Yesterday we took Roo to the local Down's Clinic at our Children's Hospital. I was prepared to come out of there feeling really overwhelmed and depressed, because FOUR different moms have told me that was how they felt at their appointments there. Apparently the doctors and therapists there tend to look at the worst-case scenario and err on the side of caution rather than the side of hope. It didn't sound pleasant.
But I was pleasantly surprised. Our intake nurse was fabulous, and the doctor, while not exactly my BFF, was calm and not over-the-top in her concern and relatively friendly. Thank you, Lord.
Anyway, as I mentioned on Wednesday, we took Roo in because his growth has slowed. He went from 4 lbs, 2 oz at birth to over 12 lbs at 6 months. But now, six months later, he's just hitting 15 lbs. Now, a child's growth does slow in the second six months of life, but his slowed more than it should have. But the doctor, as I said, wasn't alarmingly concerned. She just made a few suggestions to help boost his growth, and asked us to follow-up with a nutritionist (and do a couple of follow-up weight checks). Her main concern is that he's not drinking enough formula (He's only drinking 16-18 ounces per day, and he should be taking a minimum of 24 ounces), so we're trying to encourage him to drink more. Of course, we have this whole big conversation about how he doesn't usually even finish his bottle, and he just doesn't want any more. And then it's time to give him a bottle while we're there. We fix a 4-oz bottle (which is what he usually takes, and leaves ½-1 ounce in it), and he DRAINS every last drop. So she gave us a sample of PediaSure (more on that in a minute), and we give him two ounces. He drains that, and then refuses to stop sucking or let me take the bottle! I finally wrestle it away from him, give him ANOTHER 2 ounces of it (That's EIGHT ounces total, people!), and he absolutely SUCKS IT DRY. At that point the doctor suggested that we stop, since the PediaSure is so much higher in calories and might upset his stomach if he drank too much. That little booger really worked to make a liar out of this mama!
So in case you're wondering, here are the things that Roo is supposed to do—which most adults would give their left arm to have a doctor recommend…
- When he's eating baby food, we should add a teaspoon of melted butter or olive oil
- When he's eating crackers, puffs, etc, we should spread them with cream cheese or butter
- If we're giving him things like mashed potatoes, we should add butter or gravy
- We should give him less fruits & veggies, and more meats and carbs (higher in calories)
We are also supposed to go back to fortifying his formula (putting in more powder than normal) for the next few weeks. After that we are supposed to add stuff to his milk, but I am hoping to talk to the nutritionist before we do that. The doctor's suggestion yesterday was to just give him PediaSure (instead of milk) or add Carnation Instant Breakfast to his milk, and both of those products are either chocolate or vanilla flavored. I'd really rather not get him used to ALL of his milk being sugary and flavored, so I'm hoping we can just fortify the milk with one of the toddler formulas they make now.
SOOOOO all that to say, it was a positive appointment overall, and I am thankful for that. She did mention that Roo, whose growth has been tracking between the 10th and 25th percentile on the Down's chart, will likely not be in the starting lineup of his high school basketball team. With mommy's coordination genes being passed down, though, I'd say it was a safe bet that wasn't going to happen anyway.