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Really worried now - not crawling, shuffling, cruising or walking at 17m. Help please!!!

(50 Posts)
MrsHelenBee Wed 02-Jan-13 23:05:44

My ds is the happiest, most loving little boy, and I totally understand that all babies develop at different rates but, having taken people's advice to try and relax and be patient when I first asked for advice before around his first birthday, I'm now getting really worried about how left behind is.
Family were originally supportive and told me not to worry but my in-laws are now asking what I'm doing/not doing, and what's wrong with him, and I'm terrified it's down to my failure as a parent and I've let him down. The last of his friends are all walking very confidently and he's not totally left behind and watches them tear around the place, never seem to show any inclination to join them.
He's only recently started to pull at my clothes as if he might try to pull himself up, but be lets go without really trying. He moves around the room quickly by a process of rolling, turning and twisting, going between sitting, laying and the crawling position, and my husband keeps saying "Stop worrying, he's all but there", but he's been able to hold the crawling position for months without actually progressing. If he does move, he rocks a bit, then lets his legs slip - so reversing is going quite well!
We have moving toys, walkers, trolleys and an activity table to encourage him to pull to standing and want to walk, but nothing happens.
My HV has been calling me monthly since his 1yr review, asking is he's any closer to walking and reminding me that we're getting ever closer to the 18m marker when he should be walking, or gets referred.
For a short time, we could stand him between us and the foot stool, propping a favourite book on the top so he was standing to read it, with the support of us behind him and the foot stool in front, but now he refuses and, for the last 3 months, raises his legs and holds them in the pike position if we try to hold him in the standing position.
What have I done wrong?!!!! Am I being irresponsible by not having asked for him to be referred already? I kept hoping that we'd get there, but he's 18m at the end of January and my hope's all but faded.
He chatters away, says well over 50 words and seems to pick up new ones every day; answering my questions and following instructions, reading a photo book on his own and saying nearly all of the pictures correctly. If he's intelligent enough to do this, why is he not more interested in walking, or at least trying to move more.

Really worried, please help!!!!!

JoulesM Fri 04-Jan-13 20:09:29

Btw-feel free to PM me if you have any questions I might be able to answer. I do a lot of work in hypermobility in particular and can perhaps answer some concerns.

Moiraine Fri 04-Jan-13 20:17:41

My dd didn't walk til she was 20 months. I was soo worried about her - she'd been low birth weight, very colicky and quite high needs - seemed to cry and need so much more attention than other people's babies. I can recognise that worry about it being your 'fault' somehow - I certainly felt that, especially as I seemed to be so rubbish at the whole baby thing - didn't help when the practice nurse said it actually was my fault for carrying her! (still not sure quite what else I could've done - drag her along the floor?!).
Anyway, she finally walked, no idea why it took so long - her younger brother walked at 10months & I definitely carried him far more, in order to keep him out of the way of his sister who was by then running around bashing into things (& him) with her toy pushchair.
Good luck - get the referral to put your mind at rest, and try to let go of the self-blame; whatever the reason it isn't anything you've done/not done, and it's probably just one of those things that he'll do in his own time smile

inadreamworld Fri 04-Jan-13 20:19:04

Hi MrsHelen - have similar issues with my now nearly 21 month old. I don't know how to link to a thread but you may want to look at my thread in behaviour/developnemt '19 month old not walking or standing and nothing wrong with her' My DD will be 21 months in a few days. She sat up unaided at 9 months, rolled and crawled at 12 months. She has never pulled to stand and she either crawls or 'walks' on her knees. She can stand holding on to something but I have to make her do it and her ankles bend over slightly. In every other way she is developmentally normal, in fact she is talking loads. The paediatrician checked her at 18 months and did a full blood test for diseases/conditions related to late walking - found nothing wrong and muscle tone/hips normal. They said she is hypermobile (ie jpints very flexible), especially in the ankles and she is being seen by a physiotherapist who says she will walk and catch up with other children but it may not be until she is around two or even a bit later.

I hope this helps you - I am a lot less worried now as she has had the tests and I know it is nothing serious - although she is getting a bit frustrated now that she can't walk. I am expecting another baby any day - two non walking children in the house!! Please please try not to worry, just get him checked out (they weren't very interested in checking my DD until she was 18 months) and then just let him develop at his own pace. 50 words is great at 17 months - my DD had about 25 at that age, now she has around 40 - he is doing great and will walk in his own time. If you are in London PM me and am happy to meet up with you - we can start a late walkers club!!

clopper Fri 04-Jan-13 20:23:08

This sounds very much like my DD especially the pike leg position. We tried everything including borrowing a door bouncer of a relative , but still the pike position- including sat in the pushchair! She is 9 now and is fine but it was a worry. However, we have noticed that she is very flat footed and has very flexible joints and ankles, as I have. (In fact, I quite often trip over by turning my ankle). she can also pop her shoulder joints in and out and bend her fingers right back. Not sure if that is relevant, but I wonder if this flexibility caused her problems earlier on. I wasn't too bothered though as all my children have walked very late. Easy to say, but try not to worry too much and compare them to others.

inadreamworld Fri 04-Jan-13 20:31:06

JoulesM I have PMed you as any advice about getting DD to start walking (especially as new baby about to pop out) welcome!!!

FrustratedSycamoreSnowflake Fri 04-Jan-13 20:38:38

I think it is good that your HV is ready to refer if need be, ours didnt/wouldn't until dd was 2 and not walking. we have recently had a dx of hypermobility referral won't hurt, and IMO better than not.

nicki1978 Fri 04-Jan-13 23:19:19

MrsHelenBee - This maybe a strange question, but do you have laminate flooring.

I only ask as we were getting concerned as our DS was crawling and managing to get around but wouldn't pull himself up on furniture or attempt to walk, that was about 4 mths back (I think). I wondered if it was anything to do with having laminate flooring in living room so I invested in some large play tiles and slowly he started trying to pull himself up and now at 18 mths he's literally running around non stop. Xx

3smellysocks Fri 04-Jan-13 23:33:25

My SIL's boy was like that, all words and no movement til 19 months. He is a brain box and actually averagely co-ordinated now aged 9

MrsHelenBee Sat 05-Jan-13 13:03:43

Hi JoulesM
He's very bendy, always has been, but I just assumed that was because I'm very flexible too (although I didn't do the things he does when I was a baby). At night time, he'll rock himself to sleep but then go to sleep folded in half! He was that position inside me for a long time too so I used to get kicked and punched in unison against my pelvis in the last 6 weeks.
When he's playing and he gets tired, he tends to bend from the waist and lay between his legs with his chest and head on the floor. He does it to reach things too, and often lays on his side and cuddles his feet round his head. Funny boy!
He takes after his daddy (6'6") and has always been off the length scale when he's been measured. He's very long in the leg and body, so is a long way ahead in clothing, even if it means having things too big to get the length for him. The first pictures of him are all leg! He's predicted to be in excess of 6'4" as an adult, based on the measurements he's had to date, and if he's held in a standing position, he stands head and shoulders above his other baby friends.
He figured out rolling quickly but only from front to back. I tried tummy time over and over and he'd yell and fling himself onto his back immediately, then stay put. In terms of freely rolling back to front and vice versa of his own accord, he was just over a year old, and he quickly discovered it was a way to get himself where he wanted to be so that, and a combination of flinging his legs, meant you'd put him to bed and he'd done a 180 in seconds.
He held his head up independently ahead of friends but took longer to sit without support as he seemed to overbalance very quickly and easily. Freely sitting from laying down has only happened in the last 2 months.
He can get into the crawling position and likes to swing back and forth, and his arms are strong enough to hold him up but his legs slide backwards or to the sides quickly.

inadreamworld Sat 05-Jan-13 18:32:08

MrsH my DD used to sleep bent from the waist with her head between her legs. She started crawling at 12 months but before she was crawling her legs used to do the same thing, just slide sideways. Maybe he will start crawling soon. As I said, try not to worry, some babies just are very bendy. DD will stand (when I make her!) but her ankles will still bend to the side slightly but they are getting more solid and she is at least able to stand. When she was a year old she would not weight bear at all so was a bit concerned. Only started being able to weight bear at 18 months.

Get him checked by the paediatrician but I am sure he is just one of the 'bendy' ones who will walk late, just like my little girl. I just went to the GP when she was about 16 months and said she would not weight bear and she wasn't pulling to stand and they made an appointment for her with the paediatrician. Once you have had him checked (they will do blood test to rule out any muscular diseases) as well then you will feel a lot better.

inadreamworld Sat 05-Jan-13 18:34:43

It is odd though when I go to the toddler groups and DD is the only 20 month old still crawling or knee walking. I like to think of her as a little bit unique and why should she follow these rules in all the books anyway - she is a little exception ;)

MrsHelenBee Wed 09-Jan-13 22:40:30

Hi everyone,
Just a quick update. My little man sees the HV tomorrow for a full review and, I hope, a referral, which will get us moving in the right direction. He's trying so hard to crawl but his legs slip out to the sides from underneath him, and his frustration is so evident now. He started nursery today and was baffled - he's the youngest in the toddler room and surrounded by little people walking and running around him while he can only sit and watch. Poor baby :-( Let's hope thing's are progressing by this time tomorrow.
Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOO much everyone for so much support, reassurance and also for sharing so many of your own experiences and concerns, it is hugely appreciated and has helped me feel much more optimistic. Watch this space!!!

inadreamworld Wed 09-Jan-13 23:37:22

Hi Mrs H let us know what the HV says. My DD could crawl from 12 months old but at just 21 months she is still not walking but have had great progress these past few days, she is finally pulling herself up to stand although her ankles still seem a bit unsteady. I thought when she was 17 months that she would be crawling for ever - or it seemed like that. So your DS will likely make rapid progress one day and you will be really surprised. I am a sahm so DD not at nursery but I do think going to the toddler groups has encouraged her to try to stand up as she sees the others her age all running around. It really is true that they all develop at different rates and some are just late crawling/walking etc but catch up perfectly well later on.

Rootatoot Thu 10-Jan-13 10:17:36

HI OP - really glad you are getting help from HV and from other posters. We have a 17MO DS who has also been on the slow end of mobility. He got a physio referal from HV at around 9 months (I think!).

He still isn't walking but he's very nearly there. The physio discharged him however when he started to crawl just after his first birthday. To reassure you, she was lovely. Showed some ways to 'handle' him to encourage him to crawl and progress. The things your LO is doing sound like all the things ours was doing JUST before crawling and that the physio picked up on being a positive thing. She told me that our DS was on the bottom 5percentile of her chart but she said vast majority of referals are not even ON the chart.

I would second what other posters have said. Go to baby/toddler groups and going to nursery will help him develop. My DS has a real competitive streak and when he sees his younger friend doing things he can't do, he definately 'ups his game'. smile

Oh and our LO is a chatterbox too. Old wives tale "Late walker, early talker".

Don't beat yourself up as it sure won't be anything you've done wrong. I wouldn't have thought about getting physio in had my HV not been so proactive. I wasn't even worried! I hope you are getting some support for what you've been through too? You sound very tired and in need of a big hug and some reassurance that you're doing a great job!

inadreamworld Thu 10-Jan-13 16:40:37

I agree with Rootatoot your DS seems to be doing a lot of the things our DD did just before she started crawling (at 12 months). Now she is just 21 months and she pulled herself up to stand at baby group today and looked so pleased with herself. It looks as if her ankles are just a bit wobbly still but much less than they used to be.

What did the health visitor say today?

MrsHelenBee Thu 10-Jan-13 23:09:04

So, the HV has referred us and now it's just a case of waiting for an appointment to come through and going where this path takes us.
The HV isn't our usual one, but the same lady we saw at his 1yr check, and she was very supportive. She seemed happy in the way that he moved his limbs and generally how mobile he is. She said she didin't feel there was an obvious issue in muscle strength from assessing his roll/twist/turn/bend/roll way of moving - he's quick and certainly puts his all into it, which is probably why he's only gained 1oz in weight in the last 6 months - but she was more concerned about his very minimal weight bearing, and his total lack of desire or effort when it comes to trying to pull himself up, or pull back against our hands.
I'm still worried, and I realise that, even if we get past this with no real serious problems, I will always worry about him because I want the very best for him, and his health and happiness are ultimately what I will strive for until the day I die - everyone adores him frm the moment they meet him, he is the happiest and most loving little boy I have ever known, and I wonder what I did to ever make him want to choose me as his mummy.Ever since the day he was born, I have lived with the feeling that the beauty and light he has brought to my life is not meant to last. I don't full understand why, but I have a deep pain that it's not meant to ast and that one day I'll realise he was only on loan and the loan has come to an end. Sorry to sound so morbid but the pain I feel has been there since the minute he arrived, and is there every second of every day.
Anyway, my focus is on seeing the pead experts and finding out where we go from here. Hopefully, I'll be able to shut my mind off before too long so I can get some sleep (DH is away on work and I'm always very insecure when he's away).

Thanks again everyone, I can't say enough how much the comments, suggestions and honest sharing of experiences - good and bad - has helped, and also been humbling to read.

sipper Thu 10-Jan-13 23:38:43

Hi MrsHelenBee what a lovely caring mum you are smile It sounds like you have had to cope with a huge amount. It is so hard when things begin in such a difficult way. I wouldn't in the slightest worry about the walking at present. And your DS certainly sounds like he's doing great developmentally with loads of things.

The crawling though/general moving I would get help with and I really recommend visiting an SOT chiropractor who is experienced in paediatrics. They will look at hips, legs, shoulders, spine, nervous system. You name it, they will check it out and will hopefully be able to help you and your boy. With a few gentle tweaks he might well start to be on the move and if birth was difficult there could be a few things from when he came into the world that are still a bit uncomfortable or need strengthening.

I wrote from personal experience when I say a good chiropractor who knows SOT (a specific kind of technique) could be of great help. My DD1 would not crawl until she had chiropractic treatment and was found to have a weak shoulder. No wonder she hadn't wanted to move, it must have been uncomfortable for her.

Once it was sorted she was off!

JoulesM Fri 11-Jan-13 08:20:17

Have PM'd you MrsHelenBee.

LadyKinbote Fri 11-Jan-13 08:43:38

Just seen this thread and wanted to check you had some RL support for the anxiety. I'm sure your DS will be fine, but you need to look after yourself as well.

inadreamworld Fri 11-Jan-13 08:55:31

Make sure you get some support for the anxiety - I should have said that in my earlier posts.

Try and ignore if other people say isn't he walking yet. My mother in law asks this every time she phones. i tell her DD is unique and will do things when she wants to.

I met a lady at baby group the other day and her daughter didn't do anything apart from sit until she was 2. No crawling etc. She is now nearly three and running around just like all the other kids. I also have a friend who didn't walk until she was 2. It is really hard not to worry but I can at last see my DD is trying to stand up and I really thought she would be crawling to primary school and would be in the Guinness book of records as the only child doing this!

Please keep us updated when you have your next paed/HV appointment. They will probably arrange for your DS to have physio - my DD would not do any of the exercises the physio suggested - she just refused. If I try to make her stand up as they told me to she has a tantrum - she only wants to pull herself up on her own now. So I am going to quit worrying (easier said than done!) and concentrate on next baby which was due 2 days ago.

Good luck OP I really think your DS is going to be absolutely fine and that you sound like a wonderful caring mother.

MrsHelenBee Fri 11-Jan-13 11:41:01

inadreamworld - wow, I didn't realis you were quite as close as that! Bet you're desperate for the new one to arrive, especially if he/she is already a couple of days beyond the due date they gave you. I really hope all goes well for you and you're soon cuddling a precious little bundle - how exciting. And you sound like a fab mummy, funny too (you have the same kind of sense of humour as me, although mine's been a bit inactive for a while now)!
I hope it's not overtsepping the mark to ask if you would consider letting me know when your little blue or pink one has arrived, it'd be lovely to hear the news! xx

inadreamworld Fri 11-Jan-13 12:07:18

MrsH I will definitely let you know when little one arrives!

I really hope you feel less anxious now you have read everyone elses comments/experiences and also it seems as if you will get seen by the paediatrician soon. I do think your DS sounds fine, just v late with gross motor skills a bit like my daughter (though he is talking even better than she was at his age!). The only difference seems to be that my DD crawls and your DS doesn't but some babies never crawl (I apparently didn't).

inadreamworld Fri 11-Jan-13 12:14:57

Also MrsH My DD is now pulling to stand but remember she is now just turned 21 months!! So four months older than your DS who will no doubt make loads of progress in that time. Her ankles are also still bendy when she stands so I think it will still be a while before she is walking but I am hoping she will be by the time she is 2 in April. Then will have a double reason to celebrate her birthday!!

MrsHelenBee Fri 15-Feb-13 22:16:38

Hi everyone, time for a little update.......
We received our referral letter last Friday and have seen the paediatrician this week (quite impressed that, after waitig for the letter for so long, we only had a 5 day wait). She was really nice, very open and approachable, and very smiley which our DS really appreciated!
He's been unwell since New Year and really took a dive downhill last weekend. Although he's started to get better now, he really wasn't a happy boy when we went but we were told not to cancel our appointment or we'd be removed from the referral list, and would have to request a new referral via the GP and go to the bottom of the wait list again!
Anyway, for all that he was tired, pale and feverish, he showed his chatty side, his fine motor skills and his alertness and eye contact really well.
We weren't surprised to hear again that he's off all the centiles for height and, although he's lost a lot of weight in recent weeks, he's still a big boy - certainly not overweight though! Phew!!
His spine, hips and legs were checked, and the Paediatrician confirmed he's very flexible, especially in his hips. His leg muscles are still very soft and not showing the level of tension most 18m old's would, and she felt all of this, together with the paternal history of hypermobility, would probably indicate hypermobility.
However, she also wants to check for all of the potentially alarming musclular/skeletal diseases which can lead to developmental delay. So, next week he goes for a series of blood tests and we'll wait to hear back from the paediatrician on the results and where we go from here.
In the mean time, he's going to be sent to a physiotherapist so, we're on the right road, and hopefully getting a bit closer to those first tottering steps!

wafflingworrier Fri 15-Feb-13 22:38:35

Thanks for the update, I'm glad it went well today and that the lady you met was friendly and positive. I hope your little boy feels better really soon and that you can get some decent sleep-I know it's hard when they are ill, isn't it?
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks and also I wish you well for next week! I am sure it will all be fine but can imagine it is really worrying.
ooh also, well done him for having so many words! my daughter is silent at 18 months

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