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16 Month Baby Update

Hi friends!

It has been ages since I did a Riese update – apparently my last one was the 1 year update! Whoa. Now that she’s 16 months old as of this week I thought I’d pop in today to share how things are going over here in toddler-land.

Read on for updates on what Riese is into lately, where we are with nursing/weaning, our new childcare situation, and more!

Looking at that photo above I’m like, wow, is that really my little baby?!

It’s crazy how quickly I feel like she went from being a baby into a full-blown toddler – she is now walking (nearly running), doing a little talking, and full blown tantrum-ing here and there, too (yikes – she does NOT like when she doesn’t get her way…). 

Current Favorites

Now that Riese can fully walk (she started a couple months ago but didn’t get super confident until earlier this month), she is obsessed with it and wants to walk all the time! 

At home, she loves trying to unravel all the toilet paper and then shred it all over the bathroom (Zara must have taught her that one…), and she’s also a big fan of taking all the rolled trash bags out of the dog leash.

She’s also obsessed with taking off her shoes and socks in the car and stroller.

It will be like 40/50 degrees and she’ll rip off her shoes and socks and make me look like a bad mom who doesn’t keep her child’s feet warm… ;)

Quite the mischievous little one!

Her favorite word is “dog” – not surprised there. :)

She LOVES Freyja the dog and Zara the cat… we are working on gentle petting and she’s been pretty good with it lately. They have been very patient with her!

Other words so far include mama, dada, “uh oh”, and “la la la” if we are singing. ;) She has started trying to mimic a lot of words we say now, too.

She’s a big explorer and adventurer. She LOVES being outside, so anytime it’s nice out we explore nearby parks.

At the playground, she loves the swings, climbing up and down any stairs/steps that are nearby, and going down the slide.

She also really loves playing in the dirt, analyzing leaves, carrying around sticks, etc.

Stay tuned for some mud pie blog recipes in the future (jk). ;)

Sleep + Nap Update

We are lucky she’s still a good nighttime sleeper (knock on wood) – she usually sleeps from about 6:30 or 7 until about 7.

I have zero advice re: sleep – every kid is so different and I don’t really think it’s anything we did… we just got lucky she turned into a good sleeper. 

As for naps, she has switched to one (instead of two) naps per day, which I’m pumped about. 

She usually takes her nap around 12 or 12:30, after eating lunch. 

Not only is one nap awesome because now we have more time to do fun stuff and scheduling activities is easier, but it’s also nice because she’s sleeping for longer because it’s all at once!

Riese was never a great napper (the price we paid for solid nighttime sleep – very worth it) – she would normally only nap for 30 to 45 minutes, twice a day, so by the time I would clean up stuff around the house, hop in the shower, whatever, she’d already be up again.

Now that her two naps are combined we are more often getting a solid 2 or even 2.5 hours – amazing! I’m able to get so much stuff done now while she’s napping compared to before, which is awesome. I guess all that walking is tiring her out!

I love creeping on her when she sleeps… so sweet. <3 (And I see why that pose in yoga is called “child’s pose” now!)

Childcare Update

It’s good news that I have more time built into my days with her one longer nap because we very sadly said goodbye to our nanny of over 1 year last week.

She had to go home to Bolivia for awhile and wasn’t sure when she’d be back – probably early summer, but long enough that she resigned vs. asking us to wait for her. 

Her last day was last Thursday and both of us (me and our nanny, not Riese – she was oblivious) cried when we said goodbye. So sad to see her go – she was with us starting when Riese was about 11 weeks old, and was so sweet and lovely with her. 

After much debate and interviews, I decided to drop down to 2 partial days a week of childcare (vs. the full 3 days we were doing before) and we found a sitter who could come on Mondays and Wednesdays.

I’m so grateful to have an extra full day each week (and some extra mornings) with Riese now! It was a change I’d been wanting to make for awhile, but I didn’t want to rock the boat with our nanny because I knew she needed the hours/full days… so when our nanny told us she needed to leave, I decided it was a sign to mix things up.

The longer nap situation makes it a lot easier than it used to be. And any work I can’t get done during the day can always be tackled after she goes to bed, too.

I’ve got a really busy next few weeks so I’ll probably be doing a lot of work at night, but that’s okay – worth it to get some extra time for adventures with the little one!

Our new sitter started this week. She seems very nice, although it’s a big adjustment to have someone new in the house and Riese is in a stranger danger phase right now so it took some time for her to warm up which was stressful for all of us! 

I’m sure we will settle in, though. :) I’m going to start looking into preschools soon, too – my big girl, ahh!

Food Update

I feel like this is probably ironic because I’m a dietitian and should have all sorts of creative ideas for food, but to be honest, I find mealtime to be a bit stressful! 

Part of the stress is logistical — I’m not always great about planning ahead for meals, so sometimes I’m trying to make something for Riese while she’s flipping out and holding onto my legs. Not exactly relaxing for either of us. ;)

The other part is just that I feel like I am running out of ideas for what to feed her already! 

We do a lot of basics: 

  • Fruit
  • Yogurt or cottage cheese, sometimes with nut butter mixed in
  • Banana oatmeal with chia seeds 
  • Protein pancake
  • Veggies she likes are peas, string beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, and cucumber
  • Toast with hummus or nut butter and with hemp seeds sprinkled on top
  • Cheese + chopped spinach quesadilla sliced into pieces
  • Grains + beans mixed together (sometimes with hummus mixed in as well to make it more flavorful)
  • We still love Raised Real (if you want to try it, use my affiliate code ANNE3854 for $20 off) – her favorites are the sweet potato + beet with coconut butter, and some of the quinoa ones
  • Salmon, tuna, or chicken
  • Guacamole (she doesn’t like avocado, but likes guac – good taste)
  • Veggie burgers (she likes the Amy’s brand black bean burgers)
  • Meatballs (we just used up the last of my butternut squash + chicken sage meatballs from the freezer, and sometimes I’ll grab an organic store-bought version too)

Reading that list I feel like it sounds like we give her a ton of variety, so maybe I’m being too hard on myself?!

She eats some of our dinner leftovers, too, although whether she likes them or not is hit or miss. She’s definitely gotten more picky lately!

She can be really funny at meals, though – very mischievous! She loves trying to feed the dog and it’s all I can do to not laugh and encourage it… 

Mullet game: still very strong

On the Go Snacks

One of you of Instagram requested some on the go snack ideas for toddlers, so I wanted to be sure to touch on this! 

For snacks when we are on the go, we still do some fruit + veggie pouches as a backup, but I’ll often bring some sort of a snack ball or a muffin as well. 

We like the Simple Mills muffins (I make them with whole milk instead of water, and I add about 1/4 cup of chia seeds to the mix too) a lot for a fast option, and for snack balls I usually make a variation of my Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites with different combinations of nuts/seeds/dried fruit. 

Snack balls in particular are great because kids seem to love them (because they mostly just taste like fruit), but thanks to the nuts/seeds they are filling as well! And they are so portable.

Riese also likes Cheerios and Power O’s (from Love Grown Foods – they look like cheerios, but are made with beans – nice way to mix it up with some extra protein too). 

Nursing update

Everyone always wants to know about nursing + weaning plans when I ask for topic requests on Instagram for these baby update posts!  

I’m still nursing Riese 2 to 3 times a day, depending on the day. First thing + sometimes after the afternoon nap unless I’m gone/working + before bed unless I’m not there. 

To be honest, I’m starting to feel really ready to be done nursing – I’ve had two bouts of blocked ducts in the past month (ugh, so painful… I just started taking some sunflower lecithin again this week so hopefully that will help – apparently it helps prevent clogged ducts) and I’m just feeling like I want to have my body to myself for awhile and to not worry about pumping if I want to go do an early morning workout before Riese is up, etc. 

But… it’s such sweet time with her, and she’s not ready to be done.

I feel like it’s going to be harder to stop now that she’s older/a lot more aware… she always taps my breast to ask for milk and looks at me with those big blue eyes and I can’t say no!

And if I try to say no/offer her regular milk or a snack instead, she cries and I feel like the worst mom ever. 

So… any tips for those of you who have weaned around the 16 month time frame or later?

I wanted to make it through cold and flu season and now that we are just about there, I feel like it’s time. I for sure want to be done by early June because I have a trip away from her scheduled.

So, yeah, any tips would be very helpful. She loves whole milk and drinks it throughout the day with meals/her snack, so that doesn’t seem to be the issue, thankfully!

Favorite products

Riese is really loving her books lately, and her current favorites are all the “Little Blue Truck” books. We have the original, the Christmas book, and the Halloween book. They are super cute and well done books that Matt and I actually enjoy reading, too. One other current fave is “Goodnight Gorilla” – so cute!

For water, Riese loves her glass straw cup (it has plastic on the outside so the glass won’t shatter when it’s dropped). 

For milk, Riese uses a stainless steel straw cup. At first we tried just offering her milk in her water cup, but she didn’t seem to like that, so now we have the one cup that’s always water and the other one that’s always milk. I just offer her both of them at meals and snacks so she can choose. 

Riese got a new high chair for her birthday (per our request) late last year – the Stokke Tripp Trapp. We had the super cheap Ikea high chair previously, but I didn’t like that her legs were dangling without a footrest, and she was always able to slouch and even pull her feet out and onto the tray while in that high chair… plus, the legs went out super wide and we were always tripping over them.

We LOVE our new high chair. Highly recommend!

And I think that’s about all I have for you today! If there’s anything I didn’t discuss you want to hear about, feel free to ask! 

We are looking forward to getting out for lots of hikes this spring – she loves them as much as we do. :)

Flashback posts:

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Comments

  1. 1

    Since she likes the Little Blue Truck books, you should get the springtime LBT book. It’s so cute and it’s a ‘lift the flap’ book. We got it for our son for his first birthday and he LOVES it. Those books are the best. We had a LBT themed birthday party for his birthday since he loves the books so much.

    This was fun to read! Riese is about 3 months ahead of Paul in age so it’s fun to see what to expect. She looks like such a big girl in the photos, especially the highchair one! What a cutie! Our little guy says hola (he goes to Spanish Immersion daycare so that’s why he knows that word!) and cracker. But he doesn’t say mama or dada. Go figure. He LOVES crackers. Your list of foods she eats is helpful and I think she eats a variety of things. I find meal time to be stressful, too, especially lately as it’s nice enough to go for a quick walk after work when we get home so dinner time feels even more rushed! Our little guy eats EVERYTHING at daycare but that is NOT the case at home. We are trying to add in more variety but it’s hard to come up with new ideas and frustrating to see him refuse to eat things that I know he eats at school. These little people have strong opinions about things!!

    I’m glad you figured out a child care solution quickly! I am sure it was so hard to say goodbye to your nanny! Hopefully she adjusts to the new babysitter very quickly! And yay for 2-2.5 hour naps! Our son isn’t a great sleeeper in general but he’s a terrible napper! He’s finally sleeping through the night from 6:30-6 but naps still suck. But he’s not quite ready to drop down to 1 yet. Hopefully he’ll take long naps when he drops to 1 nap! Fingers crossed.

    • 2

      I was just thinking about buying the springtime Little Blue Truck book for her – seems like appropriate timing! :) She loves lift the flap books right now too.

  2. 3

    I nursed all 4 of mine for more than a year – 2 for more than 2 years! When I weaned them at 18 months or older, I told them in advance that the “mommy milk” was going away and then stopped cold turkey. It actually might work well if you nurse her until going on a trip away and then tell her before you go that when you come home the milk from mommy will be gone. My oldest was a precocious talker, and when I told him at 18 months that the milk was going away he made up a sweet story about the milk flying away to be in the tree with the birds. I think if she keeps asking for it, you just offer her extra snuggles and tell her firmly that mommy has no more milk but she can have a cup whenever she wants. It is bittersweet for sure.

  3. 5

    I found going away helped with weaning (at 19 months and 25 months). I’d go away for a weekend, and when I came back, we’d take away one of the nursing sessions until we were down to just before bed. I actually can’t remember how we stopped that last one for either kid.

    • 6

      It’s hard because she is totally fine without nursing when I’m gone, like if I miss the bedtime one, or the daytime ones, because I’m working or out – but anytime I’m there she wants to nurse. It’s so hard to say no!!

  4. 7

    She is sooooo cute! And growing so fast. You are an awesome mother.

  5. 9

    Hi! childcare is so hard. I am still nursing a 2.5 year old and nursed , my oldest longer, but I had luck stopping the non-bedtime nursing first (don’t ask/don’t refuse). Then I would use a timer or count for that bedtime nursing session. If you are down to one time per day before your trip, you might just be able to follow the advice above and explain that there won’t be milk anymore. Once that last bedtime nursing session was done I started saying no. My oldest will ask once in a while since he sees his sister nursing. But I say no and get him milk in cup. Just be loving and firm! good luck!

  6. 11
    Wendy Rice says

    When my son was about Riese’s age I started getting ready to wean. We cut down nursing sessions- just dropping them one by one. It got so I was only nursing him before naps (if I was home) and before bed. I stopped pumping too. We used the rest of my frozen supply and then husband and daycare just gave him regular milk. I didn’t have any problems- likely because I did it so gradually. I found that stopping pumping was a game changer! I even went away for a conference when my son was 17 months and didn’t pump the two days I was gone. It didn’t seem to affect my milk supply. Anyway, once I dropped the pumping I didn’t feel the need to stop nursing all together… I only quit actually when my son accidentally bit me and the cut got infected! He was 25 months. Putting him to bed that first night without nursing him was so hard- he was so upset! But because I had antibiotic cream on my nipple I really couldn’t just whip it out and cave in! Anyway, no real advice but do it gradually and remember she will cope! But take care of yourself too- even if you are only occasionally nursing, you can still get that terrible hormone drop after which can cause depression…

  7. 13
    Amanda L. says

    Thanks for the snack ideas! Love the snack ball ideas. “Goodnight Gorilla” is a fan favorite over here, too :)
    Looking forward to hearing others ideas about nursing/weaning as well. We are still doing 3-4 times a day, but some days he asks for more by tapping on my chest as well and I have SUCH a hard time telling him no as well – that mom guilt! It’s hard when you feel ready to be done but they’re clearly not. Hang in there!

  8. 15

    I stopped nursing both of my kids around 16 months. At the time I was nursing 3x/day. Week 1- cut out nursing before nap. Week 2- cut out nursing in the morning. Week 3- cut out nursing before bed. I just had my husband get the kids up in the morning and put them to bed during that transition time. Won’t work for everyone though….my sister had to just go cold turkey all together with her toddler bc she just got a little confused as to why sometimes she could nurse and other times she couldn’t. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

  9. 17
    Jessica Stocker says

    We weaned fully at 16 months, had been nursing first thing in the morning and before bed since 12 months. Bedtime was surprisingly easier, we changed up the routine and gave a straw cup of milk in the living room while reading (instead of in his nursery chair where we nursed). We brushed teeth and straight in the crib and he was fine with it!

    Mornings were more difficult, I kept offering snack/cup instead for a while and one morning he took the snack. I went with it and didn’t offer anymore. He fussed a little the first couple days after but it wasn’t too bad.

    • 18

      That’s helpful to hear – thank you! Some mornings I’m out working out when she wakes up and she’ll have breakfast and whole milk without me no problem, but then when I get home she still wants to nurse… argh! I’m so torn on whether to be more serious about trying to stop now or let it keep going for a bit until my June trip…

  10. 19

    Weaning is so bittersweet! My only advice is that if you normally nurse in the chair in her nursery, let’s say, change things up and take her out to the kitchen or to the couch and offer her a cup of milk there. My little one was really interested in nursing when were in our normal routine, but when I changed things up she wasn’t upset at all about drinking milk out of a cup instead. And as others have said, take things slow & drop one feeding at a time! I dropped the daytime sessions first, kept the morning one for a while until I felt like my supply had reduced a good amount, and dropped the night one last because it was my favorite. Congrats on making it to 16 months+, that’s an amazing accomplishment!!

  11. 21

    I was nodding my head when reading about how you stress about what to feed Riese. My thoughts exactly! You’re doing a great job with variety and good nutrition!

    And, Riese is the second-cutest baby (I know, she’s really a toddler!) that I know…I say “second” only because of my own baby! :) I love Riese’s personality, even though I only know it by reading your blog.

  12. 23
    Roadrunner says

    A wonderful update, thanks, Anne. Most enjoyable to follow Riese’s progress and your reflections on it all. Nicely done!

  13. 25

    Thanks for the update! :D I want to see Riese again in person now that she’s so much more grown up, she looks like a ton of fun!!

  14. 27

    Our girls are the exact same age!! I am not loving the 2 to 1 nap transition though as she used to nap twice a day for 1.5 hours and now only naps once a day for 1-1.5 hours! Everyone talks about the 2-2.5 hour nap when they drop to 1 nap but that hasn’t been the case for us!! She does sleep 7pm – 6:30-7am though so I can’t complain too much!

    Olivia weaned herself at 14 months so I have no advice on weaning. She was never a big boob kid and when I went back to work at 12 months it just gradually phased out. Good luck! I think it would be harder when they’re older and more aware!

  15. 29

    You are such a good mom! Can’t believe she’s 16 months! Weaning is so emotional. I had a really hard time with it as my son was very attached. I ended up going to 2.5 years. I never thought I’d make it past 1 year! Changing up the routine helped. Weaning one feed at a time. Bedtime was last for us. Having someone else step in when you’d normally nurse such as at bedtime helped. You might be able to wean when you go away for your trip. Good luck to you!

  16. 31

    Weaning is so hard! I nursed my daughter over 18 months which I hadn’t planned but we went with it. I would say after 18 months gets even harder to stop as they get more aware etc. Try to gradually drop down to one feeding whichever is her most important one of the day. It is definitely hard my daughter was not happy the first few times but they adapt so quickly! Also having my husband doing the bedtimes and wake ups for awhile helped to then I wasn’t “around” so she wouldn’t ask for it. Good luck it is hard but if you just get through the first bit it goes much smoother!

    Love all the variety of food you guys feed her! Do you ever do pasta? I love making a turkey or beef Bolognese and adding tons of chopped veggies it’s a great way to sneak it stuff our daughter won’t always eat! I definitely found this stage and until 2 she got pickier but now at 2.5 she’s back to eating everything. Always changing!

  17. 33

    16 months is amazing! Our final session was when he was 16 months old. We were down to just an AM feeding and I just…stopped. He was totally fine, but looking back I was a bit of a mess after. Baby blues hit me for a few months. I felt “off” but couldn’t pinpoint it. Then one day I woke up and was totally fine. What a wild journey! It will end for you guys exactly as it’s supposed to :)

  18. 35

    Love the meal ideas, it seems like you are doing a great job with variety but I think it’s impossible as a mom to not feel guilt or like you are trying enough. My daughter would eat anything then around Riese’s age or a little older she became super picky and we are still there at 3.5 years old… fingers crossed we can get out of it! I’m looking forward to trying the Power O’s, cereal is one of the foods she will eat! Thanks for the suggestion on the high chair. I was going to buy the Ikea one you previously had for my younger daughter and now I won’t!

  19. 36
    Meghan W. says

    I don’t have much to add given all the awesome advice you already received re: weaning but wanted to mention that acupuncture can help regulate hormones during and after the weaning process. I get it regularly and had it throughout my pregnancy + nursing journey (~13mos), but definitely made sure to go when I was weaning. Essentially it helps clear blockages that occur and lead to imbalances in the body. I know some people don’t think it works or find it hokey, but I honestly swear by it. Helps my mood tremendously when I feel off. There are many reputable acupuncturists in the area that specialize in women’s care.

    Also, Riese is adorable! Congrats on her walking. My son started about the same time she did, and man…it’s a whole other world now for the kiddos and parents trying to keep up.

    • 37

      I never would have thought to try acupuncture for weaning hormones! That’s a great tip. I’m feeling pretty normal now, since we’ve been doing 3ish nursing sessions per day for about a month so it has been consistent, but early last month I was having some dizziness and mild nausea (no, I’m not pregnant!) and after some research discovered that can be a result of the weaning hormone change – made sense. Guess that will happen again as we continue to wean more – I will look into acupuncture! :)

  20. 38

    I did the same and nursed through flu season which made my daughter the same age as yours and hard to wean and I was ready to be done. One day I accidentally got scented body lotion ( like that really smelly bath and body works kind) on my nipple and went she went to nurse she hated it taste. I ran with it as said something like “It’s yucky! All gone!” And just never did it again. My kids are old , but my advice to young parents is to give yourself some grace. You will find a time where you will feel completely done with it (whatever the it may be, nursing, pacifiers, bottle, diapers) and then the resolve to find a good solution for you will come. Be wary of artificial timelines perpetuated by the media for any developmental milestone. You know what’s best for you and your kid. Run with that intuition now and as your kid grows. End moderately old people advice…

  21. 40

    I’d be interested to hear about your research on pre-schools, as we are in the same situation right now.

    • 41

      I’m not really open to sharing this publicly for privacy reasons! And anyway I haven’t really gotten that far with the research anyway. There are so many options!

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