On July 27 we sat down with our Birth To Three liaison and Hannah’s soon-to-be Special Education teacher to write our Individual Family Service Plan. The developmental goal we decided on for Hannah was a lofty one – unassisted sitting. I didn’t have a clue how long that would take Hannah but the list of mini goals was a long one.
Back then, we’d maneuver Hannah into a seated position and keep our hands on her shoulders to keep her stable. The progress was very slow at first because Hannah lacked almost all of the back and core strength to straighten up or stabilize. Tummy time ended up being the best exercise for her because it helps strengthen the back and neck muscles. Slowly but surely, as the weeks went by our hands moved lower and lower down Hannah’s tiny body. From the shoulders to under her arms, then to her mid-torso, then to her hips. One day she was sitting so well all I had to do was keep my hand against her lower back to her tilt
The downside of all this was that Hannah also learned that she didn’t have to sit if she didn’t want to. It was frustrating and adorable when she simply refused to play along. Her muscles would stiffen, stubbornness fueling her to push back against my hands, and tilting her hips so her bum would slide forward. Thankfully that rebellion only lasted a couple weeks.
In mid-November the improvement in Hannah’s strength changed overnight. She was able to sit unassisted for a second or two without crumbling backwards or to the side. Her daycare teachers practiced with her every day and often reported that Hannah was improving quickly. Some of it may have been mental too, realizing that she could see and do much more when sitting up.
Pete and I agreed that Hannah would be sitting solo by Christmas. I’m proud to announce that she beat our guess by 2 ½ weeks! At her Birth To Three appointment last week she sat completely unassisted for over five minutes. Not only that, but she also played with and reached for toys.
Now, Hannah loves to sit in front of the mirror and make faces at herself, or on the kitchen table and make faces at us and our friends. It’s amazing to watch as she wobbles and catches herself from falling. Her body must be exhausted at the end of the day from the tiny muscles contractions. Unfortunately for her, now we’re going to start teaching her how to get back on the floor to lay down.