Friday, May 7, 2010

Reporting on 6 months

Earlier this week Little Tam had his 6 month well-baby checkup.

The doctor pointed out that he has lost weight since he was measured when he came in a month ago for the rash, but she didn't seem concerned. I suppose the weight loss is due to a combination of the antibiotics he was on (they caused diarheaa, so therefore less effective absorption of nutrients from the food he ate); a couple of nursing strikes; overall less interest in eating/more interest in playing (normal developmental phase?); and higher activity levels in conjunction with his mobility (scooting). He is still on a similar trajectory to previous stats regardless of the weight loss, with current weight being 23 lbs (more than 98th percentile), length 28 inches (90th percentile), and head circumference 20 inches (75th percentile). Actually, I just realized his head is catching up with the rest of him. Head size had hovered in the 50th percentile up until this point. Must be since he is getting so much smarter. :)

He gave a couple strong wails with his immunization shots, but had stopped crying by the time the nurse gathered her materials and left the room. I nursed him before and during the shots like usual. The nurse said when greeted us, "you're the one who likes to breastfeed during the immunizations." So I felt special until the doctor told me there are quite a few other moms who come to that office who do it too.

Other 6 month reporting:
  • Little often "talks," whether to strike up an interaction with people or just to relieve his own boredom. His favorite sounds are still "dada" but he has also added the "b," "w," and "m" consonant sounds on occasion. Of course, gutteral/cooing noises persist as well.
  • Shows excitement when seeing his favorite people. A couple days ago, Jerry walked in the door from work and when the baby caught sight of him, it was all I could do to hang onto that Lo. Dangling legs kicked, that chubby face squealed, laughed, and turned side-to-side trying to get the most direct view of Daddy as I carried Lo over to him.
  • New favorite books: Dr. Seuss' Mr. Brown Can Moo. Can You? (this one makes him giggle so much); and Happy Baby Colors (which I have partially translated to Mandarin Pinyin and read it to him in that language). He also still seems to have a preference for some "old favorites," like the Very Hungry Caterpillar; Brown Bear, Brown Bear; and Ears, Eyes, and Nose.
  • Favorite position for playing: sitting upright, though he tips over a couple times a day and if I ever forget to put pillows near him, he bonks his head. =(
  • Scoots to reach toys, but rarely rolls over. Usually rolling happens after he tumbles from a sitting position into an awkward lump on the floor, and then he'll roll to the front or back in order to be more comfortable.
  • Still naps three times a day usually, but gives indication of wanting to transition to just two naps a day sometime soon. Some days he does just have two naps/approx. 3-4 hours nap sleep and seems cheerful enough on that amount. But other days he seems to need the 3 naps/4-6 hours I aim for. He sleeps about 11 hours at night, which I would like to see extended to 12 but oh well. And before anybody feels jealous, I will admit those 11 hours are punctuated by several feedings (he doesn't really wake up for feeding most of the time since we co-sleep).
  • We have been doing nightly baths ever since the neck rash fiasco, and Little LOVES that part of his routine. It doesn't matter how fussy or tired he might seem--once we plunk him into the tub, a sweet grin starts to grow on his lips and he'll soon be splashing away.

Well, I suppose that's a long enough list for now. He has grown and changed so much in the past couple months, and I feel more delighted with parenting him as he gets more interactive. We love our sweet Lo. I'll post pictures soon, but Jerry just re-wiped the computer since we had a saddy virus so the photos I want to post are on the external hard drive and too much trouble to mess with at this point.


Shanna Selin said...

How do you get him to sleep so much during the day? I'm lucky if I can get Calvin to take two half hour naps, even though I can tell he needs more.

TheTamFam said...

It's different for every baby & family, so I think that's what makes sleep so challenging. But you asked what I did, not what the secret formula answer is for the whole world, so I guess I could attempt your question.

I read a million books on sleep. Most helpful: Dement's Promise of Sleep and Wiesbluth's or whatever his name is who wrote Healthy Sleep Happy Child and Pantley's. Oh, and I guess I took some from Sears as well. =)

Then I became the Nap Nazi. I made sleep the #1 priority. For example, one time we were in Sam's Club and knew Lo was already nearing sleep time (we keep a rough schedule). When a lady stopped to coo over our baby, Jerry yelled at her. "We've got no time to chat!" and I yelled over my shoulder as we whizzed away, "Sorry! Bedtime approaching!" Also I have been the ridicule of playgroups for rushing out of them when I realized Lo was getting faintly sleepy. i.e. yawning or staring into space with glazed look.

The reason early warning signs matter so much to me is that I HATE to have my baby cry. And I have had to let him cry himself to sleep 3 times in the past few months, primarily because I had let him get so overtired he was going berserk and nothing I did to comfort him would work. So I had to just swaddle him, turn out the lights, and leave in order to reduce all stimulation. Those times he fell asleep after about 10-15 minutes of crying and I felt like a monster. And I still feel like it was my fault for letting him get that far gone--so I have resolved NEVER AGAIN. I will never let him get sleep deprived again. It isn't flexible. But it is PREDICTABLE. So we can work with it.

Sometimes he has a tendency to wake at the 45 min. mark of his nap, because that is a natural sleep cycle "rise" toward awakeness. So around that time I hover near the bedroom door, and if I hear him stirring then I go stroke his face or nurse him back to sleep before he gets totally alert. Then he'll continue sleeping for the extra hour or so that he needs.

Good luck to you. Sleep matters. It does make all the difference in the world for my little guy anyway.

TheTamFam said...

p.s. it gets easier and they become more flexible as they get caught up on sleep debt, so I was mainly obsessive about getting him down for naps in the beginning, and now I can push our schedule a bit.

A general guideline is that within an hour or two of awakening, most kids around our baby's ages could be ready to start winding down for a nap. Crazy, but true once you start noticing the signs and observing.

Anonymous said...

probably should have made that sleep topic a post by itself. ;)

Little is a big boy still!