18 Months with Louie

Hi friends! Two weeks ago, Louie turned 18 months old. I can’t even believe it. Where does the time go? It’s been a little while since I’ve given you guys an update on what he’s into at the moment so I thought I’d answer some of the recent questions you sent in!


What’s his nap, sleep & eat routine?

Louie is usually up between 6:00-7:00 so the time’s are a little different each day but here’s how a day at home goes [he goes to nursery during the week and we get him there by 8:00/8:30]. I’ll just set the wake time to 6:30am as we do normally try and get him to nursery by 8:00 so we can get ourselves ready for our work day by 8:30.

6:30am – wake up, change diaper, 5oz sippy cup

7:00am – breakfast 

7:30am – usually another diaper change & get dressed for the day

8:00am – off to nursery [weekday] / playtime [at home on weekends]

9:30am/10:00am – family walk, errands or play time at the park / playground; we usually work a snack in sometime before his nap

11:30am – nap time 

1:30pm – nappy change & head down for lunch

2:00pm – more playtime or out again for errands or park

4:00pm – snack time

6:00pm – dinner [we’ve been getting louie more involved in prepping his dinner, asking him to help us with different parts of the process and he loves it]

6:30/6:40pm – bathtime

7:30/8:00pm – historically, we put louie down at 7:30 but lately, he seems to really fight us on it and doesn’t seem tired until closer to 8:00pm so we’re still figuring out what adjustments might need to be made to his sleep to get him down 7:30 

Everyday is different. Some days he goes down absolutely no problem. Some days he wakes up super early. Some nights he wakes up in the middle of the night, others he sleeps all the way through. So, just know that we don’t have it all figured out, hah but that’s about what his 18 month schedule looks like right now.


Are you all done with bottles? How do you transition / phase in meals and off completely?

Yes, we are done with bottles. Only just recently, as well. I know it’s suggested that they be phased out around 12 months but he wasn’t having it. I could have probably persisted a little more in finding a sippy cup he liked. I only tried introducing milk into the cups that had straws securely attached, which he had gotten used to taking water from. We take those out with us and he loves him — they’re HERE if you’re curious what we use — but absolutely refused to take milk from them. So, I just left it for awhile. I just operated out of the mindset of like ‘you know what, he’ll transition off these when he’s ready’ and so, recently, I decided to finally look into other sippy cups for him to try and landed on THIS ONE. I didn’t even introduce milk in it with meals or anything.. I just gave it to him one night with the intention of going absolutely cold turkey and just persisting on him using this sippy cup for a few days until he realized I wasn’t giving up. But, to my surprise, he just figured out how he needed to sip out of it and used it with no problems at all. He didn’t get upset or make the usual gesture and sound he normally would if he was trying to ask or question something. So, I’m not sure if it’s the sippy cup or just a readiness that he’s started to embody but, yeah! It wasn’t super hard for us after we waited a bit, thankfully. Never feel any pressured to do everything ‘by the book’. Kids develop on their own timeline and, remember, kids will never be able to tell one day who got off their sippy cup at 12 months versus 18 months. 

How much milk is he taking?

His sippy cup only holds 5oz so that’s how much we give him in the AM and PM, plus he gets milk and dairy during the day through cereal and yogurt.


What are his favorite snacks and meal items?

This kid is essentially made up of peach yogurt, baked beans and blueberries. He absolutely loves those things and never turns his nose up.

He also loves cottage pie [potatoes, minced meat and carrots] and does really well with shrimp paella [we haven’t given him a shrimp yet but the shrimp are cooked within the dish & he’s had no reaction so I’m pretty sure he has no allergy to it, thankfully] and pasta with lamb meatballs. 

When it comes to snacks, he loves an Ella’s Kitchen ‘squeezy’, as we call them. He loves the ones by Cerebelly when we’re in the states. I wish we could get those here! He always loves granola bars by a brand here called Organix & I always bring the snack spinner with blueberries, strawberries, little cheese cubes, and things like that!


How did he do with molars [if they’ve come in yet]?

Molars were tough, as they normally are! We applied lots of ‘Bonjela’, which is a teething gel, and it always works great. I had grabbed Mommy’s Bliss teething gel when we were in the states last year and that one worked great, as well. The key, just like with any pain management, is just getting ahead of and stay on top of the pain. If you see the signs, stay on top of the topical gel and then, I would always give Louie some Calpol before bed [which is like Tylenol / Ibuprofen over here]. Usually, that helped provide him with enough comfort through the night.  


Is he talking yet? Do you see signs of his language and speech developing? Is he talking at all?

He’s not talking QUITE yet!

He has said ‘uh oh’ pretty well a couple of times, which counts, but nothing else. He does sign though. He says ‘more’, ‘please’, and ‘thank you’ really well along with waving ‘hi’ and ‘bye’. He uses ‘no’ [shaking his head] appropriately when we ask him a question and/or he doesn’t want something. We taught him to put his little head forward when we say the word kiss or ask him ‘can I have a kiss’ [we will obviously teach him what a real kiss is eventually but we love giving him forehead kisses being that he has his binky in his mouth a lot anyway] so he does that appropriately, as well. So yeah! It’s clear his receptive understanding is strengthening, which usually precedes verbal communication. This stage is so fun and I know he’ll start verbalizing in his own time.  

Any signs of an accent?

Not yet! Ha, I can’t wait to hear his little voice.


Was the Skiphop activity center worth it?

Oh, this thing??? Absolutely!! It was a God-send when he was at that 5.5 / 6 month mark and wanted to start sitting up. It offered him so much sensory stimulation. He loved that he could turn himself around to the different stations and jump a little bit. He loved the music keypad, as well. It really has a great design and lovely features for that age. We also loved that it can transition into a table when they are getting a little antsy to move around more, stand up next to things, etc. Then, once they’re walking and able to do little crafts and stuff, you can buy the chairs that go with it so it’s a nice little station them to sit at for activities. So yeah! I think it provides a lot of value albeit I completely empathize that it’s a bit pricy. It can grow with them over the course of a couple of years so I think it’s worth it!

What are some of his favorite toys?

He loves those large board puzzles, knocking things over [like these little bowling pins], and listening to his Tonies box [I think we’ll get him the Blue character next as he loves Blues Clues] and changing out the characters. He also still finds so much enjoyment out of an activity cube that John’s mum gave him. He loves dumping all the little shapes out and finding where they go. He does really well with matching the shapes, too. So, that’s been a really great toy for, literally, MONTHS! He loves to color and paint — we’ve been having fun letting him just get messy [while also protecting the floors and tables hah — it’s so hard!!]. 

Umm, what else?

He’s been loving all of the autumn books I recently filled his bookshelf with. Some of them are so so cute! Others he’ll grow to love over the years but they are all great for this festive season. He’s always pulling one out to read.

Anytime he sees a play kitchen somewhere, he goes to it immediately and plays for so long. He also loves those little houses you can put in your backyard. They call them ‘Wendy houses’ here. We wanted to get him one but, by the time we ordered and got the one we wanted, the Summer was going to be over so we felt like we wouldn’t get the use out of it to justify the cost. 

I can’t wait to get his playroom sorted out. I need to find a furniture unit [something affordable that doesn’t look super cheap as I don’t know if we’ll have a playroom space in our next home] to go against the main wall. We have the wine cabinet that needs to be sold and then we’ll purchase a little play kitchen to go in that spot for him. And then I want to get a little wooden activity table for arts and crafts. So, yeah! All of these things for the house take SO LONG to find and get done, let me tell you but, it’s super high on the priority list now so hopefully not too much longer before that’s all done.


Is it easier to leave him / go on trips / work?

Ugh, I know! It can be so hard! I definitely struggle with leaving him for all of those things you listed. If I could keep him in a bubble forever I would. Something that helped me, though, when I start to get emotional or feel bad, I remind myself that … leaving him is so incredibly beneficial for not only him but me, as well. 

Leaving him at nursery was hard for me at first but when I started seeing photos of him laughing or doing things that maybe I wouldn’t have thought to do with him, it got much easier. He absolutely loves going and it teaches him so much, as well. At the end of the day, I have to work to provide for him so settling into the knowing that the time is being used to provide value to my family’s life really helps me feel a little better. Additionally, it’s so beneficial for him to learn that he’s okay without me by his side all the time. As they say, ’it takes a village’ and having a village [whatever that looks like whether it be a nanny or nursery] really helps them learn how to be around other people, helps them learn from others [and other children], and enhances their ability to be adaptable. I still find leaving him for trips to be hard, especially now that he understands that I’m gone a little bit more but, again, the experience provides benefits to him — and me, as well. As moms, we hear so much attachment theory and what our style of parenting is [in order to ensure our kids have a secure attachment style in adulthood] but, we also have to look at our own attachment. Are we hindering their ability to have a secure attachment because we’re too attached to them? [I’m not saying this is something you’re doing at all — it’s moreso a question I had to ask myself when I was struggling with leaving Louie] 

One of the things that is really important for us as a family is that we are all on equal playing fields — talking more about John and me here. We want  Louie to see BOTH of us taking the reins on things that women used to solely do as homemakers. We also want to normalize ‘mommy going away on business’, as well as for play, as much as it has been normal to see ‘daddy go away on business’ for many of us growing up. Of course, I want this to be something he sees us do in moderation with considerable time in between trips but I want him to see it modeled nonetheless. And, for me, it’s important to acknowledge what my needs are outside of motherhood and act on those. Obviously, Louie is my number one priority but that doesn’t mean that I’m denied my wants and desires at all times at the expense of being a mom. And I want the same for John. If he wants to take some time to go away with friends or has a n incredible business opportunity, I want him to know I’ve got his back and Louie covered with no issues whatsoever.

Something else I guess I could share that makes me feel better is knowing that the time I spend with Louie is full of QUALITY time. I take the time I have with him very seriously. I aim to not be on my phone a lot. I include him in what I’m doing, even if it’s not a game or ‘fun’, and he absolutely loves it! He loves feeling involved and like I want him doing the things I’m doing with him. I take him out and play with him and try to make him laugh and feel loved and seen as much as possible. We can’t help that we have to be away from our kids sometimes. And sometimes we can help it and we choose to be away from them but, if the quality of the time we do give them is rich, that’s how they will view their attachment to you. They will be okay without you and look forward to seeing you again. 

Is your family complete?

Time will tell! We have been having so much fun as a family of three … AND we’d love to see Louie as a big brother 🙂

Tell us about his personality!

Oh goodness, momma’s are so lucky to get to know their babies on such a layered and beautiful level. In some situations, typically new ones with lots of kids and people around, he is quite reserved and cautious. He takes time to warm up to situations that may feel intimidating or scary or uncomfortable at first. I want to encourage him without sending the message that this reserve in his nature is wrong. When he is comfortable, he is incredibly endearing. He delights in your attention, like most children, and in doing things that can be seen as exciting as well as daring – like letting himself fall on a big thing of pillows or laundry, being swung around and sliding down the slide. His face says literally everything about how he’s feeling at the moment and how he feels toward you, ha, whether you like it or not. He LOVES to be snuck up on and scared. He gets the biggest kick out of it. He laughs so hard anytime I scare him so bad he jumps, haha. Overall, he’s spunky and sweet and nuanced as we all are and I can’t wait to continue to watch his personality unfold and develop over time. I couldn’t love him more.

Alright, lovelies! I think that does it for today. I hope that was helpful to any momma’s out there in a similar season with their little one! Let me know how your little one around Louie’s age is doing. Remember, we’re all in this together and, while there are hard moments, we have to remember that we are their whole world. xo.




  1. Lisa K wrote:

    He is precious…and what a beautiful tribute to your sweet little boy. 18 months was my absolute favorite age!

    Published 10.8.22 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      thank you! xx

      Published 10.11.22 ·