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Monthly Motherhood Update: Sloan at 16 Months

She's more fun than ever.
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I have a feeling I'm going to be saying this a lot over the coming months, but this age is the most fun yet. Sloan has developed her own silly ways of making me and her dad laugh, and hanging out with her in bed feels like spending time with a mini friend. Here's a bit more about what's going on in our world at this age through some questions I've been getting from readers. 

  1. Are you health conscious with Sloan? For the most part, yes. She's a great eater and doesn't really have anything she won't try, which I realize might not always be the case, but for now, we're having her sample everything. Since she eats three solid meals a day, I'm not as concerned if she has snacks here and there that aren't quite as nutrition-focused (like graham crackers or these puffs she likes). Plus, it's so fun to be able to go out and split an ice cream cone with her - it gives me a bit of a glimpse as to what things will be like when she's a little girl and not just a baby.

  2. Does she have an adventurous food palate? For a while, she wasn't into lentils, but now she's gotten past that and really enjoys them. From the beginning, if there was something we were eating, we'd offer it to her. I grew up with parents that didn't believe in making separate meals for me, so I was a good eater at a young age. Of course there are those nights when we don't cook so she has mac and cheese, but I get a kick out of her trying more adventurous foods (like larb from the local Thai restaurant, Indian curry, and carnitas) and seeing how much she enjoys them.

  3. At 16 months, she’s most happy when…she gets up in the morning. When we walk into her room to greet her (between 6:30 and 7 a.m.), she's thrilled to be starting the day. 

  4. Quickest solution to calming the tears: It depends on the problem. If she's hurt herself (she flings herself into things on an hourly basis since sprinting is her only form of transportation), I just hold her to my chest and calmly speak to her and shush in her ear. If she's cranky, we get moving and head outdoors: go to the park, out for a walk, etc. If she's sleepy and upset, she requests 'laaaa-laaaa' so I'll sing to her and she'll put two fingers in her mouth and the other hand will kind of run through her hair.

  5. Her favorite activity while at the park: The swings. It's where we always start out, so she's most excited when she's there. She thinks of herself as the gate keeper of the park, so anytime someone enters or leaves, she either screams 'hiiiiii!' or 'baaaaaaah' (she has a bit of a Southern accent currently). 

  6. Any bedtime rituals that must happen every night: Yes, probably too much so. G and I both appreciate a routine so it's no surprise Sloan feels the same. We feed her at around 4:30/4:45, put her in the bath, get her in her pajamas and then quietly read or play with non-electronic toys (some of the louder ones are too stimulating before bedtime). Then we feed her a bottle, sing a few songs - including this lullaby - and I tell her "I love you more than the sun, and the moon, and the stars," something my mom told me every night.

  7. Current biggest challenge of maintaining a routine with a baby: At this point we're pretty used to it, but you're just kind of on the baby's schedule at all times. The difficult thing is that sometimes I wish we could stay out later with Sloan when we're out and about - it sort of always feels like we have a curfew - but it's worth it to me to have such a solid sleeper and not to mess with her schedule. 

  8. My greatest fear as she continues to get older: Oof there are a lot of things that worry me, but perhaps my current greatest fear is that she grows up to be a person who doesn't feel comfortable in her own skin. Growing up, I was painfully shy and at times doubted myself because I wasn't as outgoing as those around me. Even if Sloan turns out to be a full-blown introvert, I want her to know that it's completely fine to be as independent and quiet as she likes.

  9. What are some qualities about Sloan that you admire: It's funny to think that at 16 months old she already has so many qualities I try to emulate myself. Some of my favorites are: her focus (she can narrow in on things and stay immersed in whatever it is for impressively long periods of time), her loyalty (she's still quite discerning in terms of the people she lets into her inner circle, but once you're in, she'll love you unconditionally), her zest for learning (she loves being quizzed on everything from where her body parts are, the noises animal makes, and the names of friends and family), and lastly, her goofiness (she's not the easiest laugh - again, takes after me - but she'll also jump at the chance to start a funny back-and-forth that will inevitably end in hiccups).

  10. Early bird or night owl: Early bird, all the way.

  11. My secret to keeping her calm and quiet at restaurants: Bring lots of distractions in the form of toys and snacks and to get creative - give her chopsticks, sugar packets or plastic coffee lids. Anything can potentially make for a fun, new, and unique thing to occupy a baby's time at a restaurant. 

  12. What I do when she just can’t sit still: Get her outside, preferably to an area that has a lot of open area where she can run and tire herself out.

  13. Daddy’s girl or mama’s girl at this age: Most days she's a mama's girl currently, but will then bellow out his name repeatedly when she and I are out on our own. So it goes both ways.

  14. Things that catch her attention while out and about: Cats, dogs (her dog impression is my favorite - she pants with her tongue out), flowers, water of any kind - a puddle, sprinklers, rain, and upbeat music to which she can 'clap clap.'

  15. Wild card thing she does that I love: Turns around in circles. She'll do about three rotations until she gets slightly dizzy and then will just leave the room. It makes for a pretty epic exit. 
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