My Daughter in Percentile

Today was Sonja’s big one-year checkup. This was the first well-child checkup where I wasn’t busting down the doctor’s door, needing professional medical assurance that she was a-okay. After her six-month appointment, when the doctor said I didn’t need to come in again until twelve months, I told him I didn’t think it would be six months before he saw us again. He smiled and said, “She’s doing great.” This was the first time he has seen us in six months.

This time, I was anticipating confirmation that Sonja was on the small side and asking the best course of action for switching to whole milk. Sonja peaked, size-wise, at about 2 months. She was in the 75th percentile for weight and the 95th percentile for height. She has been steadily declining since then and is now just under the 50th percentile for height and has dropped off the weight chart entirely. When she was born, she was eight pounds, two ounces. Today at one year she was just over 16 pounds.

Because her decline has been fairly steady, the doctor said that likely she just has a small constitution. He asked us about our own constitutions as little ones and I said I remembered being a shrimp until maybe middle school when I got some height. I just pulled out my baby book and when I was born, I was seven pounds, 13 ounces and at one year I was 21 pounds.

Though she is very skinny, Sonja doesn’t seem to be going hungry at any time, and asks for food by saying “na-na” (her word for banana) or making the “more” sign. She eats baby food plus a variety of finger foods and is always stealing something from our plates at dinner. I will say that we haven’t had much success with vegetables. The doctor recommended continuing to bottle feed her for three more months, and trying to convince her to take one extra bottle per day. Before this appointment, I was simultaneously worried about how we were going to wean her and keep her weight up and excited to finally be done with the bottles. Though her next doctor’s appointment won’t be until she is 18 months old, we are scheduled for a weight check in three months.

We brought up two other concerns today. The first was allergies. She occasionally gets allergy attacks where her eyes turn red and she rubs her face, though these attacks don’t last long and we’re pretty sure she’s inherited allergic tendencies from mom and dad. Of slightly more concern is her atopic skin, which has improved greatly over the last six months, but still sports a few stubborn itchy spots that won’t go away, even with the use of over-the-counter cortisone cream. We were given a prescription for stronger cortisone cream.

The second concern was that while Sonja can get herself from sitting to standing, she cannot get herself from lying on her back to sitting. Since she skipped crawling, hates being placed on her stomach, and is proficient at cruising, the doctor told us it sounded like a personal preference more than a developmental issue. Though I know how badly she wants to be independent and though I anxiously await the day when she can walk on her own, I am kind of proud at her stubborn resilience to do anything she doesn’t want to do. She most definitely gets that from mom. Dad too, now that I think about it.

We were quizzed on other developmental milestones and she’s doing great in all other aspects. She can say a few words, she understands a few words, she jargons, she picks stuff up with her fingers (has been doing that for six months), she drinks from a cup, she cruises and she tests me when I tell her no.

It’s reassuring to know that (most) everything is going as intended. Now I can focus my worries on her weight. Also, I know there is some credence to my fear that clothes we bought her for this coming winter will be too big, and like so many other items we bought early on without thought to season and corresponding thought to size, they will not get used. Of course, we will need them height-wise, we’ll just have to tie a string around the pants to get them to stay up.

Oh and at the end of the appointment they stuck her with a bunch of needles. She screamed in fear/agony, a sound that I have not heard before. Judging by the face she made at the nurse, I’m pretty sure she’s plotting her murder.

She does not want to crawl, not even up the steps.


About suitejen

Writer. Video Editor. Mama.
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