This is the “mama” take on all things development for the boys as of 3 months old (adjusted age). Unless I differentiate, I am referring to both boys.
This is primarily for my records, so if it seem like I’m talking to myself, or filing away ideas for parents going through the same things…I might be. Feel free to scroll for the photos only. 😉
Attracted to light. Able to focus. Able to track. Focusing and Tracking are less frequent than I’d like, but they ARE able.
I have paper plates with high contrast shapes, light up toys, and brightly colored hanging toys to help them practice these skills.
No real coos or sounds other than crying yet. I have some real concerns about this. Obviously this can start later on, but as a mama, I certainly miss those young baby sounds. And like every mother ever…I crave the sound of that first “mama”.
Therapy: I try to talk to them and also make simple sounds during face to face time. I think this will be more helpful when they spend more time looking at faces. I massage their cheeks. I have toothbrushes and pacifiers to introduce different feelings and textures to their mouths.
They can grasp fingers, and will sometimes hold on to a toy for a little while if you help them get it in their hands. Their fists are probably clenched a bit more than average, but they are able to relax their hands too. If they get a grip on hair, necklaces, shirts or blankets, their grip can be surprisingly strong. They do not bring their hands to *midline well (bring their hands together in front of their chest). They do not reach purposefully yet.
Therapy: Helping them grasp toys, getting their hands to their mouth (also good for self comforting), massaging their hands to help them open and flex. Pat-a-cake (helps with midline).
*I want to expand on “midline” because it will come up frequently. Midline has to do with tasks that involve coordinating your hands in front of you. This starts as simply as clasping your hands together, or passing toys from one hand to another. This can be viewed as an “intro” skill to lots of useful things like self feeding, drinking, play time, etc. Somewhere an OT is wincing at my description…but again…this is “mama’s” view. 🙂
Able to lift head during tummy time. (Can hold it up, or turn from side to side.) Able to roll from belly to back. (Nolan is particularly good at this). Both will bear weight on their legs. Nolan is really good at pushing from a squat to a standing position. Landon is weaker over all in this area. But he’s also larger, and is taking a sedating medicine that might zap some of his energy.
Therapy: Tummy time, modified tummy time on our chests, sit ups, stand ups, bicycling legs, infant massage, practice head control and balancing.
Our current goals through the therapy program (Help Me Grow) are:
- Productive tummy time
- Improving Core Strength
- Improving Oral Development
We intend to meet weekly, but we haven’t actually met yet…silly weather. BUT…I’m excited to show them what I’m doing so far, get more ideas, and continue down a path to help these boys reach their full potential.
L is on 60 mg of Phenobarb twice a day and 200 mg of Keppra twice a day. I would love to try different meds to attempt to increase his alert time and energy level. We have to be careful though because even on these meds he has the occasional clinical seizure. (Sub Clinicals are assumed to still be frequent.)
N is on 150 mg of Keppra twice a day, but we are in the process of weaning to see if that improves irritability and gas.
I am pleasantly surprised by their strength. Nolan in particular is very scrappy. Landon is…laid back…so it is harder to tell. But I will attest that during a recent heal stick for a blood test, he displayed even more strength than Nolan when I was trying to hold them still. So Landon has the strength, but might be more difficult to motivate.
Right now, I believe their strongest sense is touch. They don’t respond much to voices or music, and don’t seem interested in faces or toys. But they love baths and massages. They respond well when you touch their hands. They are annoyed when you rub their heads. All of their strongest responses…good or bad…are to touch. I look forward to trying some water therapy…even if that means our bath tub in the short term.
In case you’re concerned, no I don’t wander around treating them like patients. But I do try to integrate as many productive moments in to the day to day as I can. For example, each diaper change is when I do a lot of the “exercises”. And when they have alert time, I try to be thoughtful about how we help them spend it.
And because 99% of you are here for the more fun updates…here’s a pic of our little men dressed up for school this week: