My little girl, Hannah, will soon be eleven months old.
The last time I wrote specifically about her development was in 8 Months Old and Taking On The World. Back then I was blown away by the explosion in development, seemingly overnight sometimes. I marvelled at her new-found ability to move with purpose.
Fast-forward three months and the pace of development hasn’t changed. Hannah continues to astound me on a regular basis with her combination of gradual steps and giant leaps down the road to becoming a toddler. Often, Emma and I look at each-other in amazement at what we have just seen or heard.
What have I found most amazing recently?
- Talking – Hannah started saying “dad” a while ago, but without any sort of real meaning or intent. It was merely the first proper sound that she was able to make and so she repeated it again and again and again. Now it appears to have a bit of meaning. She uses it less often, but in more significant ways, like repeating it when Emma points to me and says “dad”. Hannah also has three other clear words. “Mum’ has become a part of her repertoire, as has “no” (complete with vigorous head-shake – yes, it is as cute as it sounds). Most recently (yesterday), banana was said in a meaningful way as Emma prepared Hannah’s afternoon snack. Plenty of other babbles and approximations of sounds escape on a regular basis (there was a wonderful approximation of “Oh my goodness!” a few weeks ago) and some things are beginning to have sounds attached to them (cats are usually met with an excited “A!” sound.
- Non-verbal communication – Hannah has many ways of getting her point across. She waves hello and goodbye (usually with a bit of parental encouragement, but sometimes independently). She has recently begun to point and use her gaze to draw attention to things. She reaches for things of interest and also moves herself towards them. She places her hands behind her head if she is tired and ready for a nap. She also squirms her way out of situations and positions that she doesn’t like, such as during the application of moisturiser and eczema cream, and the changing of clothes or nappies.
- Walking – Talk about an explosion in development. I haven’t written a post specifically about this because it has been a constant, fluid and relentless march towards her first unaided steps. We are not there yet, but my goodness we are close. Once Hannah became aware that movement was something she could control, she has constantly pushed the boundaries of her ability. She rolled, then back-slid, then commando crawled, then proper crawled, then pulled herself up, then furniture cruised (this includes the terrifying use my high-chair as a walker technique), and in the last few days she has learnt that she can grab hold of a finger on each of my hands, pull herself up, then use me as a human walker. Often, when she is becoming extremely frustrated by not being able to do something, it is a signal that, within a matter of days, she will be doing it.
- Climbing – As if furniture cruising isn’t terrifying enough, Hannah has decided that she also wants to be able to climb. She now pulls herself up to the lounge, then lifts one leg up in an attempt to get onto the seat. She is getting ridiculously close. She is already able to climb up the backrest of the lounge and I have had to catch her before she toppled right over the top and onto the tiles below.
- Teeth – these things just keep on appearing. They are currently the source of a bit of discomfort as four of them appear to be attempting to emerge simultaneously. Every week Hannah’s gummy smile becomes that little bit more toothy!
I wonder what amazing leaps Hannah will take between now and 1 year old…