Worried about our baby's development

(18 Posts)
Secretary125 Mon 09-Jun-14 21:29:33

My wife and I are very concerned about our baby's development and need some practical advice, reassurance or just some experience from other parents who have experienced a similar thing.

Our baby is almost 10 weeks old and despite suffering from colic in the evenings is otherwise fit and healthy. However we are very worried about his social development as he almost constantly stares at the light or the ceiling, he never gives a social smile in response to us smiling at him and he doesn't turn his head towards us when we speak to him. However he does very occasionally smile at other times, usually on his own, just not 'socially', but this is very rare.

A couple of weeks ago he traced a dark object left and right a few times and we were extremely happy, and while he has done it a few times since, it is quite rare behaviour. He does babble to himself at times making a range of cooing noises.

When we look directly at him (when he is calm) he will turn his head away most of the time and look away. My wife spends a lot of her time trying to interact with him but he will not look at her, he will keep his head to one side and will not respond to her.

Last week we took him to the doctors for his 8 week check prior to his initial jabs and although he passed physically, he was very agitated so she was unable to see a social smile or see him startle to a sudden noise. The doctor has asked to see him again this week and also asked us to take a photo to show her if we were able to capture a smile.

Clearly we are worried about him and desperately trying to find out information about possible autism. Can anyone give us any reassurance or comfort about this. Was your baby a late social developer? Is there any comfort to be found in the fact that he does sometimes track an object etc?

We would love to hear your experiences.

stoopstofolly Mon 09-Jun-14 21:33:25

My son was about 10 weeks before we got a smile- now he's really cheerful, happy and chatty. Some babies are just slower! What seemed to do it for us was when I hurt my ankle- couldn't walk anywhere, no pram, visits or baby groups, so I spent 2 days sitting on the sofa feeding him! Hours and hours of eye contact and me waving funny toys at him. Basically, he could smile, I just had to work really hard for it!
Good,luck- I'm sure it will all be fine.

SisterMoonshine Mon 09-Jun-14 21:37:31

They often do that 'not looking' thing when they are tired and don't want the input.

oohdaddypig Mon 09-Jun-14 21:38:55

Hi secretary sorry you are concerned.

I remember both mine would fixate on objects at the ceiling, completely ignoring me for ages whilst doing so. I would be bemused by this but I recall it's something to do with their developing eyesight. I also recall my second not responding well when I called her name. I think she didn't do this at her check either.

Both my kids are fine - very social children.I remember one day really trying to get DD to look at me and it was impossible. I think she picked up on my negativity and just turned away!

The smiling is more unusual only based on my two. But many many babies are less smiley.

I hope this helps a little.

Notonthisplanet Mon 09-Jun-14 23:41:56

I know with mine they were constantly looking at everything but me even when I was talking to them and they don't really respond to their names til over a year, 18 months my doctor told me. Babies can actually get fed up and uncomfortable if they pick up you're trying to get them to do something and find it overbearing therefore will almost seem like they go off in their own world. Seriously though he is far too young to worry about anything like that yet, maybe don't try so hard as that could be the problem. My six month old is still fascinated by looking at the ceiling and lights.

ktef Tue 10-Jun-14 05:53:14

My ds1 never ever looked at me. He would stare away at the corner or the room. If I moved into his eyeline he would look away. I really worried about him. But he is fine now. Still not brilliant at eye contact but nobody but me would notice.

Katiebeau Tue 10-Jun-14 05:59:45

Hello. We had this too but our DD sort of regressed having been great at smiling and eye contact.

Turned out she needed glasses and at 4 years old our dilly day dreamer was found to have severe glue ear!

They need to check the basics.

Good luck

Tealady1983 Tue 10-Jun-14 06:03:54

My son used to do this. And he was happy just to be left for ages (not that actually did leave him for ages) alone. My son has autism. The things your son is or isn't doing can be an early indicator however look at post above and other children who aren't on the spectrum have also done this too. He is very young to be showing any definitive signs, keep an eye on him and continue with the good work your already doing. It's not the end of the world if it of autism although it's massively overwhelming at first. Feel free inbox if you like x

Secretary125 Tue 10-Jun-14 06:27:47

Thanks to everyone for their comments....it seems the main thing is to be patient, continue encouraging him and seek medical help when we are concerned....

It's 6.30am now, he has been up since 5.20am. He is sitting in his chair very happily smiling occasionally to himself, occasionally playing with the toys on his swing. I think he knows I am here but doesn't really engage. Perhaps I/we just need to be patient.

Tealady I will show my wife your post and she may inbox you direct...

Thanks all and good morning

Secretary125 Tue 10-Jun-14 07:49:53

Any other experiences would be very much appreciated. We are both understandably concerned, but my wife is extremely worried and convinced there is something wrong with him. Thank you.

ShoeWhore Tue 10-Jun-14 07:57:18

Do you think he can hear you?

I'm sorry to hear you have these worries, do keep an eye on things - it might be absolutely nothing but I think parents'instincts should always be followed up.

SpanielFace Tue 10-Jun-14 08:13:45

I used to worry about DS, at that age he used to actively avoid eye contact, and turn his head away when you smiled at him. He was also obsessed with our vertical blinds, and the light coming through them - he used to stare at them as if in a trance. He also used to stare at a particularly interesting black and white cushion. He is now almost two, and a very smiley, chatty, sociable little boy with no signs of ASD or similar.

That said, if you are concerned I would speak to someone - your HV or maybe your GP, just to put your mind at rest. I do remember how much I used to worry with a tiny baby, to be honest it doesn't change, you just find new things to worry about!

DeWee Tue 10-Jun-14 09:34:16

My dd2 didn't really smile.
Dd1 had done a really obvious smile, sudden eye contact and huge mouth open smile at exactly 5 weeks, and then repeated it the niext night at exactly the same time. And was regularly smiling after that.

Dd2 I was still wondering if she had really smiled at 4-5 months. She would occasionally do fleeting smiles, but not one I was sure was a real smile. I'd see her smile, think, that's it, look at her, and it would go, and I'd be left thinking "was it really a smile".

Dd2 was just a more serious baby, I think she was 2.6yo before I got a photo with her smiling in, whereas dd1 used to see a camera and smile from very young.

However from about 3yo she started smiling more, and from school age until now (she's 10yo) people always comment on how much she smiles, and she's very sociable too, more than dd1.

I think all babies love watching lights. With dd1 we left the Christmas decorations up for about 3 months as she liked watching them blush

I would say that do get your GP on board. Explain you're worried. There probably is nothing wrong, but there is no harm getting in early, as it's easier to pull out than get started.

At 10 weeks they don't really engage in the way you're looking for. They like being hugged, they like milk, they hate being undressed (or things like that). They don't want to share their delight in finding their toy does something different. In fact they're really not that worried about toys, anything that moves, is bright, makes an noise etc. is interesting

They find different ways of worrying you! Dd1 discovered how to (briefly) hold her breath at 4 months. Cue me panicking down at the doctors and she demonstrated brilliantly. More experienced Dr gave me his look he reserves for such time and told me he was totally sure she was doing it deliberately and hence was not in danger of stopping breathing overnight.

NorthEasterlyGale Tue 10-Jun-14 12:10:20

Well, my DS1 is two and my DS2 is 15 weeks. I can't comment on the smiling as both my boys have been quite smiley but I understand it's a very variable thing as to when they start to smile regularly so don't think you need to worry too much. Actually, although DS2 has smiled to himself from only a few weeks old, it's only the last few weeks that they've been really 'social' smiles in response to either myself or DH smiling (or blowing raspberries, or making popping noises or any one of the other million daft things you find yourself doing to try and elicit a response grin).

What I would say is that both my boys loved light and shadow so would stare at lights, blinds, windows etc. If your DS tends to look away when you look directly at him, perhaps he's looking at the light & shadow that your outline creates? DS2 will happily gaze into the distance while pondering life and both will look away and seem a bit 'glazed' when tired. Don't remember either particularly turning towards you if you spoke to them when young.

To be honest, from what you've written, he sounds much like my DS2, but you're totally right to chat to your GP if you're worried and I hope they can put your minds at ease so you can enjoy your son. At DS2's 8 week check, apart from the quick physical and jabs, they just asked if he responded to noises and if he smiled and took my word for it, didn't really ask if it was a social smile specifically.

Amyellow Tue 10-Jun-14 19:24:49

Sounds like you're doing exactly the right thing in getting everything checked out. My DD stared at lights and was slow to smile - turned out she had a visual impairment, and the lights were all she could see. The fact that your LO tracked an object sounds positive, but maybe there's a mild problem with his eyesight?

Give your wife a big hug, it's so horrible to be worried about your baby's development. (Some days I've just sat and cried, and it feels like a very long road.) Celebrate the small positives whenever you can. Your baby's lucky to have you as his parents.

Martini162 Fri 13-Jun-14 21:20:03

My DS was very colicky too, never made eye contact and it was almost as if he looked straight through me...I think I always sensed something wasn't quite right but couldn't put my finger on it. By six months it was fairly obvious that he was on the asd spectrum

That said, your baby is still very very little and a lot can change in a few weeks, he may just be finding his feet in the world.

Just keep an eye on it and if you still have concerns consult your health visitor.

All the best.

Iggly Fri 13-Jun-14 21:25:47

Yes the looking away thing is a sign of tiredness. He sounded like he was awake quite early!

How much day sleep does he get? Evening colic is a classic overtired symptom.

redcaryellowcar Fri 13-Jun-14 21:56:02

Its terribly stressful being worried about your baby; do tell your gp how concerned you are as they will hopefully be able to reassure you!
Ds2 was very unsettled from 6-12 weeks, turns out they think he has reflux and after a couple of days on gaviscon he is a different baby, much more interactive and smiley. Not suggesting this is what your baby has but more that if they are uncomfortable then they will not be so smiley.
Have you told gp about colic? Can you film baby whilst going through some evening colic sessions to show gp?

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