Warning: Long post ahead
In a blink of an eye, our munchkin is now 9 months old. Before we know it, she will be walking down the aisle. Fuyohhh…
Oh yes, I’m also guilty for not updating about her development diligently but it’s always better late than never, right? Right! 🙂
Here are some of Xan’s key developmental milestones in the past months:
► Seeing her brother walking and running around, she longed for self mobility too. So when she started crawling caterpillar-style at 5.5 months, she was extremely excited. As hard as it seemed, she would follow E and crawl all over the apartment, mopping the floor for me at the same time. My part-time helper has never been happier!
► Her vocal prowess continued. She experimented with “baaaa” and “behhh” sounds a lot. E would often asked me to interpret what Xan was saying.
► She gets cranky over two matters only: when she’s tired or needs a feed.
► She is obsessed with her brother’s milk bottle. Whenever he’s drinking it, she would attempt to snatch it and would never give up until she gets it. Very determined girl.
► We started her on solids at 6 months. She has only tried a day of baby cereal before we decided to go for baby-led weaning (BLW), where she learned to self-feed from the very beginning. We gave her whole food – cut to suitable sizes – minus the salt and sugar. No mashed, puréed or gooey stuff. She didn’t know what to do with them and ate very little at first but as time passed, she learned to chew and swallow. It’s one of the best decisions we have ever made for her, as she picked up the idea quickly and has ever since looked forward to meal times each day. It makes sense, is fun and easy. Gone were the days when I had to spend hours puréeing food or take turns with Hubby to eat because one of us needed to feed baby first. With BLW, everyone eats together as a family. She eats whatever we eat, with no particular order of food types. Watching her observe, feel the texture and enjoy her food is priceless! Messy fun but well worth it. I highly recommend it but do read up and do your research before commencing BLW 🙂
► She’s a real charmer and social butterfly, even when she’s hiding inside my carrier. She would pop her head out whenever she hears new voices and tries to make eye contact with people then flash a heart-melting smile. The locals here like to say “Mashallah!” whenever they see her doing her ‘thing’. We have also had strangers stopping by our table to tell us how beautiful she is. As a mom, I’m shamelessly flattered! >_<
► She began sitting unsupported at 6.5 months.
► She fell sick for the first time at 6.5 months. Down with high fever for two days, which was followed by rashes, she eventually recovered on her own through continuous breastfeeding, baby vitamin C and VCO. We did bring her to the clinic but the silly doc prescribed her anti-histamine!
► By 7 months, she has become a very proficient eater who feeds herself at every meal. Her pincer grip and hand-eye coordination skills are impeccable (I’m not saying this because I’m her mother but because I have never seen any 7-month babies possessing such ability before, all thanks to BLW). She is also gradually learning to use a spoon which I usually preload with thick porridge or rice ball. To date, she has tried all sorts of vegetables and fruits, carbs as well as meat and fish. Corn on the cob, steak and spaghetti are among the memorable dishes she has ever tried 🙂
► She also pulled herself up to stand at 7 months old. Then learned how to sit down from a standing position without falling down.
► As if waiting to flaunt her newfound skills to her grandparents, Xan began to crawl on all fours as soon as we went back to Malaysia for the summer holiday at 7.5 months. Within a day, she started cruising. It’s funny to see a baby her size doing that – so small yet can’t wait to grow up! And once she gained this skill, she turned into this tough, game-for-anything baby. Samseng and fearless in other words. That’s my girl!
► At the same time, her first tooth made its debut…in Malaysia!
► She loves putting something on her head, wait for our reaction and giggle. There were a few times when she farted or burped really loud and when I gave a shocked reaction, she burst out in adult-size laughter. Hilarious!
► My parents call her “Nyonya” or by my nickname “Ah Oi” (the short one in Hokkien) as according to them, she looks just like me when I was a baby. Size wise too.
► During our stay at my parents’ for a few weeks, she was a changed baby. She was very, very clingy and would cry the house down until I carried her. She refused anyone else too. Stranger anxiety plus teething perhaps.
► Tooth #2 sprouted 1.5 weeks after the first one came, also in Malaysia 🙂
► She started drinking from a straw bottle when I handed E’s to her one day. Just like that.
► She’s often mistaken for a boy due to her fine and short hair, though she’s dressed in girly clothes most of the time.
► Had her first nasty fall at my parents’. I was all to blame for not watching her vigilantly. She was wheeling around in a baby walker in the garden and tumbled upside down a few steps. Got a few scratches on her cheek and two bumps on her head 😦
► ‘Bye bye’ is her first official word. She likes to spray saliva to pass time in the car. She screams for fun or to get her way.
► Xan, E and I flew back to Dubai on our own two weeks after Hubby left. While I have prepared E for that trip a week prior to the flight, it was a surprise to me that Xan was the harder-to-manage one. Her scream drew stares from some passengers and she insisted to climb up and down.
► She weighed 7kg at 8 months. Very petite and compact baby!
► She signs “come” by moving her little fingers up and down whenever she wants us to carry her or go to her. We laughed out loud the first time she did it. Courtesy of me often gesturing “lai” in Mandarin to her.
► Her favorite food are strawberry, broccoli and noodles (though nothing beats chewing on papers!). Around 80% of the food served during each meal will go into her tummy, while the rest will end up on the floor or high chair. My parents and siblings were awed by her independence and how well she managed her food.
► I’m known as “booaey”. Other regular words include “ah beh?” and “ahweh!”
► A copycat. Whenever we do something, eg. straighten the bedsheet with our hand or tenderize the meat with a tenderizer tool, she would follow suit. After observing me doing the ‘red Indian’ call several times, she began to mimic by placing the back of her hand on her mouth up and down while saying “ahhhh”. She also sticks her tongue in and out while making a sound in an attempt to ‘sing’.
► Very very playful. She could last the day with just two 30-minute nap sessions. She plays with E more now, often chasing after each other (him running, she crawling).
► She tries acrobatic stunts when she’s breastfeeding, thinking my breasts are flexible. Her favorite positions are nursing with her bum up (bottoms up!) or sitting up as if she’s having a drink at a bar. Sometimes she would lift up her bum and one leg at the same time! Breastfeeding yoga, maybe?
► She dreads bedtime because Hubby would take her away from me and pat her to sleep in another room. As soon as she sees Hubby coming for her, she would crawl away and cry out loud.
As you can read, I’m unabashedly proud of Xan. Raising her has been easy and smooth-sailing thus far. We adopt an instinctive parenting approach with Xan, instead of the textbook-way like what we did with E. We feel this approach makes things simpler and more fuss-free for her and us. But that’s also largely because she’s a good-natured, happy-go-lucky baby. Cheeky but highly lovable.