The baby is getting so big. Well, technically he’s not that big for his age, but he feels huge to me. It was just barely 9 months ago that he was a little 5lb 11 oz peanut. Now, he’s a whopping 9 months old and 17 pounds of wiggle worm. I can’t believe he’s only three months away from his first birthday! By this time with T, I was deep into birthday party planning. Not this time.
Here are a few highlights of this little guy’s development:
- He’s still not technically ‘crawling’. Just like his oldest sister, he drags himself all over the place with his arms. Though, unlike his oldest sister, he pushes off with his toes, too.
- He’s working on making himself known. I just the last week or so he entered the screaming baby phase. He can screech with the best of them. Don’t come to our house unless you like noise.
- ‘Mama’ and ‘Dada’ are often repeated, though he doesn’t quite know what they mean. You can tell he’s almost there, though.
- He loves to play with balls. This is definitely different than either of his sisters. He will chase a ball around the room for a good 10 minutes. And if you sit him down and roll a ball to him, pop it in the air, or juggle it a bit, he thinks it’s the best thing ever.
- When he’s not chasing a ball around the floor, he’s getting into absolutely everything. Don’t leave any paper scraps or small toys around, because they’ll end up in his mouth within moments.
- We’re transitioning to table food. I know baby-led weaning is all the rage. I tried. I really did. But after he shoved a whole stalk of broccoli in his mouth, I just couldn’t take it. On the other hand, he’s gotten fantastic with eating out of squeeze pouches. (Those things are such a blessing when trying to get three kids fed by yourself on school mornings!)
- If you ask him to wave to you, he sticks his hand in the air, gives you a great big wave, and then plays with his hair like it was a big fake-out.
- He already pulls himself up to standing. I wasn’t ready for this milestone, but apparently he was. I can’t even sit him down in his crib without worrying now. Time to lower the bed to the lowest position!
- If you hold him upright, he will take steps. Good heavens, I’m used to late walkers. This boy thing is a whole new ballgame.
Clearly our little mover and shaker will be moving and shaking a lot faster than our girls were (they both waited until after their first birthdays to walk). Not only that, but you just can’t keep him out of anything. It’s time to get started with some baby proofing around here! Though, if I’m honest, we don’t go all out with it. Our baby proofing strategy is mostly to keep things generally safe and to keep an eye out while he moves around. That means that we have gates at the top and bottom of stairs, most of the girls’ tiny toys are in their room. But we don’t worry about absolutely everything.
Baby Proofing Items We Love
- Summer Infant Step-Open Gates: We have two of these gates, and they’re great at the bottom of the stairs and in a busy hallway. They’re also great entertainment when the kids decide they want to try to get them open. I’ve seen a 3-year-old jump on the step to no avail. Warning, though, the rubber grip will wear away at drywall over time.
- Stair adapters for permanent gate: We live in a raised ranch/split-foyer house, which means that top of the stairs is right in the middle of our living area. We had a new wooden gate installed before T was born, but there was no wall to install a gate. This installation kit has been in place since T was a baby, and it’s still incredibly sturdy. We’ll let you know in a few more years whether or not they messed up our newel posts.
- Tot Locks: We don’t have much counter space, so our knives are kept under the island. We also keep these locks on cabinets with cleaning supplies. No matter how much
- Outlet plugs: Just your basic plastic outlet plugs. There’s no need to get fancy with these things.
- Door knob covers: We have one or two rooms that are just flat out unsafe for little kids. These covers are a simple and effective way to keep little hands from being able to open the doors when you don’t want them to.
- Portable Pressure mounted gates: Most houses need at least one of these. We have one that is constantly going back and forth between our upstairs and downstairs. Upstairs, it blocks the baby from getting into the bathroom, and downstairs it helps corral the baby into one general area. Small versions are also perfect when traveling.
Baby proofing items we don’t use
- Any sort of corner protector: Walls have corners, we have a very angular coffee table in the most used area of the house, and we have any number of other sharp corners around the house. We teach the kids from the earliest ages to be careful around those spaces and keep a careful eye on them there. No extra padding required. (disclaimer: we don’t have a fireplace. Some hearths may be hard and sharp enough to require padding)
- Toilet and refrigerator clips: It’s hard enough to get the 3-year-old to the bathroom before an accident happens. Adding a toilet clip would guarantee more laundry. Instead, I just gate off the bathroom. And I’m not about to do anything to ruin the fact that the 6-year-old helps get her little sister breakfast every morning.
- Faucet cover: We had one of these with T. It started off as a cute little duckie, and protected her precious head. At that point, no one needed the shower, which was made useless as long as that duck was intact. Then we had guests and had to take the thing off and on and off and on, and eventually we just took the whole darn thing off. L may have bonked her head once or twice, but she’s usually too far away from it to get hurt.
- Electronics covers: My sister had one of those plastic guards that covered buttons on DVD players and the like. We tried that once, but it took about 2 minutes before the kids figured out they could just push the thing aside. Whoops.
- Bifold door locks/guards: Every single bedroom in our house has bifold doors, but you won’t find any guards in them.