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.

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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…

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6 Month Check Up with Hannah Banana

Tuesday afternoon the daycare called to let me know that Hannah’s cold was getting worse. She was fussy in the morning, wouldn’t tolerate lying flat, was having trouble with her bottles, and belly breathing. The director said it wasn’t an emergency, they just wanted to let me know. I called the pediatrician’s nurse line and left a message asking if Hannah needed to be seen. Like me, the nurse was concerned by the belly breathing and made us an appointment for 4:15.

I spent the next 2 hours doubting myself. Had I let the cold go too long without medical intervention? Did I miss a sign of something more serious? Was I wrong to shrug it off as a typical daycare kid’s cold? I know I only met her 6 ½ months ago but I think I know Hanah pretty well and she seemed OK to me. I was preparing myself to spend the night in the hospital with her connected to IVs and oxygen. Then Grandma texted – Hannah was fine. Seriously, have you ever seen a kid so miserable in your life?

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We kept the appointment to make sure there weren’t any issues. Lungs and ears clear. Oxygen levels at 100%. Can’t get much better than that! I asked a few questions about how to ease the cold symptoms and what would warrant an impromptu visit next time. She assured me that when post-surgery Hannah gets a cold it’s just like any other kid’s cold…except that Hannah’s nasal passages are smaller so she will sound worse, be sicker longer, and has a higher risk for ear infections than the typical kid. And that’s where I struggle. In certain aspects of her life, Hannah will be typical with an asterisk.


Yesterday afternoon we had Hannah’s late 6 month check up. Her weight is up to 6 lbs 14 oz and her length is somewhere between 26 and 27 inches (their measurements are not very accurate). I gave Banana a bottle while I asked the doctor questions about baby food, Hannah sleeping on her belly, and the flat spot on her head. Hannah fell asleep in my lap and managed to stay asleep for part of her exam. Homegirl must have been tired if she was able to ignore a cold stethoscope.

sleepy Hannah

After the exam we talked about the questionnaire I completed in the waiting room. At the 4 month appointment, most of the questions were answered with ‘sometimes’ and ‘no’. This time around most of the answers were ‘yes’. Hannah has developed quite a few new skills in the last two months and I’ve even noticed a big change in her over the last two weeks. She’s so much more observant and wants to touch everything. I sat in the backseat with her coming home from the Buddy Walk and watched her look out the window, get surprised by the changing shadows and light on the backseat, and reach out for anything I dangled in her sight.  

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Once we got home we had about 45 minutes before our Birth to Three appointment so Hannah finished her bottle and took another nap. Maureen and I completed the Hawaii Early Learning Profile, which is pretty simple when evaluating a 7 month old. Hannah woke up fussy and in no mood to socialize or exercise. Instead of making her work, Maureen taught me some facial massages to do before feeding to help stimulate her muscles and I asked for tips on teaching her sign language.  When the visit ended Hannah took a long bath, had a small bottle, and it was a very easy bedtime.

Today could possibly be a rough day for the little one and the daycare teachers. She’s still a little stuffy and might be cranky from the vaccines she received yesterday. Fingers crossed for a happy day!