October 2013, the tenth month of our daughter Alice, means that she has spent more time outside the belly of her mother than inside, she is more than 18 months old since the day she was conceived ! Months full of experiences, and for her tenth month outside she developed more and more her capacity to learn, remember, move and understand her environment.
Baby is gaining weight
Alice was exclusively breastfed during nearly six months. We started to introduce new type of food when she was 5 months old, but she really ate significant amount of extra food only after 6 months. Afterwards, the proportion of her mother milk diminished little by little, and was completely removed at the end of August, for her eighth month. From mid-August, she began drinking more artificial milk than mother milk. We wanted to be sure Alice transition to artificial milk would be complete before the inevitable depletion of milk her mother, who is actively building Alice’s little brother, Simon, will experience. Because, even if a mother is actively breastfeeding, when she is pregnant the milk production usually stops after the sixth month of pregnancy to replace milk with colostrum.
Alice eating artificial milk and diversified foods had a significant impact on her weight curb. She has always been on the small side, but since she began eating artificial milk her weight suddenly increased, from the 15th percentile (the 15% smaller babies) to nearly the average weight for babies of her age (the 50th percentile). However her height did not increase accordingly, clearly suggesting that the source of the weight gain was a richer food supply.
Except removing her milk bottle at noon, we did not change anything in Alice’s feeding. Reassuring words from the pediatrician, explaining that Alice was going to walk soon and would burn the extra fat rapidly, and the good health of Alice, who was already very active, did not push us to change anything in the way we were feeding her. If she continues to gain weight too much compared to her height, we may increase vegetable proportions against milk, but we are still far from that!
Baby climbs stairs
We live in a small duplex, and stairs are a risk for a baby. Because prevention is better than cure, we started to teach Alice how to climb up the stairs by herself very early. Of course we have put a fence, to impede her from climbing up without our supervision, but one day or another she will be alone in front of stairs. Moreover, teaching her to crawl the stairs up is helpful to her mother who was carrying a bigger and bigger fetus in her womb. She is grateful when Alice carries her 18 bls 11 oz all by herself.
As a consequence, Alice, for her ten months, was able to go up and down the stairs alone and also able to get off the bed or the sofa, sliding on her belly to the ground. Sometimes the maneuver is a bit fast and she ends up on her buttocks, but this is often more fear than harm !
Teeth are growing out
At the end of October, Alice had 3 teeth, two on her lower jaw and one on her upper, and only a few days should be needed to see the fourth pointing out. She had been a bit grumpy for her first tooth, but the other ones did not affect her that much, she is building a new and lovely smile! We stopped giving her milk at nighttime. We thought the milk was too sweet and may create caries as this was not really simple to brush her teeth when she goes to sleep. So she put her down directly after diner, and that did not seem to upset her that much, as she usually slept from 9pm to 7am, even 8am!
Baby wants to communicate
One of the most fantastic aspect of witnessing a baby growing up is her increasing capacity to understand and be understood. We used sign language with Alice from her birth. We could not really affirm that Alice is using sign language, still she uses some common signs to communicate. She waves her hand to say hello or goodbye, she raises her arms to be carried, she moves in the kitchen when she is hungry, and often she waves one hand toward us and moves her fingers in a strange way, likely to say something, but we cannot really understand what. A sure thing, though, is that she is understanding more and more every day what we say, with or without signs. It happens quite frequently that she obeys when we ask her to come, to move, to sit, and this is likely not always a coincidence…