One Year of James: Blue Birthday & His Year in Review

What a year it has been! Everyone says it goes by fast and it does, but at the same time it also felt slow at times which I truly have tried to appreciate. I can’t believe my baby is one and now considered a toddler! He will always be my baby boy though.

I wanted to share an update about him in terms of developmental milestones, but also a bit about his birthday and why I chose a “no theme” theme.

Disclaimer: none of this post should be considered medical advice. It is for informational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have concerns about your child’s health or development. Please note that I do use Amazon associate links in this post and I may earn a small amount from any purchases.

James’ Milestones at 12 Months

James has been busy the past month starting to walk. He took his first few steps a few weeks ago and has been taking a few more every few days. He’s still pretty imbalanced but he’s getting the hang of it!

A lot of people ask about how to encourage baby to walk – we honestly didn’t do anything “focused” but he did get a push walker toy for his birthday and that has definitely helped a lot (it is the Hape Wonder Walker and I’ve linked it from Mastermind here). He also got a table toy that he has to stand up to play with – it is this VTech Touch and Explore Activity Table.

Pathways (as you know, one of my favourite sites) shares a few other tips: holding baby at the rib cage and not by the arms or hands to support them in walking; putting toys up so they practice standing (so similar to the activity table); and putting items in baby’s hands to encourage them to stand and support themselves.

But honestly, they do it when they’re ready – and I think having an older sibling who’s modelling the behaviour helps (or going to daycare – I think that’s what got Maggie started!). If you’re concerned about baby not meeting milestones, a visit with your primary care provider and/or a physiotherapist may be helpful.

I can’t remember if I included this in his last update but he also claps now, and is working very hard at waving but hasn’t quite mastered that one yet.

He loves music and “dancing” lately. He will move to a beat and loves the intro songs to any of his sisters TV shows. He also loves when I sing to him.

He says both mama and dada. He can also say “ball” and “cat” and “dog”, which I’m pretty sure was a milestone for last month that I’m now repeating. He is very chatty and loves to imitate his sister if she screams (LOL!). He shakes his head no and nods his head yes in response to questions like “are you hungry” or “are you tired”. He reaches his arms to be picked up and continues to point at whatever he wants or needs (like his water bottle and snacks).

He’s started to use a spoon when eating, which I’ll talk about in the eating section below.

In terms of socializing – he has a very serious face when resting but can be very playful, silly and social. He definitely has a funny little personality that we love.

He also loves throwing balls lately! Almost all our toys for him right now are ball oriented because he just loves anything that involves throwing or hammering a ball, or placing balls into different holes or containers. I’ll share his favourite toys from 6-12 months in a separate post because there’s a few faves!

Overall – he’s moving in all sorts of ways, talking away and showing us his personality so much! I love the 10+ month phase, it was one of my favourite times with my daughter and I remember why now with James.

James’ Sleep at 12 Months

James is a champion napper. Maggie was a terrible napper until she was over a year, but James has been a consistently good napper for months now. His night time sleep compared to Maggie’s though, is not as good. It’s interesting how different two siblings can be!

James goes to bed around 7:30 pm now and wakes up around 6:30-7 am in the morning. Since about 10ish months, he has been sleeping through the night on and off. His interruptions are related to teething or being sick. Otherwise he will get a good nights sleep in between. After having the stomach bug recently he had a hard time getting back into his rhythm but I can say as of last week he finally did (but now of course, he’s been off again due to teeth and other factors! Sigh!).

He still is on a 2 nap schedule with a nap in the morning for 1.5-2.5 hours and an afternoon nap most days for about an hour or so. Sometimes the afternoon one doesn’t happen, or we’re out and what would be two naps gets replaced with one. Sometimes he needs an early bedtime those days, if that’s the case.

He is able to fall asleep independently, but we didn’t sleep train. I still will feed him to sleep or nearly to sleep every night and for naps. Even if he gets put down somewhat awake for naps he is able to put himself to sleep and doesn’t really fuss at all. At daycare, he naps without being fed too.

He sleeps in Maggie and his shared room through the night when he sleeps like that – otherwise I usually bring him back into our room and the travel crib if needed. He has never been much of a co-sleeper! I guess just a preference for his own space.

He still uses a sleep sack and a sound machine at night – we have a few different sleep sacks but we use this Dreamegg white noise machine.

James’ Eating at 12 Months

James is an amazing eater. He tries most things and will eat most things! He also has a big appetite and loves snacks. His favourite foods are probably pasta, blueberries, bananas (he points to one every morning), and goldfish crackers.

He is starting to use utensils as I mentioned above, since he likes to do whatever we’re doing. We also have the Ezpz Tiny Cup which he has started using at meals. He uses a Yeti water bottle during the day (he’s great with the straw!).

We have hit one year of breastfeeding now! It has been a very positive experience and I’m happy to say I don’t feel touched out like I did with Maggie at this point. I think a big part of that has been dealing with my PPA this time (which I promise I’ll make a post about soon), but also he doesn’t nurse too frequently. At this point we are mostly either doing night nursing or just before bed/nap nursing. When he’s not feeling well he will nurse more. We have slowly started to intro milk for him – but we’ve gone with a nut milk for now as big sis is lactose intolerant and we try to avoid having regular milk in the house! I still haven’t figured out how to give them two different types of milk, so we’ll stick with this for now and see how it goes.

James also bottle feeds at daycare but not much a day. I am pumping while he is away and have a small stash just for daycare purposes.

James’ Blue First Birthday

This has been a wonderful year and I am so happy we were actually able to have a party – with people – in person!! Such a difference from Maggie’s first birthday which we had to do mostly virtually.

I thought about so many themes for his birthday and I thought about renting a bigger space so we could have a bash. I truly felt like we had been robbed of that with Maggie and I always saw such beautiful birthdays on Instagram.

But I realized it was a lot of work, and a lot of money. The amount it costs to rent a space or a kids play place these days is honestly crazy! I know a lot of work goes into some of these places but wow. We could have rent a place and it would have cost us close to 1000$ – which for some might be pocket change, but when you’re trying to prepare to buy a house and one of you is on maternity leave it’s a lot. It just wasn’t in the cards for us and I came to terms with that as I planned.

We just ended up having two small family parties because our house isn’t huge – if my kids were summer babies we could have had everyone at once with the backyard space, but winter babies don’t have that luxury in Canada. So we split the parties and James got two nights of love and cake! He enjoyed himself and was so happy the whole time both nights. We had to clean our house up before but other than that the prep was minimal and it was nice to say goodbye to everyone and already be at home (because both my husband and I were exhausted after!).

I got everything decor wise for James’ birthday from Amazon! Most of it came in one kit for under 40$ and the ONE boxes with balloons and light was separate for under 30$. Our theme was “no theme” or “blue theme” I guess. The kids made their own balloon crafts for the wall and ta-da. Simplicity.

We upgraded our highchair to the IKEA ANTILOP just before the party too – which looked so cute! I grabbed it preloved from Once Upon a Child in Streetsville, where I also got James’ outfits.

Food was from Palma Pasta (amazing as always!) and we had chinese the night before from China China in Mississauga. Cake was custom from Irene’s Celebrity Cakes which is also where we got Maggie’s birthday cake this year.

Click here to access the links to James’ Birthday Decor!


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