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Will parents of late smiling babies please reassure me...

(23 Posts)
loueytb3 Tue 16-Aug-11 13:30:02

DS3 is 10.5 wks old, but was born 4 weeks early so 6.5 weeks corrected age. He is still not smiling. He has given us (we think) a few half smiles but no proper ones yet. He smiles in his sleep so we know he can.

DTS1 has ASD so I'm getting a bit paranoid about DS3's lack of smiles and what it might mean (although DTS1 is actually one of the smiliest children around). Not helped by having a stinking cold today so I'm feeling miserable.

I have been smiling at DS3 at every opportunity (poor child is probably a bit bewildered by having me gurning at him all the time hmm)

Will someone please tell me that their DC smiled late and had no long term developmental problems. Pretty please?

ninjasquirrel Tue 16-Aug-11 13:37:37

DS wasn't smiling until much later than 6 or 7 weeks - that's not late at all is it?? Anyway, he's fine. And even then he only did tentative little smiles. I remember better the first time he giggled! Try not to fret about it, though it must be hard.

DinahRod Tue 16-Aug-11 13:41:11

Dc1 not until about 11 weeks, dc2 at 5 wks and dc3 at about 11 weeks again, all born at term or near enough. And to be honest with dc3, the one I can remember, the real light-up the eyes smiles were few weeks later than that.

Don't worry, or at least try not to, as I know that's easier to say than do!

neverlookback Tue 16-Aug-11 13:43:26

my ds (now 2.96yrs) was so grumpy as a baby and he didnt start smilling properly till 14 weeks!! he was diagnosed as lactose intolerant around the same time and i think that this is why he was so grumpy! totally opposite to my dd who did everything v early so i was anxious too but he is completely fine now and a very happy little boy.

loueytb3 Thu 18-Aug-11 14:26:20

Thank you!

He does seem a bit grumpy at the moment, he's quite windy so I've wondered about whether he might have a touch of colic. He hates lying on his play mat or generally flat on his back (apart from when he's asleep). He prefers sitting more upright in his bouncer. I got a couple of what could have been smiles yesterday but they were so fleeting I wondered if I had imagined it!

26minutes Thu 18-Aug-11 14:29:34

I can't remember when ds1 first smiled but I do remember the HV being very hmm and making me think there must be something wrong with him because he wasn't smiling at his 6wk check.

madmomma Mon 22-Aug-11 07:09:43

my son wasn't smiling at that age either - not til 10 weeks, and then not a lot for a few weeks. It used to get me down looking at his miserable little face. He smiles loads now, and is a very happy little chap.

Bunbaker Mon 22-Aug-11 07:21:53

DD didn't smile properly until 9 weeks. I think you are worrying unnecessarily.

debka Mon 22-Aug-11 07:28:41

DH is 33 and still hasn't smiled, to my knowledge. grin

Issy42 Mon 22-Aug-11 21:48:00

DD was also prem (7 weeks) and didn't smile until 12 weeks with proper giggles at 27 weeks.

With premies ignore the people who say they should do things at the corrected age or halfway between actual and corrected. There was a really good bbc documentary I watched during DDs cluster-feeding days, which showed that premie babies' brains are really under-developed at 40 weeks compared with term babies, so they are much further behind in development. They intially concentrate on brain development and later catch up weight then length. DD didn't sit up until 10 months or crawl until 15 months and still isn't walking without help at 21 months. The HVs have got concerned at each stage because she doesn't tick their boxes, but her paedetrician is not worried - she just does everything a little late.

minibmw2010 Tue 23-Aug-11 09:18:24

DS is 14 weeks on Friday and it's only really in the last week or so that I feel confident of being able to get real smiles out of him, wonderful when it happens. grin

According to MIL/Granny my DH was a very solemn calm baby who watched with a tendency to grumpiness and this appears to be exactly what we have.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Tue 23-Aug-11 09:36:02

corrected age is the important one here! So he isn't really late yet

loueytb3 Tue 23-Aug-11 16:36:28

HV said up to 8 weeks is normal so yes fanjo we still have a few days until it's classed as late - he'll be 8wks corrected on Thursday. Still nothing definite, I thought he did one yesterday but then realised he does something like a smile when he wees.

issy I'm not sure the same thing applies to babies not as prem as yours. In fact I have no concerns about his motor development. He had head control very early on and is trying to bat things with his hands and feet and is starting to grab things. This reassured me because DTS1 was and still is very floppy and he missed all his motor milestones. At least it did until I realised he wasn't smiling. My mum hasn't helped by saying she is worried too.

I really just want to enjoy this time and all I can do is worry sad. I'm going to give it a couple of weeks (when DTs start school) and if we still haven't got any smiles I will talk to the HV again.

Issy42 Tue 23-Aug-11 23:25:06

Try not to worry, he'll do things in his own time. The documentary I saw showed that even babies born one week early have less well developed brains at 40 weeks. DDs first smiles were on the changing mat, I think it's the close facial contact that does it.

lisad123 Tue 23-Aug-11 23:34:45

I wouldnt wait tbh, especially as your saying his floppy. You know (as I do), because referrals take weeks and months. Ask HV for referral,if he picks up before appointment, then cancel it.
DD2 was picked up as showing signs of Autism before 2 years, and so we have had loads of early intervention and its made such a huge difference.

saladsandwich Wed 24-Aug-11 00:28:48

my son was 3 week early and smiled at 10 weeks he has communication delay now at 2 and is being assessed regularly but he is not asd (as far as i know) x

saintlyjimjams Wed 24-Aug-11 00:36:01

If you have an older child with an ASD you will hawk watch the third - I think it can help to realise that you won't get a professional to take you seriously until 18 months at the absolute earliest so there's no point worrying about every little step (easier said than done I know, but I managed to get there with that in the end).

Personally I would be far more concerned in your situation is he wasn't reaching to grab and explore things - that all sounds fine (and I was utterly paraniod about that). IME that's more of a concern- I think iirc there's even been something published about reaching and autism.

My severely autistic son was one of the smiliest babies around. (still is smiley I guess).

saintlyjimjams Wed 24-Aug-11 00:36:58

lisa - it was her elder son who was/is floppy and he has been dxed!

matana Wed 24-Aug-11 11:57:13

I really think you're worrying about nothing OP. It's so difficult distinguishing between a real smile and an involuntary movement when they are that little anyway. My DS had his first smile when he was 5 weeks (on Christmas Day!), but it definitely wasn't a proper, regular, social smile until more like 10 weeks. And then there was no stopping him - he's the smiliest, happiest baby i know (now 10 months) and hits his milestones bob on.

loueytb3 Wed 24-Aug-11 20:02:48

Yes, it was DTS1 who was floppy. saintly that's very interesting about reaching/grasping and v reassuring if true. We were watching DS3 last night who was sat in his bouncy chair desperately trying to reach the lowest hanging toy smile. I honestly can't remember when DTS1 did that but he was pretty passive for quite a while.

I am in the process of enrolling DS3 in a study which DTS1's paediatrician phoned me about last week. It looks at the development of siblings of children with autism and is attempting to see if they can diagnose earlier and therefore provide earlier intervention. Hopefully if DS3 did turn out to have ASD, we would be in a good place to get taken seriously.

saintlyjimjams Wed 24-Aug-11 21:19:09

Is that the Birkbeck one (or was it Cambridge?) I thought about doing that with DS3, but decided it would make me too paranoid.

I ALWAYS notice when babies don't reach - sets jaws music off in my head blush

lisad123 Wed 24-Aug-11 21:27:57

I would never say a parent is worrying about nothing, as parents are rarely wrong when it comes to their children ime.
We have just done the sibling study with Cambridge research team, was interesting. I spotted many very early signs in dd2 ad so glad, it wad picked up so early.

loueytb3 Wed 31-Aug-11 10:49:06

He's smiling, finally! (So you now you can all say I told you so smile) Feel like a huge weight has been taken off my mind (for a while at least!)

saintly the person I spoke to is at Birkbeck but its being co-ordinated from Manchester.

lisa that's why I want to do the study too, I thought it can't harm and may help. Now I've spoken to them, the one we have been asked to enroll in is actually an intervention study (ibasis). If we are put in the intervention arm then it may help DS3 if it turned out that he was autistic too.

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