Sunday, April 19, 2009
Too big for his britches: A 6 month update
Last Sunday was Jack's half-birthday. I really meant to do something celebratory but it was Easter sooo ... maybe next year kiddo! We had his 6 month well-baby check-up today with Dr. starts-with-an-M-but-is-impossible-to-pronounce. This is the doctor we had at his 2 month visit. I like him, he reminds me of my old pediatrician minus the stuffed parrot on his stethoscope. Jack weighs in at 21 pounds and 15.5. oz. For the sake of convenience we'll just say 22 lbs. That just so happens to also be the weight limit on his carseat. So it looks like Mommy and Daddy will be going carseat shopping soon.
One of the first questions I asked Dr. M. is "Is he overweight?" Naturally, as has been the case lately, Dr. M. responded, "Is his Dad a big man?" Poor Jon, he's beginning to earn the reputation of "Jack's Dad." Anyway, Doc said not to be concerned since it appears he's been big since birth (he's remained steady in the 97th percentile). He also suggested I bring him in for an optional 9 month appointment just to check his weight if I'm worried about it. I think I will, weight-checks are my favorite part of doctor's visits, Jack's that is, not my own. [As a sidenote, I don't mind if people say my baby is big. I know some people don't appreciate those kind of comments, but since we have nicknames for Jack like "Tank," "Chubba Wubba," and "Junior Whopper" clearly I am not one of those people. My son is big, I'm not quite sure why, but I'm not in denial. Feel free to call me out on it at any time. But it would also be nice if you followed it up with "and handsome." :)]
Back to the doctor's office, I had a whole list of questions written out so I continued on with number two: "Am I overfeeding him?" I thought it was interesting that the nurse asked me if I formula fed Jack - "no." Are you giving him whole milk then - "Heck no." She gave me a confused look as if she was running out of options. "Giiirrrl, this boy get's his Mama's milk!" So I was a little stumped when she asked me how many ounces he drinks each day. That's a tough one hunny. I just threw out a number and she seemed satisfied with that.
Anyway, I know it's pretty hard to overfeed a baby when he's nursing, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't overloading Tank with solids. But the Doc confirmed what I already thought, as long as I'm not forcing food down his throat or using it to keep him from crying (you can do that??) he's just fine. We just dropped one more feeding so at this point I'm nursing Jack 5 times a day and following 3 of those feedings with solids. I give him a delicious arrangement of cereal, veggies and fruits until he either refuses to open his mouth or starts to get fussy. I've also started to use the sign for "all done" but at this age he just laughs at me. I figure there's no harm in at least using baby sign-language this early just so he gets familiar with it. Of all the different words I think the one I'm most looking forward to him grasping is "all done." That would make my world just a little bit easier :).
Question number two for Dr. M. was about Jack's red cheeks. His cheeks get really red sometimes, usually when's he's tired or hot. Which makes sense to me but I just wanted to make sure it wasn't anything else. It's not. Just put some hydrocortizone cream on it if you'd like to. Okey-dokey.
One of my big concerns this week was Jack's liquid intake. I'm not sure if it's another quasi-nursing strike or something else, but Jack has just not been interested in milk these last two days. He would much rather scratch the back of the couch or pull on Mommy's nose than nurse. The Doctor said he may be self-weaning. Now I am not one of those mothers that needs to nurse for myself (although I do appreciate the metabolism boost). I do it because it's convenient, cheap and I want Jack to be super-smart when he grows up. But since I don't want to start him on whole milk until he's a year, I'm not giving this boy a whole lot of options. We had a heart-to-heart when we got home. "Son, you are not self-weaning. You are going to drink this delicious milk that I work hard to make for you and you're going to keep drinking it until I say you can stop." That seemed to take care of it. Actually, I'm pretty sure he's not self-weaning, but instead just finished a growth spurt. He was eating A LOT the week before, and his appetite usually takes a drop a few days after having a spurt. Plus we just started going longer than 3 hours between feedings so I think that will help too.
After his check-up we were off to the immunization clinic. This is our third visit there since Jack was born but for some reason they never noticed until now that he doesn't have a medical record. So I had to fill out a pile of paperwork to begin that. This was when I realized I don't know Jack's Social Security number. Oops. Gotta work on that one. So picture me, baby and blanket in one arm, diaper bag and coat in the other, standing at the counter, trying to fill out paperwork. One of the record-keeper ladies finally noticed my struggle and offered to take Jack. After one brief, awkward second I decided, "Why not?" and handed him over the counter. Jack's pretty social and will go to just about anybody. So for the next 20 minutes I wrote out Jack's name and address about 15 times while he played with medical records and was passed back and forth among "the ladies." At the end, the man who was helping me with Jack's file said, "I'll take this form, you can take that with you to the clinic and, oh yeah, I'll get you your baby." Yes, thank you, that would be helpful. So Jack was returned to me safe and sound just in time for those dreaded shots which he handled very well, as usual, because he's big and tough, just like his Dad.