When do babies with CP begin to smile?

Hello Everyone
I have a question, My baby (Matthew) is 4 months old, and was diagnosed with CP at 2 months. I assume he will not meet milestones right on time, but I been wondering about smiling. I look at all of your pictures and I see that you babies smile, yet mine is not smiling yet. I believe there are no muscle issues in his face because he is able to smile when he is asleep, however, he does not smile in social situations or in response to our faces or us playing with him.
So my question is, when did your baby start social smiling?
Thank so much

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My son did not smile until he was almost a year old. He would do it here and there and then at about 10 months it was more regular, by 1 year it was all the time. I know it is worrisome, but believe me it's well worth the wait. He will get there and when he does you will cherish it!

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Elliot came home from hospital after 3 weeks in NICU. He had been sedated most of the time there and weaned off the sedation in the last week. smiled now and then as soon as the sedation became lighter and reacted more to us. Smiled consistantly at 4 weeks. But all babies are different and we know of some who didnt smile for many months but got there in the end. Think Elliot was quite unusual considering the horrible brain injury he'd had at birth.

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Elliot came home from hospital after 3 weeks in NICU. He had been sedated most of the time there and weaned off the sedation in the last week. smiled now and then as soon as the sedation became lighter and reacted more to us. Smiled consistantly at 4 weeks. But all babies are different and we know of some who didnt smile for many months but got there in the end. Think Elliot was quite unusual considering the horrible brain injury he'd had at birth.

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just go on, smile and laugh , and every move he makes , every breath he takes,
just smile to him, talk to him, laugh with him! it is your turn first....
sometimes babies just smile (the very small ones, and usually in the NICU their smiles are not
social smiles (sometimes yes) - but sometimes they just have a belly-ache, or passing air....
many babies "do sell at a high prize" - it means, we have to work hard to get a smile!
and sometimes, unfortunately, we give up and wait for baby to start to smile.....
***
he did not have a very easy start , and you did not ....but for now: see your beautiful son (sun) and
smile to him in every situation, and it is ok to fake a smile, it works (also for you!) .
***
some nostalgic song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH_YbBHVF4g

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Talk to him often. Smile at him often. In time you'll see it! Bring it up with your doctor. See what they say! Was he a preemie? If so he could simply be behind. Always go by the corrected age.

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Ok strike what I said about corrected age. Just read your profile. That's a horrible story. Please keep us posted on his progress!

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Just read too. What an awful experience! Dont give up. Elliot also was blue and unresponsive, starved of oxygen and needing resuscitation and intubated. Also had such big siezures they expected him to die. He has moderate cerebral palsy but is affected everywhere. When your babies brain has taken such a hit so young it can take a while for it to start to recover. I am not saying recovering normal function but just to come out of the injury phase. Elliot, despite the smiles was unsettled and distressed an awful lot and needing constant attention and close comfort for 4 months and I am sure it was the brain injury settling down. We know someone whose baby did not smile for 9 long months but did in the end! Just keep smiling at matthew, comforting, touching and singing to him, it will pay off.

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I remember feeling like my son would never smile, he's also legally blind and did not make any eye contact for quite a while. He finally did smile when he was about 3.5 months adjusted (6.5 months actual age). That is the way it has been for us, when I begin to think that he will never do something, because I've been waiting for it so long, he does it and it is so worth the wait. It took him two years before he said "mama" and it is music to my ears! I will never take his smiles or words for granted. I hope you get to see your beautiful boy smile soon!

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I read your story too, my heart and prayers go out to you. I would continue to do as others have said. Talk, laugh, smile... treat him as you would a typical child.

Is your son spastic? I would also continue to encourage him to move.

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Hi...I have a son that will 13 in Feb...who has cp. We also live in CA...I am surprised you received the CP diagnose so soon. Its not usually diagnosed until after the age of 2. Because even though the babies have a traumatic birth....the doctors like to wait and see what they can do and recover from before they give out that diagnose. But anyways.

If he is already smiling in his sleep that is really good. It will be just a matter of time before he is able to smile on his own. All babies will do things are their own in their own time. My son, Andy took a few months....I think he was around 5 or 6 months old and he started laughing with another baby his own age when he did it the first time. It took us all by surprised.

Does he eat on his own?

There is a Facebook Group called BRIGHT BRain Injury Group Hope Thru Treatment. that is a support group for family with kids that have HIE/Cerebral palsy/brain injury/etc. http://www.facebook.com/groups/316349111784646/.

Everyone is welcome to join....

Kristi
Andy, Born Feb 4 2000 (Agpar Score 0,0,0,4 at 15 min, heartbeat @ 17 mins) 12 years old. HIE (Came home with G-Tube, Removed @ 14 mos.) Hypotonic, later dx'ed Mixed CP. Hydrocephalus has VP Shunt (revised 2000 & 2012) GMFM II almost Level I. Walks Independently but not well enough to play sports. Non-verbal. Uses ASL.

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Hi everyone, thank you so much for the support, It really feels good to have the support of people who really understand what you are going through. I been wanting to respond to each post individually but I just don't have time, my lit tle one does not give me a brake, on a regular day I have to hold him for about 8 hrs, he cries a lot when we put him down and when he cries he chokes so we can't allow that. For the mom who asked me about feeding, this is right now our biggest problem, he has a g tube but from the begining we have been trying to feed him through mouth as well. The problem is that he is so so congested he has a really hard time breathing. Especially at night, his nose gets really dry but you can still hear the congestion. He gets scare and it is one of the reason why we does not want to be put down, it is hard for him to breathe when he is on his back. Last week something incredible happened, after a ABM session he started nursing! We couldn't believe it! The problem, he can't swallow well so this resulted on a lot more congestion and a lot more difficulty breathing. Anat emailed me and said not to feed him even though he was able to. After every feeding his congestion gets so bad. Tomorrow morning we have a swallow srudy, hopefull

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Hopefully the swallow study would give us a better understanding of what is going on, they have done so many tests but we still have no idea.
In terms of his diagnosis, I asked the neurologies when he was 2 months "when will we know if he has CP" and her answer was "he Has CP". SHe basically said, brain injury that affects muscle tone equals CP. in some way I have been thankful for the diagnosis, because he is already getting treatment for it. It is very early so we hope that the outcome would be better. He is spastic on all 4 limbs , but not too bad, the biggest concearn is his movements, he moves a lot but the movements are not purposful. Because of where in the brain is the ingury, he will most likely be athatoid, this scares me so much because athatoid kids really struggle,no walking or talking. For now I don't want to think of the future, it is just too hard. I just want to worry about his feeding and breathing. Any suggestions?

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My little girl wit spastic diplegia cp was smiling from about 3 weeks old. She never stopped smiling

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Just curious have they looked into a milk allergy? I don't have any personal experience with that, but I know some people get congested when they eat something they are allergic to. Has he ever had a swallow study before? My son has dysphagia and sometimes aspirates when he is drinking his bottle, but he is still completely orally fed and hasn't had any resultant issues from the dysphagia. He is receiving VitalStim therapy to try and improve his swallowing abilities.

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Hi...That is great he started to nurse. Most babies can not do this. I am very interested to know what the results are from the swallow study. It sounds like there are a few things going on here.

1.) He cries a lot.
2.) He is g-tube but can eat orally.
3.) He is congested.

I am really hoping that the swallow study will find that he is ok to eat orally. Because most babies if they can't eat orally...won't. If he is silently aspirating. Hopefully you can thicken his milk with cereal and it can be enough so he won't aspirate it anymore.

You are doing great by continuing to feed him and nursing him. We did this with Andy too. Though Andy was never able to nurse. He also silently aspirated and we had to thicken everything with cereal. He wasn't able to drink water until he was 6 years old. We based everything thing on: We will continue to have him eat and drink orally until he got sick....since he was known to silently aspirate he had a good chance to get pneumonia. He never did. He continued to eat and drink on his own and we had the g-tube removed at 14 or 16 months old.

You may need to change his formula to see if he is allergic to what you are giving him. We found out that Andy was allergic to eggs and peanuts.

As for crying all the time. If he is high tone....High tone babies seem to cry a lot more than those who have low tone. I think they are in pain or just uncomfortable. Andy was low tone so I don't have any experience in this area. He also didn't cry much the first year. He was a very quiet baby....

Does he like to swing....a lot of our kids have sensory issues....so swinging....might or might not help...if he likes to be held...he might like to be swaddled a lot more and maybe swinging can help...I don't know. Does he like car rides? This is another thing a lot of the kids do not like....especially the first few years....It does get better over time.

Congestion: hmmm, is he able to swallow ....does he need to be suctioned? Maybe he needs to be laying elevated slightly and not flat....I always had a hard time laying all my babies down in the crib flat on their backs....so I added a thin pillow and a crib sheet over it...yikes I was never one to follow the crib safety rules ...so use your best judgement on that one. His head was always a little higher than his body.

Regarding his movements....He may have a lot of extra movements now...however as he gets older...his movements may change because he is changing. He will be able to have some control over them as he gets older. So what looks like Athotoid movements now can change into something else later.

He is soooo young and anything can happen. The great thing about babies and their brains is that its flexible and growing.

We were given the same "your baby will never talk, sit, crawl, walk, etc" but he is able to communicate by american sign language....he is able to walk and he totally understands us....and he can eat and drink on his own....

Now not all babies grow up doing this....but please keep your heart and your mind open to what the future could be like.....its so early to tell what the future holds....And even it he doesn't grow up doing some of these things....there are many babies that grow up doing many things even with severe disabilities ....

Looking forward to getting to know you and your family....
Kristi

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Lucrezia03 the swallow study is this morning. In terms of milk allergy, he only takes breast milk, could he be alergic to it? I really hope not.

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No he can't be allergic to your milk...however he can be allergic to something you are eating. So you can keep a list of everything you eat. With my daughter I thought she was allergic to something so I didnt eat dairy. No milk, cheese, or eggs while I nursed her. She is allergic to eggs too.
Both kids had to get a blood test to be tested...however it was when they were older after they were a yr old. I don't know how old he will need to be to get tested. The dr may say list what you eat....stop eating milk, eggs, cheese...the most common allergic foods first...then see if you notice a change.

Kristi

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Your story sounds like mine. I was 40 wks 6 days my water broke at home,everything was going as planned, I was excited and ready to bring my baby into this world. But my doctor was on vacation,so I had the doctor who was working that weekend, the doctor came in checked me, I was seven cm,and that was at 7pm, I didn't see the doctor again till seven am the following morning.but through the nit Leah's heart rate dropped a few times,and the nurses said its normal, because she was dropping into my birth canal,blah blah. Well when we did the emergency csection,Leah came out blue blue, glassy eyes,and never cried. Scored 4 on her apgar scores.Then after a few hours she started having seizures, and the doctors couldn't get her on the breathing machine, three ppl tried no one was able to get her on the machine,so she was turning blue again,and heart rates in the low 50s.they then transported her to another better suited hospital. But by then it was too late,she suffer severe brain damage,HIE bleeding all over her brain, lack of grey and white differential,is legally blind, and had 32 seizures everyday for the first year and half of life, happy to say she's eight months free of seizures, but she too didn't smile till she was six/eight months.. And we still haven't really heard her laugh.. Little things that sounds like laughing, but it really never happens, I dream of hearing her laugh. Hopefully one day she will get the idea of it. But your son will smile it will come when he's starting to understand things better. My daughter now smiles all day everyday, and sometimes her smiles are huge,that you expect a rolling laugh to come, but it really doesn't. When Leah was in he nicu,they told us she wouldn't smile, laugh,talk walk or understand anything. Well she's proving them all wrong,and she loves to smile. Sometimes she even makes us work for a smile, but every child with cp is different, things happen for them when the time is right.. Keep prying and encouraging him to smile, and that when he smiles people get happy.

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Hey Ladies,

Your baby can be allergic to breast milk. It is rare, but all of my kids are intolerant of the protein found in milk (breastmilk included). My first son was "failure to thrive" b/c we didnt know it. Both of my other 2 sons (my special needs son included) are also allergic.

They cannot process the breastmilk, and it can manifest in different ways. For my oldest he simply threw up all the time, his stomach simply rejected it.

All of them had to be fed amino acid based formula (there are only two brands Elecare and Neocate). The proteins are already broken down so the formula is elemental. Their little stomachs didnt have process it. Worked great!

A GI doctor is who we had to go through for the diagnosis, and it took several tests, but we finally got it figured out.

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Hello...My Name is "John"...Remain "Faithful" and trust Christ...My Son, Brad was born 21 years ago, 4 months premature, Homofulus B Infection, "Zero" Vitals, Grade 4 Brain Bleed (Lost his "right" hemispere), Brain surgeries, Dual Ventricular Shunted...5 monthes later he came home...NICU doctors said he would never "See, Hear, Walk, etc."...He does it ALL !!!...I remember His first "SMILE" like yesterday sitting in my lap 7 monthes later...I would put him there everyday laugh to him, tickle him, play with him and SUDDENLY, This "Giant Beautiful SMILE" appeared... "Stimulate" your child as much as possible and remain "patient" and encouraged...Believe "It Shall Be"... Scripture defines patience as "long suffering" in the original Greek...And remember...Your Baby is really a "Child of God". You have just been granted the privelage and commission to care for them...Take Care and be of Good Cheer...I share what you are experiencing...Hope this inspires You...John & Bradley White

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