It’s been a while since I did a motherhood/baby milestone update, but I’m officially a toddler mom! I swear my baby grew 5 years in the 8 weeks we were apart, and I think not seeing his development firsthand on a daily basis made his development seem even that more drastic. Here are some updates on The Kola Baby at 21 months!
Daily Schedule/Sleep Training
Our son wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30 am most days and goes to sleep at 8:00 pm. We put him down awake but sleepy and say goodnight and close the door, and he usually lies down on his own and goes to sleep. During the day, he takes a nap usually sometime between 12 and 2pm.
I’ve gotten a few questions on sleep training, but we essentially used the cry it out method to sleep train him once nighttime feedings were cut down to 1 per night. So our policy was that if he cried anytime before 11pm, we would let him cry himself to sleep for up to 45 minutes. I know, so long! But that’s what worked for us. We only do/did this on days when we knew he ate well and didn’t have any extenuating circumstances, like getting a vaccine. On those days we picked him up sooner rather than later.
We stopped breastfeeding in June and I did it cold turkey. We were only breastfeeding at that point first thing in the morning, but he would still ask for a banana afterward. So one day I just gave him the banana and didn’t offer my boob. And it was pretty much over lol. No drama, no fussing. We were both clearly ready, which I knew because 1. my milk was gone and 2. he was still hungry for real food after nursing.
Now he eats 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. We don’t give him any special foods and recently stopped cutting his food into tiny pieces. One day he took a rib out of my hand and bit into it and I realized I had been wasting precious time chopping his meat! His favorite foods are corn, plantain, and any and all fruits.
We started daycare on Monday! He generally likes other kids and is pretty friendly so we figured we’d just plop him in rather than giving him time to adjust to all the changes (new country, new house, new room, no more seeing his grandma and cousin every day). He’s been crying when we hand him over but by the time we pull out of the parking lot he’s in his class and totally fine. I’m so glad we were able to find a daycare for him — since we started kind of at a random time, it was hard finding a spot with openings that adhered to the 5:1 child to caregiver ratio AND had some kind of curriculum AND cared about Covid. I had to cross off a place on my original list because they said their staff was not fully vaccinated but wore masks all the time… but during my visit, staff weren’t properly masked. Umm, ma’am! We’re happy with our daycare so far, though it’s only been a few days.
Keeping a toddler occupied is a full time job! A few activities — I try not to call them toys — we use and do throughout the day include building things with soft blocks, drawing on the chalkboard, playing the piano, and reading. We also subscribe to Monti Kids and have been getting their activity boxes since he was 3 months old. I recently got him a play kitchen since he likes to cook, and Monti Kids has a cooking activity box that has toddler-friendly bowls, spoons, and even a knife so you can involve your kid more in the daily activity of cooking. And reading is one of his favorite things to do, like his mom!
I’ll be sharing his toddler room on the blog soon — it’s the most colorful room I’ve ever put together (!) so it was a bit out of my comfort zone but I’m really happy with how it came out!
Most importantly, I’m just completely overjoyed that we’re reunited. Being apart for 2 months was incredibly difficult, even though it was what was best for our family. It’s been pretty wet and rainy here but I hope the weekend is dry so we can go pumpkin picking!