Wow! Your baby has passed the one-year mark! Congratulations to the whole family for reaching this significant milestone. Whether you acknowledged the day with a small private toast (tapping those teething wafers together – cheers!) or went all out with a big party, cake, balloons, and presents; the day your baby turns one is a special one. Hugs to all!
The urge to compare your baby’s abilities with those of the kids in your playgroup can be especially strong right about now. Beware of boasting about early walking, talking, and sophisticated food tastes. And if your baby hasn’t taken that first step or uttered a clear word yet, don’t worry! Some babies just take their time and may not toddle or talk until they are closer to 18 months old. Of course if you have real concerns or something just doesn’t seem right, listen to those parental instincts and reach out to your pediatrician.
Two big areas of focus during these months are sleep and food, essential elements that occupy a lot of your baby’s time right now. Most babies this age need about 11 to 14 hours of sleep. Most of that sleep should be nighttime hours, supplemented by about three hours of daytime naps. Your baby may be transitioning from two to one nap during the day, but make sure she still gets those hours in — her developing body and brain need the rest. Outside of all that sleep time your baby will want up to five feedings, several snacks, a few play sessions, storytimes, and a bath most days — whew!
Even if you are still breastfeeding, you can begin to introduce whole cow’s milk, which has some of the fat, calcium, and protein that your baby needs. Most experts recommend that when you wean off of a bottle (or breast) that you go straight to a cup or a cup with a straw. Sippy cups can encourage tooth decay and may inhibit speech development in some children. And as far as food goes, your little one can eat just about anything that you do, when prepared in soft small bites that don’t pose a choking hazard.
Plan to offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy to keep mealtimes interesting and nutritious. Though you don’t need to use baby food anymore, fruit and vegetable pouches are a great way to make sure your child gets those greens. Keep a few of the Brandless Organic Pear, Spinach, Kale & Pea or the Organic Apple, Green Bean & Broccoli pouches on hand for an easy meal or snack. With each spoonful, watch as baby’s mouth opens, and say “Open!” When baby’s mouth closes, say “Close!” Do the same things with your hands, “open” and “close” and encourage baby to join in. He is beginning to figure out how actions link to words.
The whole family will enjoy the kid-friendly Organic Cheese Duck Crackers and the Organic Whole Wheat Animal Cookies. As your baby picks up the crackers or cookies one-by-one, she is developing eye-hand coordination that will help when she learns to scribble, draw, and write later on. But how do you know how much to offer at snack and mealtimes? Your toddler’s appetite may fluctuate from day to day, making it challenging to know how much to give him. The general advice is to start with small portions (1-2 tablespoons) of a variety of foods and follow your child’s lead. If he seems hungry and wants more, offer it. If not, do not insist. You just want to make sure he consumes enough of the nutrients he needs over the course of a few days or a week. On average, a toddler needs about 40 calories per inch of height. So a typical 13-month old who is 30 inches tall might consume 1,200 calories per day, depending on activity level. A toddler-sized meal is typically one quarter the size of an adult’s. For example, you might serve:
- One ounce of meat, or 2 to 3 tablespoons of beans
- One to 2 tablespoons of vegetable
- One to 2 tablespoons of fruit
- One-quarter slice of bread
You can expect some pretty amusing messes at mealtimes while your child is still getting the hang of this eating thing. Brandless Plant-Based Baby Wipes are gentle enough to use on baby’s face and hands to clean up messes. They are free from drying alcohol, ethanol, and gluten, and are even vegan and cruelty-free (never tested on animals).
Of course if the mealtime mess and the grubby accumulation of the day’s activities are beyond the abilities of a wipe or two, you can go straight to bathtime. Soap up with Brandless Tear-Free Baby Shampoo & Wash and enjoy some splashy playtime with your baby. It’s good clean fun!
Finish up with a slathering of Unscented Baby Lotion or Unscented Multipurpose Baby Balm and a fresh diaper (most likely Size 3 at this age) to ease baby comfortably into your bedtime routines. Every day is an accomplishment, so don’t forget to treat yourself to a lovely cup of tea or whatever simple pleasures make you smile!