During a discussion with a friend, I realized that although Audrey was able to hold her bottle for herself at a pretty young age, I had since stopped letting her control her bottle feedings, and she had stopped trying. To remedy that, for the last week, I've been letting her feed herself all of her bottle feedings. Thankfully, the very first time I offered her the bottle to hold herself, she grabbed on and never looked back! I'm so relieved that she didn't forget that little milestone like her Mama did!
The day after her 10-month birthday (Tuesday), we dropped one bottle feeding and replaced it with whole milk in a sippy cup. Ideally, we'll keep transitioning out the rest of the bottle feedings during the day (she still gets 3 bottles right now), and by her first birthday, we'll be off the bottle completely. THEN it'll be time to switch from sippy cups to plain old cups... won't that be a messy day!
That same Tuesday, she stood alone for a few seconds all by herself. She was standing by the coffee table, eating GrapeNuts one by one. She had a hold of the table with one hand, and was using her thumb and index finger of the other to pick up the GrapeNuts. She got distracted by a cat walking by, forgot to hold on, and used her holdin' hand to feed herself, too. So for a few seconds, she was standing by herself, watching the cat, and eating with both hands. It was totally amazing. She stood alone again today, more purposefully, while playing with her toys. I guess it won't be long before that's a regular thing!
Aaaaaaaaaaand lastly, she has now gotten up to 20 minutes of solo-playtime in her playpen, and the last 3 times I've put her in her playpen to play, she hasn't uttered one peep in protest. I'm thinking about bumping her up to 25 minutes next week. Our ultimate goal is between 35 and 45 minutes of playtime all by herself, and I think she's going to do it!