Delilah’s 9-Month Well Baby Checkup and ASQ
It’s hard to believe that my little baby is already 9 months old. Time is going by so fast! It feels like she was born yesterday and yet I’m already thinking about her first birthday. Last week we had Delilah’s 9 month Well Baby checkup. To be completely honest, I’ve struggled a bit between this appointment and her last one. So, this time I had a lot of questions for the doctor.
My biggest area of concern has been Delilah’s sleep. We started having a little trouble with her fighting sleep before I started working, and it has only gotten worse since then. She will not fall asleep on her own at all and its rare we can lay her down in her crib for a nap without her waking up. The hardest part for me is when she fights sleep at naptime or bedtime.
It has been extremely challenging since I have been working. It feels like she won’t fall asleep with me and if she does it is always a struggle. There’ve been nights where I became so frustrated that I would hand her to Joshua for bedtime, and I sit in the room crying because I can’t get my own baby to sleep. With that also came feelings of guilt that this was happening because I started working, even if most of my shifts are around 4 hours.
Other than sleep, I was also concerned about Delilah’s growth and development, which completing the ages and stages questionnaire cleared right up. Previously, I have looked up and completed the ASQ on my own, but this time the doctor’s office mailed me the questionnaire ahead of her appointment.
Filling out the 9-month questionnaire was a little more involved, and least it felt like it to me. Most of the time I can quickly answer the questions about Delilah’s development in the different categories. This time some of the questions made me think, “I don’t know if she does that.” It was nice that they sent the questionnaire in advance so we had time to try things out for a few days to see if she could do them.
For example, one the question asked, “When you hold out your hand and ask for her toy, does your baby offer it to you, even if she doesn’t let go of it?” We hadn’t really tried this before, so I tried it. While she was playing I held out my hand and asked for Delilah’s toy. Even though we had never practiced this, Delilah held out her toy to me! We tried it over the next few days to see if she did it again, and she did, and sometimes even let go of the toy. It was really cool to see that she was reaching these developmental milestones even without us explicitly working on them.
With all the troubles we’ve been having with Delilah’s sleep, I was not looking forward to her appointment. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to soothe her after she got her shots and the last thing I wanted was for her to struggle falling asleep after her appointment. I wanted to be able to devote all of my attention to her the day of the appointment so I requested it off from work. I made sure to dress her in loose comfortable clothes and fed her lunch shortly before her appointment in case she was too upset later. I was trying to do everything I could think of to make the afternoon after her shots go as smoothly as possible. After all of that preparation we went into her appointment to find out she wasn’t scheduled for any shots this visit! With that stress out of my mind I focused on my questions for the doctor.
I was excited to find out her weight and measurements. I wasn’t seriously worried, but I was curious to find out about her growth. She still looks so small to me and with the transition to self-feeding, I wondered at times if she was still eating enough.
We also wondered about her height. She has the genetics to be tall from both sides of her family and with the way clothes seemed to be fitting her we were curious if she was tall for her age. When we measured her at the appointment, I discovered I was wrong about both of these. She weighed 19 lbs. and 13 oz, (almost to 20 lbs.!), which put her around the 75th percentile.
I found it funny because when I asked the doctor if Delilah was too small, she said she was actually a little heavy for her height and I said, “Wait, what do you mean for her height, I thought she was tall!” The doctor then told me that Delilah was somewhere around the 35th percentile for height. So, for now she’s a little bit short, just like her Mama!
Finally, it was question time after going over the measurements. We started by talking about taking care of Delilah’s teeth. I had some questions about brushing and what kind of toothpaste she needed. Then, we dove into the hard stuff and talked about our struggles with sleep. I am so grateful to have found a pediatrician for Delilah with whom I can be completely honest. I was a little nervous to tell her that we were still co-sleeping with Delilah, but she didn’t pass any judgement and focused on my concerns about my work being a factor in our sleep issues.
After listening to all my concerns, she stated that there are no 100% correct solutions to these issues and a lot of it depended on the sleep goals that I had for Delilah and myself. I shared that I want to get Delilah sleeping in her own bed as soon as possible and that I’m worried the transition will be harder as a toddler. She answered honestly, saying that I was most likely going to make the decision around crying it out, but the important thing was to be consistent. She said that whatever we decide to do needed to be consistent across all of Delilah’s caretakers, meaning Grandma isn’t allowed to rescue Delilah from the crib to sleep in her bed! We also need to have consistency with her bedtime routine as well to help Delilah understand that it’s bedtime. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do when it comes to Delilah’s sleep issues, but I left the appointment feeling a little more confident in my ability to figure out what’s best for us.