Adventure, baby!

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

The Sweetest Thing

As Eloise nears her first birthday, I’m savouring every moment of her babyhood – in particular, holding her as she sleeps.

In the early months when I spent 90% of our time holding her while she was asleep, it was an amazing peaceful time, holding this tiny person whose life I had created and was entrusted with. As she’s gotten older, I’ve been holding her while she sleeps less and less.

Now that I don’t nurse Eloise during the night anymore, the only time we share these sweet moments together is at bedtime, when I still nurse her to sleep every night. It’s the most beautiful part of our day together. I hold her in my arms as she nestles in, my strong, wriggly girl who struggles against me all day long, finally still, peaceful and content. The muscles in her face relax and she looks so soft and small again. I can’t resist smelling her beautiful head, kissing her forehead and rocking her a few times, holding her tight, before placing her in her crib.

I know that our time doing this is so limited. In the mean time, I’m savouring every night we have together and storing up these beautiful memories in my head for the day when this part of our relationship is over.

Sleep Training

We’ve had a bad history with sleep, my baby and I. I tried on several occasions when I was really desperate to sleep train her, but with no success. Probably because the times I tried were when I was at my most desperate, like when she turned out to be teething for the first time.

With Eloise approaching 10 months old and still waking 2 – 3 times a night, we thought it was really time to try and put an end to the night feeds and then night waking.

We had advice from our paediatrician, who suggested a method where we could wait to go in and feed her at night in increasing intervals, and when feeding her, pull her off earlier than usual so she could fall asleep on her own.

We tried this method for several nights and it did nothing.

Next we tried the Ferber method, where we let her cry and went in every 10 minutes to talk to her, but didn’t pick her up or feed her. The first night she cried for an hour and a half. Miserable.

A few days of this and things were improved – I no longer was doing night feeds! – but were not great, as she would get more upset after seeing me go in.

We had a meeting with Dr Michel Cohen, who is a sleep expert, and he basically told us we were doing everything wrong (d’oh). His advice was to shut the door after her night feed, and don’t go back in till 7am.

This sounded barbaric to us, but we were heartened by our success from the previous nights, so decided to give it a shot. Night one, she woke up and cried for 45 mins, then slept till 5am, cried for an hour, then slept till 7:30. Nights two and three, slept from 6:45pm – 6:30am solid. Night four, slept till 5:45am, cried for 25 mins, then slept till 7:30. Night five, slept 6:45pm – 8:30am. AMAZING!!!!

I can’t believe it’s actually working, and we’re actually getting sleep! Such a miracle.

Eloise – Month 9 to 10

A lot happening this month! Eloise’s first Father’s Day, a few trips to Governor’s Island, lunch at Balthazar, first trip to Prada Soho,  and lots of music classes.

On the less fun side, we had our first trip to the ER this month. We’d been at Governor’s Island during the day and Eloise was playing in the grass. Later on that evening, she wouldn’t feed at 6:30pm, and at 10:30pm. She would latch on, then pull off and cry. We tried to get her to drink water, expressed milk, you name it. At 3am when she still wouldn’t feed I was so worried I called the emergency room at the hospital and they said to bring her in. Two hours later they examined her and found A LEAF stuck in her top palate that was stopping her sucking. Poor baby! I had thought she was doing funny things with her mouth the night before and had had Alec get a torch so we could look in her mouth but I couldn’t see anything. I’m watching her like a hawk now. No more leaves, that’s for sure. 


  • Started giving us proper hugs!
  • Outgrew her baby bath and started taking baths in the big bath.
  • Purposefully saying “mum”
  • Answers to her name, responds to being told “no”.
  • Turning pages of books for us when we read to her.
  • Pointing at things she wants. Which is everything – pointing non stop at people on the street, objects, animals, and at her parents.
  • Really noticing objects when they’re gone. Will look for toys or items we take away or that she’s dropped. Looks for me at night when she wakes up and I’m not there, calling “mama”.
  • Super fast crawling! All over the house. Follows us around from room to room.
  • New words this month: “hi, “baby”
  • Babbling a lot more, trying to communicate.
  • Hand-eye co-ordination really improved a lot – after trying for a week to pick up a small block and getting frustrated when she knocked it over instead, able to use the pincer gasp to pick up small blocks and manipulate them – usually trying to put them in her mouth, but also starting to notice the shaped holes in the box and trying to put the blocks in the holes.
  • Two more teeth! The lateral incisors. 
  • Standing up! Started pulling herself up on the coffee table, then on the couch, kitchen table, bath. Wants so stand everywhere. Trying out balance by lifting one leg at a time. Cruising by taking a few small steps while holding onto the coffee table. Leaning on the coffee table and using her hands to play with toys or grab things. 
  • Giving kisses – big slobbery open mouth kisses.
  • Loves the bead maze – can move single beads at a time and likes moving the gear and lever.
  • Getting really vocal, particularly when being told she can’t do something, or when being restrained and she wants to crawl.


  • Eloise is eating pretty much everything we offer her. Bagels, entire tubs of yoghurt, fruit like rockmelon, goats cheese, hummus, bread, muffins with vegemite, omelette, scrambled eggs …
  • She’s enjoying feeding herself, and loves holding onto big chunks of things like a grilled cheese sandwich and uses her teeth to bite off tiny bits. 
  • Eloise’s finer motor skills are developing well. She uses one hand to pick up small items like a rice puff, and uses the otehr hadn to grab her wrist and guide it into her mouth.
  • Usually Eloise will let us feed her by spoon, but sometimes grabs the spoon or our fingers with her hands and examples whatever it is carefully before allowing us to put it in her mouth. 

After several weeks of up and down sleep, with anything from one wake up a night (a five hour stretch!) to three, we are starting to sleep train Eloise. We started with letting her cry for 10 minutes, with the time period going up by 5 mins each time. If she hasn’t been able to put herself to sleep after that period I go in, feed her, but pull her off the breast before she’s put herself to sleep, laying her down awake. Sometimes she is able to then put herself to sleep, sometimes not. No results after night one, but night two was much better, with her able to put herself back to sleep at 10pm and 4am.

Eloise at Governor’s Island – around the time she got the leaf stuck in her mouth.

Happy Father’s Day Alec!

We had a low key first proper father’s day for Alec this year, spending it with some friends who were in town.

We’d had an epically bad night the evening before (we ended up in the local ER at 4am when Eloise wouldn’t feed for over 12 hours – and found a leaf wedged in her upper palate) but luckily had planned a really chilled out day as per Alec’s favourite things to do.

After Eloise had a massive midday nap, we had lunch at Landmarc at Columbus Circle. It was, as per the reviews I had read, solid food. Nothing fancy or special, but decent, tasty food. What I really liked the most was how baby friendly they were. Amazing how things change!

Lunch with Daddy!

We then took a stroll through Central Park. It was too late in the day to sit down and relax on the grass unfortunately, but it was still beautiful to just take a walk.
Our little family!

We also dropped by FAO Schwarz. Eloise loves dogs now – real life ones as well as stuffed ones. 
“I want THIS ONE!”

Eloise is so blessed to have such a wonderful father as Alec. Happy father’s day my love! We both love you so very much.

Eloise Month 8 – 9

First fever of 39.3 dC. Thankfully after 24 hours it went down, and after another 24 hours she was back to her normal self. The doctor suspected it was a virus and thinks she has a great immune system.

We started touring pre schools for September 2013 start, and researching schools we would like her to go to after that.

Had a fantastic first mother’s day this month!


  • Crawls! Started tentatively, and by the end of the month is zooming around the house on hands and knees.
  • Started waving at people, starting with a stranger on the street. Does a really cute pageant wave.
  • Claps her hands together
  • Said “mama”, “dads” and “dog” at the dog, Pixel, we had staying with us for 10 days.
  • Really agile – can twist and turn, move easily from front to back.
  • Tracks people and objects really well with her eyes. 
  • No stranger danger so far – so outgoing and social, really loves people in general, but a bit funny around strange men.
  • Hands us items like toys, food. 
  • Reaching to be held.
  • Started sitting up in the crib and pulling herself up. We had to lower the crib mattress.
  • Top two front teeth came in.


  • Loves being played with, thrown in the air, sang to, read to. Getting really interactive and laughs a lot when played with.
  • Bath time. Loves playing with her toys, and tries to hand them to us. Also trying to climb out of the tub.
  • Getting more snuggly – finally! Nothing is better than a snuggly baby.
  • Baby and mommy yoga class.


  • Started getting some separation anxiety during the night. Won’t be soothed by Alec, must have only me. 
  • Some great nights of one wake up, but plenty of more than that, including the week where she had a fever.
  • When we go in to get her when she wakes, she is sitting up in the crib and reaches to be picked up.


  • Loves bagels, cheese, yoghurt. A pretty good eater in general and is getting much better with hand-eye co-ordination too. 
  • Can feed herself with her fingers.
  • Can drink by herself from a sippy cup.

First Mother’s Day, 2012

I have to admit I was insanely excited about my first mother’s day this year. Alec was so amazing and planned a gorgeous day out for us. We started with lunch at Cafe Blossom in the West Village, followed by a shopping trip to my fave store, Anthropologie, and then a walk home via the waterfront. Dinner, pizza and wine. Total bliss.

It also feels like a good day to reflect on how my life has changed since becoming a mother. Apart from the obvious (ummmm, I have a baby attached to me 24/7), I’ve been thinking a lot this week on how having a baby has changed me in more permanent ways. Hopefully for the better.

Three lessons I’ve learned from my 8mth baby girl:

1. Acceptance – everything happens when it happens. Or not. The amount of times I’ve missed things, been late, etc, because of a sleeping/needing to feed/needing to sleep but won’t sleep baby I just can’t count. I’m getting better at accepting that things are either meant to be or not, and to not get as hung up on my plans coming to fruition as I had wanted.
2. Unconditional love. I thought I had known this before Eloise came along, but I was wrong. The love I feel for this baby is all consuming. Pre baby – I didn’t want to give up my life/career/goals for a baby. Post baby – I’d do anything for her, don’t want to go back to work incase I miss a minute of her life, and have shelved all my goals in favour of the sole dream to see Eloise grow up and achieve her dreams.
3. Finding joy in the small things. Nothing makes Eloise laugh like playing silly games with her, and nothing makes me happier than hearing her tiny little laugh.

Mother’s day, 2012.

Afternoon in Central Park

With the weather warming up, we finally got up to Central Park for a gorgeous afternoon. Picking up lunch at nearby Whole Foods, we picnicked on the grass and had a relaxing sunny day.

Love the arches in the park.

Enjoying nature.

Alice statue.

Eloise – Month 7 to 8

We’ve had a big month! The weather warmed up and I felt brave enough to start taking Eloise on bigger outings. This month we visited several galleries and restaurants.


  • Jewish Museum – Eloise’s first museum! We went to see a photography exhibit.
  • Whitney Museum to see the Biennial
  • MoMA to see Cindy Sherman
  • Brooklyn Museum to see Keith Haring


  • Carlyle for drinks
  • Pierre Hotel high tea
  • Balthazar
  • Moo Burgers
  • Colonie
  • Momofuku Milk Bar

We also visited Alec at work, at Twitter NY HQ, and watched members of the Isadora Dance Company perform some basic moves at a reading for the launch of a graphic novel based on Isadora Duncan at the kids’ book store Books of Wonder. This month was also Alec’s birthday and Eloise’s first Easter. We also started baby & me yoga classes. Unlike our classes we tried when E was 6-12 wks old, this time she was happy the entire time just sitting at the end of my mat, playing with toys. It was amazing!


  • Scooting around the room on her bottom.
  • Rolling both ways easily.
  • Moving from sit to her hands and feet, rocking, and moving to her stomach
  • Trying hard to crawl – gets up on her hands and feet and pushes on feet
  • Trying to pull herself up on her highchair
  • Her hair is coming in – very blonde and curly.
  • Started reaching for us, really watching where we are going, if we leave a room she wants to follow.
  • Scratching fingernails across surfaces to feel the texture.
  • Making “o” noises, a sound that sounded a lot like “mama” and laughing a lot. Her laugh sounds just like mine. 
  • Awake for much longer periods. Can easily be awake for 4, even 5 hours at a time, particularly if we are out and about.
  • Playing with her hands, clenching and unclenching her fist. Looks like she’s waving to herself.
  • Notices when objects are not in her sight anymore and looks for them, such as her toys, or people.
  • Playing with her tongue and sticking it out. Looks pretty special.
  • Really social. Loves being outside, smiles at everyone on the street.
  • Getting into EVERYTHING. After a bad moment where she spilt balsamic vinegar all over herself, me and the floor at Alec’s work, she has been non-stop grabbing everything in reach. This makes eating out particularly challenging and a high chair or her stroller are now a must.


  • Board books.
  • Being in the stroller outside and will fall asleep in it.
  • The bath. Will happily sit in the bath slashing and playing with her toys till the water goes cold.
  • Swinging in the swings.


  • After a few bad days where Eloise would roll onto her stomach in her crib, not be able to roll back and scream, she finally figured out how to roll both ways. She then started sleeping on her stomach and side in her crib and as a result, sleep more soundly. We had some fantastic nights with only one night waking (an almost 6 hour stretch of sleep for me!), but also a sleep regression possibly caused by the top teeth coming down – one has almost broken through.
  • During the day she goes to sleep pretty easily on her own by just putting her down in the crib. Night time is different – we can’t get her to sleep on her own, or back to sleep during the night.
  • The long day naps are gone! It’s all about 30 – 45 min naps tops, with longer awake periods of up to 4/5 hours.


  • Our schedule is breastfeed 9am, 2pm, 6:30pm, 10:30pm (dream feed) and any night wakings.
  • Solids – 7am, 12pm, 5-5:30pm. She’s eating a lot of food now – trying finger foods like toast, bread, rice puffs (loves to feed herself them), melon, baked vegetables, cheese. She’s a really good eater and will try most things. She loves food from our plates, such as omelette, goats cheese, ricotta and spinach.
  • Getting the hang of drinking water from a sippy cup and cup with a straw. She won’t drink milk from a bottle or cup, but enjoys the water.
  • We started putting Eloise in the high chair this month and she really likes it, particularly since I put food on the tray for her to pick up and feed herself. She also likes to bend over and try to pick things up with her mouth.

Easter Sunday

Eloise’s first Easter! I had booked Alec tickets to see a basketball game the day after his birthday – not realising it was Easter Sunday. Oops! We still had a great morning together, and a relaxing afternoon with just me and Eloise.

Happy first Easter baby girl!