It’s been far too long since I’ve spammed y’all with a Skyler update complete with way too many photos of him. I realized this when I looked back to see that I haven’t shared one since he was nine months old, and that was half of his lifetime ago. (What?!)
I covered a recap of Skyler’s first birthday party but never got around to sharing a one year update. Since it’s too far gone to go back and try to remember everything, I’m creating a new template that includes things people generally ask about him and his age along with a list of our favorite things we’re loving right now.
Thanks so much for reminiscing with me!
Our baby boy is now a full-on toddler with a huge personality and just turned 18 months on September 15th! I know, I can’t believe it. He’s officially six months away from his second birthday and I cannot even deal.
I’ve found a pretty good balance with my hours at the studio that enables me to spend my late-afternoons and evenings at home with Skyler. I’m also trying to focus on using my off days to get more work done on the blog as well as log in hours with Beautycounter, and I’m slowly finding my groove with it all. I’m basically learning how to efficiently manage my time more than ever before!
Our part-time nanny got a full-time job, and instead of hiring a new one, we decided to use sitters here and there and join the YMCA to be able to utilize their gym daycare and ensure that Scott and I are both able to get our workouts in. This means that we’re back to the tag-teaming life which has both its perks and downfalls (saving on daycare costs, but not seeing each other as much or having scheduled time to work outside of our day jobs every day). That said, we’re exploring what the long-term answer is day by day and I’m more than happy to talk more about what that is once we find it.
But enough about all of that. Let’s get to the good stuff!
Skyler’s Eighteen Month Update
Skyler is seriously a little man. He surprises us every day with new things, with the latest of being able to pick up hand signals to sing-along songs. He knows almost a dozen animal noises and can spout them back on demand. He is absolutely obsessed with remotes, trying to steal our phones, playing with the Roomba vacuum, and anything else electronic. The fact that he can now make and answer/hang-up Facetime calls blows my mind, and it’s amazing to see his wheels turning when he’s trying to figure out something new.
Our guy has a mouth full of teeth and has a total of fourteen! It seems like he’s constantly teething, drooling, and asking for his pacifier to soothe it all. We’re working on that. He absolutely loves being around the pets and thinks that Roadie chasing his toys is the funniest thing ever. He’s starting to throw toys for him to go after, too, which is adorable.
He’s truly Mr. Independent and doesn’t want to hold our hands when he’s walking next to us around the neighborhood. He wants to feed himself, put his shoes on himself (even though we’ve got a while before that happens), and brush his teeth by himself. It’s times like these when I wonder where in the world my baby went!
Skyler has always loved music and dancing, and his passion for dance parties and moving, in general, has just grown stronger. The child rarely sits still. He’s the definition of an entertainer and finds a way to keep busy in situations where he’s contained like a high chair or stroller.
He loves almost all foods that he’s tried, for the most part. He has pickier days, but I think those align with teething, too. He goes through phases just like any toddler, but he generally eats what we eat and can take down an impressive plate.
Sky uses his own language and has a way of communicating with us by pointing, signing (we taught him a handful of words that he knows in sign language like more, all done, hungry, drink, please, etc.), and definitely knows what he likes and doesn’t. His most used words are “mama”, “dada”, “baba”, “bloop bloop” which is his way of saying blooper (what Scott named his pacifier), “woof woof”, and other animal noises.
I’m still convinced that being Skyler’s mom is the best job in the entire world. The days go by insanely fast, and I’m just trying to soak in as many snuggles as I can while he lets me hold him!
Skyler has become well-traveled in his first year and a half. He’s already been to Florida (several times), Michigan (twice), Arkansas/Missouri (twice), Vermont, and North Carolina. We’ve got our airport and airplane with a toddler routine down pat, and I shared my tips for traveling with a toddler that also includes snippets of traveling with an infant, too.
He generally does great in transit, unless we’re driving through hilly roads. The poor guy gets car sick and has gotten sick several times on different trips. (He definitely got his motion sickness from me, hence why I don’t like roller coasters.) He’s such a trooper through it all.
Once we’re out of the car, he puts his explorer hat on and loves seeing new sights and sounds of the world. He’s always so curious to see what the world is like outside of what he knows.
Likes & Dislikes
Over the last six months or so, Skyler has made it easy to know what he likes and what he doesn’t. He’s very vocal about it. He’s generally a very happy baby until you try to do something he’s not about like hold him instead of letting him explore, wear a bib, or get out of the bath before he’s ready.
He’s a pro walker these days and loves to be moving around. He prefers to spend his time climbing, exploring, and getting into things he probably shouldn’t.
Our little guy is already quite the comic! He laughs all day long and loves it when there’s music to dance to. He is all about his toys and is a total bookworm. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to find him taking one toy out at a time to show you what it is until the whole bin is empty. He absolutely loves his Little People and animal bath toys and lines them up on any ledge he can find. He’s very particular on how they go and which way they face!
He doesn’t like to be left “alone” (meaning I’m literally in the next room staring at him) unless he steals one of our phones and plays a game. We tried to keep him away from all screens, but with Scott and I both often working at home and answering texts all day, it’s hard to keep them out of sight. We eventually caved and downloaded kid-friendly educational games for him to play for a bit if he’s feeling left out. His favorites include anything that teaches animal noises including I Hear Ewe, First Words for Baby, Baby Piano (the unlocked version has so many great features!) and Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame.
I used to beat myself over it, but then I see a happy, educated baby when he’s able to relay information that he’s learning in songs during his monitored screen time. I guess I’ll take it!
Our little guy is a total bookworm and would read books all day long. He loves snuggling up on his rocker for a read with me and points at his bookshelf as soon as he wakes up. He is especially fond of any book that has a flap to pull or textures to explore. Looking at the picture below reminds me that we need to visit the library more often!
He loves to help me around the house and follows me with every step I take. He’s a great assistant with putting the dishes away and folding laundry, and he gets a big kick out of handing me one piece of clothing at a time.
Skyler has an obvious love for animals and can’t go by a dog on our walks without pointing and saying “woof woof”. He adores his fur siblings so much and hugs on them as much as they’ll let him. He’s finally learned how to be gentle but still tries to tackle Cali from time to time. He’d never try that on Aspen, as she doesn’t put up with nearly half as much. I think it’s so interesting that he understands the concept that cats can act and react differently.
Our little guy goes through phases of wanting to color all the time to showing no interest at all. We’re still working on sticking to his coloring table and drawing on the paper only.
A lot of people ask where I find the aquarium videos that I have on in the background of a lot of my stories, and I stream it through YouTube on our television. Simply search for “aquarium” and you’ll see a ton of options to play! Skyler loves watching the fish swim around, and I find it to be very aesthetically pleasing and calming. I will occasionally change it to a fireplace, waterfall, or other nature scenes from time to time. I enjoy having it on in the background while playing kids songs on the speaker during our playtimes, and Skyler likes it too!
This category has removed the word “breastfeeding” from it for quite some time, but I haven’t really addressed it on the blog, so I figured that I would include an update here. My supply dropped dramatically around ten months, so I weaned him by eleven months and supplemented with a few formula-filled bottles per day until his first birthday. Once that hit we dropped the bottle and transitioned him to organic whole milk and sippy cups in one fell swoop. It was a challenging few days, and he wasn’t into it at first, but he got over it and now asks for his “baba” (sippy cup with milk) as soon as he wakes up and after his bath before bedtime.
Skyler is an adventurous eater, and generally eats what we do! Just like any other toddler, however, his preferences change daily and sometimes it’s a battle to get him to eat anything at all.
On any given day, he will eat a good breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and maybe a little dessert. I’ve received a lot of interest to show more of what he’s eating, so I started a “Baby Eats” Highlight on my Instagram profile where you can reference the latest meals and wins. I also plan on sharing a more in-depth post to how I put his meals together and what has worked for us soon!
We’re still loving the Ikea Antilop High Chair for the bargain price of $22, but we also added a Toogel Hook On High Chair to our dining room, and it’s a great combo. The Toogel breaks down really easily and is meant for travel, too!
Skyler’s favorite things to eat is always fresh produce, and I’m not mad about it! He got turned on to diced tomatoes and cucumber spears (with a little bit of salt and pepper) early on, and he eats one of the two for a snack or while dinner is cooking almost daily. He loves his “nanas” (bananas) and “blues” (blueberries), and will usually eat diced avocado, mango, berries, pineapple, and more. I often give him a handful of frozen peas while I cook, too, since he loves the taste, and I would imagine that the coldness feels good on his sometimes teething gums.
I’m proud of our adventurous eater! He’ll usually try everything once, which is a great start.
We haven’t strayed from our nighttime routine since we established one early on. We have the occasional dinner or event out which shakes things up a bit, but generally, we eat dinner between 5:15-6:15 pm, play, walk Roadie, and then Sky takes a bath before 7. Jammies followed by books, a night time sippy cup of milk, and bedtime quickly follows.
We read two books every night, sing lullabies, and it’s lights out between 7:15-7:30 pm. Skyler still relies on his pacifier and is in a phase of going back and forth between his “ba ba” (milk) and “bloop bloop” (pacifier) while I rock him. I used to be able to set him in his crib to go to sleep on his own, but we lost that luxury when he was sick a while back. Now he has a hard time settling down without rocking, walking around, or at least rubbing his back while he’s lying in his crib.
We still have noise machines, one on the floor and his portable one across the room since his room is in the middle of the living room and our room and the pets continuously like to go through it to get to another room. (The struggle of a railroad layout apartment is real!) He will usually sleep through the night, but he’s gotten into another unfortunate habit after getting sick of waking up between 4:30-5:30 am. I don’t know if it relates to when I’m getting up for work or what, but sometimes he’ll wake before my alarm even goes off. It’s like he knows I’m about to get up!
Since putting him right back down never works, we’ve been cuddling him in our bed to try to gain another hour or so of sleep before he’s up for the day. We try to hold off on his morning milk sippy cup until 7 am as much as possible because we really want him to be sleeping until then. Most days, however, he’s tossing and turning everywhere by 6ish. Does anyone have any suggestions on this? (How do you get your little ones to sleep until 7 or 7:30 am?!)
Sky is officially down to one nap a day unless we’re traveling or he’s extra tired from the day before. We’re still trying to find his sweet spot for lying down during the day (it’s either right after a snack around 11 am or right after lunch around 12:30pm). Sometimes he’ll sleep for an hour, but other times he’ll sleep for two and a half, so it’s not very predictable right now.
Postpartum Recovery/Gym Updates
I found my postpartum fitness grove at around six months post-baby, and I went back to feeling like my true pre-baby self at about a year postpartum. This is probably the last one of Skyler’s updates that I will include a section about my postpartum journey, but I wanted to include it in this one because of the first sentence above. It took me a full year to really get to the fitness level that I was at pre-pregnancy!
We have been going to our local YMCA over the past few months and Skyler has been enjoying his time at the gym daycare. It took him several drop-offs to get over crying, but we eventually got there. He’s clingier when I try to leave on some days, but that’s to be expected if I’m not home with him all day. On a good week, I will do a mix of 2-3 cardio and strength training at the gym, an Orangetheory Fitness workout, and a lower impact/recovery workout like barre or yoga.
Skyler’s Current Favorites
Here is a compiled list of things that Skyler has been loving at this age.
- NUK Space Orthodontic Pacifiers, 18-36 Months
- Lift-the-Flab books – especially animals
- Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape and Color Magnets
- Melissa & Doug, Let’s Play House! Pretend Play Set
- Mega Bloks – he’s been loving these since he turned one!
- Little People Toys – all of them
- Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Laptop
- Click N’ Play Assorted Colorful Bath Squirters
- Pretend Play Dishes Playset he loves to put them away and pretend to eat or feed me!
- Little Tikes Totsports Easy Score Basketball Set
- Wooden Shape Sorter Toy
- Fisher-Price Little World of Animals See ‘n Say (he’s obsessed with this)
- Pull Back Car Toys – most were gifted but here’s a set similar to his
My Favorites For 18 Months
And here’s what we’ve been loving for him!
- Skip Hop Pronto Baby Changing Station & Diaper Clutch
- GB Pockit Travel Stroller (I use this almost every day to navigate subway stairs on my own and fold down small in restaurants!)
- Beautycounter Kids Shampoo & Body Wash (it smells so good, feels even better, and I wish I had started him on the Newborn line when he was a baby, too)
- Pottery Barn My First Toddler Anywhere Chair
- Ubbi Tweat 2-Pack Snack Containers – actually spillproof!
- Munchkin Click Lock Bite Proof Sippy Cups
- Toogel Hook On High Chair (pictured in eating update)
- Amazon Elements Baby Wipes – the best price for the quality that I’ve seen yet, and I have them on subscription repeat for convenience
- Munchkin Stay-Put Suction Bowls
- Ergobaby Omni 360 Carrier (all positions) – he’s getting bigger in it, but I still use it every day for walks with Roadie and while traveling
- Ezpz Happy Mat Dining Plate – for easy eating without bowls/plates
- Echo Dot Smart Speaker with Alexa – makes playing music for toddlers so easy, not to mention help turning on/off lights when your hands are full!
I love this guy more than words could even express and feel so lucky to spend as much time as I do with him.
Thank you so much for checking in, and I’ll be back with more posts on deck this week!
In case you missed it … here are more LIL baby-related posts:
Life With a Newborn, Recovery, and Q&As (Two Week Update)