Our checkups coincide with the monthly RSV shots, which fall mid-month, so we don't have an official 6-month visit for another couple of weeks. However, I thought I'd go ahead and give you the general update.
I'm not sure I ever mentioned this on the blog: The doctor's office finally got a Down Syndrome growth chart, and instead of the 10th and 25th percentiles, James fell right on the 50th percentile for weight and height! That doesn't change the actual measurements, but it does confirm that he's doing just fine. At his last weigh-in (two weeks or so ago), he weighed 13 pounds!
James is becoming a "hip baby." You know, strong enough that I can set him on my hip now instead of cradling him in my arms. His head control is very good, and he loves to sit up--assisted, of course. He can grab toys and bring them to his mouth to chew on them, which is the desire of every baby's heart, I think. After James's surgery, it took awhile for him to want to go on his tummy, but lately he hasn't minded it so much. He can roll from back to tummy (and then back, sometimes), but doesn't yet know that he can go places with his rolling! Mostly he does it to get to a toy just out of reach, or just for something to do.
James is a great sleeper. He sleeps through the night, usually from about 9pm to 7am or so. He still naps several times a day, with usually one long nap in the afternoon (that coincides nicely with Caleb's nap). He still likes to be swaddled, though he's usually out of it by morning. I've tried to just not swaddle him, but he really gets to sleep easier and sleeps longer when he's all wrapped up. Sometimes getting him to sleep is as easy as cradling him with a little jiggling motion. Other times (becoming more common), he wails when it's time to go to sleep. He kicks and screams for a few minutes that feel much longer than they really are. And then he gives in and he's asleep! At some point we'll have to start some sleep-training with him. I do want him to learn how to go to sleep on his own. But when it's this easy to get him to sleep...why fix what ain't broken?
There are some signs that what's "fixed" may be breaking: The fighting sleep that I've already mentioned, and sometimes he'll wake up only a few minutes after I lay him down. When I pick him up, he falls right back to sleep. Lay him down, and he wakes up again. Hm....
James is eating two meals a day now, and normally taking four bottles a day instead of five. He's tried peas and green beans and seems to love them both. Introducing foods has caused him to start sticking his tongue out again--a DS thing that he'd quit in December or so. So we're back to working on that, but he's doing very well swallowing his food.
We recently added more thickener to his bottles because he had a constant rattle of fluid in his throat. I thought it was congestion (and some of it might be), but the rattle has decreased dramatically since we've increased the thickening. Though his suck muscles seem to be getting stronger, his swallow muscles do not. I remember introducing Caleb to water when he started solids. I haven't done that with James, because his fluids are about as thick as his solids. At the moment he doesn't know what he's missing, but can you imagine wanting the juicy goodness of an orange, and biting into it only to find the stickiness of a banana? As we enter the realm of table food in a few months, I'll have to be extra-aware of what James eats.
What else to report? James is very ticklish! I can tickle his sides and back, and it sends him into fits of giggles! It's not failproof, but when it happens, it doesn't fail to make me smile! He has a beautiful smile, but it has to be coaxed out of him with some good eye contact first. He loves faces, and if he can really connect with you by staring at your face while you talk to him, he'll just beam. I know he recognizes me when I pick him up from nursery, but he doesn't give me those gummy smiles that I know will come with time.
James is wearing size 3-6 month clothes. He really zoomed through 0-3 month, and I think it will be the same with 3-6 month. He's only been in them for 3 or 4 weeks now. Everything fits fine except for the sleepers; his toes have to curl up to fit into the footies! I'm hoping for a little more warm weather so he can wear some of the super-cute summer outfits before he outgrows them!
He's also still in size 1 diapers. Can you believe it! But I think he might outgrow those fairly soon, too.
James is easy-going, loves his brother, loves to be held up like he's flying, loves to touch the kitties, loves to cuddle. He's a pretty great kid all around. He's not a tiny baby any more, but he is keeping that tiny baby dependence a little longer than Caleb did, and I'm loving it.