August 18, 2008

Doctor's Smackdown

Sadie had her 6 month check up last week and the doctor gave us an entire list of things we need to work on with her. I felt like a failure as a parent! She even asked what day care she attended because she was shocked they had not corrected this behavior. After I told her that I was a stay home mom she just kept telling me about 'tough love'. It was embarrassing! So here is what we are working on with Sadie:
  1. Sleeping through the night. It's not uncommon for Sadie to get up 2 or 3 times a night still. It had jumped to an hourly occurrence when we were out of town. The Dr. recommended letting her 'cry it out' aka Ferber method.
  2. Taking more food at each feeding. But how do you force a child to eat when she has her mouth clamped shut and is crying? Sadie will only take 2.5 ounces since she was released from the hospital (which was 5 months ago!!!). She should be taking 5 or 6 ounces each feeding. Which leads us to the next problem....
  3. Sadie wants to eat every hour and fifteen minutes. We have to do a bi-daily washing or we would run out of bottles. So we are suppose to deny her food even when she's hungry so that she will take more at each feeding...which leads me to the next problem....
  4. Despite her appearance, Sadie is only in the 3rd percentile for weight. At her appointment (and I had just fed her) she weighed 13 lbs. 5 ounces. Surprisingly she is in the 45th percentile for height at 25 and 3/4 inches. They say that genetics has to do with part of it, but that they would like to see her put on more weight.
  5. She also needs to be more social. I'm suppose to try to leave her with family members and gradually increase the amount of time she doesn't see me. This is not as big of a problem as it was a month ago.

It's interesting to me that every major problem she has still stems from that week we spent in the hospital. It was so long ago but we are still coping with the emotional and digestive repercussions.

After her appointment she had not been feeling good and was not interested in eating. Which sounds like a bad thing, but it really helped with #s 2 and 3 above. It's not helping with #4 but I think as 2 and 3 improve that 4 will follow suit.

As for #1 we have been laying her down in her crib when she's drowsy but still awake and letting her put herself to sleep. The doctor told us to go in and comfort her every 5, 10, and 15 minutes until she falls asleep. We modified it to our needs and check her the after one minute, then 3 minutes, and then 5 minutes. She's usually asleep in less than 5 minutes. It's fantastic! Rather than it taking 45 minutes to get her asleep - it's 5. We have not yet let her 'cry it out' at night but we hope as these other areas improve that she will gradually do better.

I must admit I feel a little bad for Sadie - she has to put up with our slow learning curve but we hope we haven't messed up too much. It really has changed my perspective....I have so much more sympathy for oldest siblings.


Johnson Family said...

Don't feel bad Alicia! You are a great mom. Parenthood is a learning process (something I need to keep in mind constantly).
Congratulations to all of you as well for getting Sadie to sleep so quickly. You are much braver than I was with my first baby. I rocked Marissa to sleep every night until sometime after she turned one. I have been able to let Derek put himself to sleep though which has been so much easier. Although, I do sneak in some rocking time with Derek occasionally because I enjoy holding him close and watching him sleep. He's growing up way too quickly!

Lori said...

Oh Alicia...Wait until she is 13 and you really feel like you've "ruined" her, and can't go back and make it better. You're doing great. Fisher dropped off the weight chart a few months back, but is now back on. Does she eat solids, yet? Because he's really chunked up since starting those. He especially likes the cereal, and it shows. Everything will be great. As for the social aspect, you can always bring her over so she can play with Fisher.

Unknown said...

I second what Lori said... everything will be great. Things all work themselves out in the end. I think it's great that you and Ben take the doctor's advice, but then alter it a bit to suit your needs. Doctors' advice is often biased by their personal opinions, and so I think it's important to mesh their advice with what you feel good about.

Alicia said...

So true! Sadie is doing a lot better at going longer between feedings and eating more at one sitting. We are grateful for that. And Lori, funny you should ask about solids. That was another thing the doctor told us to work on, but the list was getting too long! Sadie HATES solids. I have been trying almost everyday for 3 months and she refuses to open her mouth for it. Sometimes I can trick her into eating it but she NEVER willingly complies! I don't know what to do with her some days. Any tricks for getting Fisher to eat? He just opens his mouth for it??

Lori said...

Yep, but the teeth he has sometimes put a damper on his appetite. Sometimes, he inhales it, and sometimes, he's not really interested. The cereal, though, I cannot get in fast enough. Does she have teeth?? You can start giving her some table foods (soft, overcooked ones) if she does. She may like those better. Keep at it!!