Ben at 11 Months: A Baby No More…

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I think I’ve been burying my head firmly in the sand, but you are coming ever closer to that first big birthday milestone. Somewhere in the haze of sleep deprivation, we’ve made it through a whole year, and it feels like I’ve blinked and it’s whizzed by. It’s an odd stage when you think about it – no longer a tiny baby who curls up on my chest to go to sleep, but not yet a toddler either. You’re a long way from walking still, not even pulling yourself up, and yet you have that insatiable curiosity about the world that is pure toddler.

Finally, I feel like we’ve turned a corner with your sleep, and I can’t tell you how amazing both your Daddy and I think that is! You still have the odd bad night, but you’re regularly sleeping through until 4am. It came out of nowhere as well – we were used to being in and out of your room all night, but then all of a sudden you threw in one night where you slept until 4am. It was so unexpected that we’d put on a dinner to cook in the slow cooker overnight, planning to turn it off when we went into you at your first wake up. Suffice to say that got burnt to a crisp, but it was completely worth it for a solid stretch of sleep!

 

Baby reaching out for lilac bush with his hands and picking off petals

 

The other big change this month for you has been the arrival of more teeth. You now have two teeth at the bottom, and 4 all coming at the same time at the top, and it’s already changed your smile from that adorable gummy one, to one that gives you a more cheeky look.

You’ve firmly cracked bum shuffling this month, and you can move across the room (and out of it!) at great pace. It’s so sweet to watch, and if we’re out and about people can’t help looking at you throwing yourself into it so enthusiastically and smile. Being able to move has opened up a world of possibility for you and it’s lovely to see you really start exploring the world around you. You are a grabber, of anything and everything, but especially of any toy that your brother is playing with. And just like your brother before you, you’re fascinated by doors, and can sit there pushing them back and forth for ages.

 

Baby sat on grass in front of lilac bush, with bubbles floating in front of him. He is reaching up with his hand to try to grab a bubble

Baby sat on blanket in the middle of bluebells. He is reaching out to one to try and touch it

 

This feels like such a bittersweet age for me right now. There are so many exciting things on the horizon – walking, talking, and more discoveries every day – and yet as we move towards those there are the other things we inevitably leave behind. The way you used to lie cradled in my arms to sleep. That little downy fluff of hair. Your funny babbles where you can make just one syllable have so many meanings. The way you clamp your tongue between your lips to make a gummy smile. As a parent, you don’t realise when you’re in the moment that this will be the last time you do or see those things. It’s only when a month has passed and I realise that I can’t remember the last time you were happy to sleep in my arms – too busy these days with exploring. There is definitely a part of me that is really sad to say goodbye to all of those baby milestones, but I’m so proud to see you becoming a little boy before my eyes.

Next month you will be turning one, and I’m going to be treasuring every last minute of these days when I can still call you my baby.

Happy 11 months Ben!