As the title implies, we are finally crawling!!! Juliet started to crawl last month and she is on the move! She beat Drake by one whole month in this milestone.
At our nine month appointment, Juliet weighed in at 13 pounds 9 ounces, up from 12 pounds 12 ounces. She also gained in height (26 1/2 inches) and head circumference. The doctor was pleased with the results and gave us the all clear to stop coming every few weeks. Her next appointment will be when she is one now, as long as I feel she is gaining well.
We also started our Early Intervention therapies. Juliet met with both her physical therapist, slated to come once a month, and her developmental therapist, slated to come once a week. Her physical therapist did a few different exercises with Juliet, moving her legs, lifting her up to stand from a sitting down position, and moving toys from one side to another to see her neck move to follow. She said Juliet has a little low muscle tone, but nothing severe or anything that should be impacting her greatly.
I mentioned how Juliet started crawling and how she did this a whole month ahead of Drake, who wasn't marked as delayed. The therapist told me that crawling isn't a milestone in the sense of gross motor development. Some babies never crawl but move right to cruising and walking, which was true of Mr. Chocolate's father. She said for Juliet's age (9 months) to a year the big milestones she was looking for her to hit were to go from a laying down position to sitting fully up, going from sitting up to down on her own, and pulling up to stand.
Juliet had already mastered going from sitting up to putting herself into the crawling position, and was starting to go from laying down to sitting but ended up in a half up kind of lounging position. The therapist worked on trying to get Juliet to start shifting her weight and used her hand to help her finish the full transition to sitting up. She showed me how to encourage her to look over to the side she was leaning and also to place slight pressure down on her other leg to help her push up.
The other milestone was pulling up and cruising, which Juliet has not started to do at all. She tried to encourage her to try to place her hands on my legs to pull up. Her suggestion was to try to give Juliet opportunities to be curious and want to stand to see better. She suggested lowering her crib and placing her in it when I was in her room putting away her laundry or straightening up her toys. We tried having Juliet stand up on her Zany Zoo toy, but she ended up hitting the top with her head and getting upset. The therapist recommended I buy an activity table which would be a little shorter and less hard than the wood on the Zany Zoo to encourage her. She said if she were to recommend one toy to get that would be it.
As for fine motor development, the big one was to get her to start passing objects back and forth comfortably and to start being able to pick up smaller objects like Cheerios. Juliet has passed some objects from one hand to another, but not often or consistently enough for me to say she has mastered that skill. She is a little piggie though when it comes to food and has gotten a lot better at sitting in her high chair with puffs and Cheerios trying to feed herself, as well as holding her little baby cookie biscuits to munch on.
All in all the appointment went very well and not shortly after the therapist left, Juliet fully mastered being able to sit up fully from laying down. I saw her after her nap sitting up in her crib. Later that day she did it again when on the floor playing. She also mastered downward facing dog the same day. I couldn't believe the progress, but the same thing happened last time with her first evaluation and she was placed in the crawling position. Later that same day she got into that position herself, and shortly after that she started to rock and eventually move forward to crawling. It seems that once Juliet is given a little guidance, she picks things up quickly so I hope I can start to help her pull to stand and she will be on her way with that skill too.
Juliet's developmental therapist meeting also went well. Juliet was happy and engaged in all the toys she brought. The therapist tried to work with teaching Juliet some simple movements like waving and how to open and close some of the toys. She also made many sounds and exaggerations of sounds when doing any activity with Juliet, and showed her some signs.
Juliet has always been a quiet child, and it was no different during her therapy session. She made no noises up until right before the therapist was leaving, which is what typically happens when I try to babble with her. I will babble and make noises and she will smile or watch intently, but it will be a very long time before she ever utters a sound.
The therapist told me to just continue with this even if Juliet doesn't respond for a while. When doing things, make noises, sounds, talk, and explain to her what is going on. She encouraged reading and for Drake to talk with her as well. I am still concerned about Juliet's speech. I was told a developmental therapist does many of the same things a speech therapist does with children Juliet's age. At age 2, when language explodes, if Juliet is still lagging in the speech department she might qualify for additional speech therapy. I am still debating whether to try some additional speech therapy through our insurance since it's covered. For now I might see how developmental therapy goes since it's easier when they come to our home. At the end of the session Juliet started to wave so that was a big step for her. We hope to get her to clap next.
I am so amazedand pleased with how much Juliet has come in only one therapy session. I know this won't be the norm and I shouldn't be expecting every session to go so well, but for her first time I think she is moving along at a wonderful pace. Juliet seems to like to observe a lot -- maybe this is part of being a second child watching the world move by. It seems once she is given a little push and instruction in doing something, she often can pick up and start doing it on her own shortly. I hope we can continue to build on this process.