Things are just different
Since starting the Mommy Milestones posts, I’ve had an easy time documenting different stages of being a mom. Until I had a 9-month-old baby.
At first, I didn’t realize why this stage of motherhood during the first year was different than having a 3, 6, or 12 month old. Until I was having breakfast with a friend. Like most good friends she asked how the kiddos were doing and asked how old Baby J was now. “9 months last week” I stated, oblivious. As her face changed, and the words came out of her mouth I soon realized why I struggled to write this post.
She very kindly responded, “hopefully, he will be 10 months soon”. Now, this friend is a mother of 4, and much braver than I for having 4, so when you hear her say something like that you know it comes from experience. And experience I would prefer I never have! Two is my comfort zone!
This mom of four has been there, done that, and doesn’t want the t-shirt to prove it. She remembers each of her children as a 9-month-old and hoped for my sake that this month speeds by quickly and without any major hiccups.
Her seven words told me all of that without having to have the real discussion. My follow up was simple “And he’s also getting 6 teeth in at the same time”. Oh, the horror. If she was catholic, like me, she would have been doing the sign of the cross and throwing her arms up to the heavens in surrender.
This brief interaction with a friend was the thing I needed to figure out why I’ve struggled to write this post and to pin point what it’s like to have a 9-month-old baby.
So if you’re a new mom, or a seasoned mom, this stage of having a 9-month-old is just different than the other stages in the first year. Why you ask? I’ll tell you why but please sit down first.
They Know Too Much
They are so far removed from being a newborn you have forgotten that stage. Your baby now interacts and has opinions. LOTS OF OPINIONS. Yet they cannot act on most so they end up pissed if things don’t go their way. This is especially worse if there are older siblings. They see the injustice happening and want you to know they disagree. Loudly, with tears. “Mom, why can’t I chew on this small doll toy that will easily get lodged in my throat? I protest!)
This is especially worse if there are older siblings. They see the injustice happening and want you to know they disagree. Loudly, with tears. “Mom, why can’t I chew on this small doll toy that will easily get lodged in my throat? I protest!
Teething for Months
It seems that for most babies this is the point in the first year that is the worst for teething. This teething seems to last for weeks, and for some even months. My first born teethed for 6 months before she finally got her first tooth at 13 months!!! Talk about Hell, for everyone involved.
As parents, it’s our job to comfort them and relieve them of the pain as much as possible. After a couple of weeks of interrupted sleep and more Tylenol and Orajel than you care to give your 9-month-old, you feel lost on how to help. Eventually, those teeth have to come through but in the meantime, it will be Hell for everyone involved. And understandably so. I can’t imagine what 6 teeth coming in would feel like. You would probably have to sedate me for an undetermined amount of time!
Mobility Adds to the Confusion
Remember when you could safely put your baby down for a minute while you would do something simple, like go to the bathroom? You knew they would be in that same spot when you were done.
No more! By 9 months, most babies are mobile in some way, whether it’s rolling, crawling, or the scariest of them all, WALKING! They get from point A to point B before you even blink an eye. And for some reason, they seem to find the corners of everything and get hurt quicker than you can get to them! Which leads to crying and mom guilt.
Sleep Regressions or Changes
When you add teething and mobility to the mix your baby getting a full night’s sleep is more challenging. Whether they have teething pain or have moved into an uncomfortable position in their crib that requires your help, sleeping has new challenges to contend with. At some point, some babies start talking to themselves during the night, which is hard to ignore at 2:00 AM.
On a side note, Baby boy was quasi-awake last night from 11:30 to 1:30. Just making enough noise over the monitor to keep me awake but not enough to require my attention. At 1:00 I finally looked at the screen to see what he was doing (that wasn’t sleeping). He was sitting up in the middle of the crib, with his leg stuck between the bars, most likely sleeping upright. His little head would lean against the bars or slowly drop like a kid sleeping in class. This, of course, required my attention and waking him up just caused him to cry, even if it was to help him.
So close but yet so far away
In three months you will have a 12-month-old (or a 1-year-old, however you want to look at it!).
But you don’t have one yet.
There is still so much learning that most go on before you get to the next milestone. With that learning, there are trials and tribulations, both for your baby and you as the parent. Some children will be walking and talking by 1 years old, other are doing it at 9 months old, and some like my first born not until they are ready after that year. Leading to…
Each child will hit the developmental milestones differently and that’s okay. Neither of my children has crawled the “right” way. Kiddo #1 did a Quasimodo hunchback kind of crawl and kiddo #2 army crawls with the best of them. They both got where they wanted to go and had more interest in standing so they didn’t miss anything. The doctor is not concerned and neither am I.
Books are a great reference but not something to live and die by. Give your child and yourself grace. They will figure it out when they are ready!
If you weren’t sure what your baby’s personality might be, you probably have a good idea by now. The more your 9-month-old interacts with you and their surroundings the more you see who they are and what they are like. Like all things it has it’s positives and negatives but personally, it’s my favorite part of the first year. Keep the personality coming!
Until they are 2.5. Then it’s personality overload and mommy loses her mind a little more everyday.
The Moral of the Story…
Is each child has their own personality and timetable of what they will learn and do during the first year (and every year beyond that!).
Moms you are doing an awesome job of rolling with the punches, literally. Babies get strong at this age and those accidental hits to the face hurt!
Keep loving them and guiding them through their learning as best you can. And soon enough they will shock you by responding in a way to make it all worthwhile, like a kiss or saying mama!
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