Well, OK, Gabe is actually 19 months old by the time I’m finally getting round to writing this, but hey, who’s counting?
So what can I tell you about Gabe at 18 months old? Well, I could start with his vital statistics, except I only know he’s about 83cm tall, and is wearing size 4 shoes. I have no idea how much he weighs! He is mostly wearing 18-24 month clothes (or 86 in European sizes) so he is definitely smaller than Toby was at this age – he was already moving into 2-3 clothes at 18 months, and had size 6 feet!
There are quite a few similarities between Toby and Gabe at 18 months though. At this age Toby could only say Dada, hiya, see saw, what’s that and shoe. Gabe’s vocabulary so far includes bubble, hiya, baa baa, quack quack, an awful lot of ‘mama, mama, mumma’ and something that could possibly be interpreted as thank you. He babbles all the time though and he definitely sounds like he knows what he’s saying, even when it’s gibberish, and he’ll definitely let you know about it if he’s not getting his own way! I’m not at all concerned that he doesn’t say much yet because Toby was exactly the same and his vocabulary and speech are amazing now at three and a half.
I don’t know if it’s just selective memory on my part but Gabe definitely seems to be more clingy than Toby ever was. He still cries if I leave the room, or even sometimes if I’m not near enough to him in the same room! Having said that he very rarely cries when I drop him off at nursery – something that Toby still did a lot at this age. And he might be clingy but Gabe gives the best cuddles, proper round the neck bear hugs. He has the best giggle too and a tickle is usually enough to get one out of him.
Although he’s super clingy he’s also a quite fearless and independent little boy when he wants to be – usually when I’ve let him walk and he refuses to hold my hand and insists running off in the opposite direction to the one you want him to go in!
He eats pretty well these days; he loves pasta, and curry, and apples (but only if you give him a whole one). He has recently started wanting ketchup and mayonnaise whenever we have them, and has a new found love of ice cream.
He still has a bottle at bedtime and often one in the night too but just after Christmas we finally stopped using formula and he now has cow’s milk instead. I know he doesn’t really need bottles anymore but until he’s sleeping better I’m happy to keep giving them to him. He still has a dummy too but we try to limit it to sleep times and in the car, unless he’s really grumpy! Toby only had a dummy when he was tiny and then rejected it in favour of sucking his thumb, so I’ve no idea how we’re going to go about getting rid of Gabe’s. I guess we’ll figure it out when it comes to it, like we do with most things.
Gabe still has medication for reflux although I think it is much improved. We are slowly weaning him off omeprazole and then will do the same with his ranitidine. I am cautious though because it was at around this age that we ended up putting Toby back on ranitidine having thought that he had outgrown his reflux months earlier. Until Gabe is consistently sleeping through the night, and until his last four molars have come through I think we will err on the side of caution with his reflux meds and just keep them up for now.
Speaking of sleep – since Christmas Gabe has slept through probably four or five times, something he had only ever done twice in the previous 17 months. So he is improving. Slowly. Mostly though he still wakes up at least once or twice. Often the first wake up is sometime before 10 pm and midnight, and with a small bottle of milk I can usually get him back to sleep and in his own bed quite quickly. Occasionally then that will be it and he’ll sleep until morning. Often he wakes up again sometime around 3 or 4 am and I’ll bring him in bed with us for the rest of the night. Toby didn’t start properly sleeping through until he was two and half so I’m hoping Gabe gets the hang of it before then but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it doesn’t take at least another six months or so. At the moment, because I’m not working, it’s manageable as it is but if I get a job and go back to school in September then night waking might not be so easy to cope with.
Gabe loves his big brother like nothing else. They squabble and bicker all the time, usually because Toby has got something Gabe wants, or because he wants to do something Toby is doing but he can’t. But Gabe wants nothing more than to play with his brother and be just like him. They have moments now where they play together, or at least alongside each other, but I’m hoping it won’t be too much longer before Gabe can actually join in with Toby’s games. In fact the only place that they are guaranteed not to fight is when they are in the bath, which is something they have been enjoying since we started bathing them together just after Christmas.
He drives me bonkers on a daily basis but I love my little Gabey-goo, he’s growing up so quickly really – I can’t believe the next update I write will be when he’s turning two!