Somewhere around six to nine months, my "curious" observations turned into concern. My daughter was a sweet, sweet little baby, but she did not progress as she should have given the context of our families' genetics.
Six to Nine Months
Given her older sister's progress, my progress as a baby, my husband's progress, and our four siblings' progress, in the six to nine month range ZiZi should have been sitting up, pulling up, crawling, and possibly walking. Her sister walked at the end of nine months. I walked at nine months, and my husband walked at ten months. Nobody in either family was a late walker. However, at her nine month checkup she was really only sitting up. She was not pulling up and she was not crawling and she seemed very far away from walking.
Nine to Twelve Months
Around eleven months ZiZi's torticollis was resolved using cranial sacral therapy. Also resolved, unexpectedly, via the cranial sacral therapy was her chronic constipation. There is a funny story that ends with ZiZi naked in a sink at a public library in Northern Virginia. This was the day after her cranial sacral therapy appointment but before I realized the constipation was no longer an issue so I had given her the usual prunes with her oatmeal.
I just couldn't shake the feeling that something was really, really wrong. I talked to some girlfriends one night and they told me about a federal program called Early Intervention that will assess a child who is not growing or hitting milestones like they should. I also called my best friend from college, a pediatrician in New York. I reviewed ZiZi's growth history with my friend and she said once a baby drops two standards of deviation in the growth chart (ZiZi had dropped four in height and 6 in weight) she considers it a sign that there is an underlying issue.
So I called our pediatrician and we had a very short conversation about my friend's concern about an underlying issue. Ultimately, I told her that either she could call Early Intervention or I would. She suggested I go ahead and have ZiZi evaluated but thought it was premature and we should wait until ZiZi was at least 15 or 18 months.
So at one year of age, my daughter showed a number of signs for "Failure to Thrive" but did not have an official FTT diagnosis. Early Intervention reviewed her case and signed her up immediately with a physical therapist. The intake case worker also suggested I should find a new pediatrician because when a mom is worried and when the child is falling off the growth charts it is, indeed, an issue.