Monday, June 9, 2008

Leah's 4 month check-up

We have a happy healthy baby girl. She's now 25 inches long - 80th percentile. She's 13 lbs 12 ozs - 50th percentile. And her head is also in the 50th percentile. So she's growing well and staying long and lean.

The doctor said our sleep training sounded like it was going well. And we should be really happy that she's sleeping 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. That's a great stretch of sleep for 4 months. She said that I should keep doing the night feeding unless Leah starts sleeping longer on her own. She recommends not forcefully cutting out night feedings until 9 months. She also said that it's hard to keep naps on a real schedule until 6 months. It's not bad to aim for a schedule, but I need to follow Leah's sleep cues. So if she's tired earlier then don't wait to put her down. She said our failed naps are probably happening because she's getting overtired and I need to get her down earlier. She should be having at least 3 and maybe 4 naps a day - and more if they're short naps.

As expected she recommends waiting until 6 months to start solids. And also waiting that long before giving bottles or sippy cups of water. Still just sticking with breast milk.

It's fine to keep swaddling Leah for as long as Leah seems to want / need to be swaddled. No it does not look like she's teething - drooling is just an age appropriate thing that happens - not necessarily a sign of teething.

Leah seems to be quite strong - good legs, good neck, sitting up well (with support). The only thing I need to work on is getting more tummy time. She said Leah really needs an hour a day and until we're getting that she's not going to push up on her hands and until she does that she's not going to reliably roll over. She said it's fine if it's several short periods per day but it should add up to an hour. And it's okay to leave her on her tummy for a bit after she starts fussing - then maybe she'll stay longer the next time. So I'm definitely going to work on that and make a concerted effort to get to an hour a day.

We had the same vaccinations today as last visit - 5 vaccines combined into 3 shots. Leah handled it pretty well. She did let out a scream with each one and cried a little when I hugged and kissed her after - but she calmed right down when I put her to the breast.

Dr. O'Connor commented on how expressive Leah is. Her eyes and facial expressions are very expressive and she's also vocally communicative. Her cries and sounds are pretty distinctive. I agreed - she almost always lets us know what she wants - and it's pretty rare now for her to cry without us being able to figure out why.

And on another note, sleep training continues to go well. Last night Leah woke up and cried for about 10 minutes at midnight but went back to sleep until 4. And this morning she slept until 7:15! Then I put her down for a nap at 9. She cried for 10 minutes and fell asleep until 10:10 - so she slept an hour. And then she napped in the stroller while we were out from 12:30-1:30 - another hour long nap. I couldn't get her to nap this afternoon - but when I put her to bed at 7 she only cried for 5 minutes before falling asleep.

And all that good sleep lead to some fun happy play:

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