Lydia celebrated her first birthday on 9.2.10. Wow! A full year! It's definitely one of those things where I feel like she has been a part of my life for so long, and yet it flew by so quickly. But why is one year so special? I feel like there are so many expectations attached to "one year."
Breastfeeding...Full-term breastfeeding is one year. That is the recommendation. When I first began breastfeeding, I told myself I would do it for 6 weeks. When I hit 6 weeks, I said I'd try for 6 months. When I hit 6 months, I challenged myself to do it for a year. I used to think anyone who made it to a year was kinda crazy... but the REALLY crazy people breastfeed for more than a year. Why would they do that? Well, I am learning something pretty simple. Babies like boobs - and more so than that, babies don't know they're one-year old. They haven't read the books that say they only 'have to' breastfeed for a year. They don't see an expiration date or a deadline. They love boobs, they love mommy, mommy's boobs are comforting and bring love and affection. That's what babies know. Weaning is a process. Lydia can easily go 8 to 10 hours without breastfeeding if I am at work. But when she sees me, it's a whole other thing. She associates me with this comforting feeling and she wants to experience that frequently. I started to get bothered by it recently...and then I stopped and thought. She's just one. So when will I wean her? Who knows!
Sleeping... I was always told that babies should be sleeping through the night by a year. Well, not my baby! In fact, she was a much better sleeper at one month than she is at one year. She starts every night off in her crib. Her night starts between 9 and 10 pm. She will not go to bed before that recently. She's just not tired. She stays in her crib maybe 3 hours, wakes him crying and standing in her crib, comes out, and spends the rest of the night in our bed. Throughout the remainder of the night, she wakes up every 1 - 2 hours, and I just allow her to nurse. Babies are not 'bad' because they don't sleep through the night. I'm not a great sleeper, she's not a great sleeper. This is just who she is.
Eating...now THIS she has down! She loves food, and eats almost everything. Her new favorites seem to be olives and blueberry waffles (not together, of course). I love that she's so easy to feed. Since about 8 or 9 months old, she's eaten basically whatever we eat. Cooking for her is so much fun! I look forward to cooking with her one day. I hope she enjoys it like I do.
Walking & Talking...I feel like 'one year' has all of these cognitive and motor milestones attached to it. Babies should be walking at around a year. Babies should have lots of single words at a year. Babies should be able to put in and take out at a year. Lydia can do most of these things. I think her receptive language is actually a bit advanced. I think her fine motor skills are actually really good. Over the past few days, she has started to stand independently for a few seconds at a time, she cruises long distances, and she can walk with a walking toy (as long as she is provided with some resistance - the tile is too slippery). As for talking - she can greet people, she points and says "that" to make requests, she said "cat" at a young age (like 9 or 10 months), duck, book, ball...so her language is coming along. She understands some simple one-step directions, like "give me" and "put in."
So when will Lydia wean? When will she walk? Will she always be a good eater? When will she sleep through the night? Who knows! I have a question though - when will she get some more hair?? :-)