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16 mo old - cant walk / refusing to eat / worried about his development

(31 Posts)
marmiteandchocolate Thu 31-Dec-15 10:24:58

my 16 month old is still not able to walk unassisted. he has only just started walking if we hold his hand. we try our best to help him practice and take him to the park everyday as walking outside seems to be more of a motivator than when in our house. He just doesnt really seem to be interested in walking when we are at home and prefers to crawl. I take him to soft play as much as possible to help him strengthen his legs, but again he prefers to crawl and will only take 3 or 4 unassisted steps once or twice and then be done with it.

I know 16 months is well within the range medically, but this is getting so frustrating. He is quite tall and is about the same height as some 2 year olds so I'm getting strange stares from other parents when I go to soft play. I'm not sure what else to do to encourage him to walk?

He has also started refusing food. literally only ate breadsticks and yoghurt in addition to milk last 3 days. I thought it was texture and so started pureeing again but that doesnt seem to work. Overall, i'm worried i'm just not doing enough as a mum to help with his development. In summary, i'm concerned about
- he cant really self-feed well. fine with finger food (breadsticks/puffs) but cant scoop from bowl with a spoon. i have to help him load it.
- he cant really eat food unless mashed down. Except for breadsticks!
- his speech is ok (about 20 words, can fill in A is for Apple etc) but refuses to say yes or no and to point to show me he recognises body parts. he also refuses to wave.
- not interested in shape sorters or stackers. literally just takes the individual pieces and throws them about.
-refuses to hold his sippy cup unless he is really really thirsty. if i leave it on his tray he just plays with it and then tosses it off. endlessly frustrating for me.

I'm just really really worried about his development he seems to be delayed? THis is my first child so I have no real comparison except for those milestones charts sad Anyone can help please?

Jesabel Thu 31-Dec-15 10:28:33

This is the kind of thing that your HV is there for. Speak to her and see what her opinion is.

marmiteandchocolate Thu 31-Dec-15 10:36:15

HV hasnt been very helpful last time she came was only to tell me about local facilities when we've been here for almost a year.

Jesabel Thu 31-Dec-15 10:45:46

Did you ask her about his development then?

marmiteandchocolate Thu 31-Dec-15 10:50:06

Yes I did. To give you an idea of why HV/GP isnt an option, DS doesnt even have his red book as they have run out. Can we move on now?

KP86 Thu 31-Dec-15 10:52:57

Most of that (except walking, he is physically ahead) sounds exactly like my son at that age. He is now 20 months and does all of the things you describe, plus a bit more. He made massive leaps after 18 months. Hasn't quite got the cutlery thing completely sorted but showing interest. Food is still a battle, but just keep offering what you want him to have and if he doesn't eat it, don't give anything else. It becomes a power game for them. Trust me!!

If you are concerned about his walking - he is possibly just lazy (not in a mean way) - then take him to GP for physio referral in case there are weakness/muscular issues. Has he been carried a lot? I know a few babies who didn't walk until almost 2 just because they didn't have to. And most of the babies from my mum's group didn't walk until at least 15-16m. Mine was just super early.

Sounds like you are doing all the right things. Keep playing and encouraging, making lots of positive remarks when he walks and he will get there. Once they realise it's easier to walk than crawl he won't be on the floor anymore.

polkadotdelight Thu 31-Dec-15 10:57:35

Ds (15m) has been walking since his first birthday BUT has very very few words at all. I remember a HV saying 'early walker, late talker' and the reverse. DS will dip breadsticks into hummus but cannot load a spoon without help. He will pull his top up to show you his belly and gets his nose right 50% of the time. Sippy cups are dropped once he is finished. Your DS sounds completely normal to me but do check with a HV if you are that worrries.

dingit Thu 31-Dec-15 11:02:28

My friend was in bits as my dd walked at 14 months, her dd at 19 months.
The girls are now 17, her dd is a very accomplished dancer with 11 A*/ A GCSEs.

marmiteandchocolate Thu 31-Dec-15 11:10:00

Thanks its just very worrying for me as I'm all by myself with no help here except for the husband, but he has always been rather chilled about everything. the last 3 days have been so frustrating with the food and last night i completely lost it with the OH as well and left both him and ds and went upstairs to bed at 8pm. my friends keep telling me that when ds goes to nursery he will sort himself out as he will start copying what other children do/eat, but his place at nursery only starts next April!

ouryve Thu 31-Dec-15 11:10:37

Keep on doing what you're doing and keep on at your hv about your concerns. If things haven't naturally resolved by 18 months, download the M-CHAT and fill that in so you have a frame of reference.

As for the odd looks at soft play, ignore or stare back. People are being as rude staring at a young child who is unsteady as they would be if they wore glasses, or a hearing aid, or had a large birthmark.

Jesabel Thu 31-Dec-15 11:15:12

I'm not sure what you want to hear - it could be something or it could be just that he's a late developer. If you don't want to seek any HV/GP opinion though what is it that you're after?

Ferguson Thu 31-Dec-15 20:08:59

Our DS didn't walk at all until 18 months, so I don't think you should worry on that score.

MiaowTheCat Thu 31-Dec-15 21:24:48

I had all the looks and comments about pushchairs and not walking because dd1 was tall but didn't walk till 18 months and looked much older. She was a very early and very articulate talker, just didn't want to try walking until she was sure she would be good at it! Her sister was the reverse- mobile early and late to talk

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Thu 31-Dec-15 21:31:15

Walking ... DD was also lazy and didnt want to ... she knew crawling was quicker
Food... place it in front of him, he either eats or he doesnt ... just fill the kettle drink tea and let him get on with it.
If not eaten after 10 mins ... remove him.
Trt again at lunch/tea time
He knows this is frustrating you and no one can eat whilst being watched/goaded etc ... its an animal instinct.

zoemaguire Thu 31-Dec-15 21:38:29

Sounds pretty normal to me. None of my three were doing more than that at 16 months, except for one early talker.

PennyHasNoSurname Thu 31-Dec-15 21:40:45

Sounds like.my 15mo and tbh Ive never given it a second thought. Dd was a big talker and started walking at 14mo and ds is behind her developmentally but I just figured he would get there when he gets there.

Salene Thu 31-Dec-15 21:43:48

My nephew never uttered a word before 26 months old and never took his first steps till 24 months old , he went on to win a scholarship at a prestigious university and has a extremely high IQ and now is a successful engineer

they really do develop at different rates and it means nothing at all. Give him time your just worrying yourself I think for no reason.

Annarose2014 Thu 31-Dec-15 21:54:12

We're at 13 months and not a word and I doubt he'll say a word before 18 months tbh. I'm not even sure he understands that much! Absolutely zero language skills.

He's never waved at all. May never!

He is however a terrific walker so there's definately something to "early walker/talker, late the opposite"

He's clueless about spoons. He only eats what he can pick up. We're rolling with it. I figure he'll figure it out before school. Hopefully!

He also has started to be very frustrating about foods - it seems to be a stage they go through. I'm not especially proud of the amount of sausages and mini potato waffles he's going through these days but what can we do?

So my advice is get those sausages on! And chillax about the rest.

Plateofcrumbs Fri 01-Jan-16 01:08:10

It all sounds pretty normal stuff to me. As long as he's getting plenty of opportunity to roam about he'll walk when he is ready, he sounds well on the way if he is walking holding your hand and able to take a few steps.

Food - my DS at 17mo cannot really load a spoon, I'm trying to encourage him but he just wants me to do it. He is also getting fussier and fussier. Sippy cups can be a source of frustration too! So again, nothing too unusual in your experience with your DS.

My DS is only just starting to get interested in shape sorters (although does enjoy his stacking cups). Does your DS have an interest in other types of toys?

He's clearly making great strides with language. My DS will point to his nose and toes when he is in the mood but hasn't got the hang of other body parts and doesn't say 'yes' or 'no' (but has about 15-20 other words). Does your DS try to communicate with you (point to stuff he wants/he finds interesting, call mummy when he wants you etc?)

I'm no expert and if you have concerns you can try your HV again but honestly what you are saying sounds very normal.

polkadotdelight Fri 01-Jan-16 13:38:31

As far as diet goes, I get uptight about that but its better to look at what he has eaten over a few days to a week, you may be suprised at how it evens out. We get through a lot of pasta, potato waffles and vegetable fingers but its not the end of the world.

Heatherbell1978 Fri 01-Jan-16 18:30:20

I have a 16m old and meet my NCT crowd a lot so it's fair to say all the babies the same age are developing differently. My boy walks and has been since 13 months but there are 3 babies in my group who aren't. My boy understands a lot but isn't speaking, just garbling and chattering a lot; 2 babies in my group (girls) are saying words. We're going through a difficult eating period too, he seems to eat fine at nursery but I have about 5 things he'll eat at the moment which is very frustrating as he used to eat loads. But he's a good weight and I'm sure it's a phase.

Babies really do develop differently. I would just roll with it and keep a track on things. Sounds like he's in the 'normal' range and the food thing seems really common at this age!

helloyoulot Sat 02-Jan-16 11:16:31

My son is 17.5 months and has only recently started to walk unassisted - he took a few steps just before Christmas and can now toddle across a room.There are also two other babies in my nct group who don't walk yet so at 16 months it's nothing unusual not to be walking.

marmiteandchocolate Sat 02-Jan-16 16:39:31

thanks for the replies very helpful. the food strike has been persisting but managed to get him to eat 2 chicken goujons last night! dont know how he survives really but he's still a good weight so Im trying to breathe as it seems to be a common hurdle shared by a lot of people in this thread. Will continue practicing his walking and fingers crossed he'll gather the confidence soon enough

ButtonMoon88 Sat 02-Jan-16 17:01:54

You sound very stressed!

I work in early years, and have for the last 10yrs. All children develop at their own rate but boys can be especially lazy. Children are also fantastic at picking up emotions and it is my belief that if the parent is calm, the child will be also. Don't panic about the food strike, almost treat it with disregard. If you continue to stress and get wound up, your DS will find meal times too unpleasant and it will turn into a major battle. Relax. Prepare foods you know he likes, give him a couple of options on a plate and then leave him to it, don't worry about using a spoon to feed himself, fingers are fine!! Once you have given him food don't fuss over him, just sit back.

Same goes for walking. If you are worried about the way his legs/feet look when he takes steps, I.e do they buckle inwards? Then go see GP. If not don't panic. Let him get on with it. You are giving him enough opportunity to learn, he will do it when he is ready.

Finally, I am very concerned that you have never been given a red book because they had run out! Are you seriously telling me that you have no record of your child's vaccinations/weight/height? If you have had no paperwork since your child's birth you need to go to docs immediately and request this information.

marmiteandchocolate Sat 02-Jan-16 17:32:31

Thanks for response ButtonMoon88. Yes that's right we dont have a red book. We moved over to the UK from the US earlier this year so this hasnt been since birth but over the last couple months. Our local NHS hasnt been the greatest in helping me navigate the system - i didnt even know we had to go to the baby clinic! It was more like - sign up, "ok thats it you and your son are fine"..."Do i need to do anything else?" "No your fine". So I didnt know of the baby clinic till I got an appt with the GP for his inoculation
and that was when she said we had to go to the baby clinic to get his red book and check ups etc.....so i did and they weighed him and then said ok sorry we are out of red books the HV will bring one down when she comes to see you. HV has come and gone and still no red book. 'the borough is out of red books we will contact you when the supply comes in' is the response i got. also,....he wont need another innoculation till he's 3 is the other message i got (with the underlying subtext to stop asking them about it ha!)

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