th percentile). She has six teeth (four on top, two on bottom), and has been walking since the week before her 13-month birthday.

At 16 months, Adelaide still takes two naps when she’s at home, but only one at school. I think it’s too loud and there’s just too much going on at school, but she does fine with two naps when home with Tim and when home on the weekends. I think she really still needs two naps because she’s always so cranky and tired when we pick her up from daycare.

Adelaide babbles all day. I wish I had a translator because she seems to speak an entire language. I just can’t understand her. Still, Adelaide doesn’t have many actual English words. She’s developing quickly on this front though. She got two new words in the last week and sometimes she’ll say a word, but I’m not so sure if she understands the meaning. Her first word was dog (dig), but she said it for cat too and just about any animal. She knows “Dada” and “Mom” (still not 100% sure about that one). Her new ones this week are “hi” and “Elmo” (melmo). She says “melmo” for pretty much any cartoonish character, and I’m beginning to think she’s just replaced “dig” with “melmo” since she called Hugo “melmo” this morning. (As a side note, Adelaide has seen a few episodes of Sesame Street, but it kind of freaks me out that she knows that word – I swear we don’t let her watch much TV!).

There are many other words I know she understands, but that she doesn’t say yet. Like when we say, “Where’s your ball?” Adelaide will walk across the room and go get it. I love that it seems to be something new almost every day.

Adelaide has an obsession with paper and tissue. And her new thing last week was to walk around with paper and a pen or pencil. It doesn’t matter if the cap is on the pen, she’ll just sit in her little Cookie Monster chair and pretend to scribble. It cracks me up how much she loves holding a writing utensil and playing with paper. With a dad who’s an artist and a mom who’s a writer, it’s almost as if writing and drawing are in her DNA.

Another developmental stage that isn’t quite as exciting is that Adelaide is totally a Mamma’s girl right now. If I’m home, she wants to be near me. While some days her desire to see me and happiness to be in my arms fills me with warm fuzzies, it can also be exhausting. Some mornings Adelaide cries when I go to work, and although I know she’s fine within minutes after I leave, it doesn’t make getting out of the house any easier. I know it’s just a stage and that one day, it will probably be the opposite; she’ll be a Daddy’s girl who wants nothing to do with Mamma.

Still, I miss the days when she could easily be passed to anyone and be perfectly content. I worry that over the holidays her grandparents and aunts and uncles won’t be able to take advantage of her squishability because she won’t let them hold or hug her. On Christmas Adelaide will be nearly 17 months, so who knows what she’ll be doing or saying by then.

Adelaide has been using the sign for “more” for months. Rather than “more” it usually means “I want.”

 

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The first three months after babies are born are often referred to as “the fourth trimester.” It’s because human newborns are so much more dependent on their parents and vulnerable than other newborn mammals. While some mammals can practically walk at birth, I remember reading that human babies intuitively know only how to suck, swallow and breathe. They even have problems breathing consistently sometimes. I believe this has something to do with evolution and since we walk upright, we have evolved to a gestation period of around 40 weeks so that we can safely birth our babies’ big heads and big brains. So, the infant human baby is still developing during that fourth trimester in a way that is similar to how other mammals develop while still in the womb.

In learning about the fourth trimester, I remember feeling relieved that parents shouldn’t expect babies under three months to be on a schedule or to sleep through the night. We need only feed them on demand and let them be infants.

Adelaide turned nine months on April 28. Tim pointed out that she has now had equal amounts of time growing both inside and outside of me. “Nine months in, nine months out” as my friend Jennifer put it.

At her nine-month appointment on Tuesday, Adelaide weighed in at 19 lbs 11 oz (50th percentile) and 28 1/2 inches tall (75th percentile). She’s leveled off a bit on the weight chart, but our pediatrician said that was normal at nine months. Adelaide still has no teeth. My friend Brooke’s son is a month younger than Adelaide and he’s had six teeth for weeks. No teeth and six teeth are both totally normal.

We also talked to the pediatrician about food. Although Adelaide has loved all the solids we’ve given her, we’ve been slow to introduce them. Knowing she’s getting all her necessary nutrients from my breastmilk, we’ve just been experimenting with solids at night and on the weekends. And we haven’t even been doing that consistently every night. But that’s all starting to change. Our pediatrician suggested that we start sending food to daycare and giving Adelaide three “meals” a day. While she doesn’t really “need” solids as a form of nutrients right now, she will start to need nutrients from solids at around a year old. She’ll be twelve months with just a blink of an eye, so we’re going to step-up her solids intake. We’ve also started letting her play with a sippie cup and drinking from a straw is next.

We have a real crawler on our hands now (no more just hacking it with an army crawl). She has pulled herself up to standing in her crib (just once that we’ve seen – but hey, she can do it). She likes to clap and is happy and social, smiling at strangers and letting everyone hold her. People ask us all the time if she is always that smiley (answer: yes, usually), and when we pick her up from daycare they always say she just smiled and laughed all day.

Someone recently told me that it’s around nine months when babies really start to develop personality. Nine months in, nine months out. Six months post the “fourth trimester.” And so much to look forward to.

 

 

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Big wet snowflakes filled the sky and suctioned to my sunglasses as the wind whipped through me. I pushed Adelaide in her new stroller, and I attempted to sashay up the hill.

“Mini skirt!” our class leader shouted, describing the type of short steps we were to make as we swung our hips. “Right-hand hold only. Punch the sky with your left hand.”

Seven moms with accompanying strollers lined the path behind the art museum in single file. We were passed by bicyclists and joggers, and we must have been quite the sight. Our instructor is Strollercize certified, and we were all taking part in a free Stroller Me Skinny class. The high-speed winds and unexpected snow added to the ridiculousness of the scene.

“Oh. My. God.” I heard a male voice approaching from behind. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

I knew he was talking about us.

Purposefully overloud he said, “Did I ever tell you I hate children?” As he and his lady friend jogged by us, he said it again, even louder, “Did I ever tell you I hate children?”

I’m sure we did look laughable – privileged white women pushing our babies in fancy jogging strollers as we did lunges and stopped at workout “stations” to do kicks and resistance training. For the serious runner who runs that path every Saturday morning, I’m sure we were annoyingly slow and in the way.  If it had been a few years earlier and I had run across our group, I might have snapped a photo. I might have made fun.

But, for new moms who have a hard time carving out time for themselves, this was a good way to get out of the house and get some exercise while spending time with our babies.  And, no matter how silly we may have looked, it was actually a good workout. I was still sore three days later.

It wasn’t until recently that I’ve started to feel a bit down about my body. I gained around 30 pounds in my pregnancy, and I lost the first 15 pounds right away. I was sure to be easy on myself the first few months. I had just grown a baby, I knew I deserved a break.  But now, it’s 7 months later and I still can’t fit into many pairs of my pants. Tops hug my tummy in unflattering ways they never did before.  I have a hard time getting dressed in the morning because my work wardrobe is especially limited.

I was told that breastfeeding would help melt away the pounds, and maybe it has, but not fast enough for my liking. I know breastfeeding does have that effect for some people. I’ve met at least two women who at just a handful of months postpartum already weighed less than they did pre-baby. One woman I saw recently was as sensitive about her skinniness as most women are about the weight they’ve gained.  “I swear I’m eating!” the woman blurted out in defense when someone commented on how great she looked.

I’ve read in several places that some women’s bodies hang on to the last 10 pounds until after the baby weans completely. “Yeah, don’t count on that one either,” a friend recently warned me.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get much exercise. I walk to the subway for work. I walk the dog every night. I could do more. I have a workout DVD that’s just gathering dust. I’ve heard about streaming free yoga and exercise videos on Netflix Instant, but I haven’t tried it yet. This being a mom thing isn’t easy. It would be nice if people would put their judgments aside, or at least, keep them to themselves.

And for all the other moms out there who aren’t quite happy with their post-baby body, I’m in it with you. Not everyone can have a personal trainer and personal chef on-hand like the celebrity moms we see in the magazines. It’s a struggle for most of us, and it’s okay to talk about it. And it’s okay to make an idiot of yourself in a Stroller Me Skinny class once in a while.

 

This was not my actual class, but add in some wind and snow and this is basically what we looked like when we pulled over at one of the

Photo source

 

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