Here are his 18 month stats:
Weight - 19 lbs 6 oz - 0.3th percentile
Length - 30'' - 3.3th percentile
Head - 47'' - 20th percentile!!
Some news and happenings with Little B -
Last week, his developmental nurse declared that he has fully caught up to his adjusted age for fine and gross motor skills, and is about 80% caught up to actual age, so she discharged him from physical therapy.
He is, however, at about the level of a 12 month old in speech, so he will begin speech therapy very soon. He says "dada," "Ace" and "light." The thing they are most concerned about is he doesn't say "mama" and doesn't have any "word" for use in referencing me or Carter at all. They think he may have some low muscle tone in his mouth making it difficult for him to form words. Receptive language seems to be very good, as he will point to objects on the page when asked, and follows commands. They are also having us do some electrical stimulation of his cheek muscles and tongue to help strenghten them. We just use an electric toothbrush and massage, and he loves it!
He needs to see a pediatric dentist soon b/c his teeth aren't properly developing. They are very sharp and some of them are brown and very soft. The Ped said the brown spots are very common in preemies with respiratory problems, as it signals oxygen deprivation, and it usually doesn't cause any problems with the adult teeth. However, Bennett has always had very low calcium levels, because babies get the majority of the calcium they need in the last 2 months of pg for bone and tooth development, and he was 2.5 mons early. He's been on calcium supplements since birth, and the labs show that his bone development is good (whereas before he was borderline Ricketts). But the Ped. said the body prioritized and the teeth got the short end of the distribution. She isn't sure what the dentist will want to do, but said in some cases they put an enamel coating over the teeth to strengthen them and prevent break-off. Its not "urgent" that he sees the dentist right away, but we should do so before he is two.
His last opthamology exam was excellent and his retinas have developed beautifully and his sight is perfect for his age!! So, it looks like we are out of the woods for the usual preemie vision problems, at least for now. He doesn't need to go back for another year! WOOT!
The Ped. said Bennett is maintaining a good growth velocity, but his weight to height ratio is starting to skew a little more. She suggested that we add olive oil to his food for more fat and calories. He's a great eater and drinks about 20 ounces of whole milk a day and nurses twice a day still. He could use a little more meat on his bones though, and he is VERY active now that he's mastered the art of walking (and climbing and causing mischief of all varieties)!!! I REALLY thought he was going to break the 20 lb mark this visit, so I was a tad disappointed. Oh well.
Sorry for the novel. Here is your reward:
Aunt Gen teasing him with a giant tennis ball that doesn't bounce: