The Ped Who Cried Wolf?

Yesterday Mason had his pneumonia followup (his lungs sound great!!) and his 9 month check-up since that made more sense than coming back in 10 days. I left the appointment in tears and doubting everything I know about babies.

Like I mentioned yesterday, Mason isn’t crawling yet. Hasn’t really shown any interest at all. His daycare teachers even commented last week that he’s showing signs that he’ll probably skip crawling and move right to walking. Which, from everything I’ve ever heard, is perfectly normal. Some babies crawl at 6 months, some babies crawl at 10 months, some babies just don’t crawl. And you know what? I’m fine with having him not already crawling – it means we get to truly enjoy a fully decorated Christmas tree one last year and the critters are still safe for a while longer!

So back to the ped appointment. We do his height (28″) and his weight (18 lbs) and she listens to his lungs and his heart and looks at his eyes and his ears and decides that not only did his ear infection from a few weeks ago not clear up, now both of his ears are infected and the previously infected one looks worse. Explains why the poor little guy has been in such a bad mood lately!

Then the questions begin. The first thing she asked is if he was crawling and her face instantly turned grim when I said he was not. She then went into rapid fire question mode, her face growing grimmer and grimmer the more she asked.

Is he pulling up on furniture? (no, but we don’t really have much furniture for him to pull up on. He will pull up when we give him our hands)

Does he stand and play while leaning on furniture (no, see above)

If we’re holding his hands, does he take steps on his own free will? (no)

Does he imitate what we do when we make noises (repeat back) or sounds (cow, raspberries)?  (no, he makes his own back)

Does he exhibit stranger danger? (no, but he is handled by 15+ people a week at the daycare and I’m also not handing him to homeless men)

Does he have multiple repetative consanants that he uses frequently? (baba dada mama gaga) (No, but he does dada frequently and lots of other sounds/noises, just nothing repetitive.)

With those questions, she declared that we weren’t playing enough games with him, speaking to him enough, and that she’d really need to see him back in two weeks to judge his progress and possibly put him in therapy. WHAT?!?!? She gave us a handout of 16 different activities to do with him (which ranged from letting him crawl in and out of a box, playing Patty Cake and Sooo  Big, to reading to him and making him wave bye bye every time he left a room).

Then she gave us a six page worksheet to have filled out by our next visit. (Based on the ASQ3 program if anyone is interested). Basically, it asks several questions for every area of growth and you rate your baby via Frequently, Sometimes, and Never.  The handout says all over it to not do before your baby is 9 Months and 1 Day old and that it should be completed between 9 months 1 day and 9 months 30 days. Looking through it last night, it’s clear that his fine motor skills are great, but his gross motor skills and langage skills are non-existant according to them. One of the questions was does he follow 3 word commands such as “Put that back” “Come Over Here” and “Give It Here” Another was “Does he know three words that he can label to objects such as Mama, Dada, and BaBa? (for Bottle)” Color me clueless, but I had no clue that those were the standard for a 9 month old! Things like “While holding onto the couch, can he bend down and pick up a toy?” “Does he walk around clinging to furniture?” are not even on his radar. BUT, up until yesterday, I was pretty sure that’s pretty normal for AN EIGHT MONTH OLD!

I understand watching his milestones and keeping an eye on things, but I also understand that this assesment is incredibly crazy when you look at the fact that babies grow and change SO fast.  What he’s not doing today he could very easily be doing in 2 weeks. And the fact that this assesment is good until he’s 9 months and 30 days old? Means he’s got almost 6 weeks to learn all of these “tricks.” So the fact that our pediatrician is acting like he’s totally a baby failure? Doesn’t sit well with me at all. The fact that she made me look twice at my perfect little boy and wonder if something is “wrong” with him? Doesn’t sit well with me. It’s amazing how easy it is to take this stuff to heart, even though half of you says to just let it roll of your back.

I feel bad that both P and I now feel like we’re being “pressured” to teach him to walk and pull up on furniture and it kind of take the magic out of him doing these things on his own when he’s ready, just like he’s done everything else perfectly normally well so far. A big part of me just wants to throw the handouts away and find a different pediatrician, but our only other option (I hate living in the sticks sometimes!!) is this ped’s partner and is from a different country who’s accent that no matter how hard I try, I cannot understand.

What are your thoughts, lovely blog world? Is it baby boot camp time for Mason? Give our ped the boot time? Something in between?

16 thoughts on “The Ped Who Cried Wolf?

  1. Melissa Post author

    OMG! Do not feel bad! What is up with that pedi?
    I can understand proactive but it sounds like she is being ridiculous!

    My son did not start crawling until 10 months and walking until 18 months.

    I think you are doing everything right.

  2. Christine Post author

    Hi! I found your blog through top baby blogs. I felt like I was reading about my daughter! My daughter started army crawling at 8 months old and is still army crawling (just turned 10 months). It has improved quite a bit and I can see her strength is growing but she stll doesn’t get up on all 4s and rock and she has only pulled up a handful of times but usually just gets frustrated and would rather play with her things on the floor. Our doctor seemed mildly concerned but they are a pretty hands off office so they said as long as she is doing those things by 12 months that it is still in the “normal” window. It’s so hard ebcause I see friends with younger babies who are crawling and pulling up constantly and cruising and practically walking and Bella just doesn’t seem that interested yet. I would love to hear about what therapies they recommended you do at home. My doctor hasn’t offered much guidance yet in terms of exercises so we have sort of just been making it up as we go 🙂 It’s so hard being a mommy sometimes and all the worry that comes with it, especially when others comment on our babies.

  3. Mama KC Post author

    I think she’s being VERY overly cautious. You’re a great mama, just keep doing what you’re doing and he’ll develop at his pace. 🙂

  4. Sara Post author

    Completely nuts! If Mason isn’t crawing after he’s a year then I could see the concern, but at 8 months…no way! Babies develop differently, each has his/her own schedule. Having worked in childcare forever I can say without hesitation that kids who reach their baby milestones early and those who take a little longer to be ready are no different developmentally. Mason is perfect and you are doing a great job!

  5. Colleen Post author

    Not that I have any knowledge on kids older than my son or anything, but if the quiz sheet says take it in the middle of the 9th month, and he’s not there yet… then tell your ped. to CHILL. OUT.

  6. Amie Post author

    Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please,please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take it seriously!! It could be nothing or it could be something. It doesn’t hurt AT ALL to have a head start with extra help. I took Q to her at nine months and he wasn’t babbling at all. She told me he was still in the range of normal. She barely looked at him and looking back on it he was clearly showing signs of autism- at the very least sensory processing disorder. I always think to myself that if we had just seen Dr. S (his regular ped) that she would have said something and got him started in services three months earlier than he was. When she saw him at twelve months she immediately gave me the info for Birth-to-3 and told me I NEEDED to get him in speech therapy. I am still upset that I didn’t get his checkup with her at nine months. She has always been on the ball with Q and I have never had a bad thing to say about her, accent and all! Seriously, W, I wish I could have those three extra months of his life to have known. Because I was so blind to it and it was so obvious. Even at twelve months everyone told me it was crazy to put a one-year-old in speech therapy. He was tested to be “speaking” at a 0-3 month old level. Even if it’s absolutely nothing, I promise you you won’t lose anything from this.

  7. Crystal Post author

    I don’t think my son was doing most of those things at 8 or 9 months. And he is fine now.

    My best friend’s son didn’t start crawling until he was a year old. They scheduled an appointment for an evaluation by a therapist, and he started crawling the night before the appointment. Who knows what Mason will be doing by the next appt?

    Also, if he has ear infections, standing might be and extra-difficult challenge right now. But I still wouldn’t worry, as long as his legs will bear weight, which they will if he’s pulling up with your hands.

    I prescribe this doctor one big chill pill.

  8. Kerry McCullough Post author

    Yea, don’t worry about it. If he weren’t able to sit up or roll over, you might have something to be concerned about- but you should enjoy the time that he’s not crawling all over the place. My last few dr’s appts have ended in me drenched in sweat, trying to keep Niall off the disgusting hospital floor. He would try to squirm out of my arms until I literally couldn’t hold him anymore. I’m sure the doctor is just trying to be cautious, but he/she shouldn’t try to scare you so much! By the way, I’m not even positive my one year old really knows my 3 word commands. No worries 🙂

  9. Cici Post author

    I would take this in two steps: (1) parental involvement and (2) mason’s skills. In regards to you guys as parents, what you should ask yourself is “Are the things on the list/the things the ped told me I should be doing…already being done? The way I see it: playing pat-a-cake, letting him crawl in and out of boxes (or laundry baskets), waving bye bye seem like all reasonable things, which I think most people do without really thinking “I NEED to do this with my child.” However, if you look at the list of activities and see that maybe your not on the floor with him as much as maybe you can be, then it’s just an area for improvement – it’s something I often find MYSELF guilty of (& the hubby) and I often try to remind myself to stop doing housework or other distractions…and just get on the floor! IF you’re already doing this, where you feel happy with yourselves, then tell the pedi to F OFF with his/her judgemental attitude. Now…Mason…like previous people said, it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on it. Sometimes kids need a little “push” to realize they can pull up and be okay! But, if you give him a “push” and he doesn’t seem to like it, then let him be and he’ll figure it out on his own. As a parent I think we have an intuition if something is wrong with our child. It’s a ped’s job to keep an eye out for all the children under their care, BUT they can’t know every child in detail. It’s YOUR job to know your child and make the main decisions – if you believe Mason is fine, then you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. And you can always call your pedi and say, “I think my child is devloping fine and we’ll just see you at his next well checkup.” Don’t go to 2week checkup if you don’t feel it’s necessary! You’re a great parent – the fact that you’re concerned shows that. Have confidence in yourself and just know that he won’t be 20yrs old, sitting on the floor, not pulling up on the couch!

  10. Lori Post author

    Okay. . I understand the concern but Em never crawled. Em didn’t walk until she was 17 months old. You’ve watched her grow, there’s nothing wrong with her. Each child develops so differently. Be aware, but don’t jump off the cliff. In my hippie dippy life I would say, “It’s time for a new ped!”

  11. Brandi Post author

    Your little man is perfection!! Don’t let anyone criticize your mommy instincts! I have 4 boys and all of them have progressed at different stages. Our first born didn’t even crawl or walk until the age of 1. Our fourth is trying to walk at 9 months…It depends on the baby!! I would look for a new pediatrician that supports your instincts and your beliefs! Good Luck! If you need anything please feel free to contact me 🙂 Good Luck, and be proud, your doing awesome.

  12. Lisa Post author

    That lady is crazy! Do not listen to a word she is saying. I could see if he was months behind on doing things, but he clearly is not. Ugh..I feel bad you had to experience that. Moms put enough pressure on themselves. I say find a new doctor or just ignore her when it comes to the developement things.

  13. Laura @ The Things I Said I'd Never Do Post author

    I think the doc is being over zealous. Sure, perhaps these are things to keep and eye out to make sure they start occurring. However, every baby goes at a different pace. And you are right, a lot of stuff changes in a short time. Max learned to crawl, pull up and walk while holding on the furniture all in the same weekend. One day he didn’t say any constants and with in a few days he wouldn’t stop babbling! I would keep and eye out to make sure things don’t improve, but I would really question her reasoning for expensive therapy. If you don’t like her answer there is NOTHING wrong with seeking a second opinion.

  14. Melanie Post author

    I’d say it’s fine, but it’s something to watch closely. If he’s not doing those things by the time he’s a year, then I would be concerned. Some babies reach milestones later than others. Valerie didn’t walk AT ALL until 17 months and she was 18 months before she gave up crawling completely.

  15. Cole Post author

    I *never* pulled myself up on furniture – I went straight to walking. Seriously, one day I just stood up (in the middle of the kitchen!) and took steps. I think this doc is over-reacting and making you crazy for nothing…

    BUT I think most pedis over-react by nature… remember mine who made me drink extra PediaSure so that I’d grow (even though being small runs in my family and I’m completely active and energetic and healthy)? There must be a lot of pressure to err on the side of caution, because what if something IS wrong and the pedi doesn’t catch it, you know?

    Mommy listens to our pedi and trusts his advice, but takes it with a grain of salt and uses her own common sense as well. SHE is the one who is with me all the time and knows me best.

    And I didn’t have any “stranger danger” or whatever at 8 months, either. Or words. That checklist seems a little advanced…

  16. Sarah Post author

    Don’t even worry about it. My first son Dustyn didn’t even roll over until 6 months and didn’t even crawl. He went straight to taking steps at 10 months and walking good by 12 months. Carsyn at 7 months will not let me put him down so he is NOT really rolling over and showing no signs of trying to move. That pediatrician is crazy. I don’t thinking Dustyn did much talking until 13 months then it was like word vomit. He went from saying 1 word to 15. I would not worry at all. I really love your blog and can’t wait to read more. I am following you know. Is your blog wordpress? I really like it. I want a new blog.

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