Thane at Five Weeks – or – How the What to Expect Series Can Drive a Person Crazy

So according to “What to Expect: the First Year” a month old baby should definitely be able to socially smile at his parents. Thane has the most beguiling and charming smile you could hope for. He smiles just as he falls asleep, as though his dreams are full of funny jokes. It’s a lovely smile.

Although he is alert and attentive for a good bit of time these days, he has yet to turn that smile on me. So as a new parent, it is incumbent upon me to be CONVINCED at five weeks, due to lack of social smiling, that my son is autistic and to spend a good twenty minutes feeling weepy over the self-sacrifice and love that will be my future as the parent of an autistic son.


While no one knows what a child will be when he is grown, and it is possible that will in fact be my future, it is also possible that five weeks is a WEE bit early to diagnose it.

Also, the other web sites say that social smiling is expected by 6 – 8 weeks. Which would make it a lovely Christmas present. Then again, extra face time with Mr. Thane isn’t a bad thing. I carry him ALL THE TIME, but like his brother he likes to be carried facing out, so I don’t make faces at him as often as I might.

In other news…

Thane is 10 lbs 7 oz. Five weeks ago when he was born, he was 6 lbs 14 ounces. That’s not QUITE a pound a week, but, uh, it’s not bad. Fortunately not all his growth is being invested in second chins — he’s also 22 1/4 inches tall. So he’s 75th percentile for both weight and height.

Here are the doctor recorded heights and weights, since I got it wrong last time.

11/4/08 – one week
7 lbs 3 oz (25th percentile)
21 inches (75th percentile)

11/17/08 – just over 2 weeks
8 lbs 15 oz (50th percentile)
21 /14 inches (75th percentile)

Then again, maybe the lack of smiling is because he’s working SO HARD on growing!

He is physically doing very well. He can hold his head up as well as a baby twice his age, and will spend considerable time with his head steadily up looking at the world. He can also roll over. I’m not making this up. He did it twice in one day about two weeks ago, but I was willing to chalk that up to optimism on my part. But this afternoon he managed to roll over from definite tummy time to being absolutely on his back. This is even more impressive since there’s more and more of him to roll these days.

Sleep is still not fantastic. He’s waking up about every 2 hours during the night, although at least I have him trained to go back to sleep pretty well. Last night it was 11:30, 1:45, 4 am, 6:30 and 9 am. Grey woke up at 1:45 am (he came in while I was nursing Thane, woken by his crying) 2:30 and 5:45 am. I am: tired and abusing caffeine (again). Thane’s pediatrician says that he probably won’t sleep in longer stretches until he’s about 12 pounds. I suspect it will get much better once he stops trying to pack the weight on quite so urgently. Next week when my husband is in Nashville would be awfully convenient in that regard.

Thane at Thanksgiving
Thane at Thanksgiving

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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