This prem baby’s milestones at 1 year

It’s been a few weeks since Lily turned 1, and since then it seems to have been an endless stream of unsettled nights, which in turn meant a lack of blogging due to falling asleep the moment I can! 

A heatwave, followed by a chest infection, followed by antibiotics allergy, followed by a strange travel cot, then her immunisations making her grumpy, and now a whole array of teeth pushing through at the same time – a continuous stream of reasons I’ve now resorted to a daily zombified state, reminiscent of her newborn days exactly a year ago!

It’s been one of the toughest years of my life but the most rewarding, and I would not change a day of it for the world. I’ve been extremely lucky to spend this whole year off on maternity leave with her, and then the silver lining of redundancies means I get an extra month off before starting my new job. It’s going to be hard leaving her behind as I’ve not left her for more than a couple of hours this entire year. She’s my life and soul, and I can’t imagine life without her now.

Anyone on my social medias will also be aware of my constant Lily-spam, something a year ago I promised I’d never do. Sorry about that. Her little face just brightens my day and I want to share it with the world, in the same way that some people want to share their dinner, gym selfies or their cars/ trainers/ other random hobbies.

But my emails constantly remind me that a year ago, she still shouldn’t have been born. I had an email just this morning reminding me what my 11-month-old should be doing… not what my nearly 13-month-old is doing.

I’ve no idea whether she’s behind, ahead, or doing just fine, but in my mind she’s happy and that’s all that matters. Here’s some of those milestones.

Lily at 1 year… 

1. She loves smiling – at anyone and everything. Apart from men with beards. She hates beards.

2. She hates loud noises – hairdryers, hand dryers, motorbikes. Even Henry isn’t her friend, despite having to vacuum on a daily basis to avoid her eating everything off the carpet.

3. She still struggles with her eating. We are working on it but it crushes me at times that I still blame myself. As a result she’s still on formula milk. She enjoys it and it fills her while she can’t eat everything.

4. She does like sweet potato, weetabix, and watermelon. Orange vegetables in general go down well.

5. Despite the above, she will attempt to eat everything she shouldn’t. Everything goes in the mouth, including micro-crumbs from the carpet.

6. She loves brushing her teeth.

7. She naps twice a day… in her pram. Usually something random has to join us on our walk… mug mats, remote controls, miniature shopping baskets…

8. She speed crawls. She speed cruises. If she wants something she will be faster than me to get it. Don’t ask me how. She’s fast!

9. She can walk with a walker, but remembers there’s fun toys on the front so will stop to play them. Then continue her walk.

10. She can stand on her own confidently. She can walk holding one hand. She’s taken a few solo steps but prefers to hold on to something.

11. She climbs up everything she can. The sofa, stairs, the slide…

12. She hugs my leg like a koala bear when I attempt to do anything, usually while washing up or preparing food.

13. She has tantrums when she doesn’t get something she wants. This is particularly worse when she’s tired. She gets grumpy when tired. So do I. 

14. She babbles nonsensically continuously. And loudly. 

15. She likes applauding herself.

16. She likes being loud… banging and crashing anything she can. Or babbling loudly.

17. She likes other children, particularly slightly older ones. She loves old ladies. Except the smelly one who is always in Tesco Metro.

18. She isn’t a fan of me leaving the room. She has to be distracted if I head off to the gym and then again so I can come in and shower. If she knows I’m there, but not with her, she’s not happy. I just hear ‘mamamamamama’ until I pick her up.

19. She loves her Trike and playing outdoors. 

20. She likes trees and pointing at things. I’ve usually no idea what she’s pointing and babbling at.

21. She loves fluffy dogs, and animals in general.

22. She likes to play with anything she shouldn’t… usually the remote control, car keys, and USB wires. Emptying tissue boxes/laundry baskets is another firm favourite. 

23. She likes big red buttons that she clearly shouldn’t press – such as the Stop button on the bus, or the hang-up button on my phone mid call. Making phonecalls are now near impossible…

24. She knows her bedtime is bedtime, and generally sleeps 11-12hours before she can’t be resettled again. In that time she could wake up once, twice, or 16 times!! She will resettle quickly back to sleep. She slept through for around 6 months, then waking us up again became more fun. At least we know she will settle again quickly and won’t be having a 3am 2-hour party…

25. She hates anything on her head – hats, headbands, helmets… she is not a fan. They last around 2-10 seconds before being pulled off.

26. She loves swimming, her bath, and generally just splashing in water.

27. She loves books and reading. It’s the only thing that keeps her still. Aside from the box of books next to her bookshelf. It is not allowed to be tidy. The books must be out the box and on the floor.

28. She rarely keeps still. Within minutes of her being downstairs it looks like a hurricane has swept through. Books and toys are everywhere. I spend my life clearing up. Or trying to get her back…

29. Long car journeys are difficult as she doesn’t sit still for 2 minutes. She has to be climbing and exploring.

30. She is nosy, very nosy. You can’t have anything or be doing anything without her wanting to know what it is. She inspects things very closely until she can work it out for herself.

31. Mealtimes look like a massacre of whatever food is involved. Usually some kind of squashed fruit or sweet potato.

32. She can put her plastic shapes into the right holes of the plastic tub, and match shapes on various toys. She generally applauds herself when she does this… but then applauds herself when she gets stuck too…

33. She loves other children and tries to copy them, even if she’s not able to! She will watch them closely… and sometimes point at them.

34. She can say Mama, Dada, bubyeee, and she comes out with some other surprise words sometimes (like cat, head, teletubbie) when we least expect them. At least she’s not sworn yet, in any language! 

35. Po was her bestie and had to come everywhere. His face looks like it’s been mauled. It has, by Lily’s growing chompers…

36. You can say ‘where’s Po?’ And she’ll go find and collect him. You can say ‘where’s mummy’ or ‘where’s daddy’ and she’ll go to you. I say ‘where’s my head?’ and she bashes me on the head then attempts to pull half my hair out.

37. She knows the words ‘cuddle’. Po cuddle, Tommy bear cuddle, mummy cuddle. Despite being everywhere at all times, she does like a cuddle. And a good belly laugh giggle. She does like to giggle, at the most random of things! 

38. She dances to anything. Radio, TV jingles, musical toys. The easing machine, the BBC breakfast intro. We’ve put this love of music down to wanting to come out in Jamaica!! 

39. Nappy changes are a nightmare… and not just the contents. I need two hands to pin her down, a hand to wipe her down, and another two hands to apply the new nappy. With only two hands, elbows, forearms and multitasking with one hand are the only answer.

40. She is our life and soul and we wouldn’t change her for the world. As long as she is happy it doesn’t matter whether she is ahead, behind, or right on track. She will do things in her own time and despite being so prem she is amazing us every day and we are proud of how far she’s come. 


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