Opal started walking at thirteen months! She was nervous about letting go of our hands for longer than she probably needed to be, but now she’s off and running!
We started sleep training our tricky sleeper at four months. We managed to get her into her crib, but she screamed and screamed well past the four days we were promised it would take to get the job done. At five months, we hired a sleep consultant to help, which she did in certain ways but not in others. Months and months later, Opal was doing better, but still waking up at least once at night to nurse. In terms of nutrients, of course she didn’t need the night feeding still, but emotionally she still seemed unable to make it through without it. Three days before her first birthday, after a particularly bad sleep setback, we went for it and did another round of “cry it out.” It was so, so brutal but after a few days, she was sleeping through the night. She even started waking up a little later. So, Opal officially started sleeping through the night at exactly one year old.
It seems like it should be easy to say point to a time that a baby takes their first steps, but not so. While cruising around, to get from one item of furniture to another, Opal might have taken a step or two here or there. The first time really we saw her string a few steps together was on March 31st, in the bathroom of an AirBnb in Cleveland! Go Opal!
Around seven months, strangers acknowledged that Opal said, "Hi," when she waved—we would have thought we were being overzealous to claim that as her first word, but I think it seems safe to say since so many impartial observers confirmed it! Around eleven months, Opal started saying, "hot!" and waving her hand in response to my morning coffee. She also said, "this! this!" and "yes!" a lot, often at appropriate times. At thirteen months, she's started saying, "ball," "bye-bye," and "baby," although they all sound pretty much the same! She knows what they mean and when to say them, though, so it counts. Coupled with real signs, her own invented signs, and ALL the animal sounds, she's got quite the vocabulary now!
We started doing baby sign language with Opal early—just a few signs—and sometime during her ninth month she started consistently using the sign for milk. She does it for nursing, drinking water, and eating so it’s not perfect but gets the point across! We can usually tell when she’s hungry, but there have been a few times she’s surprised us by asking for milk and really wanting it. She also asks for milk when she’s tired and ready for bed, too. It’s super cute. We’re still working on the signs for more and all done—hopefully those are next!
She did it today, on her nine month birthday!!! Eek!
Opal has been sitting unassisted since she was six months old but just now has figured out how to get into a sitting position herself. Time to lower the crib!
She is also sort of crawling as of this week. It’s more of a crawling-like maneuver, at this point, though. She doesn’t go too far and it seems like it takes a lot of effort. She often gives up and rolls where she wants to go instead! Sometimes, she accidentally crawls backwards which is very frustrating.
Those two little bottom ones, 8 months. Man they must hurt!
We’ve been trying to get Opal to wave for weeks and have thought that maybe she did it a few times, but she flaps her arms a lot so it was hard to tell! But this morning, when her daddy came out of the bedroom, there it was: a big wave! Then, in music class, she waved at her little friends! (Well, mostly at their moms and nannies). Then, when we ran into her friend Peter in the park, big waves! She’s got it!
When Opal turned four months old, we started giving her licks of food to prepare her for trying solids at six months. Her first food was a stalk of broccoli which she really enjoyed sucking on. Her first puree was sweet potato and she went crazy for it! She also tried carrots, avocado, peach, pear, plum, and watermelon. She seems like she'll be thrilled to start eating for real, and thankful that we aren't starting her with bland rice cereal but going straight for the good stuff instead!
We took a road trip up to the Berkshires for a wedding the weekend of August 26th. Opal's grandparents braved the backseat of the car with her while she screamed her face off on the drive, but she did a great job sleeping overnight at the AirBnB. It was her first time sleeping away from home and in her Pack'n'Play. We set her room up just like it is at home with her sound machine and black out shades, then her grandparents executed her bedtime routine to a T and she went right down. Good job, everyone!
So much is happening! On her four month birthday, not only did Opal start rolling like crazy but her daddy made her laugh!
A few weeks ago, Opal was lying on our bed and rolled from her back to tummy but it was a fluke. The next time she did it, it was mid-sleeping training, in her crib, on July 2nd. We didn't know what to do so Dan kept going in to turn her over. Now, though, she seems like she's got it down and wants to flip on her belly all the time!
Opal found her hands at exactly three months!
When Opal was one month old, a pediatrician at the doctor's office ordered us to start having her sleep in her bassinet. She swore that if we kept trying it, Opal would take to it. Suffice to say, she did NOT. We did give it a good shot but if anyone was going to sleep, that wasn't the solution at that point. Nicole wound up sleeping on a shallow foam mattress on the floor with Opal for another few weeks. It worked out okay because the baby couldn't fall too far if she ever rolled off the mattress (which she didn't).
But, on May 25th, after two sleepless nights with the baby being way too clingy, we tried the bassinet again. Opal slept for four solid, motionless hours, to the point where we went in to make sure she was breathing. She slept another three hours after that, and then two, and we thought we were on our way! The next night she was okay, but the two nights after, she woke up about every 45 minutes, totally miserable to be in the bassinet. We persevered. It's now been a week and a half...we're working on it!
Once Opal turned one month old, she had a series of exciting firsts. Or, one exciting first and a whole bunch of others that no one but her parents would notice. She started making tears and drool--things got a lot wetter around here this week. Her little baby acne ramped up, too. Despite that, she became even cuter if that's possible. She visited her Dad at work and had lunch in the shade of the Flatiron building like a NYC tourist, but didn't look up at all, like a NYC local. And...
...on April 8th, she smiled! For real.
A whole week ahead of developmental schedule, but we swear it happened. She hasn't had too many repeat performances, but we look forward to any she'll grace us with--we cried the first time and probably will again!