Thursday, March 29, 2007

Early Life in the Institution

According to the report we were given, "due to her cleft palate, it was not convenient for her to drink milk from a bottle, so a spoon had to be used. But she drank very little milk this way and she tended to cry, and she often cried overnight. Therefore, the caretaker on duty was often disturbed and could not fall asleep. After two months of deliberate care with alot of efforts, the caretakers managed to change her bad habit of crying overnight. In her third month, she began to be fed by milk bottle and the amount of milk was gradually increased."

Cleft babies need special bottles to help them get enough milk because their ability to suck is very weak. These bottles are made of soft plastic so the nannies can help the babies by squeezing the milk into their mouths.

By three months her limbs were becoming stronger and she sometimes stopped feeding to listen to noises and turned her head to the source of the sound. In her fourth month she could distinquish acquaintances from strangers. She bagan to babble and the caretaker was happy to talk to her.

In her fifth month she could move in the baby carrier to and fro. Her eyes were energetic, her two hands could flap as wings, and she could also put her hand in her mouth to suck. By her sixth month she was interested in new sights and toys. She enjoyed music.

By her seventh month, she could turn her body when lying on her back. She also began to crawl and sit steadily by herself. By eight months she seemed to understand what the caretaker was saying and she was observant and aware of changes in facial expressions.

At nine months she could stand up with some support and she began to play with the other babies.

In her tenth month she recieved the first operation for repair of her cleft lip and palate at the Provincial Children's Hospital in Hefei Anhui Province.

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