Hannah’s Second IFSP

Two weeks ago Hannah’s two Birth to Three teachers, Maureen and Anne, came over to write Hannah’s new IFSP. It wasn’t as bad as I was making it in my head (see previous post). I knew they were going to ask us for a new goal for Hannah and the only idea I kept going back to throughout the day was for Hannah to crawl. It’s a goal that’s farther out than the typical 6 month range but I don’t see any reason not to dream big.


There will be quite a few steps to reach this goal. First, Hannah will need to learn to go from sitting to laying down without toppling to the side, doing a ninja roll, and looking around to see if we noticed. We’ll also need to work on her arm strength, which means more tummy time even though she loves sitting. The hope is that she’ll eventually start to pull her knees to her body while she’s pushing up with her arms. I can’t remember the rest of the steps but I know the team will remind me as we go along.

Aside from the main goal, Maureen listed other developments that we should be working on:

For playtime, we want to see Hannah banging toys together or against something else (the floor, highchair). We know she can grab toys with either hand, as well as move things between her hands, but now we want to see her reach across her body to grab something. This means strategic toy placement and being active participants in her playtime as opposed to solo playtime in an activity gym or bouncer. We should also give her multiple toy options and let her choose the one she wants to play with.

In the social/communication department we want to see Hannah continuing to give us pre-communication signals. For example, if we’re bouncing her and we stop, Hannah will keep bouncing to communicate that she wants it to continue. I think Hannah already does a great job of communicating when she’s done with her bottle (swats it away from her face), wants more baby food (reaches for container and whines), or wants more tickles (grabs your hand and pulls it to her).

I asked about Speech Therapy but Maureen doesn’t think it’s necessary at this time because Hannah is vocal and makes B, D, and M sounds. What we can do to help her speech is have conversations with Hannah so she can learn about back and forth communication and responding. I think most of us do this anyway but we’ll make sure it’s a regular occurrence. We’re going to start basic sign language like “more” and “eat,” which Maureen will discuss with the daycare teachers next week. Hopefully they’ll be on board with it since they see Hannah 40+ hours a week and have the most opportunity to practice with her.

In the two weeks since the meeting we’ve also moved Hannah out of the baby tub. The kid loves it! She’s particularly interested in the drain of all things. Since Banana’s focused on something lower than her I’ve been having a hell of a time trying to wash her hair. I even bought a little visor off of Amazon but it doesn’t make a water tight seal around her head. She doesn’t seem to mind cups of water streaming into her face but she looks a little rough when the bath is over…

wet doggie.jpg

Why I Need to Stop Comparing

Hannah Banana is due for a revised goal setting meeting with Birth to Three. Our last one was for her to be able to sit unassisted, which she has been doing since mid-December. I’m hesitant to rewrite her IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan) because it takes away from a therapy appointment and I don’t want to think about what she’s not doing.

Most days I don’t even think about Hannah’s delays because doing her exercises is a normal part of our routine now. There are some days, though, that it’s so glaringly obvious that she’s behind her peers. Like when someone asks us how old Hannah is and says she must be walking by now…or at least crawling… Or when I made the mistake of asking a daycare dad how old is just-starting-to-walk daughter is. When he said she’s 9 months old I felt a small (ok fine, it was big) twinge of envy.

Besides sitting on her own, Hannah doesn’t seem interested in much other physical progression and her last few PT appointments have been less than stellar because she was either too hungry/tired to participate, struggling with some tummy issues, or full on passed out and snoring like a pig. At last week’s home appointment she was tired and hungry and sucking on her pacifier like it was a hooked up to an all you can drink milk machine. She had no interest in being on her belly and just wanted to sit and stare at her toys.

Maureen took Hannah’s apathy as approval to manipulate her into a few different positions – kneeling, hands & knees, and even some standing. Hannah didn’t seem to mind and at one point Maureen let go of Hannah’s hips while she was on her hands & knees. I expected Hannah to face plant into the floor. Instead she rocked herself like she was practicing crawling. In that moment I reminded myself to stay out of the comparison game. Hannah is clearly stronger than I’ve been giving her credit for lately.


So what if Hannah can’t crawl or pull herself up yet? That doesn’t make or break her day so I shouldn’t let it bother me. Her social and communications skills are incredibly strong, which is a lot more important for a kid to be happy. Hannah will sure as hell let you know when she’s hungry or tired, or wants more or less attention. She reaches her arms out to me when she wants to be held. She swats her bottle away when she’s full. She reaches for her spoon and whines if I take a break from feeding her. She grabs my hand and pulls it to her body if she wants more tickles. Playtime gets more fun with her each day because she remembers toys or games and anticipates my next move.