Can’t believe Luca is 16 months old! Talking sleep schedules, food ideas, breastfeeding, development and more! This post may contain affiliate links.
Luca’s 16-Month-Old Update and Milestones
Wow! I have not written a Luca update in FOREVER!! Well, eight months, but still, how have another eight months flown by!? In case you missed my last post, I shared a real and raw update of my son at his eight-month mark (READ IT HERE). I just re-read it and got SUPER nostalgic, he is basically a teenager now at 16 months. But I plan on being just as open and real with this update! My hope in sharing this is to help other moms out there feel like they’re not the only ones going through this stuff!! Motherhood is hard, but I find it’s better when you can relate to and commiserate with other moms.
Table Of Contents
SO if you read Luca’s 8 Month post you know that we never really followed a schedule. It just happened that way, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing when I became a mom so I really relied on Luca to guide the way. I have followed his cues for sleep and hunger since day one. However, now we have a bit more structure and predictability to our day which definitely is nice!
He had been napping consistently twice a day for a long time, from about 8 months to 15 months. We did one morning nap at around 9:30am for about 1-2 hours (it ALWAYS varied though) and one afternoon nap from about 3-5pm. He started showing signs of dropping the morning nap at around 15 months (he basically just refused to fall asleep, even with me nursing him down). So one day I was like ok let’s forget the nap, we still chilled out by reading and watching Sesame Street but that was it. He was done with the AM nap after that day!
I used to nurse him down for naps, I still do on a rare or dire occasion. I loved it for a time, the closeness and stillness (and I still love breastfeeding) but the nursing down for sleep got to be A LOT on me. We stopped nursing down for the most part when he dropped the morning nap. This leads me to talk about our breastfeeding schedule but I’ll get into that in a little bit!
Starting about one month ago (15.5 months) he started taking one (usually long) nap in the middle of the day. I was sad to lose that morning nap because he’s essentially napping for less time total during the day, but I’ve been enjoying the mostly-consistent 2-3 hour chunk!
The other thing that helped this transition down to one nap/less breastfeeding was starting swim lessons. And that is a WHOLE other post in itself that I plan on doing later this summer! To summarize, we started survival swim lessons at the beginning of June (more info in my Instagram story highlights!) and it has been really tiring him out so he falls asleep without needing me to nurse him. Swim lessons are midday so it’s perfect because most days we have lunch right after and then he passes out!
As for our current schedule, I laid out below what our day would look like if we took swim lessons out of the equation. With the midday lessons he cannot eat as much in the morning and his nap starts a little later than usual. But again take this with a grain of salt, it never goes exactly to plan! We also spend a lot of days out and about/away from home which is awesome for both of us and has made him super adaptable!
16 Month Old Schedule
- 7:30-8:30am wake up, nurse, brush teeth, eat breakfast
- 9-10:30am play/watch Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger (his FAVES! haha), have some snacks
- 11-12pm lunch
- 12-2/3pm nap (lunch and naptime is pushed back an hour when we have swim lessons)
- 3-6pm snacks & playtime
- 6-7pm dinner
- 7:30/8pm bedtime routine, sleeping by 8/8:30pm usually
16 Month Old Bedtime Routine
As far as our bedtime routine it’s SUPER basic. It consists of a diaper change, putting pj’s and sleep sack on, turning on the sound machine, brushing teeth, reading a book and laying down in our bed together. Yep, we are still nursing to sleep and bedsharing, more on that below or HERE! We will eventually stop nursing to sleep so I don’t stress about it anymore, it’s our time and I treasure it!
Luca does not get a bath every night, he has just never enjoyed it so we didn’t feel we needed to include it in the routine. We definitely bathe him more often now that he moves around and gets dirty during the day, but it’s still not every single night!
Just going to be really real with you guys – Luca is like 99% sustained on chicken nuggets, and I’m not going to beat myself up over it! So maybe I’m not the best person to give advice on food for littles haha, but here is our experience!
He used to be much more “adventurous” with his eating, we are definitely now entering the picky stage. We started his food experience with Baby Led Weaning, which I advocate 100%. And if you need help I HIGHLY recommend the Feeding Little courses (coupon code is in THIS POST)! They also share AWESOME advice and tips for meals and baby/toddler-feeding on their Instagram, and if you purchase a course you get access to their Facebook group!
When it comes to how much he eats I try to keep in mind what my pediatrician told us when we visited last – think about what he is eating over a few days rather than one day compared to the next. It’s so true too, some days he’ll eat two whole meatballs, a cup of fruit, pasta, three eggs, endless cheddar bunnies, and 1.5 pouches and then the next day it’s like barely a fraction of that! I don’t get too caught up in it because again I know he is happy and healthy and hitting the milestones in his own time!
Luca snacks more so than he eats actual meals. He would much rather snack all day long than eat a few big meals. So I’m always armed with all the goodies!
Here are some examples of what we feed him…
Breakfast ideas: mixed fruit (he loves all berries, mango, cherries, pineapple, and kiwi the most), oatmeal, avocado toast, Eggo waffles, puffs/cheerios, scrambled eggs. I will say Luca eats VERY LITTLE in the mornings, he eats much more in the afternoon/evening and I think that might be because we still do a morning nursing session.
Snack ideas: Crackers, cheese sticks, fruit, yogurt, Annie’s cheddar bunnies (really anything by Annie’s!), fruit/nut bars, fruit/veggie pouches (luckily he still likes pouches! If you don’t have THESE pouch toppers yet I HIGHLY recommend them!!).
Lunch is usually chicken nuggets (#realtalk) but he will sometimes eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (not the whole thing), Annie’s mac n’ cheese, turkey or chicken and cheese roll-up, chips and guac or some of whatever I’m eating.
Dinner is whatever Alex and I are eating! Luckily he’s not too picky with dinner, he doesn’t love vegetables but he will eat what we eat for the most part!
Also to note, I do not give him milk. He eats yogurt and cheese and still nurses twice a day so our pediatrician is happy with that!
Here are some of our favorite food/drink-related products!
16 months and going strong with breastfeeding! I can’t believe it. My goal was one year so now that we have passed that it’s a pretty amazing feeling. And let me preface by saying FED IS BEST. I am not telling you what you should or shouldn’t do, feeding your child in WHATEVER way is an incredible thing. For us though breastfeeding worked and made sense so it’s the path we have followed.
We had been nursing on demand every 2-4 hours up until Luca was about a year old. Around his one year mark we went on a few trips and he just naturally started to wean his day time feeds (I think because we were on the go every day). We stretched the feedings to about every 5-6 hours at this time, which ended up only being about 4-5 times a day including morning and bedtime. I would nurse a bit just before he ate his meals because he seemed to be happier with some milk in his belly.
At this point, we don’t nurse during the day anymore (unless he is sick, teething, in a leap or needs the comfort), not even for naptime. We have a quick session right when he wakes up, but I feel like we’ll be dropping this one soon, and one before bed. The bedtime nurse session is definitely my favorite and I know that one will be the hardest to break (for both of us!!).
I will say, it is nice to be a little more “free” during the day, and I’m enjoying our morning and night sessions even more now, but I keep thinking about weaning completely and I am just not emotionally prepared for that yet!
Breastfeeding has been such a special thing for Luca and me. Even though now he nurses like an acrobat (literally with his hands and feet up in my face, or in some other crazy position), it’s some of the only calm moments we get during the day and I am savoring them as much as I can!
I ended up having A LOT of thoughts and feelings about cosleeping so I wrote a separate post! CLICK HERE FOR MY UNFILTERED THOUGHTS ON AND EXPERIENCE WITH COSLEEPING!
A couple things if you didn’t pop over to that post… we have been cosleeping since Luca was born. It felt the most practical for our family and natural to us, plus it was the only way I got any sleep as a breastfeeding mom to a newborn. We have continued to do it now because it still feels natural to us and honestly, we enjoy it.
Just to debunk a few cosleeping myths (as far as my PERSONAL experience goes) – Luca is not clingy (only when he is sick or teething), he’s super independent, doesn’t nurse overnight anymore and our marriage is great. There is a ton more reading you can do on your own if you pop over to THIS POST!
Bedsharing has worked for us and in no way is it BETTER than any other methods, it simply worked/is working for us and he is the total opposite of what people assume upon finding out we are cosleepers.
I wanted to share this in case anyone else out there is cosleeping and feeling ashamed – DON’T FEEL ASHAMED, there is nothing to be embarrassed about! It’s a personal choice. You do what’s best for your family. It’s not a bad thing, it’s actually one of the most natural things you can do for your child. You are not creating a monster, you’re helping them develop and be able to better handle their emotions and build stronger relationships in the future.
As far as logistics of cosleeping with a toddler, you can get bed rails for your bed. We did not. It didn’t seem convenient for us. We just put pillows on the floor in case he was to roll off or want to get down. We put him to bed around 8 and stay up until about 10/11 so for those few hours we just have the monitor close by to keep an eye on him.
Luca just turned 16 months last Saturday (June 15) and has officially begun walking! I say it’s official because he now prefers walking over crawling. For the last month or so he has been taking steps on his own but still preferred to crawl, for the last three months he has been walking while holding our hands, and for about four months he’s been standing up on his own and “cruising” on furniture or anything he can hold on to. Needless to say, he’s had a ton of practice at this point!
I call him an elite crawler because he started crawling at 11 months (the day we got to Hawaii!) and has been so freaking fast with perfect form right from the get-go! He also grunts when he crawls and it might be my favorite little nuance about him haha. Needless to say, babyproofing has been an ongoing process, if you’re looking for tip check out my post HERE!
I am actually happy it has taken this long for him to walk. I feel he is more stable and aware. Yes, he stumbles and falls all the time but I just feel like he understands what he’s doing a little better than say a 10-month-old who starts to walk. And God bless those mamas! I would not want to switch places haha. Chasing a walking baby has proven to be much harder than chasing a crawling one and my poor Luca has bruises all over his knees and bum from all the falling!
I have heard the longer a baby crawls the better it is for their physical/muscle development. Either way, I want to take this opportunity to remind you to not compare! Every child is different and develops at different times in different ways. As long as your babe is happy and healthy don’t drive yourself crazy! Luca is the latest walker I have ever known but I was not worried at any point because I saw him showing all the right signs, it just took him longer because honestly, I think he’s a bit of a perfectionist and I also think he’s cautious, and that’s just his personality.
Babies learning to walk is some of the cutest stuff of childhood, but I have to say Luca is the takes the cake!! He takes over-exaggerated steps (as far as lifting his feet up) and walks with his hands straight up in the air. Add on the little butt shake and its heart-melt central (pic below!).
As for teething, Luca cut eight teeth, yes EIGHT, at once right around 11-12 months. They were his first teeth and they all came at once! Not going to lie, it was hell. There was about a three week period where he was a stage five clinger and just did not sleep. He was in constant pain so how could we blame him, but man was it hard!
He also went through a growth spurt right around then so that just added to the extreme sleep regression. We made it through that and it’s been pretty smooth sailing. I know molars are coming through because for the last week he has been biting his hands non stop and the clingy-ness/bad sleeping is creeping back. Lord help us, we’ll make it through!
Just want to mention here he has loved THESE teethers to chew on, I think because they’re very sensory-geared with the different textures. And he of course still love to chew on Sophie’s head – longest lasting toy for sure!!
I don’t have any great or breakthrough tips for you on teething, it’s a bitch. The best thing you can do is just be there for your babe and comfort them when they need it. Also, one word, Tylenol.
Luca started saying a couple words around one year but he’s always been a “talkative” baby. He started with “dada,” “woof woof” and “up.” And now he has about 20 or so words, he doesn’t pronounce them perfectly but they are definite words and he is for sure communicating! He finally said mama at about 14 months and now it’s basically all he says haha. For example, he says things like mama, dada, papa, bye bye, ball, bubble, this, out, cheese, wawa (water), poo poo – one to two syllables and easy to pronounce! And yes, he says “poo poo” to tell me he’s pooping! It’s awesome because I put him right on the toilet! Getting a head start on potty training!!
Sign language has helped us IMMENSELY. And it is never too late to start!! We started teaching him at 10 months and it took about a month for him to catch on but it was so worth it. He now does about 10 signs and it has been so helpful in communicating – he understands EVERYTHING, as I think most babies do, but they get frustrated when you don’t understand them. So using these 10 or so signs lessen that frustration a big because he can let us know what he’s saying! And the other good thing is it’s actual American Sign Language so it’s a tool he (and I) can use for the rest of our lives!
People always ask me how to get started in teaching your baby sign language and honestly, the key is plain old repetition. It makes you feel like a crazy person because you are repeating and repeating and REPEATING (both verbal and sign) yourself but I promise one day it will just click and you will be AMAZED at their communication skills! I found it was easiest to start with one sign, get that one down and move on to the next so as not to confuse him too much. We started with “more,” then “milkies,” then “eat/food.” Now he also does “sleepy,” “water,” “drink,” “all done,” “outside,” “please,” thank you” and will even combine them like “more, please” and it is the actual CUTEST!!
He also waves, claps, blows kisses, points, shakes his head for “no” and a bunch of other communicative actions. It is so cool to watch this tiny human develop and grow right before my eyes, I seriously feel like he can do or say something new literally every day!
I really loved watching THIS video as I was learning how to teach Luca and THIS video (and the entire Baby Signing Time YouTue series) is a really great resource if you want to get your baby started with sign language!
I feel like in the first year of a baby’s life they go through phases and gear and toys SO quickly! Luckily it’s slowed down a bit and he has been playing with some of the same toys/using the same gear for a few solid months now which is kind of nice because I haven’t had to pack/unpack stuff as often! If you are looking for younger baby essentials check out THIS POST where I went over all our essentials!
He loves his activity cube and activity table, I just have to be careful because he likes to climb and will fall if I’m not watching him! He LOVED this walker and still takes it for a spin sometimes, but now that he walks on his own it’s mostly collecting dust haha. He has started to like action figures (Batman, Spiderman, toy cars/trucks, dinosaur figurines etc.) so the baby toy phase is officially done! He’s also been cuddling with some stuffed animals lately and I just think it’s the cutest!
As far as gear I love THIS baby gate, we keep it right in the living room and he will play or watch a show while in there. I can put him there and know he’s safe so I can get a few things done too! He still will nap in THIS pack n’ play – it’s travel-friendly and that’s why we initially purchased it but it has also been working great for everyday naps! Our stroller, which is by Silvercross, has also been key recently because he loves to nap in it. The seat reclines all the way and he just loves it!
Linked some of our favorite gear and toys below!
He JUST started getting into TV shows which is nice! I try to limit screen time to 1-1.5 hours per day but it’s been awesome to be able to sit him down and get some things done around the house while he sits quietly and watches his shows. Top favorites currently are Sesame Street (he calls this “mo” for Elmo and I DIE, and Daniel Tiger (which he calls “da” it is the BEST). I feel good about these shows though because they are educational! I especially like Daniel Tiger because although it’s early, they talk a lot about how to handle emotions which I think is so important! The funniest thing is that he loves to lounge on his Boppy Lounger to watch the shows, that thing has literally been with us since day one, it’s the best!
As for activities we have swim lessons for right now. When that is done we’ll join a once-a-week group class and probably look for one more mommy and me weekly class to go to. We are lucky we have the farm close by because I can bring him there in the afternoons some days and he really enjoys being outside, interacting with people and looking at the tractors and animals!
Come the Fall, Alex and I have decided that 2-3 days a week of daycare would be the best for him! I really want him to get that socialization and interaction with other kids, plus the teachers can teach him things that I would never know how to do and better prepare him for a few years down the road when he goes to school!
Daycare will be so great for him but I know it will be a hard transition for me. In the end, I think I’ll enjoy getting some alone time back but I know it’s going to be a hard adjustment to leave him somewhere!
CLICK HERE for a blog that has AMAZING activity ideas for your littles!
Luca is the actual perfect mix between my husband and me and it’s WILD! Watching his little personality shine through has been one of my favorite things about motherhood so far. He is one of the happiest and most chill kids I’ve ever met (which is crazy because he cried straight through the first three months of his life #COLIC!) and also one of the sweetest. He’s like his dad in those ways, I can already tell!
He gets great pleasure out of little things like me dancing or singing to him (something I have done since he was born), playing with our “woof woof,” going outside (he LOVES going outside and gets very excited if I say we’re going out to the garden or to the farm), dancing for others (he actually has really good rhythm!) and he just has so much love for his grandparents, aunts, and uncles its the best! He could sit at the farm and watch the tractors/trucks/golf carts go by all day too and he’s now just becoming interested in our goats and chickens!
When he is super pumped about something he does this really funny excited face where he kind of grinds his teeth and clenches his fists and shakes. It almost looks like he’s going to bite you but he doesn’t, he’s just so excited or has so much love that he has to physically let it out!! It’s definitely a sight to see.
He babbles non-stop but is a little shy when meeting strangers. HE just started doing the “I don’t know” shrug and looking at you with an inquisitive face when you ask him something that he genuinely doesn’t know. Its also usually accompanied by a super cute high-pitched “I don’t know” noise. I’ve recently been able to watch him interacting with other kids his age and I tear up every time because one, it’s crazy to watch him in those situations and two, he is so sweet and kind. My heart could just burst you guys!
I just love him so much and I LOVE the little person he has become/is still becoming. I hope you got some relatability out of this post if nothing else! Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!