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19 Month Toddler Update

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. 

Go-go-go!

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)
  • Bubbles!!

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?)

OPINIONS.

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!

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Comments

  1. 1

    I love it when you share Riese updates as it gives me an idea of what we have to look forward to! Our son has VERY strong opinions about food is very picky at home. It’s been a big struggle for me as he eats super well at school. I listened to a podcast lately that talked about “the division of responsibility” when it comes to eating. They basically said we determine when and what they eat, they determine how and how much. So starting this week I give him his little plate of food and then there is no further discussion. Before we were prodding him to try things, etc. Now I try not to do that and it’s made dinner time a more positive experience. We use the same little plate you do and I try to give him 2 things I know he can/will eat and 1 thing I want him to try. In the podcast they talked about repeated exposure and how it can take 100+ times of exposure before they will eat something. Bleh. That is depressing! Anyways, it’s kind of comforting to know that others’ kids refuse things and can be picky – makes me feel less alone. I spend a lot of time worrying and researching how to get him to eat better. I can guarantee that my husband has never googled about picky eaters or read pediatric dietitian/OT blogs about how to get your kid to eat better! :P

    Our little guy is also mischievous at times. He likes to drop things off his high chair and he will totally mess with us. He’ll hold his hand out like he has something in it but it’s actually empty. Or he will hold something out and look at us and then eat it. Master manipulating at 16 months!

    Congrats on being done with weening! I can see how it’s an emotional experience to be done. I stoppped pumping at 10 months and that was the best feeling ever but pumping is so different from nursing. It took a couple of months for my chest to shrink but now it’s actually smaller than pre-pregnancy which I am totally ok with. I can fit back into all of my pre-pregnancy tops. Before I was WAY too chesty!

    • 2

      Hahaha sooo true about the husbands not googling the things we are! I love the division of responsibility approach and try to use that, too! It’s hard because sometimes it’s like “OMG JUST FREAKING EAT!!” but I try to be as chill as I can about it, ha. And Riese totally does the fake out handing us food move, too! Too funny. I used to pump once a day (before bed, to get the extra milk) and stopped that around 11 months, I think, and that was THE BEST… I hated pumping.

  2. 3
  3. 5

    I always love Riese updates! I have a baby a few months younger, so I feel like I’m getting a (possible!) preview about what’s to come. I love all the detail and realness! I hear you on the food—-sometime I feel like oh man, I have to find something for you to eat again?! I’m starting to think about when to finish breastfeeding so it was helpful to hear how you went about it. Enjoy your summer travel!

  4. 7

    Mine are older now, but I remember those days! Sometimes when they are in a “no!” phase you just have to keep reminding yourself that they’re supposed to be doing this as part of becoming independent. I always found that distracting into a new activity was much more successful than a head-on clash of wills. And LOL on watching herself fake cry in the mirror! They are so cute/funny at this age.

    • 8

      They really are! Definitely helpful to try to remind myself of the reason behind the fussiness, too – all important for development!

  5. 9
    Allison D says

    I love your very honest updates about being a parent! Everything changes, so the current frustrations will morph into different ones soon enough!

  6. 11

    Hi! I work with the 0-3 age and we do lots of feeding and feeding support-the classic toddler diet tends to be: carbs, dairy, and fruit! Lots of variety, offer the same food in different ways and follow feeding littles on insta!

  7. 13

    We’re going to OBX this Sunday as well! It would be fun to run into you! We’re going to be in Kitty Hawk. where will you be?

  8. 15

    So sweet! I appreciate you sharing, and she is just precious. I hope the rest of your move prep goes well and that you all are able to get settled soon!

  9. 17

    Love seeing these updates! :D

  10. 18

    I have found using a large, 6 muffin tin very helpful for picky eaters. Toddlers can be visually overwhelmed with food servings, the muffin tin spaces the food plus you can put dip favs in one or two of the spaces. Place it on a non – slick surface, a towel or sil pat works. And the muffin tin is easily packed for travel.
    It can give her a familiar food server in a new environment. That too can ease the inevitable toddler suspicion face ! You are fabulous parents raising a highly intelligent child, great blog, congratulations !

  11. 20

    I nursed my daughter until a few weeks ago, she is now just about 16 months old. While I knew the last session was coming any day, I also didn’t know the final session was the last one. Thinking back maybe that was a good thing to not exactly when. But I did in a way treat every session that for final month like it was our last, trying to be very present and in the moment. Bittersweet!

    • 21

      I did the same thing – tried to make sure I was super present during what I thought were the last few weeks! But the very last session wasn’t one of those super mindful ones… oh well. :)

  12. 22
    Elizabeth says

    My son got pickier right around 18 months too – totally normal, but frustrating! Have you thought about just offering her whatever you’re eating for dinner (I can’t tell if you already do that or not by the post)? I guess you’d have to start eating a bit earlier if you haven’t started doing it yet, but I’ve read that it establishes good eating patterns to eat together as a family (or whoever is home at the time) and to not set the precedent of fixing separate meals for the kids. Not that she’ll always eat everything willingly, but it might be good to start trying? My son eats better when he sees us eating the same food. Also, you could also probably keep her up a little later in order to eat a normal time as long as she’s not overtired, and that might help shift her wakeup time a bit later too!

    • 23

      Yeah, it would be nice to have a family dinner but Riese is usually ready for dinner by 5:30 (even with a large snack around 3:30/4) and Matt doesn’t get home until 6:30 or so, so I just wait and have dinner with him. I do eat lunch and breakfast (and snacks) with Riese but it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference with how much she eats! We’ve also tried the later bedtime hoping that it would lead to her sleeping later and it totally backfires unfortunately – she’s overtired at night, and then wakes up at the same time in the morning and is just cranky/tired all day. Womp, womp.

  13. 24
    Roadrunner says

    A wonderful and interesting update! Thanks for sharing so much. Enjoy the beach!

  14. 25

    What flavor of the larabars does she like? I might try them for my 15 mo old.

    • 26

      Pretty much all of them actually! Coconut cream pie and peanut butter cookie or peanut butter & jelly are her all time faves though :)

  15. 27

    Love these updates! My daughter is a few weeks older than Riese so everything sounds very familiar! My daughter also got much pickier with food recently which is so annoying when you lovingly prepare something super healthy and it’s ignored. However last week she mastered using a little toddler fork and now she really enjoys spearing food with her fork and putting it in her mouth! Not sure how long it will last but I do feel like she eats much more readily when using it! Not sure if you’ve already tried it but maybe worth a shot!

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