Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Study on Autism and Vaccines!

A co-worker of Sean's relayed a conversation she had with her pediatrician about a study that came out in 2005 linking acetaminophen use (Tylenol) after vaccines to autism. I looked it up and so far can't find a 2005 study (well I can find this study called AVIS from 2006 but I can't find the results), but I did find a paper that came out in May of this year that shows this link with the MMR vaccine in particular. They surveyed parents and found that for children who became autistic only after vaccinations (i.e they showed no sign prior,) they were much more likely to have been given Tylenol after (or just before) their MMR vaccine. This is a correlation study so it isn't a causal link, but heck, it will certainly make me think twice about using Tylenol to relieve vaccine pain!! There was no link when ibuprofen was used. The study was published in the May 2008 issue of Autism;12(3):293-307( if you want to check it out). If I find the other study I'll keep you posted..
Scary stuff!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Spoke too soon! Teething IS bothering him.

Woa nelly! I have one unhappy baby on my hands! Poor guy is clearly in some pain from his little tooth. It is just barely visible now and Colin is not happy about it. Sean and I have been practically standing on our heads to keep him distracted. Chewing on teething toys seems to irritate him more than relieve him, although if they are frozen they seem to help a little.. (but they obviously don't stay frozen long! Even his pacifier seems to irritate him, he will take it for a second and then spit it out making the most adorably pathetic face. Tylenol seems to take the edge off but it wears off long before the 4 hour indication, and I hesitate to just keep him on it continuously. Sleeping is even worse than before... HA I used to complain when he was up every 90 mins! Last night he was up probably 15 times between 10pm. and 1am he wasn't too hard to get back to sleep but sheesh I'm wiped OUT! I took the bullet last night because Sean is taking his thesis proposal exam today and I wanted him to be well rested. This was one thing I didn't want Colin to do early!!
In other news cereal is going very very well.. I had to mix a second helping last night, he just couldn't get enough. So far he is a good eater!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Playdate and Teeth..or tooth I guess.

Colin had a play date last Thursday with his best buds, Sam and Ben. Sam and Ben are twins who are 4 months older than Colin. You might remember the picture of Erin and I pregnant at her baby shower.. Well here are the products of those pregnancies:

Hopefully you recognize Colin in the middle. Sam is to his right and Ben to his left. I know what your thinking but Colin only looks bigger because he is more propped up on the pillow (he and Ben are about the same size, Sam is bigger, at least in weight). Colin is a chart topper for 4 months and the O boys were 8 weeks early so they are still on the small side, they would probably all be considered average 6 months old size. Sam and Ben are very clearly months ahead of Colin (as they should be) in terms of motor skills and cognition. As you can see from one of the 'outtakes' where Colin is still just chillin' (read: stuck) and the O boys have wandered (alright rolled) off.

After we got home, Sean was letting Colin chew on his finger and when he said "Ouch" I just thought he was playing around but he wasn't! Colin is cutting his first tooth. Watch out Sam and Ben, next play date Colin will be biting back! It is his lower left front tooth. Nothing to see yet but you can definitely feel it. He doesn't seem too troubled by it at the moment, we'll see how it goes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Eating "solids"!

While I would hardly call the consistency of the baby cereal we gave Colin 'solid' he has technically started solid food! At our doctors appointment on Wednesday we got the go ahead to try baby cereal. I have to say I think he would have been ready a month ago..there was virtually no tongue thrust reflex that infants are supposed to have. He practically slurped the cereal off the spoon. We didn't get any cute cereal all over the face pictures because he kept inadvertently wiping his face while trying to chew on his bib! This picture was one of the last few spoonfuls, see no mess... So far, no improvements in sleeping but I didn't really expect it to be a magic bullet.. Besides it is so thin at this stage there isn't much 'extra' food there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sleepy Baby

On our last morning in Washington DC, Colin feel back asleep (to sleep?) after his morning feeding.. I left him to snuggle with his daddy while I did other things.. I went back to wake him up at 9:30 knowing he would sleep during the entire car ride. He was so cute I had to take a video.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Colin is 4 Months Old!!

That was a fast month and boy is Colin excited to be 4 months old!

Weight: 17lbs 8oz -95%

Height: 26inch -89%
Head Circ: 42.5cm -60% (he still has a little head!!)

Sleep: No different. We are lucky to get 4 hours straight, although we are transitioning him to his own room now. I had thought I would move him once he was only waking up once per night, but that isn't happening... maybe the Pack and Play is uncomfortable now that he is heavier and that is waking him up? (wishful thinking I know!)

Likes: Grabbing toys, lights of any kind, practicing sitting up unassisted (he can do it for 10 secs or so), standing (assisted), watching TV (we just started allowing him to watch Baby Signing Time), his car seat (good thing since we travel a lot) and eating out (although this goes back to the lights thing)

Dislikes: not much he is a pretty happy kid, wind in his face and vaccines I guess are the only things that come to mind.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Colin talking to the camera

Colin likes to talk to us while he is on his changing table.. I don't know why but as soon as you put him on it he starts talking... The camera distracts him at the beginging and then a truck goes by catching his attention at the end, but in the middle he is just cute as a button.

Baby Food

To pick up where I left off, we will probably be starting Colin on solid foods at 4 months, which is coming up pretty quickly. For two reasons: 1) He rarely goes more than 2 hours between feedings during the day so I worry he isn't getting full (although from the size of him you wouldn't think this is the case! A waitress the other night thought he was 6 months old) and 2) he has really started investigating our food in the last week, he seems very interested in the whole eating process and this is a sign of food readiness. So what will we feed him. Dr. Sears suggests that bananas be a breastfeed babies first food because the sweetness of breast milk my make him reject bland cereals. I'm not sure I'm that much of a trend setter and there are no directions on the banana peel as to how much liquid to add or how soupy to make it. So I figure I'll try my luck with a more traditional rice cereal so I've been researching some options. Turns out, most nutrition minded people recommend starting with a brown rice cereal instead of a white rice cereal because white rice has little nutritional value. I think I have found the perfect fit for us (assuming Colin likes it). HAPPYBELLIES Organic Brown Rice Cereal with DHA and Probiotics. What the heck are probiotics you say?? Good bacteria especially formulated to help strengthen your baby’s digestive system!! Probiotics are actually a HUGE area of research right now (as seen by all the new yogurts that are coming out) and baby's have an even stronger need for them because of their developing systems. One study showed that probiotic supplements helped calm gassy babies more than any other type of gas drop! DUH right? If they are having trouble with digestion, give them some little 'bugs' to help them out!! Makes total sense. To top it all off Dr. Robert Sears even helped with the development of this cereal, which I didn't know until I read it on the label after I ordered it!!

The Happybaby company also makes organic freshly frozen baby food, which is better than jarred food because it doesn't need any of the preservatives and it is made from organic fruits and veggies. It is really the next best thing to making it yourself (which is still a possibility). I have no idea if this will be prohibitively expensive yet, but the cereal isn't that bad so I'm optimistic. It is available locally but not at a store I currently shop at so I have to check it out. (As if shopping at four different stores for groceries isn't bad enough already, I'm going to add another!)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My husband is my hero!

After taking a break from poster prep to go grocery shopping, I came back to find my laptop had shut itself down. I was mostly just annoyed because I would have to find and re-open the 5-10 files I needed to work on my poster. Annoyance quickly turned to panic when I realized I had apparently never saved the current versions of those files. I learned the hard way excel does not auto-recover by default. Sean pulled a rabbit out of a hat and found cryptic auto-saved temp files and was able to recover everything. I thought I had lost 6+ hours of work. My husband is seriously my hero.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Crazy week and Attachement Parenting..

The last few weeks have had me under a lot more stress than usual so my time to blog has decreased a bit. I have a conference coming up next week and have been preparing a poster for presentation. This is my first big school project since having Colin and while the begining of the week was very hairy (with stress magnified by not sleeping more than 90 mins at a stretch thanks to the little guy) the second half of the week went much more smoothly and I have just sent a nearly-final draft to my advisor for his opinion. I don't expect any HUGE content changes so hopefully I can finish things up this weekend just in time for the printer to get it done before the conference.

At the moment I'm stuck under a sleeping infant who woke up when my phone rang (cruses!) and doesn't want to be put back down to sleep (although he will happily sleep on me). I'm starting to fear that I have a spoiled sleeper, who refuses to sleep more than 30 mins in his crib during the day and who still wakes up 3x a night regardless of my best efforts to induce sleep. I'm stuck in a weird place that an 'attachment parenting' style would argue creates a more secure individual, but I'm just not sure. I never considered myself an attachment style parent, yet here I am sitting on the couch with my baby fast asleep across my lap and not in his crib (he does nap well in the swing too)... Lucky for me the laptop computer still allows me to get work done while in this position. Maybe I should read up on attachment parenting to see how long I can let this continue before I've created a monster...If you can't beat 'em join 'em right?
Here is a photo of Colin in his 'wrapper'