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Is my 12 week old normal?!

(17 Posts)
ElisabethN Sat 30-Jul-16 12:23:59

Hi all, I'm new to Mumsnet smile

My baby is 12 weeks old and I'm a bit concerned about his development. He still behaves very much like a newborn, feeding and sleeping for the majority of the day with almost no interest in playing. He's exclusively breastfed and spends around an hour at the breast each time then falls asleep afterwards, only waking to eat again. (He isn't tongue tied)

He smiles and can make vowel sounds, but he doesn't make any attempt to reach for his toys or grasp things, I'm lucky if I can get him to even take an interest in them. We only manage a few minutes of tummy time a day as he gets very impatient and also suffers from reflux. When I go to baby groups I see much younger babies doing a lot more than him, which is getting me down.

Is this behaviour normal? I really thought we would have moved on from constant feeding/sleeping at this stage. blush

Phillipa12 Sat 30-Jul-16 12:38:00

All babies develop at their own rate, stop comparing and wishing the newborn stage over with and start enjoying! If it helps i have 4 and they all developed differently, 1 was rolling by 8 weeks but couldnt sit unaided till 7.5 months, another never rolled but was sitting at 5 months, oh and only one liked tummy time and none of them were interested in toys and reaching for them till 16+ weeks.

ElisabethN Sat 30-Jul-16 12:50:24

Oh I don't mean to sound ungrateful as I am enjoying being a mum and I will miss my tiny baby when he grows up, it's more the fact that I keep being told he should be doing this and that by now and it's making me feel like I'm doing something wrong and I'm not doing enough to help him. Even my health visitor says it's not right at this age, but I wanted to see what other mums think as he's my first and I have no clue! blush

Thanks for your reply x

louise987 Sat 30-Jul-16 16:44:26

Sounds within normal ranges to me, and don't worry, you're not the only one with these anxieties!
Did your HV suggest anything? Do you do any groups/activities to see if the stimulation interests him?
In all honesty thou so much changes in days let alone weeks when they are this young. My DD (now 10mths) was similar to yours but then hit a stage where she became aware and interested in surroundings very quick, I'm sure yours will be the same. If really worried, see your GP instead xx

ElisabethN Sat 30-Jul-16 17:07:01

We have been going to baby massage, baby sign, and fun with babies. We're starting baby sensory in 3 weeks time too as all of those classes have finished, but I'm worried he still won't take an interest as he hasn't enjoyed any of the other classes and has just wanted to feed the entire way through, even if I had literally just fed him before leaving the house. Happens every time! He's a boobie monster shockhe still hasn't become efficient at feeding, everyone told me that would happen around 8 weeks but I'm still waiting haha.

My health visitor is coming to look him over on Monday and we have a review with his paediatrician in 2 weeks as well (as he's 7 weeks premature, he's actually 4 months old but 12 weeks corrected). I'm hoping it's just taking him a little longer, I'm not really sure what else I can do to encourage him as I'd hate to stress him out.

PinkPearls20 Sat 30-Jul-16 17:26:26

I think you have just given yourself your answer. He was 7 weeks prem.

He will catch up flowers

PinkPearls20 Sat 30-Jul-16 17:27:15

Try can't ignor water!!

PacificDogwod Sat 30-Jul-16 17:33:21

12 weeks from birth, 7 weeks perm = 5 weeks corrected age.

He is smiling - good.
That is all.

Re 'tummy time' - some babies love it, some hate it.
He will soon teach you in what camp he falls smile

There is very little you can do to 'hasten' development; it comes in its own time.
Spend time with him.
Gaze at him adoringly.
Follow his lead - speak to him, do a running commentary of what you do, cuddle with him, feed him when he wants to (as you are).
The rest will follow in the fullness of time.

Gestational age gets taken in to account for the first 2 years of a child's life - there is no rush.

Fwiw, my DS2 was delivered at 31 weeks, he is now 12 yo and all's well. He did not sit until 10-11 months, walked at 17 months. Nought wrong with him now (well, his lip shock, but I don't think that is related to his prematurity….)

Enjoy your baby thanks

PacificDogwod Sat 30-Jul-16 17:34:12

And my advice would be to ditch the classes unless you enjoy them.
You son will be fine with or without them.

ElisabethN Sat 30-Jul-16 17:45:58

He's not 5 weeks corrected he's 12 weeks corrected (hence I refer to him as a 12 week old as it's easier), his actual age is 19 weeks. Honestly I am going by his corrected age and not his chronological age, I'd never expect him to do what other 19 week olds do. The paediatricians and everyone else are watching him so closely and questioning me about his development all the time it's hard not to focus on it confused

I do enjoy the baby groups as its nice to get out of the house and talk to people, otherwise we're stuck indoors most of the time as it's difficult to go anywhere else with him.

Most of what we do is talking, cuddling, eye contact, pulling faces etc, which he seems to enjoy and respond to well. smile

PinkPearls20 Sat 30-Jul-16 18:07:32

Do you put him in front of the mirror? I'm sure that when they see themselves in the mirror its another league of fascination for them grin

ElisabethN Sat 30-Jul-16 18:11:50

Yeah we do go and look in the mirror every day, sometimes he will have a look. He mostly seems to like looking out of the window or looking at the lampshades on the ceiling hmm haha x

PinkPearls20 Sat 30-Jul-16 18:31:54

My son has delays Elisa so I know how you are feeling. However your son is still very young and a month can make all the difference to his development.

Your health visitor will be concerned over the littelist of things because imagine if something was wrong and they missed it. So they will always be over concerned rather then under concerned. <Bad English!

You have the right people involved to give him any help that he needs.

ElisabethN Sat 30-Jul-16 18:47:40

Thank you that's reassuring smile I guess they just don't help when they make mountains out of mole hills! They're always pressuring me to do more tummy time and activities etc, but at the moment I just do whatever he tolerates as I don't want to overload him.

I also wanted to check whether it's normal for a baby his age (by that I mean 12 weeks corrected) to still be eating/sleeping so much. I sort of feel like he breastfeeds for comfort most of the time (he's not actually drinking the whole time), which is fine by me, but it eventually sends him off to sleep so in a way it makes me wonder if BFing is holding him back? (I know that sounds ridiculous!). I know it's a biological function of BFing though and definitely comes in handy at bed time wink I wonder if there will come a point where he finishes BFing and stays awake, and how will I know when that's the case?

I know I shouldn't compare, and I really try not to, but it does make me worry when I see younger babies being more alert, although I know all babies are different. I love and adore him just the way he is, I'm not meaning to sound like I'm complaining or wishing his life away at all (I'm really not), just looking for some reassurance I guess smile

PacificDogwod Sat 30-Jul-16 21:26:23

Ah, ok, apologies, you are correcting his age already, sorry.

I do know how very difficult it is to not compare your LO to other babies, and to worry about what the future holds for them.
But, ultimately, only time will tell, so it is SO important to just deal with what you have in front of you: your baby son.

The sleeping thing is normal IME, just varies hugely from child to child.
BFing is categorically NOT holding him back shock - it is likely more important for his brain development than if he had not been a little prem.
Lots of babies (most?) will go a bit 'drunk' looking after a good feed and drift off, even for a little bit. Or, when they are older they go through a nosy phase and turn their head to see what's going on while still latched on…. <ouch>

You will worry.
Anxiety and guilt comes with being a mother IME.
But try to not let it take away from the enjoyment.

99percentchocolate Sat 30-Jul-16 21:31:58

I have a 12 week old DS and he sounds exactly like yours. According to the wonder weeks app/book they're only just starting to learn grasping now so don't worry! My DS certainly seems to be in line with other 12 week olds and I'm not concerned.

ElisabethN Mon 01-Aug-16 12:21:06

Thank you everyone, your advice as been really helpful smile I'm just going to go with the flow and ignore other babies and the wonder weeks etc as even with his corrected age he doesn't seem to be following them.

The health visitor came today and despite telling me he isn't normal on the phone she said he's absolutely fine today and doing everything she would expect (smiling, cooing, attempting to roll, sitting/standing supported), so she had me worried for nothing it seems!

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