In Kelly’s Words – All about Dylan, my daughter

 

So Zeke, Dylan and I took a trip to California. Being out of our normal location and routine allowed me to appreciate Dylan’s changes and development in ways that I don’t always recognize when we are at home.

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Generally, Dylan is an amazing sleeper. Zeke and I have always counted our blessings with this! By about 6 months we were waking up only once a night,. We would give her a bottle and she would go right back to sleep. By 8 months we decided to let her cry (the famous “Cry-It-Out” or “Ferberizing” technique) to try to get rid of the overnight wake up. It took 4 nights of crying (shorter lengths each night) and since then she has slept through the night. Now, she sleeps from about 7pm – 6:30am! It’s awesome!

 

On our way to California, we had a direct flight that left at 6:30pm (around her bedtime…), so we were a little nervous about how the 6 hour flight would go.

 

She did great! She got about an hour of sleep then just started playing. She was as happy as ever crawling around our seats. When she got a bit fussy at the end, we put her back to sleep and she slept for the last hour of the flight. Like I said, she’s a great sleeper!

 

Eating has been a different story… Since she was born she wasn’t a great eater. We struggled with breast feeding for 4 months before I switched to all bottles full time. This was a really hard decision for me but it was the right one. She started growing much better and was a much happier kid. Introducing solid foods was a hysterical process as she tried to figure out what was going into her mouth. For many months she wouldn’t do anything except a purée. We tried it all—small pieces of fruit, vegetable, egg, meat, baby food puff things that just dissolve in their mouth—and she wouldn’t do it. Then one day, right before she turned 1, she just started eating! I don’t think it was anything Zeke or I did or didn’t do, she just needed to do it on her own time.

 

These days she’s eating better, meaning she will eat solid (normal) foods, but she is still VERY picky. I have offered her a fruit or vegetable with almost every meal since we started solids and she doesn’t eat any of them. For the first time ever a few weeks ago she put a pea in her mouth and chewed down on it before promptly spitting it out. But, hey, I thought it was progress! She definitely has staples that she’ll always eat, like a peanut butter sandwich, pasta with pesto on it, and eggs. We continue to offer her new foods often, but she’s not great at trying them. On the plane ride to CA, the key was to have some of her favorite foods but also a lot of snacks and different foods to keep her entertained.

 

Her eating tribulations have been a really good lesson for me both personally as a parent and professionally as a pediatric nurse practitioner.

 

Dylan’s physical development is also a bit behind but still fine (as Zeke always makes sure to remind me!). She started crawling at about 10 months and hasn’t started walking yet. She is pulling up to stand and cruising a bit (taking steps while holding on to furniture). As one friend pointed out to me recently, this may be a blessing in disguise as I know a baby who can walk and run away from me will add an extra challenge! Walking any time between 9 and 18 months is considered normal so we are well within that.

 

While we were on the plane it was very clear that Dylan has become much more agile with her crawling and climbing. Even though she hasn’t started walking she is definitely continuing to progress. Her most common words are mama and dada. She will sometimes use them in reference to Zeke and me, but sometimes it’s random too. She also says “hi”, but other than that she doesn’t have any words that we have been able to identify. She loves playing pee-a-boo, waving hi and bye, clapping, and giving high fives (though she does it best with me and not as great with other people so far). She is incredibly social and will smile at anyone who walks by (whether or not they look at her). We saw this a lot on the plane ride, she was waving to and smiling at people who were asleep or not looking!

 

Overall Dylan did really well on our trip to California! She slept well everywhere we went, ate well (and even ate some variations on her staples), was happy pretty much the whole time, and gave everyone we saw lots of smiles and engagement. Zeke and I remark frequently, particularly on this trip, that we feel lucky that Dylan is such a good kid!