No pointing, waving, clapping at 11 months

(22 Posts)
Zetta10 Sun 30-Oct-16 18:57:37

Please help me as I feel like a total head case. My DS, 11 months, is lovely, social, happy, crawling and cruising and getting into everything. I wouldn't have a worry about him TBH except that I've been made to realize he should be doing all these gestures and he just simply won't. He does not wave, clap, or point at things. After realizing he was behind, I have been working hard in the past few weeks modeling and trying to teach him how to wave and clap etc. but he will not copy me. He will bang two blocks together (and smiles quite proudly!) if I show him so it's strange to me that he will not clap his hands. He also will not play "so big" or point to body parts etc.

On the up side, he is very socially engaged with all of us, smiles when he sees me and/or when I smile, babbles like crazy (though no real words yet), tries to get people's attention and likes to "show off," reaches to be picked up, copies some sounds back and forth, like raspberries, fake coughing, etc. He loves to "flirt" with strangers, peeking at them with a cheeky smile and then burying his face in my neck, tries to get others' attention in waiting rooms, etc., and loves other little children. He looks to me often while playing to check that I'm watching, but does not really hand/show me objects much. He eats and sleeps well and laughs when others are laughing. He seems to follow conversations and looks back and forth to the person speaking. He will carry on back and forth babbling "conversations" when he's in the mood. He follows my point when I show him things, and has done for several months. He is not too interested in books at this point and generally will not sit still for more than a few minutes to listen to a story, although he will do lift the flaps, scratchy books, etc. He will copy me when I show him how to play with a toy (like bang on drum, hammer pegs).

Sorry to post such a long and rambling description, but I just feel like I'm going crazy waiting for him to pick up on these gestures and wondering if everything is okay. I know that gestures and pointing are huge indicators for ASD, and as a have a nephew on the spectrum, I am very extra vigilant. I feel he is healthy and doing just fine over all, but I know it is late for him to not be even clapping or waving bye bye and I just don't know what to do!

Anyone have a similar child? Should I be worrying? Grateful for any advice.

MrsDc7 Sun 30-Oct-16 18:59:37

He's very young and they develop at different rates so don't get yourself worked up. From your description it doesn't sound like he has any learning difficulties. I would speak to your health visitor and she will put your mind at ease

JohnLapsleyParlabane Sun 30-Oct-16 19:02:50

My daughter will be 1 in a few days. She learned to clap today. She learned to point two weeks ago. She cannot do several of the things your baby can. I think they're both doing just fine.

SisterViktorine Sun 30-Oct-16 19:12:57

Well, I'm definitely not an expert on this early stage of development, but I am a specialist teacher for children with autism and I would say on that front he sounds fine.

The pointing thing is really about 'shared attention' which, to me, it sounds like he is showing (looking to you when he plays, trying to attract people's attention, following your point etc).

You sound very attentive to him and I wonder if he hasn't really had the opportunity to need to point? If you are sensing what he wants and moving it to him before he has to ask etc he may just rarely 'need' to do it.

One strategy used to get declarative communication going with small children with autism is to put very attractive toys out of reach and wait for them to indicate them before they are given them to play with. This is the start of PECS communication. Another thing is to hold two different biscuits healthy snacks out of reach and only give one when the child indicates which they want.

I'm not in any way suggesting that your DS has autism btw- just suggesting ways you could get his 'declarative' communication going.

TheMumsOnTheBusShoutEqualPay Sun 30-Oct-16 19:24:41

I have a 14-month-old and had exactly the same worries at that age. He started pointing about a month ago and now spends a large portion of his day pointing and shouting 'this' at things he wants (usually at the things he's not allowed)! I sometimes wish he'd stop pointing now. There is so much information about what babies and toddlers 'should' be doing and when and it's so hard not to compare your child to others, but I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that they will do things when they are ready to. It's so hard not to worry though.

CobsAhoy Sun 30-Oct-16 20:27:42

My 13month DD doesn't point or wave, she learnt to clap about a month a go and now does it non stop, I wouldn't stress about it

Note3 Sun 30-Oct-16 20:37:00

Babies are so different, pls don't worry about your little one, they sound just fine. My DC is almost 11 mths and she learnt to wave approx 2 weeks ago and to clap however she does not crawl or cruise. Showing early signs of interest in that side now but has more been into the sit still learning! This is my third DC and I've seen all 3 develop at different rates. It does seem that children at this early age either concentrate on physical movement or motor skills initially then 'catch up' with the other as time progresses.

uhoh2016 Sun 30-Oct-16 22:24:10

At 11mo my ds wasn't doing any of those things either, he was well turned 12m once he started. He's now 21mth and doing all that and more. At this age I really wouldn't worry they all do things in their own time.
If he's happy and your happy why worry

Temporaryname137 Mon 31-Oct-16 11:01:24

I also panicked like mad about this - NCT babies seemed to be waving from 8 months! DD was almost 11 months when she clapped, 12 months when she started pointing, and waving has just followed at 13 months. So has dancing, hilariously.

But like your DS she was very social and outgoing; I wonder if they are just more interested in showing off than copying?!

Your DS sounds adorable.

SillySausage1 Mon 31-Oct-16 11:13:41

He sounds absolutely fine to me, they all develop at different rates and some prioritise certain methods of communication (e.g. babbling) before other methods. Talk to your health visitor if you have a 12 month checkup but you may be surprised that in a month he may already have started doing some of those things as they can start suddenly!

albertcampionscat Mon 31-Oct-16 21:21:56

DS1 waved at 11 months, clapped at 12 and pointed at 15. He got his first words at 17 months. 3 now and definitely neurotypical.

Zetta10 Wed 02-Nov-16 01:09:36

Thank you for all the replies and reassurance - I try not to let these worries cloud my enjoyment of my sweet boy. I hate feeling pressured like I need to train him to do these things that he is just not picking up naturally for some reason at the moment. He is so socially engaged and really seems fine to me, but I keep hearing how important it is for them to learn these communicative gestures. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Zetta10 Sun 27-Nov-16 01:47:11

Hi, just returning to this thread as my little DS is now 12 months and still not doing these things. sad I have been stressing myself out unreasonably about this. I also realized he is not holding up toys to show me or handing me things (unless I ask him to hand me something) - should he be doing that now, too? I guess probably so. He does do things all the time and check for my reaction, smile and look to me to make sure I'm watching too, etc. although he will at times get absorbed in what he's playing. I feel so worried and not sure how to help. Please reassure me (or not - in which case tell me how to help him!).

BarbarianMum Sun 27-Nov-16 02:00:46

You are 6 months too early to be worrying about this stuff - the milestone for pointing etc is 18 months which is an awful lot more than 12.

MistressMerryWeather Sun 27-Nov-16 02:15:59

Do you have friends with babies the same age and are comparing?

Honestly, your DS sounds like a very alert, sociable little boy who is progressing at his own pace.

I agree with BarbarianMum that if you are going by 'official' milestones maybe look at these things at 18 months.

Take a breath and focus on all of the things he is doing right now (handing you toys when you ask etc, which is great btw).

You sound so anxious about it all and that's not good. Do you have a health visitor or similar you could speak to for reassurance?

strawberrybubblegum Sun 27-Nov-16 06:57:02

He sounds fine, and lovely. He's social, checking for your reaction, interacting with you and others. You really need to find a way to get past this worry, and enjoy him for the individual that he is.

Would thinking something along these lines help:
1. It certainly doesn't sound like he is presenting with any problems or things he needs extra help with right now
2. If he ever does, you will notice that and help him with whatever it is at that time
3. For the moment, giving him all the normal parental love and attention which you're clearly giving him is all he needs, and will help him thrive regardless of anything
4. He really is fine smile flowers

I don't think those skills are important of themselves. They're just an easy indicator of joint attention and social interaction.

fwiw, DD never clapped in imitation. She claps now to say well done. She wasn't keen on waving - did it very occasionally with encouragement from about 2. She did point - a lot - but only started at about 18 months.

She is now a very happy, sociable, interesting almost-4yo. I'm as certain as can be she's NT. She has friends who she plays with, and adapts brilliantly to whatever is happening. She's still quite self-possessed, and doesn't copy other children very readily: most 4yo copy as a way of entering play, whereas DD will think about what's happening instead. That's just her character, which was probably showing itself even so early!

Children, like adults, have different characters and interests. You only need to (and only should!) get involved when it causes a problem. And even then, you can't change them, only help them develop skills and strategies to overcome specific difficulties.

So enjoy your lovely, individual child.

CobsAhoy Sun 27-Nov-16 09:51:08

Still no waving from 14month DD, she only started pointing about 4days ago so doesn't sound like your LO is behind in anyway. I think at this age the idea of 'shared attention' starts to emerge so the fact that your baby is looking for your reaction and will pass you things when asked is a good sign. It is tempting to analyse their development and compare it with other babies (and what the books/websites say they 'should' be doing at each stage), but you have to try not to get too wrapped up in it as depending on his personality your little boy will probably show certain skills earlier and certain skills later than other babies. I had to step away from the wonder weeks app as I basically thought DD would be self-sufficient by the time she was 1 confused

Witchend Sun 27-Nov-16 11:50:43

Stop worrying. Children do different things at different times. he's doing other things.
It can depend on the child, or depend on what parents have done.
For example, with dd1 I used to go out with her every day to way bye to dh as he went off to work. She waved at very early. The other two I didn't do that and they waved far later.

Ds was an ill baby and I spent a lot of time cuddling him and reading books. And because I'd be going "look at the flower" and pointing; he learn to point earlier than the rest.

Dd2 only has one hand, so I thought she wouldn't clap. She clapped with her arm and hand very early-we'd gone to a school presentation event where there was a lot of clapping. She learnt to do it half way thought and got half the audience turned round looking at her. She clapped continuously.

But in other ways they were late. Dd2 didn't point until she was nearly 18 months. She doesn't point with her index finger either. Ds didn't like clapping and burst into tears if he heard it, so no surprise that he didn't clap.

Under a year it's always a bit random what takes their fancy. If he's not doing it at 18 months then come back to worry. wink

AnnaBegins Sun 27-Nov-16 11:58:30

Oh love, it seems like everyone else's babies do everything first, I get you. My little boy was the last in our nct group to do these and still doesn't really point at 14 months. He really doesn't say any words consistently either! He waved for the first time at 1yr2days and clapped about 3 weeks later. He doesn't really follow commands except no, and wouldn't pass or bring me something if I asked. He also doesn't high five on command, only when he wants to. But you know, they are still tiny, and it's all still normal.

Poseyrose11 Sun 27-Nov-16 20:52:23

I know exactly how you feel. I felt like and still feel like my little boy was the last to reach every milestone and I panicked obsessively over it until he did. I remember when be did wave and point and clap the worrying then moved on to his speech which is my current worry, is he talking enough, is his pronunciation good enough, when will he start putting words together etc.

He is 21 months now and I went to a birthday party for a one year old recently and it just hit me looking at all the little ones crawling and toddling around how much I was expecting from him at that age. They seemed like real babies and I was panicking when he was that age because he wasn't saying mama or dada to the correct parent or ignored me calling him to crawl off in the other direction. I try to remember that, to think maybe in a years time I will see other children his age now and realise I was expecting too much and I needed to just enjoy the lovely little person he is. I also try to remember I felt like he would never clap or wave or point and one day he just turned around and did those things, so I just need to give him time and support and love and he will get there in the end.

I have also called the health visitor over my worries about his speech and she was absolutely brilliant, just made me feel like I was a lot less alone and somebody was keeping 'tabs' on his development. If the worries won't leave you maybe you could give that a go just to get a little support for yourself.

In the meantime enjoy your lovely little one, he sounds adorable smile

Lookingforadvice123 Mon 28-Nov-16 16:29:37

Wow I could've written your post (with a few minor adjustments, DS is commando crawling but not pulling up or cruising). He's just turned 11 months and I've recently become obsessed with waving, clapping etc too. I suffer with anxiety and ASD is something I've fixated on for a while.

DS sounds like yours, is happy, sleeps well, generally sociable etc. He babbles a lot (only da da sounds like a real word but it's not in context ie says it when DH isn't around), blows raspberries, looks to me to check if I'm watching when he's playing or if I find something funny too (eg if DH is making him laugh he'll look over to me). He even loves banging two toys together to make noise! But he seems to have absolutely zero interest in clapping or waving (I've only just started pointing with him but he doesn't do that either). He shakes his head which seems to mean "no" sometimes but others not, although 9 times out of 10 if you say "DS say no" he will shake his head. He plays peekaboo with you and will pass objects back and forth with me in a "ta" type game. I'm trying not to worry but all the other babies I know of his age (which is only 6 in fairness) were either clapping or waving by 11 months.

The other posts on this thread are reassuring, but I know I'll continue to worry with it in the back of my mind.

Keep us posted on your DS, I'm really interested as he sounds very similar to mine, although much more advanced physically!

DixieNormas Mon 28-Nov-16 16:53:41

It all sounds totally within normal development to me. Happy, sociable, checking for reactions, smiling etc.

I know lots of people worry about asd like Looking has said. Obviously all children with asd are different but ds4 was diagnosed at 2.4 and id worried about it since before he turned 1. He wasn't sociable, didn't check for reaction, no shared play, very little smiling, along with lots of other things.

I honestly wouldn't worry about it, although I know its easier said than done. Play games, sing nursery rhymes etc. Wind the bobbin up is a good one that encourages pointing and clapping. I think they even do you tube videos of it aimed at young babies

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now