I realize it hasn’t been that long since I did my original baby sign language post, but Peanut’s signing has exploded so I figured I’d do another post.
My favorite sign that she started doing is “I love you”. She mostly does it when people are saying bye to her and it makes me almost cry. It doesn’t look like the traditional “I love you” sign, but rather more like an L. I don’t think she has the pinky strength to hold it up on it’s own yet.
She also started signing cat and bird. Also Mommy and Daddy.
A lot of her signs are just mimicking me nowadays. If I do a sign and ask her to sign it, she’ll likely do something with her hands. That doesn’t mean that she’ll necessarily know what it means, do anything like it, or ever repeat it without me specifically asking. It’s still pretty cool though!
She probably has 15-20 signing words (I wish I kept better track) and she has 6 speaking words (Mama, Dada, Cat, Dog, Mum Mum, and Ya!). I think we’re finally seeing this more spoken words because of signing thing. I was concerned in my last post that Peanut spoke less because she didn’t have to speak. Now she has twice as many words as other kids her age.
If you want to sign with your kids, I definitely recommend taking a signing class together. We did Sign 2 Me because they use real sign language. It was at this class that I learned that Peanut really started signing at about 9-10 months, but I didn’t recognize it. We also made friends and were able to ask questions about signing. We saw a big difference in her interest in signing once we started the classes too. She instantly started signing more and paying more attention to the signs we were doing. I think it was helpful for her to see other people besides Mama and Dada signing. I also think that all the grandparents took it more seriously because we were taking the class. I honestly wanted to keep coming back, but we had completed the series and didn’t have money to take it again.
Do you have any questions about signing that I may be able to help you with? I want these posts to be more than updates, I want to have information that’s helpful for parents who want to sign with their kids.
It seems as though we’ve come to a turning point in our Baby-led Weaning. From day one, I’ve been handing Peanut very large pieces of food so that she can take bites off. For a long time she didn’t even eat grapes because one time that they made her gag. Now that Peanut is a toddler, we have to cut things up for her so that she can try to eat them with a fork. Not only that, but she wants to pick up the small things. If you give her a plate of Chinese food, she’ll pick all the peas, carrots, and ham out of the ham fried rice and leave everything else.
It makes sense to me that she’s at this turning point. I realize that she still has the ability to choke (heck, we all do), but we’re past the really critical stage. She also wants to use her silverware. She used to dive into casseroles without hesitation and now she gets upset because her hands are messy. It all feels like very toddler behavior, but at the same time it feels almost as if I’m going against everything that Baby-led Weaning has taught me. I need to dig out the book again and read over the 1 year and older chapter(s). Maybe that’ll give me more insight to this.
We got some silverware from Ikea that looks like normal silverware, but smaller. She has some silverware made from corn, but it’s hard to stab things and I think she didn’t like it because it looked different. Peanut kept trying to steal my forks and it made me nervous that they were so sharp. This silverware is sharp enough to poke her food, but not so sharp as to poke herself.
Did you feel weird when you had to start cutting your Baby-led Weaner’s food? Any safety tips you’d like to share for older Baby-led Weaners?
Hello Miss Dea,
You are 1.25 years old today! How exciting!
Most notably, this month you’ve moved into our first house. Sadly, Mama had to spend a lot of time away from you to paint said house. You did surprisingly well though. You were very happy to spend the day playing with your grandparents until Mommy showed up to nurse you, then you’d suddenly realize I was gone for the last few hours and get upset. Happily, we’re done with the painting and are now moved in (before and after pictures to come shortly for my blog readers).
You’ve also decided that crayons are for coloring rather than eating and your favorite thing is to climb up the stairs “like a big girl”—like at The Treehouse Museum where they have a shorter handrail. You’ve also figured out that you’re not allowed to do it at home or by yourself. You love books and are instant friends with anyone who will read one to you. The library is one of your favorite places too. You got your first haircut which was mostly just to get your bangs out of your eyes. You certainly look cute!
Mama has also started to let you watch TV. I know, I know, bad Mama. Honestly, I need something to entertain you so I can have a moment to myself (like right now while I’m blogging for instance). You still feel the need to sit on my lap and hit the keys every time I’m on the computer so if there isn’t some other way you can be entertained I never get on. I think that if we’re doing it in moderation it should be okay. I actually started letting you watch it a couple-few months ago, but you’ve just barely decided that it’s fun to do. You actually dance when I put on Yo Gabba Gabba. You just watch that and Signing Time (which is really more for me to learn new signs than for you it seems).
Speaking of signs, you’ve figured out how to mimic the signs that I’m doing. There are certain signs that you do by yourself to request things (look for an update on that soon too!) and other than that you’ll repeat just about any sign that I show you. You’ve also started calling cats “tat!” (it’s important to insert the excited voice there). And of course dogs are still called “dah!” too—even pictures of dogs. When we were at The Treehouse a couple weeks ago you pointed at the fire truck and absolutely screamed “dah!” and I looked at it puzzled because it wasn’t a dog, it was a firetruck. On closer inspection, there was a book that had a dog on it on the side of the firetruck!
Speaking of firetrucks…
How do I get my child to eat more vegetables?
The age-old question every parent asks at one point or another. Now, I shall pose this question to you lovely readers.
Peanut started off loving vegetables. When there were many different things on her plate, the fruits and vegetables were always gone first. I wasn’t horribly surprised because I personally love vegetables.
All the broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower are gone, leaving only the rice.
Then she started with stages. First she hated breads, then she hated meats, then she hated vegetables, then she hated breads, and so on (inconspicuously skipping fruits and dairy). It seems like she’s gone in these stages pretty much all of the time that she’s been eating solids.
The meat and cheese are being consumed while the lettuce and bread are thrown onto the floor.
Most recently, she hated meat and vegetables at the same time. She got over the meat part and is now eating that like a champ, but not so much on the vegetables. Broccoli used to be one of her favorite foods and now she takes one bite and throws it. She’ll eat small things like peas and cut up carrots like in ham friend rice, but many other vegetables. It’s been going on for a few months now, which is long enough to make me worried.
I know it’s pretty early to be worrying about such things (with Peanut being only 15 months old), but I want to set good habits for the future. I want her to grow up to be one of those people who eats more than their daily five fruits and vegetables. Not only that, I want her to be the kind of person who enjoys eating her daily five.
So how do you get your children to eat more vegetables?
I don’t put a gate at the top of my stairs.
That’s just what works best for my family. Yes, I am putting Peanut at risk by not protecting her from the stairs. I have decided to assume that risk by not putting a gate up to prevent her.
Would I blatantly recommend all parents shouldn’t gate their stairs? No. Would I say that people who gate their stairs are lying about the benefits of the gate? No. Would I say that gates are obviously unnecessary because my child hasn’t fallen down the stairs? No. If a mother came to me with a situation that called for her to also not put a gate at her stairs, I would gladly tell her how we handle the stairs and maybe even advise her to do the same. But I do not know everyone’s situation.
(To stretch the analogy a little too far)
Maybe a mother would see my recommendation of no gates when she is very frustrated and ready to throw her gate out. Maybe she has a different situation than mine that can be simply fixed by a different type of gate. Now she gives up on gates when she didn’t necessarily need to and her child is also put at risk of falling down the stairs. Maybe my child is lucky and doesn’t have an ill effects of her lack of gate, but who says this child is as lucky?
Now replace that gate with breastfeeding.
Yes, formula feeding is something that works best for some families. It’s something you have to decide on after weighing the benefits and risks—and there are many risks of formula feeding. Would I ever judge a mother for making that decision? No. I will judge the system that didn’t help the mothers that had to make that decision, but never the mother. Each mother does what’s best for her family. Yes, that includes the decision to stop breastfeeding in some cases.
Just because you made that decision doesn’t mean it’s best for all other moms. Don’t try to hide the risks of formula feeding. It’s not fair for you to take that educated decision away from other mothers. You can’t say that formula feeding didn’t hurt your child and therefore isn’t bad. Formula feeding runs the risk of lower IQ, more illness, and (in and out of the US) even death, but a risk is just that—a risk. If your child had zero ill effects of formula feeding—which you can never know for sure because you don’t know what your child would have been like had they breastfed—that just means that your child is lucky. Don’t let your guilty feelings rob another mother of her happy, healthy child.
Misery truly does love company.
This post is more for my non-lactivist readers. Really, you lactivists out there can try to help people not say it too by spreading the word. The correct wording comes so second nature to me now, but it’s the number one thing that I see people do that shows we’re obviously a bottle-feeding country. It’s a simple thing and the people who say it are well meaning, but hearing it on a regular basis unconsciously promotes the notion that breastfeeding is bad.
How we refer to food when speaking about a nursling.
If you were telling a breastfeeding mother that you gave her child a piece of apple, how would you describe it? This probably isn’t something you even think about when you’re trying to convey that message, but your wording can easily be offensive. I can think of countless times that someone words this wrong and it’s frustrating. Since it’s not something that’s blatantly anti-breastfeeding, I feel awkward to even correct them. Actually, many times when people word it wrong they are trying to acknowledge our breastfeeding relationship and show that they support it. Talk about ironic.
Example #1: “Peanut seemed hungry for some food food.” The italics show emphasis. What exactly does food food mean? If you’re using food as an adjective to describe the food you gave her, wouldn’t that say that my breast milk isn’t food? Under that circumstance, what exactly is my breast milk? I’m fairly sure that breast milk is as food as food gets considering the fact that it’s the most well-rounded nutrition that Peanut will ever experience.
Example #2: “I gave Peanut some real food.” Whoa, really? This one is by far the one I hear the most and you would be surprised how well meaning the people who say it actually are! Even as I typed that on the page, I felt offended. This is pretty impressive with out much it takes to offend me. I have had some of the biggest breastfeeding supporters around me say the phrase “real food”. It takes everything in my being to not snap back “So is my breast milk fake food?” Alas, I do not because I would like to maintain my few good relationships. Then of course the shyness prevents me from saying anything at all to explain to them the offense they’ve causes. Ho-hum.
So what should you say instead?
It’s so simple! You will be amazed and awestruck at the simplicity of these alternatives!
Alternative #1: “Peanut seemed hungry for solid food.” Why yes, my breast milk is liquid! Liquid is the opposite of solid (we’re leaving gas out of this for the sake of the analogy)!
Alternative #2: “I gave Peanut some table food.” Ah-ha! It is food that you would likely eat on the table! *Insert flabbergasted faces here*
Alternative #3: “I gave Peanut an apple.” What? You can just describe the food as what it actually is? I bet that this will even eliminate the later need to describe what type of food you gave the child (because I sure want to know what you gave my child)! Soooo good! (teehee, I need to watch that again)
So the next time that you’re telling a mother about what you fed her child, mind your words. Really, it’s always good to keep a mind on your words. Also, try to spread the word. If you’re not a breastfeeding mom, you’d be surprised how many people say anti-breastfeeding things without meaning to. I know, you probably feel awkward about it, but you will feel less awkward with time and that’s the beginning of societal change.
Peanut started doing something very interesting over the last week—she now eats whole apples. I used to cut them into slices, but she won’t even eat those anymore. She must have a whole apple handed to her. It all started when I got out an apple to slice, but had to set it on the floor because there were various tools on the counters (because of the painting and what not). I grabbed the knife and went back for the apple and it was gone. She had already taken little bites out of it all over, so I just let her have it.
Now we have a routine down. I wash the apple, remove the stem and the sticker, and hand it to Peanut. She chops on it until she gets bored with it (when she’s not very hungry) or until I have to steal it back from her to cut the core out (when she is very hungry). Then of course, she finishes it. She ate a whole apple all by herself the other day. Every. Single. Bite. Amazing!
The only real downside to her eating apples like this is that if she decides she’s tired of it, she throws the whole thing on the ground. When it was just a slice, it was easier to throw that away (though the logic of such things is beyond me), but now that it’s the whole apple, I find myself trying to salvage it a lot more often. At the same time though, I feel like she’s suddenly that much more of a toddler and therefore less of a baby. While it’s cute and I love that she’s growing up, it also breaks my heart just a little bit. Aww.
I have ten rose bushes. Yes, Ten. Rose. Bushes. Ten separate bushes. Right after I graduated high school, my (future) husband and I rented a house with 4 friends. For some reason I took interest in caring for the yard that hadn’t been taken care of for ages. This included one very large rose bush that very badly needed pruning. I believe it took me two separate sessions to get that rose bush trimmed down to size and my hands were sad about it for a week.
Flash forward to now. I had noticed the rose bushes when we were looking at the house, but honestly didn’t really take much note of them. It was only after actually making an offer that I realized that this lady loooooved roses. It was my thorough plan to rip them all out the second I could because pruning them is such a pain. I thought to myself “I don’t even like roses, why would I put in all the effort to take care of them?” I’ve specifically said to my husband that he shouldn’t buy me roses because I don’t like them.
Then they bloomed.
Maybe I do like roses after all…