On Monday Caleb had his 4-month checkup and shots. Here are his stats:
Weight: 13lbs 11 oz (55th percentile)
Length: 26 1/2 in. (95th percentile)
Head: 50th percentile
So he's about average, but very tall! He's grown 5 1/2 inches since birth! Dr. P said that if she just saw his face, she'd think Caleb was 12-18 months--I guess because he doesn't have little baby features and he has a head full of hair! I don't really see it, but she is the one who sees babies all day, so I guess she'd know. And they do call him "little old man" in the nursery....
Dr. P laid him on his back and lifted him to a sitting position to see how he handled his head. Well, he flopped it back and let it hang, which is NOT what he was supposed to do. By 4 months, he's supposed to be able to keep his head in line with the rest of his body when being lifted like that. So, we have to work on that. It makes sense, because I'm still very careful with his head, and always support it when I'm lifting him from a diaper change or playtime on the floor. So now I know to let him start doing the work himself. And he CAN hold his head straight; he just doesn't do it all the time. Sometimes he almost pushes his head back and opens his mouth wide like he's on some roller coaster ride and lovin' it. Stinker.
Dr. P also stood him up, which he's loved to do ever since he was born. She said he leg strength was better than most babies his age. When she went to sit him down again, he pushed his legs out straight so he could keep standing. Dr P said, "Well I can see what mom and dad have been working on!" But it's not really true; he just likes to stand!
I asked about Caleb's sleep patterns, and it turns out that pretty much anything under the sun is normal for a 4-month old: 30-minute naps, 2-hour naps, 3 naps a day, one nap a day, sleeping through the night, waking through the night....it's all normal. So my child's 2 or 3 2-hour naps and once-a-night wakeups are perfectly fine.
Dr. P also noticed a tooth coming in! More accurately, Caleb's gums are swollen on the front bottom. She said that could mean his tooth will show up next week, or it could still be a long time. So who knows! He really likes to keep his fingers in his mouth, and maybe that's why. He hasn't been coordinated enough (until maybe this week) to even keep a teether in his mouth, so we'll see if he takes one now. Once his tooth comes in, the dr. said to just wipe it off with a washcloth during bathtime to serve as his toothbrushing for now.
Other questions I asked were about his shoulders that pop often. She said that was normal. And he seems to have a cold right now, and she said to use saline drops and the nose sucker, and a vaporizer might help, too. But mostly it's just time (just like when adults get colds).
The most exciting news of the visit was that Caleb is ready to start solids! So Dr. P laid out a plan for that:
- Put Caleb in something that reclines: the bouncer or high chair (turns out our high chair reclines!)
- Feed him 1 1/2 hours after nursing, so he's not overly hungry, once a day
- Start with a one-grain cereal (we have oatmeal) to get him used to the spoon.
- Once he's figured out the spoon, go to 2x a day feedings, and add in veggies
- Veggies in this order: Greens (green beans and peas), then oranges/yellows (Squash, carrots, sweet potatoes)
- Then fruits: Peachs, Pears, Prunes, Bananas, Apples
- Add no more than one new food every three days, and keep the previous foods in the rotation as well.
- By 6 months of age he will probably not have all of these "Stage 1" foods down, but he might.
- These foods are not his main source of nutrition. That still comes from milk.
So Monday I brought in the high chair and cleaned it up. I pulled out the bowls and spoons. And then we ran out of time. And then date night on Tuesday, coming in late from work on Wednesday, church basketball on Thursday...good grief when are we going to feed this kid? We decided on Wednesday that we just have to do it, because at some point Caleb's going to rely on us to take the time out to feed him (sheesh...). So we did. And it was fun. :)
To make a long post longer, here are some new things lately: He slept through the night for the first time on Saturday night! Of course, he made up for it by waking up just about every three hours last night.
I clipped his finger instead of fingernail for the first time yesterday. He didn't cry or anything, but it sure did bleed! We finally got a tiny bandaid on it, which did the trick.
He also found his feet this week! I thought that was more of a 3-month marker, but not or this kid. I'd convinced myself it was because his cloth diapers were too fluffy for him to bend over to reach his toes, but nope! Now he grabs them with gusto every chance he gets...even while nursing. Yeah, he's a stinker.
This 3-month period has been great. Really, just awesome. Caleb is a laid-back kid, and he can laugh and talk. We know what we're doing...nothing new (parenting-wise) comes in this period. But now we're entering the world of solids, and of a baby that sometimes shows a little short-tempered side to him (last night he was screaming by the time I could get to him to feed him). I can tell that 4 months is going to be very different from 3! He's talking a lot more, getting much better at playing on his own, and it's so much fun to watch.