My {18} Month Old with Down Syndrome

Here we are again! Last month feels like it was ages away and the amount that this girl has changed & developed in the last month reflects it!

My 18-Month Old with Down Syndrome

This sweet pea weighs 18 lbs 3 oz, measures 27-1/2 in. & still has 10 teeth! 

Our Gender Reveal Party - It's A Girl!

Big Sister Status 

First things first – Kara won’t be the baby anymore! We are due with another GIRL in August!

To think of Kara as a big sister makes my smile so big! I know that she’s going to be so great & I can’t wait to see them grow up side-by-side. We’ve been practicing signs for baby, big, & sister for the past couple of months & we even got Kara a babydoll for Christmas that she’s been practicing rocking, hugging and smooching (It’s the cutest thing ever.)Growth in Sign Language 

Speaking of signing – the trend continues & she’s adding more and more signs to her vocabulary. I get lots of questions about her sign language. We introduce signs slowly & when they make sense. She learns most from singing songs at school & from us at home. I learn most signs from seeing her therapists use them or from Google when I get curious!

We are very very consistentpersistent, and patient when introducing a word and we test her knowledge several times a day!

Potty Training My 18-Month Old With Down SyndromePotty Training Success 

If you caught last month’s post you saw that we were stepping into the world of potty training. This is something that has always intimidated me, but when my little sister got Kara a training potty for Christmas this year, I decided to jump right in (not meant to be taken literally). 

I have been BLOWN AWAY by the success that we’ve had. I think it all stems from her ability to sign & communicate with us, as well as our approach. Our approach to potty training has been super laid back, having no real expectations, and being responsive-only. I spent the first week taking her to sit on her seat, leaving her fully dressed so she wasn’t totally freaked out by the idea. We’d hang out for a few minutes, sing a song or two and practice our signs for “potty” and “poop”.

Once she picked up the signs and was used to balancing on her little seat, I established a bit of a laid-back routine. I’d strip her down two or three times a day (around the same times) and have her sit while we sang songs and chatted via sign language until she went:

Pete Visiting Kara On The Potty

“Kara’s sitting on the potty.

Yes, potty!

Good job sitting on the potty

Are you going to go in the potty

Oh, yes there’s Pete, get out of here Pete!

Bye Pete!

Okay, good job going in the potty!

High five!”

Then the most amazing thing started happening – she was GETTING it. She was realizing when she needed to go and she’d give us the sign for “potty”. As long as we got her to her seat in time – she’d use it properly! This has happened SIX times now! Not that I’m counting…

If you’ve been following us for a while, you might remember way back when she’d scream & howl every time she had a wet diaper. When this was happening SO MANY people told me “She’s going to be easy to potty train if she doesn’t like to have a wet diaper!”

Of course – we have a LONG way to go, this is only the beginning & EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT. I think we just got real lucky with this kid knowing how to sign & hating wet/poopy diapers.

The lesson here is to believe in your kid, no matter how many chromosomes they have. They just might take off & surprise you! 

Discovering Quirks 

This personality of hers has really developed over the past few months. My favorite? She has been showing us her shy side! When someone compliments her, she will tuck her smile behind her fists. She’ll also tuck her face behind her hands if we ask her to use sign-language or show off her dance moves to someone other than me or her dad. Anytime I say “Oh, Kara you are SO beeeautiful!” She will collapse on herself and hide her head between her feet. SO MUCH CUTENESS.

On the other hand, she has been experimenting with her voice & it is LOUD. We’ve been teaching her not to whine when she wants something, so she’ll either babble very sweetly or she’ll give a very {forceful} yell that would grab even the neighbor’s attention!

Her goofiness continues to grow too! She knows that we’ll cheer when we ask her to take a drink of her milk so she’ll stick the straw in her mouth and move her lips up & down to get a reaction!

My 18-Month Old with Down Syndrome

She’s Also… 

Very interested in the air vents these days

Making messes of my clean laundry

Making a mess of just about anything really

Practicing taking steps (& getting so strong!)

Giving the most loving hugs I’ve ever felt in my life

Recovering from her first REAL illness- the flu bug + bronchiolitis! (so scary! & is the reason for jammies in her 18-month picture!)

Recovering From the Flu Bug + Bronchiolitis

This girl is a riot. Her shining personality is almost palpable & is the reason why every single person she meets falls in love. It’s the reason one of her doctor’s said she’s the cutest patient he’s seen in his entire career. It’s the reason why people fight over snuggling her.

It’s also probably the reason that you continue to follow our journey 🙂

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