The month of January was HUGE for Lila. In the weeks leading up to her 15-month birthday (January 26th), Lila went on a cross-country trip with Mommy, Daddy and John, nursed for the last time, and started walking on her own. She also developed a love for books! And in the weeks since she turned 15 months, she has added two more signs and one more word to her repertoire and has dropped her morning nap. What a big girl she is now!
Lila truly is a big girl now. She is finally over the 20-pound mark and is very long for her age. At her 15-month doctor's visit on January 31st, she weighed 20 pounds 11 ounces (40th percentile) and measured 31 inches long (75th percentile). She has a really long torso, which means that most of her 12-18 month shirts and onesies are too tight now. We've been putting her in 18-24 month, 24 month and 2T outfits and pajamas.
Lila cut her fourth 1-year molar while we were traveling out east. Now that she has all of her 1-year molars, she looks so much older! The length of her hair makes her look older too. The girl has hair to spare -- up front and in back. It might be time to trim her bangs, since she won't keep bows or clips in for very long anymore. Those were my trick to keep her bangs swept to one side!
Once we got back from our trip, we finished up the remaining size 3 Pampers Swaddlers we had in the house and changed our Amazon diaper subscription to size 4 Pampers Baby Dry diapers. The size 3 diapers still fit her perfectly, but we figured we might as well move up to the next size, which is quite roomy. It makes me sad to think she won't be wearing the Swaddlers anymore!
Lila's last day of nursing was January 14th, the day before we came home from our Baltimore trip. She was just past 14.5 months old -- the age at which I'd intended to stop nursing her because that's when I stopped with John. I actually tried nursing her on the 15th while we were on the plane. We had woken up really, really early that morning to take the shuttle to the airport, so I didn't have time to nurse her right away, plus, I figured I should save the nursing for the plane ride in case she got really fussy. But she wouldn't have anything to do with it! She wouldn't even lay down on my arm for me to put the nursing wrap on. So the weaning process was extremely easy, as it had been with John. She was ready.
Lila has more than made up for the lack of breastmilk. As you might expect from a toddler who gained nearly two pounds in three months' time (she weighed 18 lbs 14 ozs at 12 months), Lila has had a very healthy appetite. It's not at all unusual for her to eat more during a given mealtime than her big brother. She eats a combination of pureed baby foods and finger foods. Also, we started giving her "squeezy packs" back in December, I think, and she does really well with those now. They can be a little messy at times if she squeezes too hard at the wrong time, but the potential spills are totally worth the convenience. They are a good way to get some veggies in.
I would say she's probably a little less picky than her brother was at this age. She likes all fruits in pureed form and nearly all fruits that we cut up for her on her tray (except plums, which she won't eat at all, and grapes, which she'll eat only occasionally). She eats a wider variety of veggies then he did for sure. Peas are one of her favorite veggies, whereas John literally gagged on them (and still does). She'll occasionally eat broccoli, which he wouldn't touch. There are a few veggies she won't eat though, like cauliflower, cucumber, yellow squash and zucchini.
Her favorites finger foods are bananas, blueberries, cereal, cheese, crackers, noodles, peas, pears and sweet potatoes.
Lila loves to sleep. She is so easy to put down for naps and at bedtime because she only needs a blanket and two fingers to fall asleep, literally. We started trying to drop her morning nap a week or two ago because she wasn't falling asleep for her afternoon nap anymore. We're still experimenting with the best time to lay her down, but 12 or 12:15 seems to work best. On days that John has preschool, I lay her down for her nap by 11:45 a.m. because I have to wake her up at 2:15 p.m. to go pick him up; we put her to bed those evenings at 6:30 p.m. to make up for the shorter nap. The rest of the week, we put her to bed at 7 p.m. She usually wakes up at 7 a.m., so she's getting a good 12+ hours of sleep each night. If we're at home, she sleeps entirely through the night (yay!). If we're traveling, she tends to wake up.
Lila officially started walking unassisted during the week of January 23rd! She had gotten braver about trying to walk while we were traveling out east, and we knew she'd be walking very soon.
On January 25th, Lila took the most steps she'd ever taken during our post-dinner playtime. Daddy and John were on one side of the kitchen and I was standing with her on the other side of the kitchen. She would start taking a few tentative steps toward Daddy and John as if she wanted to go visit them, but then she'd turn around, all wobbly, and walk back towards me. Then she'd do it all over again. It was so cute to watch her go back and forth like that -- her first-ever pivots!
The next evening (her 15-month birthday), while John, Lila and I were at Babies R Us, she walked around the store like she'd been walking for months. She wasn't just taking a few tentative steps here and there anymore -- I could set her down and she could quickly get where she wanted to go. She and John had fun bouncing and chasing a couple of rubber balls around the store. He thought it was hilarious that she was walking like a big kid!
Lila being able to walk has made life a little more complicated in some ways. She definitely loves to walk off in her own direction (usually towards a flight of stairs) when an adult sets her down, so we finally had to install two baby gates for the top and bottom of the stairs in our house. We'd been needing to do this anyway, but we'd put it off because we don't really spend much time upstairs unless it's bedtime, and even then, we'd only play inside the bedrooms with the doors shut. The bigger problem was Lila wanting to climb up the stairs while we'd be in the living room.
It took us FOREVER to find a baby gate that worked for the top of the stairs (3 times was the charm). Daddy did a fantastic job of installing the Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Safety Gate, and we absolutely love it. Now the kids can run around upstairs between the bedrooms and in the hallway before bedtime! Then Daddy installed the Summer brand gate we'd initially bought for the top of the stairs at the bottom of the stairs. Lila doesn't even try to pull on it -- she knows she can't get through! It's great to have this peace of mind. Daddy deserves a medal for all his hard work.
Here's a video from February 1st that shows Lila walking around the playroom......
Lila still seems to be a bit quieter than John was at this age. She recently added the word "ball" to her vocabulary, and it has quickly become one of her favorite words. Whenever she sees a ball in a book or around the house, she'll point to it and say "ball." Her other favorite word is "Daddy," which she says constantly. If Daddy's at work and she's saying his name, I'll ask her where he is, and she'll say "Daddy" and put her hands out to indicate that she doesn't know.
She makes a lot of the same noises that John did. She makes roaring noises when she sees pictures of animals (even dogs....she's still working on the barking sound), and she makes vrooming noises when she's playing with John's vehicles.
She does use a wider variety of signs than John ever did, though, including "eat" and "milk." She started signing "eat" on January 30th and "milk" around the same time. It's so nice to have her finally use the "milk" sign so I know when she's thirsty!
The biggest change in Lila's playtime habits since December is that she now enjoys books! She will happily walk over to the bookshelf in her room or the playroom and pull out book after book until she's sitting in a huge pile of books. She'll turn the pages as if she's actually reading what's on them and then throw the books to the side when she's done with them (she does the same thing with her cups, much to our dismay).
Lila definitely prefers the small board books, especially the square-shaped ones with big pictures of animals or household items. (She seems to have something against rectangular-shaped books. I don't think she's ever let me finish reading one.) Her favorite books are Doggies; Moo, baa, lalala; the four books in the Bright Baby series and any touch-and-feel book.