Monday, June 16, 2008

State of the Carter

I have several posts I need to make, including one about the beach trip, but I'm still collecting other people's pictures for that one, so it will wait a few more days. What I really need to do is write an update about how much Carter has changed in the last couple of weeks. He was exactly 12 weeks past his due date on Saturday, and he seems to be right on target for a three-month-old developmentally.

Right now he's sleeping in his car seat, something I used to be loathe to let him do. But these days he really needs nice long naps, and if he's asleep when the car pulls into the garage, I just bring the whole seat into the house and don't take him out until he wakes up. He's getting better about riding in the car. He used to hate it, but these days he seems to settle down more quickly. As long as he's not hungry when we get started, he's fine. He often whines for about five minutes, but it's that "I'm moderately annoyed and really wish you'd take me out of this seat" whine, not a "OMG I need something now!" cry.

But mostly what he's become good at in the last couple of weeks is grabbing things. It didn't happen overnight; he flailed his arms in the general direction of things for a while, beating at dangling toys with a closed fist. Then he would hold things you put in his hand, and then he would hold them tightly for a long time. And while we were at the beach about two weeks ago we got a video of him holding a toy with two hands and bringing it to his mouth:

That was literally the first time he ever did that! It was cool because he's really been unable to interact with his environment until now. He can kick and flail to show he's excited and interested, but manipulating objects around him is completely new.

He has also recently learned to like laying under the baby gym and looking up at the dangling toys. He'll lay under there for a long time and kick and flail, seemingly very excited to look at all the stuff. Yesterday I decided to prop him up a bit so the dangling toys were in reach to see what he would do, and the next thing I knew he had handfuls of toys!

A few minutes after that video ended he got upset and I had to pick him up. It seems like every time he does something new he gets a little freaked out about it. In fact, here is the first time he sat in the Bumbo seat about a week ago:

About a minute after that picture was taken, he began to cry hysterically, as if sitting up like that had somehow frightened him. I suppose it can be scary for babies to do new things. It must feel weird. We still need to work more on tummy time. I bought him a little tummy time mat with a mini Boppy pillow to prop up on, and that helps a little, but he still will only lay there for a couple of minutes before he gets upset. He has stopped making progress in holding his head up, though, so we need to work on it more.

He's also a very smiley baby these days. It's really fun to be able to interact with him. He will smile when he sees one of us, or he'll smile when we smile at him, which is awesome. He grins and giggles a little when I plant lots of little kisses on his cheeks. I need to get a video of that, because it's amazingly cute. He's starting to make sounds other than grunting, finally. He squeaks and squeals, and occasionally gurgles. He hasn't made a sound that I would call a "coo" yet, but he makes lots of other little mono-syllabic sounds like "wa" and something that's almost a "ba". His cries are becoming more distinct, as I mentioned above. His "I'm hungry" cry is very obvious to both of us now, for example. I can also tell when he's just tired or even bored by the sounds he makes.

Breastfeeding is coming along really well. I felt like we went backward a little bit while we were in NC; so many people were taking care of him that he got a lot of bottles. When we came home I decided to just nurse him for a while, and he easily went back to it. In fact, I'm down to pumping only twice a day now, which is fantastic. He gets bottles when I pump, so he now just gets bottles first thing in the morning and around 10:00 pm. I weighed him yesterday before and after nursing and he got 4.6 ounces in half an hour! That's more than he's ever drunk from a bottle in that amount of time. He actually drained one breast and I had to switch to the other side!

Breastfeeding has been hard, but it's really been worth it. I would never have made it this far without the support of lactation consultants and the people in the Breastfeeding community on LJ, and I'm grateful for their advice and support. It's very rare for 29-weekers to end up exclusively nursing for a variety of reasons, so we really beat the odds. I look forward to nursing Carter for as long as possible!

Finally, here's a shot of my little chubster, now weighing in at around 12 pounds, 3 ounces:

So much love!


Pam Marion said...

The "chubster" has really advanced within the last two weeks! Way to go you much...

Aunt Pam

Anonymous said...

Wow! Carter has really grown a lot since the beach.
He has really acommplished a lot. Tummy time should start getting easier and easier. Matti hated it until around 3 1/2 months. Then she tolerated it for longer and longer periods at a time and now I cannot keep her off of her belly.
Carter seems to be moving right along with his milestones. First looking at objects then swatting at them and then mouthing them. Once they start putting things in their mouth it does not stop! From what I understand it is good to let them chew and mouth toys because that is how they discover and learn.
I am glad to hear things are well. I love reading your posts! Keep them coming.
Love, Julie