6 week old avoids eye contact, doesn't cry when i leave the room and cries when i sing to him - normal?

(23 Posts)

i keep reading that by 6 weeks my baby should be gazing into my eyes, starting to smile, getting distressed if i leave him and should enjoy interacting with me.

He isn't doing any of these things, he avoids my eyes and prefers to look at the wall behind me. sometimes i think he's looking in my eyes but i move my head and its as if he was looking right through me. he isn't smiling and if i try and play with him - 'conversations', little songs, little tickles, introducing a little toy - he just isn't bothered or will start to cry. He also doesn't care if I leave the room which is upsetting - ALL my friends babies scream blue murder if they lose sight of their mummies.

Unfortunately he does have a brain 'abnormality' - enlarged ventricles and his corpus callosum didn't form properly - it's too thin and a little bit too short. They told us in the end it was most likely a variation on normal and would probably be asymptomatic.

I think because of this though I'm worrying excessively about him not doing what the baby books say he should be doing.

i'm hoping someonecan tell me that this is normal behaviour for a six week old, that he may yet still turn out to be asymptomatic.

I've madethings worse by googling 'baby not making eye contact', it looks like a symptom of autism i then looked up 'autism corpus callosum' and sure enough, autistic people seem to have smaller corpus callosums than normal

Is there anyone who knows anything about this stuff on here? Can anyone reassure me that my baby is still behaving normally?

Sorry for long post, i'm so worried about him. I'm going to health visitor drop in clinic today to see what she says too, just wondered if anyone here hadany experience?

debka Wed 09-Jun-10 11:14:59

My DD HATED to make eye contact. Wasn't until she was about 3 months I suppose that she really got more interested in people. She was very forward in other areas though (could hold her head up from birth). She is now 14mo and a happy healthy normal girl. I know it's hard not to worry but time will tell.

hi debka, that's good to hear - how did she respond to play in the early weeks?

osaraf Wed 09-Jun-10 11:22:53

Hello, please don't worry! He is still so little and babies don't really interact too much at this age. My ds is 6 months old and is the happiest chappie ever who loves to giggle and smile and look into my eyes, but I was googling the exact same thing at 6 weeks! He used to stare for ages into the corner of the room and he wasn't too impressed with my singing either! At that age they are very easily overstimulated and will look away, not enjoy noise/singing etc if they are tired.
I'm no expert but I just wanted to reassure you! Try not to be too anxious as they pick up on it, and in a few weeks I'm sure you will see a big difference.

Teapot13 Wed 09-Jun-10 11:25:25

In my (limited) experience, the things you're describing sound somewhat ambitious for 6 weeks. Six weeks is the time babies start to do social smiles. Not all babies will start at exactly that time, and many of these early smiles can be confused with gas. So you shouldn't be disappointed that he isn't "gazing into your eyes" and doing real smiles. Six weeks is when you start to think, "Hey, is that a smile?"

Babies to stare at things that we take for granted (like walls), but your baby is learning to use his eyes, to differentiate between objects. Understanding walls is pretty important, although we forget that we had to learn it at one point.

I think if you google three words together you will always come up with something. See what your health visitor has to say and try to get a referral to a pediatrician if you are really concerned about the brain condition. Good luck.

sanfairyann Wed 09-Jun-10 11:32:17

they don't all do very much at all by six weeks - some of mine have been very sociable and giggly from a young age but playing with toys/tickles etc - that's a way off yet. don't rush to label his behaviour yet - six weeks is still teeny tiny, even more so if by any chance he was born a bit early? in a few more months if he's still the same, you could mention it to gp and hv

god you're right, i need to put things in perspective, teapot i bet that is so true about the walls

i might stop scouring the baby books and websites for developmental milestones he should be meeting. everything i find just makes me worry and its getting in the way of enjoying him, whether or not he might later turn out not to be 'normal'. he spent his first week pretty much alone in intensive care (he was full term but very very tiny due to undiagnosed IUGR - pre-eclampsia) so i wonder if that might be set him back a bit too?

Jamieandhismagictorch Wed 09-Jun-10 11:55:25

Dredging my memory - I don't seem to think DS1 was gazing into my eyes or reliably smiling at 6 weeks - and he certainly wasn't distressed when I left the room - that comes much later AFAIK

He was also fascinated by staring at lights, and also the fringing on a sofa throw! - In fact, later on, he used to smile at that grin

I hope you feel a little reassured - it must be very very hard when the early bit was so difficult

SagacityNell Wed 09-Jun-10 12:02:12

SOmething to keep in the back of your mind when you look at the ages for milestones is that the age is an average age. so at 6 weeks ish baby will make eye contact. At 7 months ish they sit unaided etc, at 13 months ish they walk unaided.

BessieBoots Wed 09-Jun-10 12:04:43

6 weeks is very early. Mine weren't bothered if I left the room then- Now, however, I can't go for a wee without them complaining about it..!

DorotheaPlenticlew Wed 09-Jun-10 12:16:55

My second one is nearly 6 weeks and her attempts at eye contact result in staring at my hairline or the pictures behind my head...or the walls

Songs, toys etc will not remotely impress most babies that age, and I'm quite surprise about your friends' babies always crying when they leave the room; unless of course they are older babies?

Can understand your worry but honestly don't think these are bad signs at his age. Hope you find it helpful to hear all these reassurances - and that you can relax and enjoy him.

going back in my memory too and ds was eye contact (or at least the illusion of it) pretty much from start but smiling was long after 6 weeks. i remember thinking it was supposed to be 8 weeks from what i read and he wasn't doing it then.

some babies seem tuned in and alert to their surroundings, others have what i call that bovine quality of vacant eyes that you're not convinced are even actually 'looking' at anything. some babies screech their heads off, others are pretty content. some don't like to be touched particularly others are real snugglers, some hate loud noises whilst some like the noise of washing machines and vacuum cleaners to go to sleep to.

massive variations.

6wks is tiny, especially after time in intensive care.

have just remembered ds's obsession with light fittings - i'm sure he recognised where he was according to the light shades.

Jamieandhismagictorch Wed 09-Jun-10 12:27:28

YY swallowedafly - DS1 was an Observer, DS2 much more of a Communicator. DS1 really content on his own, DS2 glued to me!

one of DS1s first words was "yight' (light)

Again Wed 09-Jun-10 12:33:34

They don't understand their separateness from you at that age. That doesn't come for a long time. I think they are mainly interested in feeding

Will he make eye contact when he's not up very close (e.g. lying on play mat). It's not at all unusual for babies to avoid close eye contact for several months. A physical therapist once explained it to me but I forget the details -- think it was to do with their cutting down on overstimulation?

He sounds pretty young for the other stuff you mention trying to do with him.

i'm ignorant on a lot of the acronyms round here - what's YY?

yep ds was a real people person - eye contact, mirroring, snuggled into you really responsively right from new born, early talker and now at 3 sometimes embarrassingly outgoing and sociable. we definitely are born with temperaments that you have to work with rather than a one template fits all.

OP not crying when you leave the room could be a sign of feeling secure or of having gotten used to more solitude whilst in intensive care.

jaabaar Wed 09-Jun-10 12:48:26

Hi,

Just thought I add my experience. When my DD was 6 weeks she didnt smile and was SO fascinated about the white wall! Looking straight through me! Exactly as you described. She NEVER cries when I leave the room, still now she doesnt. I am quite happy about that though as I prefer her to be happy not crying. Now she is 4 months, smiling at everyone!

Please dont worry as it takes so much joy away.

G

professor, i'm not sure to be honest but he does look at me briefly from the playmat whilst looking around in general.

my friends babies are a little older yes, ranging from two weeks to a couple of months.

i feel so reassured by all your replies, i'm going to try and take things as they come now and just enjoy him, it's s reassuring that there is such variation between different babies even just from what has been said here.

will try to relax now, thank you

Jamieandhismagictorch Wed 09-Jun-10 12:55:56

yy = yes, yes (I agree)

sheeplikessleep Wed 09-Jun-10 12:57:00

ds2 looked at my hair and/or walls when he was 6 weeks. wasn't until he got to 8 weeks ish when he started smiling and looking in my eyes. he's 13 weeks now and very smiley and interactive. they all develop at their own time. it must be hard not to interpret everything / read into everything, but your lo sounds totally normal! walls and curtains are very interesting at 6 weeks!

neither ds1 or ds2 have ever cried when i've left the room either.

sheeplikessleep Wed 09-Jun-10 13:00:53

also, they're so tired at 6 weeks, and spend their time just feeding and sleeping. babies avoid eye contact when they are tired and get overstimulated very easily. ds2 still avoids eye contact even after 10 minutes or so of playing with him (and i think a huge difference between a 6 week old and a 13 week old). it's when i know i need to get him off to sleep!

thanks for clarifying jamie. one day i'll know what people are on about on here smile

jaja1974 Sun 06-Oct-13 23:03:15

Update??

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