Hang on to your hats, folks, because your baby is about to start cruising if she isn’t already. First standing on her own, then navigating the room while holding onto chairs, the coffee table, sofa cushions, and you, your baby is about to cross the threshold from baby to toddler when she takes those first steps on her own. Whoa, that was fast, wasn’t it? Are you ready for the chase when she hits the ground running one day soon? No worries if neither of you are ready for this step. All babies reach these developmental milestones at their own pace, and there is no hurry . . . really!
As bold as baby may seem when lurching across the living room or climbing up the stairs (careful, she isn’t as sure of herself going down!), she may also develop a few new fears that she didn’t have before. The vacuum, the neighbor’s dog, or an unexpected loud noise may set off tears or at least a cry for the comforting embrace of mom, dad, or another trusted caregiver. You’ll also notice growing attachments to a favorite blankie, toy, stuffed animal, or other “lovey” at this age.
Your baby’s food preferences and appetite may fluctuate as her growth slows a bit. Consider trying a new flavor of Brandless fruit and veggie pouches to keep things interesting, such as the Organic Pear, Blueberry, Purple Carrot & Milled Chia or the Organic Apple, Green Bean & Broccoli blend. Take her lead and pay attention to her signals to know if she is hungry or not. But if your child isn’t interested in eating, nursing, or taking a bottle, don’t force it. She could be telling you that it’s time to wean off of the breast or bottle and go straight to a cup. Or she may rather set the sippy cup aside to roll a ball back and forth or play patty cake together. She will delight in mimicking your hand motions, facial expressions, and sounds. Clap, clap, hurray!
Diaper changes can be a lot messier — or at least different — once a variety of solid foods are part of the routine. Keep an eye out (or a nose?) for changes in your baby’s stool as it can be a clue to food sensitivities. You’ll want to change your feeding strategy to respond if diarrhea or constipation occur. At the first sign of redness (or even before), protect your baby’s bum with the thick, creamy white formula of the Brandless Hypoallergenic Diaper Rash Cream, which is made with coconut oil, shea butter, avocado oil, and non-nano zinc oxide.
And try the super gentle Plant-Based Baby Wipes made without any drying alcohol or other harsh chemicals. At this age group, you will likely be stocking up on Size 2 and 3 diapers, which fit babies ranging from 12 to 28 pounds. Brandless diapers made with plant-based materials offer up to 12 hours of protection, are hypoallergenic, and are free from latex, lotions, fragrances, and chlorine processing.
Regular outings, fresh air, and new sights and sounds are good for baby and you so grab your things and go! Keep a cute tote filled with Brandless diaper supplies and snacks to make going out an easy decision. If you need a push to make a plan, join a playgroup with other parents and babies in your neighborhood. When it’s your turn to host, order a supply of Organic Teething Wafers in banana or vegetable flavors for your playgroup snack. Parents can snack on our gluten-free Gouda Cheese Bites, Vegetable Chips, or Everything Pretzel Thins so you can all munch (or drool) together!
Your baby can start getting into everything and making some serious messes at this stage. He will also hear and understand the meaning of “No!” If you notice a few unusual or alarming behaviors, such as biting, hair-pulling, head-banging, or rocking, these things are usually just a phase. Try not to worry or overreact, but you will want to divert, distract, and dissuade your child from continuing these habits. Now is a good time to make sure you, your parenting partner, and other caregivers are all on the same page on how to correct and discipline.
One suggestion for diverting and distraction: books are a great combination and a brilliant way to divert your child’s attention away from a negative behavior. Make sure you have lots of book choices around the house to foster a lifelong love of reading. We also love bath time books that won’t wilt when covered with Tear-Free Baby Shampoo & Wash. Soak it up!
We’re waving bye-bye (your baby can do this now too!) until the next installment of Brandless Baby Milestones, when we check in on you and your 12- to 14-month old. In the meantime, have fun planning that one-year-old birthday party!