“Because infants and toddlers learn best through hands-on activities and movement, television and videos are inappropriate forms of stimulation.” -Aletha J. Solter, Ph.D. (“The Aware Baby” p.128)
And with that, we dive into Summer’s 3rd Quarterly or Nine Months report. At nine months, life is starting to settle back to the norm again. Summer still wakes up to feed at night, but outside of that, she plays, eat, and sleep on a normal schedule. Her food list has greatly expanded from the six to nine month list, so we now have a large variety of foods to give her. At this stage, she is starting to prefer finger food and eating on her own instead of being spoon fed. While this is definitely more messy, it is nevertheless enjoyable to see your baby feeding herself while practicing her hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity (it’s not easy picking up those little bits of food).
Nearing her six month time, I attempted to give Summer a home-based version of formula milk using the instructions from HERE. The thought behind it was that commercial formula milk just does not have all the nutrition and fat that is needed to help a baby develop. Summer loved the milk and she smelled like a fresh flower after drinking it. However, it caused her slight constipation and her doctor suggested that we wait until nine to twelve months as her body is not able to process some of the content in the milk. After her nine month visit, I decided to make the formula milk again, but Summer didn’t seem to want it. My understanding of baby and feeding is that baby’s in general know how to regulate their body and knows what it needs, so I’m not going to force the milk on her and will continue to give her the commercial formula milk Similac Organic and will try again at ten, eleven, and twelve months. As long as Summer continues to experiment and eat the solids that I provide her, I’m comfortable that she is getting all the nutrition she needs.
My wife and I are now considering half-day Montessori school for Summer. While there may be a lot of information and websites on the internet to help stimulate a baby’s intellect, I feel that a personal and in-depth look at Summer may be more helpful to both her and I. I’m interested in the tests that will be given to Summer to find out what her interests are, as well as the guidance that I can use to continue developing her intellect at home. An example of this is my pursuit to teach Summer sign language. While she picked up a few signs early, her sign language vocabulary has been stagnant. When I do signs for her, I do see that she is observing the motion, but I don’t think she is making the correlation between the signs, words, and the subject/object. This leads me to think that there may be more optimal way of educating Summer that I am not be aware of, and it definitely does not hurt to admit to my short-comings and seek the advice of those that are more familiar with the subject.
Overall, life is starting to become more fun and memorable. Each day is an exciting new day with Summer to see her grow exponentially, and comes with new experiences. Not every day is a fun day of course, but on most days, I try to be aware of Summer’s development, tune into what she is doing and likes, and challenge myself to expand her experiences.
…and on that note, Happy Father’s Day to myself from Summer - but every day is a happy father’s day for me.