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Can anyone reassure me on reaching and laughing?

(9 Posts)
Xanadudu Fri 26-Aug-11 19:26:39

My DS is 16.5 weeks old and I'm so concerned that he's behind in his development. He is very smiley, makes good eye contact (although not when feeding) and coos and 'squeaks'. His head control is fine (it has recently improved quite a lot) and he pushes up on his tummy and has rolled from front to back a number of times (although seemingly by mistake).

However, there are quite a few things he is not doing. He has never laughed, although he does show enjoyment and squeal, but never a proper laugh. He is also not reaching, grabbing or batting at toys at all really. Occasionallly if I hold something in front of him he does seem to be reaching for it but he doesn't do it with any consistency. He sort of grabs his and my clothes, but doesn't seem to be doing it with any awareness. He does bring his hands together in the midline and puts them in his mouth all the time. He also opens and closes them quite a lot.

I have convinced myself there is something wrong with him - he just seems to be different from other babies his age. We took him to a paediatrician specialising in development about 3 weeks ago and she said he was fine, just a bit behind in the hand/eye co-ordination but nothing to worry about. This did reassure me for a bit but I am now concerned again as he doesn't seem to be making much progress.

I just wondered if anyone could reassure me as to what their babies were doing at this age? I really, really want to stop worrying as it is sucking all the enjoyment out of everything.

nearlytherenow Fri 26-Aug-11 20:00:36

DS2 is 18 weeks now. He smiles, coos and giggles (giggling probably started at about 14 weeks-ish). He bats at things and grabs things, but I'm not sure how much of this is accidental. He doesn't seem hugely interested in toys, he is much more interested in people (e.g. giggling is always when people are talking to him. DS1 by this age clearly had "favourite" toys.). He definitely wasn't grabbing at anything a couple of weeks ago, I remember posting on someone else's thread about this. He can just about get a teether into his mouth, but can't hold it there. He can, however, clasp his hands together, and suck his thumb. I have not really noticed him opening and closing his hands.

He is not even close to rolling. He doesn't push up particularly high if I put him on his tummy (he hates tummy time). I remember DS1 being pretty similar, don't think he rolled until 6+ months (but crawled and walked at an average age).

I am no expert, but nothing you have said sounds like an issue to me. All babies develop differently. I constantly stressed over whether DS1 was reaching his milestones, whereas with DS2 I haven't really had time to check / think about what he should be doing when, which means that I've spent much more time just enjoying him and it's been far less stressful. Do you get a 4 / 6 month HV check? I am sure they would pick up any major issues then. He sounds like a lovely little thing though, try to just take it as it comes and appreciate what he can do.

Xanadudu Fri 26-Aug-11 22:54:16

Thanks nearlythere, good to know!

MissMarjoribanks Fri 26-Aug-11 23:16:59

My DS never really reached or grabbed for things. I was worried sick about it, especially as he was prem, and I adjusted his age when looking at what he should have been doing. He would take things from me, but would just drop them. Rattles, his baby gym, etc just didn't interest him.

I can't really remember when it changed, but it did. It was late though - about 10mo or so - once he'd started feeding himself. He's a totally normal toddler now - into absolutely everything. At nursery parents evening they even said his fine and gross motor skills were extremely good for his age, which surprised me (I thought he was normal, if not behind). It seems to me that he won't actually do something at all, until he can do it well, first time. He didn't walk till he was 19mo, but just got up and did it.

Oh, he also couldn't roll or push up at 16.5 weeks, either actual or adjusted. Nowhere near. He could laugh, but bizarrely he did that for the first time at the same time he started smiling at 12 weeks old.

It all sounds like a normal range to me, but if you're concerned, get a second peads opinion.

haloflo Sat 27-Aug-11 07:31:06

Hi I'm not really sure when my DD (now 21 weeks) started laughing but it was only recently and its not that often she does it now. She defiantly wasn't laughing at 16 weeks.

I would say to keep trying with toys. 1 week in the life of a baby is a long long time. Have you tried watching him from a distance? My DD seems to interact more with toys when I'm a distance away as I distract her when close up. Have you tried him in a bouncy chair where the toys are nearer? That was the first time DD grabbed and batted anything. (I'm really sorry but I can't remember when)

I know its worrying but only time will tell if your DS has developmental problems so try to enjoy your smiley happy baby. Have you got another appointment with the pediatrician or a HV you can see?

HeiferLump Sat 27-Aug-11 07:33:53

Neither of mine grabbed stuff for months and months. Certainly not at 4 months. As for laughing they didn't properly chortle until around 6 months IIRC.

DS was speaking sentences by 15 months and DD is now walking and making pretend phonecalls to the dog at 11 months. Don't worry about it grin

bankholiday Sat 27-Aug-11 09:51:00

DS (now 6 months) doesn't have any favourite toys, he only reached for one I was dangling in front of him a bit after 16 weeks, and for a few weeks after that he only seemed to bash at his toys without any coordination whatsoever. It's getting better now, but I haven't seen him move a toy or his teether from one hand to the other yet.

He rolled from back to front at the same time, did it a few times, then stopped for a week or so and then started doing it all the time, and also did it from back to front (but less frequently, so he was crying for me to roll him onto his back again).

They are so different, what you said about your DS2 sounds normal to me, but if you're still worried maybe have a word with your GP/HV? I'm also a worrier and I was getting concerned when DS was not reaching for toys, while the other babies seemed to have got the hang of it weeks ago, but once he started I could see his coordination getting better every day. 16 weeks is still early.

Xanadudu Sat 27-Aug-11 13:46:44

Thanks so much for your replies everyone, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond!

Xanadudu Mon 05-Sep-11 12:45:39

Just wanted to update - just over the last 5 days or so, DS has started reaching and grabbing things really well! He'll now reach up for and grab almost anything we put in front of him. Hooray! He's also laughed (briefly!) 4 times. Thanks again for the replies. I think I really need to stop worrying now - am really going to try!

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