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My baby boy was born almost a full month early and he’s 6 months old now, and I think all preemie moms go through something similar, but I’m starting to get more and more worried that Nick might have cerebral palsy. He was discharged from NCIU as soon as his lungs were Ok and he could eat normally, and generally he is doing fine, but there are these little things that worry me – he seems to simply prefer his left side more. For example, he doesn’t yet roll over fully, but even when he tries to, he’ll always go for the left side. During the first two months he had horrible problems with reflux and feeding, but we thought it was just because he was getting used to live without NCIU tubes. Now, I’m not so sure, and I was wandering if there are any definitive signs of cerebral palsy that can be seen as early as 6 months?

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Hello,

you should definitely talk about this with your pediatrician at the next appointment, just to be on the safe side and so that he/ she can monitor your baby for any cerebral palsy specific sign more closely. However, just the preference for one side alone doesn't have to necessarily mean anything bad, as long as the baby is meeting developmental signs for its adjusted age. The more serious signs as persistent muscle tightness or the opposite - low muscle tone in arms and or legs, problems with feeding caused by low muscle tone in facial muscles are a definitely reason for the pediatrician to order a MRI scan for any brain changes that are characteristic for cerebral palsy. But given that your boy is a preemie, many of these early signs can simply be due to him being born prematurely.

Wish you all the best,

Nicole

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