Matthew is now over 11 months old, learning to walk on his own, has his first pair of outdoor shoes, and is generally feeling quite grown up - well, for a baby anyway!
I'm going to be going back to work the day after his birthday, so he'll be starting at a child minder to settle in next week, and she's asked me for some information about his routine and likes to help her get to know him, so I figure I may as well post it here. It'll probably be useful when we have our one year review with the health visitor next week too.
We're very baby led, and tend to nap when Matthew seems tired. This usually means two naps a day at the moment, but it could be 45 minutes around 9:30 am and then a longer nap after lunch, or it could be 1.5 hours around 11am before lunch and then another nap around 3 or 3:30. We try not to start naps after 4:30. We tend to sing to sleep in his pushchair lying flat with a mix of baa baa black sheep and twinkle twinkle little star. If he wakes a little but still seems tired he can sometimes be persuaded to resettle with a little more singing and rocking for a minute. He'll often nap in the pushchair on the way home if we've been out at a playgroup and he's tired.
Lunch can end up anywhere between 11:30 and 1pm if naps get in the way, but we aim for around 12. We offer snacks between meals and he'll eat a little more when he's with his dad, but when he's with me he'd usually rather have milk. I'm happy for him to be offered cow's milk in a cup - I don't know yet if we'll express some milk too, or how interested he'll be.
What he likes to do/play with
He loves the balls at soft play or playgroups. He also enjoys anything he can shake to make a noise, or bang on the kitchen floor. He likes watching things spin, and loves anything with lights on. He's starting to copy things we do - and is enjoying learning about up and down, open and shut, and in and out. He likes musical toys and singing songs together. Incy wincy spider, the grand old duke of York and hickory dickory dock are all good for enjoying the motions - though he's never got the hang of row row row your boat as he just tries to stand up when you hold his hands. He likes his megabloks toy farm, and he also enjoys taking the blocks apart. He also likes knocking down towers of wooden blocks and is starting to enjoy putting one block on top of another, or just banging them together of course. He loves other people smiling at him, and other babies too. He also likes teddies to wave hello to and give a quick cuddle, but quickly loses interest, and he's enjoying practicing walking with his walker, or on his own. He loves the swings at the park. He enjoys books and reading (but often tries to chew any flaps still).
While he's always been interested in food he's not a big eater yet. He's generally offered a little of whatever we're eating, and we use a mixture of pieces to hold and spoons. Small pieces he can put in whole are currently mostly preferred over stick shaped things to bite bits off. He will also sometimes accept food from an adult fork or spoon when he's refusing the baby spoons. We have no dietary restrictions or known allergies.
Yogurt is the only thing he always reliably enjoys - usually Ella's Kitchen or Plum Baby fromage frais - flavoured but not too sweet. He quite likes puréed fruit pots, and though we offer the ones with bits in he often spits the bits out. Generally he'll manage a whole pot of yogurt over one or two meals, and a pot of fruit over two or three. Raisins are popular but tend to get chewed and then spat out almost as often as swallowed. Pasta with tomato based sauces is probably the most popular of our meals, he sometimes enjoys potato, seems to like baked beans, and has a good go at pieces of toast (preferably with a smear of jam). We also offer mini breadsticks, rice cakes and mini oatcakes, sometimes with cheese on. They're useful if our meal is mostly spoon based to give him something to hold and chew or play with between spoonfuls.
Most vegetables don't seem to interest him much, but he enjoys slices of cucumber. We offer fruit regularly, and he likes to chew pieces off a whole apple but mostly spits them out, clementine segments are sometimes eaten but he loves to squash them more, banana is generally rejected, half cherries are chewed and squished in roughly equal measure.
He also tends to get offered at least one savoury pouch of stage 2 food each week, but isn't a big fan, and even if he enjoys something for one meal will often reject it for the next. We keep trying porridge occasionally for breakfast, but he really doesn't seem convinced at all.
We allow him to eat baby biscuits and crisps, and have a small taste of chocolate or cake occasionally if adults are eating it.
We offer water in a sippy cup to drink with meals, and it is always available during the day too. He sometimes prefers to play with it and spit water out for fun though. He also likes to drink from a beaker if you hold it for him, but tends to get even wetter.
Breast milk is our main comfort at the moment, which obviously isn't much help! He does like to give and receive hugs. He also likes to be picked up and carried around so he can see things, and if he's upset because you didn't let him do something (increasingly common) he can sometimes be distracted with a toy. Mike suggests that when he needs to comfort Matthew he usually goes for a hug and a bounce and a sing.
I shall close with the obligatory cute photo :)