Yes, it’s true, Max is 1/2 year old!!!! He continues to be a healthy and happy (except when Aunt Kathy and Aunt Courtney come over) little boy. And of course he is cute as can be (this isn’t just our opinion, everyone comes up to tell us how cute he is – even the day care workers say he looks like he should be in baby commercials).
So what are his vital statistics you ask? He now weighs 15 lbs 2 oz and is 27 inches long. (For reference, he was 13 lbs 1 oz and 25 3/5 inches at his 4 month appointment.) Both his height and his head size continue to be in the 75th percentile. However, his weight has dropped from the 25th to the 10th percentile. The doctor is not concerned since Max is still in the acceptable range, has hit all the developmental markers, and John and I are fairly skinny. The doctor’s motto is “nothing wrong with being skinny”. He again noted that breastfed babies tend to be skinnier than formula fed and that the curve has both breastfed and formula fed babies on it. He would guess that on a curve with just breastfed babies Max would probably be in the 30th percentile (e.g., still on the skinny side, but nothing to worry about). Max got his regular immunization shots as well as his flu shot. For babies, the flu shot is actually given in two doses – about a month apart. The doctor said that he doubted they would actually have any flu shots for the second shot (we are to call to see), but that the first gives about 65-75 percent coverage. We gave Max the recommended 1 ml of Tylenol before his appointment and he did really well with his shots. He just cried for about 30 seconds and that was it. He was fine the rest of the day also.
Max has just started to really eat solids (e.g. not all of it comes back out, he actually swallows some now!). The doctor recommended accelerating his schedule and having him have solids twice a day and introduce new foods every 4 days instead of once a week. Since the solids are in addition to the breast milk it should help put some weight on him. Max is also going to start having a little water from a sippy cup. So he has a lot going on in the food/drink category. Max didn’t particularly care for the original rice cereal we gave him and seemed to have some gas issues. Our neighbor said her oldest had real problems when he first started eating solids and they eventually discovered he was allergic to soy (and surprisingly the baby cereals had soy in them and thus weren’t just a single food). We looked and ours did have soy in it so we switched to a brand that didn’t. Now even I will admit that the first rice cereal (Gerber) was not very appealing and I wouldn’t have wanted to eat it. The new cereal (Beech Nut) smells much better and Max certainly likes it better. Tomorrow we move to oatmeal, then the other cereals, then veggies, and then some fruits. By the time his grandparents (both sets) make it over the holidays he should be joining us in the xmass meal
So what does Max do when he isn’t eating? Well he still is having problems sleeping through the night and gets up 2 to 3 times to eat. The doctor said with all the solids he should be able to go all night. Time will tell In terms of playing, Max still loves his exersaucer, playing on his gym, going for walks (both outside and at the mall), watching his shadow, and SITTING UP! Yes, he can now sit up by himself for extended periods of time. [We still have to put him in the sitting position, he can't get there himself - except when we prop him up on the pillows on our bed, then he can make it the extra 45 degrees to the upright sitting position.] Sometimes he gets distracted playing with something or watching someone walk across the room and falls over backwards, but all-in-all he is very good at sitting.
One more thing Max likes to do is play catch with Mommy Yes, after dropping the ball (soft fabric) on his chest many a times, he finally learned to put up his arms and trap the ball so it wouldn’t just roll off of him! He has also caught the ball in a sitting position and even thrown it back (okay, so some might say he was just waving the ball around and it happened to fly out of his hands and go right to Mommy, but we are counting it as a conscious effort to throw it back
Max can also roll from his back to his stomach AND from his stomach to his back. His first official flip from stomach to back occurred when he was visiting his PA grandparents so he had quite the audience for it and was a little surprised with all the applause he got He had made it from his back to stomach before, but previously it had only been if he hadn’t really been on his stomach for any length of time and just sort of rolled back the way he came. For the official rollover, he was on his stomach playing for a bit before turning back over onto his back. He can now also roll 360 degrees in the same direction.
Max did really well on his trip to PA for Thanksgiving. We were a little concerned at first about how he would sleep in the pack and play since he hadn’t been in it since he moved to his crib when he was 3+ months old. But he took to it with no problems! He was also very good in the car on the trip both ways and hardly cried at all at his grandparents house. Everyone had a really good time! Of course it takes John 2-3 hours to pack the car with all of Max’s stuff for
travel, but it was worth it!
We started transitioning to day care this week. So far Max and I have been going together and just sitting there playing through one of his awake cycles. We will try to build up to having him stay a little by himself by Fri. Next week Mom will work 2 hour days as Max further transitions. In January Mom goes back to work 20 hours a week (4 hour days). Including Max, there are three kids within a month of each other (Max is the middle) in his room (which has 8 kids total). Max and the youngest member (a 3.5 month old) are the only boys. Max has done really well so far in terms of watching the other children (e.g he hasn’t cried when the older ones have come close). One of the toddlers was sitting near us and started to play with my sock. Max watched her intently. When she moved on to something else, Max started playing with my sock like she had been He is getting used to the day care workers, though we haven’t been bold enough to try and have them hold him yet
The only thing Max doesn’t do well is visit with his Aunt Kathy and Aunt Courtney. They came over again this past Sunday and he pretty much cried whenever they made a move towards him. It might be that he is better with others when they aren’t in his home. He did sit on his grandma’s lap in PA without crying (although he gave his Great Uncle the lip when put on his lap). Hopefully the work at day care in getting him used to others will pay off and Max will be willing to have his Aunts hold him when we all go out to celebrate Aunt Courtney’s big 30th b-day on the 15th! Of course that will be a big day for Max as he will do day care for a little and also go to Mom’s work holiday luncheon party for a bit.
By the way, Max is a genius The other day he was in his exersaucer and the sun was shining in the window behind him. He figured out that if he angled the mirror on one of his exersaucer toys correctly he could make it shine on opposite wall! And of course he knows that if the sun hits him in the face he should be able to turn around and see his shadow
Max is looking forward to having all of his grandparents come visit for the holidays! Hope everyone is doing well.
On the slightly negative side, Max’s chest still sucks in a bit when he breathes. We think it has gotten a little better over the last two months, but it is still noticeable. The doctor said that it isn’t something they will really look at until he is older (like 2 I think), if it is still around. The only possible problem it could cause is to limit his lung capacity (which of course might impede his sports/musical endeavours). I think to some extent I have this (which is why I had
a pot belly as a youngster) and of course I don’t think my lung capacity has been harmed in anyway, so we aren’t too worried at the moment.
On what some might think is the plus side (though grandpop might disagree) is that Max saw his first snow over Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh! It was just flurries and if you weren’t outside when they happened to be falling you probably wouldn’t have known it even snowed, but Max saw it nonetheless There was some wind at the time so it did kind of look like a driving snow storm, even though there was not really anything there.
Okay, really, this is the last thing! The doctor did a lot of poking and prodding of Max and he behaved really well – Max that is, although the doctor did too One thing the doctor checked is whether Max’s legs were the same length, and the good news is that they are! His hips also passed the rotation test.