Fatherhood

Austin’s 1 Year Review

Austin is now ONE YEAR OLD! How on earth did that even happen?! The last I remember he was a tiny dot that I could fit in the palm of my hand. I now need a lie down every time I pick him up he’s that heavy. I haven’t quite got my head around the fact that I am the father to a one year old. I don’t even think I have my head around being a father yet. The time has gone far too quickly and I can’t see it slowing down any time soon. I’m going to be giving an update on exactly how Austin is doing now that he has passed his first birthday.

Speech

I am very pleased to announce that Austin’s first word was ‘Dada’. I’m not smug about it I promise. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit pleased though. Whether it was intentional or not is another thing but I definitely took it as a parenting win! Since saying ‘Dada’, he has learnt some new sounds and can now say ‘Mama’, ‘Nanna’, ‘Baba’, and a noise that sounds suspiciously like ‘Grandad’. Austin is turning into a complete chatterbox and loves to shout random noises and generally just be as loud as possible. He’s even not afraid to shout these random noises at 5 in the morning when he’s ready to wake up for the day. I’m still working on teaching Austin how to say all of the Liverpool football players but so far I’ve had no joy.

Food

Austin really enjoys his food and is now eating three large meals a day. We start off the day with weetabix or porridge oats for breakfast. You’d think that he hadn’t been fed for days with the speed that it disappears. The desperation to get the spoon into his mouth is always clear to see. After his weetabix he will sit and munch on a melon slice. For his lunch he will eat a full jar of baby food or an Ella’s kitchen pouch. For his dinner I will usually cook him a hot meal that he can eat by himself. One of his favourite meals is turkey dinosaurs, smiley faces and some cooked vegetables. A classic meal for any child and one of my favourites that I enjoyed when I was younger (minus the vegetables).

When Austin was younger he was diagnosed with a cow’s milk intolerance and so we have had to change his diet, making weaning that bit more challenging. The constant checking of labels to find what ingredients are in different foods has been exhausting. The dairy free section of supermarkets has become our second home. We have only recently decided that we would be trying him on the milk ladder which is a process of weaning cow’s milk back into his food. First stop, malted milk biscuits! Although we haven’t started this process yet I’m excited to see what happens. I’m less excited though about the potential explosive nappies that could result.

Movement

As a typical boy, Austin has been lazy with his physical development. At a year old he has mastered how to army crawl and to sit up from his tummy. I have a feeling that he will be skipping the stage of crawling properly. Austin seems to be happy enough giving himself carpet burns on his knees from dragging his legs along the floor. He can still get from one side of the room to the other in record speeds. Although he can stand up whilst his hands are held, he hasn’t quite mastered his balance yet, although I don’t feel like it will be too much longer. He still has jelly legs and looks like he’s just got home from a night on the town. His slow development may be due to the fact that he lost a lot of weight when he was born, and he has been playing catch up ever since. This set his milestones back slightly and he has always been a bit slower to achieve them. Even though as a parent you are desperate for your child to hit these targets, it probably isn’t such a bad thing that he isn’t fully mobile just yet.

Sleep

This is the part where I wish I was telling you that Austin was now sleeping through the night and everybody was getting enough sleep to get them through the day. Unfortunately this is far from the truth. We are still experiencing sleepless nights and extremely early wake ups. I can count on one hand how many times Austin has slept in past 7am. His disruption in the night hasn’t been helped by the fact that he has been ill countless times, even ending up in hospital on one occasion. Life has been tough for Austin so far, and he can’t seem to catch a break. Once he becomes settled again, he’s struck down with something else. It’s no surprise then that the ‘sleeping through stage’ hasn’t happened yet, but it doesn’t hide the fact that we are all very tired. Austin still has 2 or 3 naps throughout the day. When the daytime naps in the cot started, we even had a few that lasted a good 3 hours before he woke up. These have faded away in the last few months. Austin’s frantic and energetic nature means that he becomes tired very quickly which spells trouble for everyone and regular naps are definitely needed.

Play

Most babies will play with toys designed for babies. Austin however would rather play with anything that isn’t a toy. His favourite things to play with are empty bottles, laces, labels, keys and TV remotes. We have enough toys to keep him entertained for weeks but he doesn’t really show much interest. There are a few toys that he plays with daily, like the plastic shapes and the sing-a-long books. Austin seems to go for the loudest and most irritating toys he can find, that eventually ‘run out of batteries’. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve stolen batteries out of toys that I really can’t deal to listen to anymore.

I still cannot accept the fact that Austin will be one in a few days. It’s not okay! Before I know it I will be writing up the two year review and the dreaded toddler stage. If there are other areas that you feel like I should have included then please let me know. Thanks to all of Austin’s family and friends who have helped us through a very tough but enjoyable year. Lets hope that Austin’s second year of existence goes a little more smoothly than his first.

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