When Baby Learns to Walk

For us our child started walking around 9 months and this is fairly early from what I’ve read.   I’d just like to say you can never be ready for the increase in anxiety that comes with your first baby learning to walk.   Literally the first time they stumble from you holding them up a for a couple of steps your heart rate changes and doesn’t go back.   Your brain switches to a mode where you identify everything in your home that’s a possible fall hazard and your start to blockade off things to marginalize the damage possibilities.

It’s never enough.

Our poor little pumpkin is running around with a big black shiner a week before pictures!    She managed to fall perfectly in to the corner of a piece of furniture in a split second and bust  her eye.   Mom called me in terror while I was working and sent me several instant messages with pictures trying to figure out if we should go to the emergency room.   Luckily I happened to be with one of my co-workers who helped us determine it wasn’t  a big deal and no doctor necessary.   However here is what I hear about when you should get them checked:

  1. If the swelling goes in to the body and not swelling outside.  Supposedly this is a sign of possible break or internal injury?
  2. If it’s so close to the eye or temple that that you suspect they could have injured their eye or gotten a concussion.
  3. If they don’t stop crying about it.   Our baby stopped crying after a few minutes and took a nap even though my wife was in terror.    But constant pain is a sign that it’s a real injury.

My suggestion on the house is to watch for furniture with sharp corners or sharp points close to the ground.   Your baby is going to take tumbles to the ground daily by the dozen and as long as they don’t end on a sharp point they should be OK!

What Brand of Diapers Should I Buy?

Let me just start by saying name brand products are completely overrated.   I feel it’s something that should be thrown out there in the first sentence given our experience over the past 9 months trying to figure out what brand of diaper was best for our baby.   We tried everything and I mean everything in the Huggies and Pampers line of products.  Makes sense right being that they’re the most well known?

Wrong

Target brand diapers were best for our baby in fit and for her skin.

Does that mean Target brand are best?   No.   It simply means all baby needs are different however it should imply to you to start with the generic inexpensive diapers and work your way up based on how your little one responds in terms of leaky diapers, diaper rash or general comfort.   We did it backwards buying name brands first and working our way out until a friend suggested we try Target brand diapers since they worked for her kids who have similar skin to our baby.   Solved all our problems of diaper rash and leaky diapers.  

Similarly we switched to cheaper bottles which she took better as well as cheaper toys.   You get what you pay for is not the case with baby day to day items it seems!

Pointing and Talking

A very interesting thing my daughter has started doing is pointing and talking about whatever she’s interested in.  It’s a sign that you should be seeing by around 9-12 months from your little one so I’ve been very relieved that she’s started and started early at that.    If you’ve been talking to your baby, asking them questions and performing repetitive learning tasks like you should you’ll see the same thing.       It’s very rewarding when it starts to happen and life starts to get really interesting.  

You are now communicating

At this point your little person is communicating with you.   Hopefully you’ve taught them “NO!” loudly means stop what you’re doing and perhaps look at your parent.   They might take off and try to do it anyway but they should be at this point.   Our munchkin will pause and slowly point at whatever we don’t want her to touch.   Testing us I gather.

My advice to you is the entire time from day one to talk directly at your baby as if they understand 100% of what you’re saying.  Ask them questions, point at things and talk about them and in general just look goofy.   For one it’s fun and most importantly your baby is learning!   Don’t simply hand them things when they get old enough to begin using their hands make them reach out for it.   All of these excercises strengthen your baby and lead to early communication.

The Walker Is A Sign It Will Get Very Interesting Soon

As soon as your baby starts trying to pull up a little and wobbly standing while you hold them up the natural next step is to put them in the walker.    The whole idea of the walker for me was fun.   Watching our little girl stumble around in that thing not moving too far off.   Chewing on the attached toys and looking in general very entertained.   Because that’s what it is, entertaining.

Fast Forward Three Months

Toot no don’t touch that!  Crash!   Get away from that cat he bites!   AAAAAAAHHH she opened a drawer and pushed it closed on her little hand and is screaming.    OUCH she ran over my foot in the walker!

The baby walker is now like a little wrecking ball of energy powered by our daughter smashing around the house.   It seems like babies have a built in mechanism to go after the things you’d want them have least ordered by most dangerous first.    It’s wild and it’s crazy so you need to be prepared for it because as soon as they’re able to stumble around even a bit you need to baby proof your house.  Buy those little plugs to keep them out of power outlets, move anything breakable or easily knocked over out of the path of the wrecking ball.   As I understand it the safety latches you can add to your cabinets are quickly figured out by the baby and rubber bands wrapped around the cabinet knobs of the cleaning product counters is an effective measure because it requires strength to remove.    You literally have to protect them from themselves!

Bottom line is as soon as they get a little bit of a handle on the baby walker start preparing your house.

Comfortable Together

When we were first getting used to having our baby living with us my dad liked to talk about how he could come home and sleep with us jumping up and down on the sofa around him.   He laughed about how he just didn’t care because he was tired and he’d just sleep through it.   I can actually remember that because the man would sleep through anything.    I used to wonder if he was just ignoring us but then he’d snore or roll and it was pretty apparent.  

I was terrified of having a baby feeling like I’d never sleep again.   Every little squeak or rustling that she’d make would have me on my feet and in her room.   If I was in the same room as her I couldn’t sleep.   It was terrible.    Over time things would change and finally it hit a point.   That point looked a little like the following:

baby and daddy sleeping

We were sleeping

This picture isn’t of that first time.   This is a picture of around the 20th time we fell asleep like this together.   However I can remember the first time it happened.   I was feeding her on the couch and she fell asleep.  I nodded off and my wife touched my shoulder and laughed at me in awe because typically I can’t just fall asleep like that even if I’m alone.   As a parent I imagine we all hit this point where we can sleep together as such.  “Family sleeping” if you will is apparently a natural reaction to having babies.  I think I can safely advise you to get ready for it even if you’re the worst at falling asleep unless perfectly comfortable because I’m that guy.    I can honestly say that since having gotten used to our baby girl I can fall asleep faster than I ever could before.

Further I really enjoy the time together when we fall asleep like such.   It’s soothing to me to hold her and wake up to her being there sleeping.   She also naps longer if one of her parents are holding her which is nice.     It’s a bonding experience that every parent will dread but learn to appreciate with time.