I’ve heard it said about parenting young children that the days are long but the years are short. I’ve found both of those things to be true. It is hard to believe that ThrottleGirl has been with us for more than a year now and that she has gone from a 4.5lb infant to a 20.5lb toddler. Human growth and development is an amazing process.
ThrottleGirl is at that stage in between being a baby and a little girl. When she is well-rested and well-fed, she is ready to take on the world. When she is tired and/or hungry, all the communication and motor skills she has developed disappear and she is left a crying, clumsy mess in need of a snack and a nap. Really, this is what happens to most of us when we are tired or hungry.
She is starting to become very interested in books, and we read every night before bed. She always points out the kitties and dogs and babies and dadas, and she remembers things from one night to the next. It is amazing to watch her learn and retain information when for so long we had no idea whether anything was sinking in. I think this is the hardest part of parenting in the first year – it is constant care with very little feedback while you are completely exhausted.
We chose not to sleep train, and ThrottleGirl has been waking up multiple times a night for her entire life. We’ve gone through extremely rough patches as far as sleep goes, and some patches where it has been okay. Right now we are in an okay phase, and it seems like we might be headed towards more of a toddler sleep pattern – she’s usually waking up only once a night, and sleeping much more soundly. She falls asleep in her crib at night (next to me, because I lie in her crib with her until she falls asleep). She takes one long nap per day. Unless she is teething, of course, in which case all bets are off.
I wonder how much of her sleep behavior is because of my sleep parenting, and how much is just her natural rhythms. I have a few friends who are on their second child, both of whom had a “bad sleeper” as their first baby and a “good sleeper” the second time around. They are of the opinion that it is almost all the baby’s nature when it comes to sleep. Some babies sleep well right off the bat with very little help, and others sleep poorly for a long time no matter what you do.
ThrottleGirl loves to be outside, is interested in anything she can ride on or push in front of her. She climbs on her niece’s pedal bike and Strider whenever she has the chance. She gets the whole steering concept, so I think she’ll take to riding the balance bike without too much trouble. So exciting!