9 Month Update
The goal of this page is to provide updates on Noah's health and development so you can keep up with how he's doing. This was written about a couple months ago, but I'll try to update it on a monthly basis.
Noah turned 9 months in April. He is such a happy, easygoing baby and has been so much fun during the past few months. Yes, Noah has Down syndrome, but he’s pretty much like any other baby. He loves to smile, chews on everything in sight (he has 4 teeth now), and babbles to anyone who will listen. Here’s what he’s been up to:
Therapy: Noah currently receives physical therapy (PT) once a week in our home with an amazing therapist who we love! Kids with Down syndrome have hypotonia (low muscle tone). This doesn’t necessarily mean that he has weak muscles, it just means they are inherently in a more relaxed state. While healthy muscles retain a certain amount of tension and stiffness, Noah’s muscles are relaxed/loose which is why he may feel a little more “floppy” than a typical baby. Hypotonia is the cause of many of the developmental delays that children with Down syndrome experience, such as sitting up, crawling, walking, feeding and speech. It also causes him to use other muscles to overcompensate for his low tone. A lot of the physical therapy is teaching him to use the correct muscles. Although he is still pretty unstable, he can sit unsupported for small bits of time before tipping over. Noah is a champ at tummy time and has been rolling since 4 months! He is starting to try to move forward, but generally ends up pushing himself backward instead. Noah usually tolerates almost a full hour of therapy, which includes exercising on the ball, practicing sitting and standing, grabbing at toys and working on crawling. It's hard work!
Hearing: Noah is still using his bone conduction hearing aid (see Our Little Unicorn for more on this). We have just recently been connected with a hearing program through Seattle Children’s Hospital. He will soon be getting visits twice a month from a hearing specialist to work on communication and start learning some sign language.
Feeding: Noah had a rocky start with nursing and feeding in general, but he is now a great eater. He still drinks breast milk for most of his meals, but has started a wide variety of solid foods (from pureed apples and carrots to quinoa and kale). So far he has eaten everything we’ve given him.
Speech: Although it really isn’t an indicator of future speech at this point, we still think it’s a great sign that Noah has been babbling like crazy. He needs to speak up in order to get a word in with his chatty big brother! Landon and I have lengthy conversations about what Noah’s first word will be. I’m banking on Mama, but Landon is pretty sure it’s going to be Iron Man. We’ll see…
Play: Noah loves chewing on his Sophie toy, along with anything else he can reach...like my hair, necklace or his brother's hand if he can get a hold of it. He is fascinated by Landon and spends a lot of time watching and listening to him. They often say that older siblings are a child's greatest teacher, and so far Landon is very gentle and patient with his baby brother.