Friday, January 20, 2012

Noah's Six-Month Check-Up

Once again, another month has passed, and it was time to take Noah to the doctor again for another well-check appointment. Since we now live in Tennessee, we had to locate a new doctor for the boys. After much online research, I had narrowed it down to two practices that a) were covered under our new insurance and b) appeared to offer lots of physicians and good hours. After checking out pics of the doctors and reading their bios, I came up with a short list. I'm not sure that is the best way to pick one, but it normally works fairly well for me. How do you choose new doctors? I am planning to get involved with a local MOMS club here where we live now, and after speaking with one of their members who uses one of the practices I liked, I chose to heed her advice and finally decided on Dr. Paul Bischoff at FirstChoice Pediatrics. I love that their office offers evening and Saturday appointments, something that none of the offices in Georgia that we went to offered. Since I set up his appointment as a late morning one today, Josh was able to meet us there on his way home from work. Yay! We were both very impressed with Dr. Bischoff and with the office as well. So far, it appears to be leaps and bounds ahead of any office we patronized in Georgia. It had nice, clean exam rooms and a great well-child waiting area. They use electronic records (no more lost charts for us!), which included using MacBook Air laptops for the intake process (a super plus for an Apple addict like myself). Even more cool, they have a lactation consultant on staff. While I haven't needed one this time around, it is comforting to know she is there if I do and that they strongly promote breastfeeding. :) We were so happy with our decision that Ethan will also begin seeing Dr. Bischoff in March for his three-year check. Such a relief after going through so many doctors/offices in LaGrange!

Now on to his stats. He weighed in this month at 17 lbs, 1 oz (down to the 25th to 50th percentile), which means he gained 11 ounces. He grew 1/2-inch to measure up at 27 inches (75th percentile). That puts him at the 25th to 50th percentile for height-to-weight ratio. His head circumference was 44.25 cm (50th to 75th percentile). So even though his cute chunky thighs remain, he is beginning to thin out some. Noah did great at his appointment today. He is a perfectly healthy and happy boy. He had three vaccination shots (Hepatitis B, pneumacoccal conjugate, Haemophilus Influenzae Tybe b (Hib), polio and DTaP), one oral vaccine (rotavirus) and the flu shot to get today. So he got two shots in each of his little legs. Fortunately they had two nurses do them simultaneously to quicken the process. Despite all that, the tough little guy only cried for 5 seconds until I was able to scoop him up into my arms again. Even the nurses were impressed by his calm reaction to it all. I credit putting up with Ethan's antics making for one tough little cookie. ;) Soon after the appointment he was fast asleep for a long nap. He did get cranky later in the day with a bit of a low-grade fever, but after a dose of Tylenol appeared to be doing well again at bedtime.

Below is the pic of Noah at six months, wearing the 12-month onesie. He is getting even more hair on that head, but it's still super light, as are his eyebrows. They still look non-existant. :( As you can see in the pic, he is still hanging on to those gorgeous, bright blue eyes too. I'm not so secretly hoping they stay that way! As Ethan will tell you, Daddy, "Big Boy" and Daisy have brown eyes and Mommy and Noah have blue eyes. :)

Noah was starting to sleep better at night after we hit the 5-month mark and even managed to give me his best stretch to date - 11 hours and 40 minutes at the end of December! Wow! Normally I was happy to get 4- to 6-hour stretches from him, but he occasionally would do up to 8 or 9 hours too. Then we moved. And he became mobile. And he started getting really, really interested in our food. I think it was a combination of all of these factors that led to the decline in his better sleep patterns. He started waking every one to two hours at night again! Ugh. Not my idea of a fun time. After a few nights of that I was at my wit's end, so despite my hesitations about letting him cry it out in an apartment with neighbors above us, I let him do it. Ah, relief. After under 5 minutes of crying, he was back to sleep the first time and it has been the same any other time I have let him be instead of rushing in to feed him. While we still haven't gotten back to where we were, it's better. If he wakes up in under 3 to 4 hours, he has to put himself back to sleep. If it's over that, I go ahead and feed him. I'll probably try to start stretching that out even more soon, because I don't really think he is that hungry at night, especially since we have started giving him more solid food now! He is still taking a morning nap of around 30 minutes to an hour and an afternoon nap of around one to three hours. Occasionally he takes an early evening nap of 30 minutes or so if his afternoon nap was a short one. Despite awaking as often as he does at night, I am lucky he still sleeps a total of 11 to 13 hours, going to bed between 8 and 9 pm and waking up for the day around 8 or 9 am.

Just shy of 6 months (and due to his newfound poor sleeping habits), we started giving him rice cereal again, but this time on a daily basis, instead of just every so often. He is not a big fan of it though unless I make it with breastmilk. He refuses to eat it if I make it with formula, even if I use a little white grape juice in place of 1/2 of the water! Sigh. I can't say that I really blame him because formula tastes quite disgusting if you ask me. It's the same story with oatmeal. So, I haven't really been giving either to him this week. Instead he has been eating just fruits and veggies. Unlike with Ethan, I am preparing Noah's fruits and veggies myself, instead of buying pre-made jars/packages of baby food at the store. I think it will save money and be better for him in the long run.

New foods tried this month:
  • Oatmeal cereal
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bananas
The introduction of all of these foods went well. Oatmeal was about the same as rice cereal for him. Not too bad, but not a super fan like Ethan always was. Sweet potatoes and bananas were huge hits though! These are easy ones to make at home. The one night for dinner we all had baked sweet potatoes, so Noah had some too! Poor guy didn't get the butter and brown sugar on his though. ;) Another night, to save time, I used my new Baby Brezza machine to steam and puree them. It is a great machine to use! All you need to do is peel and dice the food item you want to use. Then you put it all in the container, set the timer and it begins the steaming process. Once it is done, it automatically purees it for you, unless you don't want to, in which you just choose the steam only option. I love how easy the clean-up is by only using one bowl for everything vs separate containers for steaming and pureeing. Awesome. For the bananas, I simply use a food mill (I have the BabySteps Food Mill with carrying case) to mash them up easily into a consistency that he can handle. Next up will probably be carrots, applesauce, squash, pears, peas and beans.

New accomplishments this month:
  • Getting up on his hands and knees
  • "Scootching"/inching/crawling all over the room
  • Sitting up by himself
  • Sleeping on his tummy
  • Pulling himself up from his belly to a standing position using only my hands (he does all the work, I just help him balance)
The crawling thing happened so quickly! One day (between Christmas and New Year's Day) he figured out how to get up on to his hands and knees, and just a few days later he was inching his way all over the place! Yikes! I know Ethan was also young when he started doing this, but I don't remember him figuring it out quite that quickly. I think he is slightly more motivated by the promise of playing with his big brother once he is big enough! ;) He is getting better at balancing because he can easily sit-up by himself now. I think his larger bottom helps assist with this one. hehe. Also like his big brother, he is a tummy sleeper. When I lay him down in his crib on his back, he immediately rolls over to his tummy to sleep. He remains that way all night, only rolling back over when he wakes up. He is also able to pull himself up to standing on my hands already, so I fear it won't be long before he is pulling up on the couches and cruising around the room!! Why are my children mobile at such an early age??

Here is a pic of Ethan at 6 months with Noah's pic. Ethan is definitely the more ornery of the two, a trait he has carried with him to this day. Even though I think they both resemble me more than Josh, others have said they think Ethan looks more like his Daddy and Noah looks more like me. I am starting to see that. Though Ethan still has my crinkled up, smile eyes, he definitely resembles his Daddy otherwise, especially when he is being ornery! ;)

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