When we took Ethan to his 9 month well visit, we mentioned to his pediatrician we worried our baby wasn’t crawling. If we put him on his tummy, he immediately rolled over. While reaching for a toy when he was sitting, he would lean forward with his legs stretched out and eventually turn them behind him, end up on his tummy and then, you guessed it, roll over. He wasn’t attempting to crawl at all. The doctor checked his hips for any clicking or popping and sent us off with a referral to get x-rays on his hips.
Enter Dr. Google. What if he had hip dysplasia? What is the treatment? I’ll tell you, it’s called a spica cast. Go ahead and look it up. I’ll wait…. For those of you who go looking something up and forget what you were originally reading, I’ll tell you. It is a cast that goes around their waist and both legs to force them into an M-shape (with the appropriate middle section cut out).
He could wear that for months. Did you hear me? MONTHS. For days I was crazy thinking about how wearing that would affect our lives. What kind of clothes would he wear? How would I get a diaper on him? How would he sleep? How would I sleep? All of these emotions banging around in my head. We get the x-rays done a few days later and find out his hips are totally normal. Of course, I had been the one to look up all of this information, so his pediatrician didn’t call us to say “Sorry for scaring you.” But you know what? She should have! She blindly sent us on our way with no indication of what we might have in store for us. We were left to our own devices and went hog wild. Next time, I’m asking more questions of the doctor before I go home and Google it.
After Ethan’s pediatrician informed us that his hip joints were normal, we asked her what our next step was. This time the referral was to a pediatric physical therapist. We figured he was just a limber babe and would become a gymnast when he grew up.
Our other thought was that maybe because he was in the 99th percentile in height for his age that he had no idea how to operate his long chicken legs. After all, he’s going to be a basketball player when he grows up. A basketball playing gymnast who wins it big on Jeopardy.
We went to the physical therapy evaluation and after realizing that I made the appointment at a different location because they listed the wrong number for the location I wanted and waiting an extra hour, we get to go back and play. The therapist whips out her list of “Things Babies Can Do” and starts ticking off Yes or No down the line.
Does he roll over from back to tummy? Does he reach for something with one hand while in a crawling position? Can he hop on one leg and bark like a dog? A big dog. This all boils down to a single score on a T scale. Or Tea scale? I have no idea because I have scoured the internet and cannot figure out to what she is referring.
All I know is, at Ethan’s age he should be between 40-60. He was evaluated at 9 months and 28 days, therefore his score is a 30. When he turned 10 months, that score became 23. The therapist also said his legs were hypermobile. Meaning they go beyond the normal range of motion. Well, thank you for the fancy technical term I can now apply to him.
The recommended treatment is therapy with her once a week for 30 minutes as well as convincing his daycare provider to spend some quality one-on-one time with him and neglect the other kids. Since the latter wasn’t going to happen, therapy would have to suffice.
I’m happy to report, after two sessions, this kid was crawling around the house. Kind of like a crawling frog. However, he is improving daily. Crawling under the coffee table. Crawling to the sliding glass door blinds to pull them off. Crawling to grab the toy out of the dog’s mouth. And best of all, to get all the tissues. I’m not sure what it was that we were not doing for him, but if you ever worry your baby isn’t crawling yet, go with your gut instinct and discuss it with your pediatrician. Who knows what would have happened if we hadn’t.