The differences in our children are quite striking already. First of all you have the size difference. At four months old, Henry (a.k.a. Hank the Tank) is wearing the clothes that Stephen was wearing when he was about a year old, walking around in them. For instance, Henry was just wearing this romper and it was pretty tight on him.
The second thing is that Henry is way more vocal than Stephen ever was. The range of sounds he makes is comparable to Stephen at 18months. Henry is generally more interested in people–emulating sounds, laughing, touching faces. Stephen just wanted to destroy destroy DESTROY.
Without any assistance from me, Stephen started naming 5-6 letters the other day. Since then, we have taught him several more. Now he just brings me all kinds of stuff and we take turns reading the letters. I credit the show Super Why! for getting him interested in letters and teaching him a few. It’s the best show around for 1-3 year olds, and it’s on PBS so virtually everyone gets it. It teaches the basics of reading and some very basic principles to help toddlers cope with everyday life. There is an episode where the moral is that throwing a tantrum is not helpful and you have to “use your words” to communicate what is bothering you…. that sort of thing. We are transitioning him to sitting at the table with us for dinner. It’s too exciting for him at the moment, but he’ll settle down and it will be nice for all of us. It won’t be long before Henry can sit in the highchair, so we need to free it up at dinner time. For breakfast, Stephen eats a regular bowl of cheerios with milk and a spoon these days; it sure does make things easier!
We’ve starting putting rice flakes (“cereal”) in with with Henry’s milk and he’s been sleeping 8 or 10 hours at night. Last night he slept a full ten hours, from 8pm-6am. That’s ideal as it matches Stephen’s schedule and gives us time to do stuff at night. The little guy is rolling over and scooting across the floor like a champ now, too. He held his own bottle the other day while he ate, so that skill is soon to be developed. He is interested in every little thing nowadays, which makes it harder for my wife to nurse him. My two milestones with babies are six weeks and six months. The first six weeks are really tough and things got noticeably easier once we got past that point. We’re coming up on the six month mark which gives you another big break because the baby can do things like sit up and hold his own bottle by then.