Hello, 19 months!
Where does the time go?!
Photo from my brother’s wedding! <3
In today’s post, I’m sharing an update on what Riese is up to at 19 months, plus answering your questions from Instagram stories and providing a weaning/nursing update!
Let’s start with some snapshots from the past couple months – here is what 19 months is looking like for us lately.
She seriously does not stop moving!
She loves having “parades” around the house to music with her pull toys as shown below, dancing, climbing everything in sight, practicing her gymnastics skills (she loves the bar and will hang on it solo now), etc.
It’s exhausting to keep up with her because if I turn my back for a second she’s into something she shouldn’t be, but it’s really fun to have adventures with her, too. 🙂
Other current faves:
- Lift the flap books
- Playing peekaboo and hiding herself behind curtains and doors
- Pushing buttons (both literally and figuratively… ha)
- Trying to figure out how things work
- Putting buckles together – we picked up this buckle turtle toy at a yard sale recently and she’s obsessed with it – it’s especially great for the car or when we are out to eat!
- Watching herself fake cry in mirrors or in the reflection on the stove (she will literally stop and start making a fake cry/fussing sound while watching herself – lol)
And she is still fascinated with the dog and cat (and getting better at “gentle petting”)…
In addition to saying dog and cat, she has started saying “woof” and “meow” which is super cute.
She’s doing a lot more talking now in general, and also tries to repeat a lot of what we say. Matt and I took advantage of that and taught her to repeat “I love you” and it’s the CUTEST thing ever. Melts my heart. 🙂
She also has lots of hair all of a sudden!
(Any recs for tiny toddler-sized elastic bands that won’t rip out her hair?)
Oh man, you guys. We have a LOT of opinions.
Riese learned how to say “no” a few weeks ago, and now it’s basically her favorite word.
Especially related to food! She has gotten much more picky recently, womp womp.
I know she will pretty much always eat fruit, dairy, and bread… but other than that it’s hit or miss.
I never force food on her if she doesn’t want it, and I usually include something I know is a fave in her meals, but I struggle with whether I should offer her something different if she doesn’t want the rest of whatever I offer her. Usually I offer her a variety of stuff at once and if she doesn’t want any of it I say “okay, that’s what you’re being offered today, you can eat it or not.”
I don’t want to get in the habit of her knowing that if she won’t eat something then something yummier is waiting around the corner, you know? It’s hard, though, especially because I know if she eats well she takes better naps…
At least my banana egg pancake is usually still a win
Another thing Riese is into lately is “helping” with everything. Below she is “helping” with the dishes, and putting things away in the cabinet. 🙂
She’s able to follow simple directions now, like “close the cabinet” or “please put this in the trash”, or whatever. We are working on “gentle close” with the cabinets, though, because she loooooves banging them.
She knows she isn’t supposed to so she will look over at me, smile mischievously and shake her head, and then slam the cabinet (or, if they have cabinet locks on them, she will just grab both handles and bang them like crazy since they don’t fully open, argh) while waiting for a reaction. I try not to react because it just encourages her, but I also don’t want her to keep doing it, so usually I’ll try to show her how to gentle close and make a big deal if she does it.
But… then she’ll often go right back to banging it afterwards so usually I just end up trying to redirect her…
Riese really loves water now, which is good news because we leave for our annual week long Outer Banks beach trip with Matt’s family on Sunday!
I was driving home last month and saw this water table down at someone’s curb to go out with the trash, so I grabbed it, cleaned it up, and gave it a new home – Riese was pumped!
She loves the pool, too – we joined one this summer so I’ve been taking her a bunch already.
Her favorite thing to do when water is involved is to fill cups and dump them out, and to splash (bathtime = the entire bathroom is soaked). She graduated out of her little blow up duck bathtub last month and is in the “big girl tub” now with a no-slip mat.
The other main update is a nursing update, because we are officially done with nursing as of last week!
I wrote in my 16 month Riese update about how I felt super conflicted about weaning, but I’m happy to say that after the past few months of really gradually dialing things down, we both seem to be fine with being done.
At 16 months I was still nursing her 2-3 times a day. From there, I very gradually would drop one feed, then wait a month and drop another feed (which usually meant dropping it one day, doing it again the next, dropping it the next, etc. until we were really done with that feed and my supply adjusted down). It was sometimes really hard to say no, but if I offered her regular milk or water right off the bat when she woke up that usually helped.
For the past month and a half we were down to just once per day, either when she woke up first thing (if I was home/not out at a workout), or after her nap. After about a month of just one feed, I occasionally started skipping doing it first thing and nursing her after her nap instead, and not nursing her first thing meant my supply really went down. In the past few weeks there were some days I’d skip a day entirely, and I think doing such a gradual wean really helped because when we did end up stopping fully I didn’t experience any discomfort physically… pretty sure I was only producing an ounce or two by the very end.
I am definitely experiencing some wacky hormones and will sometimes feel really sad/bummed out about our nursing relationship coming to a close, though. I especially get sad because I didn’t know the last time I nursed her was the last time – I feel like I don’t even remember it, you know? And I can’t believe that my little baby isn’t my tiny little baby anymore – she’s getting so big and independent and without nursing sometimes I feel like she doesn’t really “need” me anymore, even though rationally I know that’s not true.
I’m hoping hormones stabilize soon and I start 100% feeling like myself again, but overall I’m really happy to have my body just be my own again, especially since we have some travel this summer. It was time. I treated myself to some new bras and it feels really nice to not be wearing super worn out too-big nursing bras all day anymore. 🙂
It’s also nice to be able to wear old shirts/tanks again that were kind of inappropriate looking for awhile when my chest was a lot bigger!
Now, let’s get into some questions that came in via Instagram stories from you guys!
What is Riese eating nowadays/any ideas for toddler food?
Lots of you had this question!
Mealtime is definitely the most stressful time of day with Riese – she’s usually clinging to me and fussing and I’m soooo tired of coming up with new ideas for food only to have her refuse to even try them.
Things Riese will (almost) always eat are: fruit, bread or rice, and dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, sometimes cottage cheese). Everything else is totally hit or miss.
Right now Riese is having breakfast, lunch, and dinner with two snacks (one mid-morning, one mid-afternoon when she’s up from her nap.
For breakfast, we do banana oatmeal with chia seeds or ground flaxseed, my protein pancake, dry cereal, toast with nut butter, yogurt or cottage cheese (sometimes mixed with nut butter), or a 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, although recently she’s even been picky with her favorites, so who knows.
For snacks, Riese is into Larabars which is awesome because they are so easy and portable (and filling), so we do a lot of different flavors of those. We also still do some fruit/veggie pouches if we are on the go. She also usually loves Simple Mills muffins, so we make those fairly often. I also still do some homemade snack balls when I have the time – check out my Mix + Match No Bake Energy Balls post for ideas.
For lunches and dinners, it’s hit or miss. Sometimes she’ll eat a bite of two of our leftovers, sometimes not. Sometimes she likes rotisserie chicken or salmon, sometimes she doesn’t. She usually likes broccoli, but she won’t eat it every day. Other veggies she sometimes likes are peas, string beans, and raw peppers + cucumber (I try to take off the peel because these are a little hard for her to chew still).
She likes dipping things into other things right now, so we do a lot of hummus, guacamole, and tzatziki with veggies and/or toast or crackers (she loves triscuits randomly).
I also always keep some veggie burgers on hand (usually Amy’s brand – they have a nice variety of options) – sometimes she’ll eat those, sometimes she won’t. This is where I need to insert the “throwing up hands” emoji…
I feel like the best we can do is to just keep offering variety and options and try to not get frustrated when they won’t even try it. 😉
Feel free to share toddler meal/snack ideas/tips in the comments – I’m all ears!
Will you consider daycare/preschool now that she’s older?
Yes, we are definitely thinking about this! We have a sitter that comes twice a week right now, but as Riese gets older and more interactive I’m starting to think it will be helpful to have her around other kids more/doing different activities vs. just the same things at home (I feel like I’m not that creative with what we do… our sitter is better at coming up with ideas for educational things to do at home with her which I appreciate)!
With our move to Alexandria coming up I figure I’m going to wait until we get settled, and then maybe look into doing preschool one day a week or a couple days a week or something. We’ll see. I definitely want to have her in preschool by next fall, but she misses the cutoff for most places this fall, and a lot of them are more full time than I’d like anyway. So for now, we are sticking with what is working but I’m going to start looking into other options soon!
What’s Riese’s sleep schedule like nowadays?
Riese is doing one nap per day, usually around 12:30. She usually sleeps for about 2 hours, but sometimes it’s more or less. It’s so nice to have this long stretch of time to get work done – she used to be the worst napper until a few months ago!
At night, Riese is going to bed a little later nowadays (around 7/7:30 now vs. the old 6:30), and lately seems to be getting up earlier too (womp womp)… usually around 6 or 6:30. Overall she’s still a great nighttime sleeper so no complaints but we are crossing fingers she’ll go back to sleeping in until 7 or so again like she used to. 🙂
Like with motherhood in general so far, I’m finding this 19 month phase to have both highs and lows. Mostly this age is a lot of fun and I love that I get to spend so much time with Riese during the week having adventures.
But she’s also a handful and sometimes it’s all I can do to take a deep breath and stay calm.
I just keep doing my best to cultivate patience, and to remember that even when things feel really hard, there’s still not anywhere I’d rather be than by her side. <3
And… that’s all I have for you today!
If you made it this far in this (very) wordy post, well done.
And thank you for reading!
- Riese’s C Section Birth Story
- The first 2 weeks
- How we got started with baby led weaning
- Products I recommend for new babies + expectant mamas
Please note this post contains affiliate links.