Lurker with a Question

Hello, I hope it's ok that I pop in here and ask you ladies a question, and I thank you in advance to taking the time to read.

I have an 18 month old who was born FT, but I recently started watching an acquaintance's baby full-time. Her son was born at 35 weeks, but was already 6.5 lbs and only spent 1 day in the NICU for jaundice/bili light.

I've been caring for him for 2 months now, and I'm starting to become concerned about his development. I realize he will have some delays due to his prematurity, but he is almost 6 months (actual age) and he can barely hold his head up/control his neck. He also doesn't grasp at toys, or even make any seemingly purposeful movements (he moves his arms and legs but they're very 'twitchy' movements) He can't sit up, and even has trouble staying up in the Bumbo seat.

Is this normal? I don't want to worry his mom by bringing things like this up, and she never mentions anything about it. He goes to his regular pedi appointments, but again, his mom never says anything about his development and I don't want to upset her by bringing my concerns up with her.

Are there any exercises or activities I can encourage with him to help him along? Again, thank you for your time.
BFP#1 12/31/11 EDD: 9/4/12 natural m/c 1/11/12
BFP#2 4/27/12 ED: 1/9/13

Re: Lurker with a Question

  • With preemies, you adjust back to when LO was expected.  So consider this LO is 5 months.  That is a bit early for sitting, but pushing up on his hands a bit, lifting his head, and reaching should all be developing.  Tummy time helps and you can google alternative tummy time positions to mix it up.  Back time (rather than bouncer/swing) time is also good.  Does he track well?  Present different toys and perhaps you can encourage some reaching.  If you don't see things improve and she doesn't report anything coming from her 6 month appt, you could mention to her that he might qualify for Early On b/c a lot of preemies do and that she could have him assessed.  Tread lightly because this can mess up a relationship if things don't go well.
    [Deleted User]flerlgirlauntjessy
  • Agree completely with pp.  One of the things I do from physical therapy with my girls is, while doing tummy time, I support their chest with my hand, helping them get that slightly lift off of the floor to encourage holding the head up and exercising the neck.  While doing that, position their hands in a position to push up and encourage them to track a toy from the side until they are working to lift the head.  Another might be, while he is laying on his back, help him to grasp your fingers and gently pull him into a sitting position.  This also works the neck muscles. 

    Hope this helps!  Good luck.  (Also hope this isn't considered medical advice because it isn't meant as such, just little exercises I do with my daughters.)

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    I was told with my 36 weeker that we're right on the border for needing possible PT intervention.  It's very common with preemies.  My full term 3yo even went through a year of OT due to lack of muscle tone.  As a FTM with him, I didn't really know what milestones to look for, and we didn't know that anything was wrong until a year, even though they were able to track the underlying issue back to the womb once we realized it.    I think if you frame the conversation correctly, it'd be very good to discuss.  
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