My {8} Month Old with Down Syndrome

Here we are again. Another month passes me by. I feel like I’m back in collegiate track, but instead of racing long legs and short shorts, I’m up against Father Time and he’s a BEAST.


Baby Girl is now 14.8 pounds & approximately 24 inches long.

Month 8 was an odd, in-between month. We’re past the “half-year” mark, but not quite to the “three-quarter” milestone yet. Kara has been celebrating by being very in-between skills. She is keeping us on the edge of our seats. She is SO VERY CLOSE to many things…

She is on the verge of rolling over. (She can, she just WON’T.)

She is thiiiss close to sitting on her own.

She is slowly mastering drinking through a straw.

She is still teething, but hasn’t actually cut any yet.

& she is perfecting her assisted stance.

All of these “almosts” are making for anxious parents and a fussy, developing baby.

Some of these things are happening a little later than a “typical” kid and that’s okay. I know that moms in the Down syndrome community can relate when I say that having some of these physical delays is not always a bad thing. My baby still needs me to help her sit and play. She needs me to help her reach her toys and hold her bottle.

She still needs me.

As a new mom, I am dreading the day that she pushes me away because she wants to do it herself. Postponing this process isn’t the worst thing in the world 😉 She is my baby just a little bit longer and I consider myself lucky that she has the power to slow the clock (take that, Father Time). It is unbelievable what that one extra chromosome is capable of.

Of course, her physical development is one thing, her attitude is another. I must admit that when we found out she had DS, I was fully expecting to have a very happy, laid back baby (oh, the stereotypes), but we were in for a sassy surprise! This is something that hasn’t changed. We certainly have our hands full with this one. One minute she is full of the joys of spring and the next she is brewing up a storm. She is sweet, but very particular. I have a feeling we’re going to be dealing with one of those “two going on twenty” divas in the all-too-near future.

FullSizeRender.jpgFor starters, she loves the outdoors, but only if the sun isn’t shining too brightly because she’d rather chew on her shades instead of wear them. She loves visiting people, but only if they have a ceiling fan in their living room… and if they don’t laugh too loud. Oh, she also loves to eat, but only if it’s with her plastic Munchkin spoons. Otherwise, she gives me the Zoolander face and won’t open for even the tastiest bite.

Kara is also in the healthy stages of “Hey, you’re not my mom. Don’t pick me up. In fact, don’t even look at me.” She has decided that she’s only going to tolerate you after a vigorous interview process.  If you pass the test, she’ll let you hold her. And if you’re really lucky, she’ll flash you her toothless smile 🙂

This cheekiness is also seen with her newfound skills. Now that she is almost sitting/standing, apparently there is no reason for her to be laying down on her playmat, swinging in her swing, lounged in her stroller, or reclined in our arms. I guess the vertical view is loads better!

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It might sound like I’m complaining, but her spunk is just one of the reasons why I’m obsessively in love with her ❤

As far as THERAPY goes, we are wanting to see Kara push up with straight arms while on her tummy. We practice this during tummy time or on her therapy ball. This will really demonstrate the strength in her shoulders and upper body and will help her with everything from swallowing her food to crawling.

We are also focusing on strengthening the left side of her body. It isn’t a huge concern at this time, but it is something we need to keep an eye on. Everyone has a weaker side, a non-dominant side, but we don’t want to dismiss those muscles and let them lag behind. We put her toys on the left side of her car seat. We lay her on right side on the floor so she’ll reach with her left hand. We help her roll to her left. We sit to the left of her. Every little bit helps.

Every time her therapists bring up a small concern, Kara catapults forward and leaves us wondering if it was all a dream. This is something that we laugh about because she has done it literally since the day she was born.

The doctor said, “Oh her jaundice levels are too high. If they don’t decrease by the afternoon, she’s going to the NICU.” The next time they stepped into the room, she was at safer levels. Same thing happened with her blood sugar and her weight gain and body temperature. It’s been a common theme with her therapy too. I have to believe she’s doing it for her own amusement 🙂

Kara’s new favorite things this month:

  • Her plastic rainbow slinky
  • When mom counts to three
  • Funny noises
  • Clapping her hands
  • Clapping her feet
  • Tossing toys over her shoulder

This sweet girl is a never-ending joy to us. I can’t believe it was already eight months ago that she came into this world. We still have so much to learn, but our tiny little teacher is doing a great job of educating us ❤

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