Need a hand hold and reassurance - not enjoying motherhood and terrified abdout DS's development(26 Posts)
I'm not absolutely sure what I hope to get out of posting on here but as a seasoned lurker who has seen how utterly lovely you all are at offering reassurance, advice and support to those who desperately need it, I thought it can't hurt. I'm feeling pretty emotional and exhausted with anxiety so please bear with me - I may ramble as this is giving me a bit of an outlet!
My first experience of motherhood has been completely ruined by a mixture of ante and postnatal depression (undiagnosed) and relentless anxiety which I have had all my adult life but has it increased to an unbearable level since giving birth to my beautiful DS. He is a gorgeous little chap, bright as a button, happy and in possession of a fantastic sense of humour. But he is a slow developer and that is making life a living hell for me.
DS is 9mo, has always been a terrific sleeper, was lifting his head at a couple of days old, is good at eye contact, smiles at both familiar and strange faces, can sit unaided (from 7 months), engages with toys, responds to his name, can pick food up and bring to his mouth, can bear weight on his legs, etc. Oh, and today he pulled himself up from sitting on my lap to standing by holding onto the side of the coffee table.
However, crawling seems to be something he is not interested in. On his tummy he will do push ups (so will straighten his arms) but his knees remain flat on the floor. He despises tummy time although on good days we can get to around 30 minutes of him being on his front. Instead he seems to enjoy bum shuffling but apparently this is not a good thing? I have read things such as that this can be a sign of dyspraxia, dyslexia and even autism, so naturally I'm now frantic and panicking. He also doesn't really roll (he will shift far over onto his side but not often the whole way over) and is not babbling (no dada, mama, baba, etc), although he does make sounds. He also doesn't wave or mimic, apart from when I bang my hand on the floor which he will then do as he finds it hilarious!
Most of the babies from my NCT group or those of a similar age I have seen at baby groups have accomplished at least one of the skills my DS hasn't and it is making me miserable. I know you shouldn't compare and that it isn't a competition, but I feel so down that my baby is always lagging behind everyone else. My DH is supportive but he gets impatient with my constant fretting and doesn't think that anything is wrong. I just feel like I'm carrying this all on my own, that DS's development, or lack of in certain areas, is my fault and responsibility. Basically, I feel like a failure. I get no help from family or friends so feel very alone.
Has anyone else had any experience of feeling sick with worry at their DC's development but it's all turned out to be ok? Did you have a bum shuffler? Is there anything I can do to encourage crawling apart from tempting him with toys placed at a distance?
Thanks so much in advance and so sorry for the long post.
Oh dear. You poor thing.
Well, your DS sounds absolutely perfect. Nothing untoward in anything you've described.
I think maybe you should let go a little. Having a baby this age is basically extremely boring. Which is why a certain personality type (mine and maybe yours!) ends up investing far too much into the baby and ends up micro analyzing every little thing. Your baby doesn't need or require or deserve this level of worry. You sound like you're doing an amazing job, the baby sounds perfect. Try to get out and do fun stuff for you - not him - with him tagging along. It'll distract you and give your mind something else to do.
Please please stop worrying (I know you can't). Your little one sounds perfect. My oldest didn't ever crawl and was 18 months bwefore she walked. She is now 26 and has a Masters Degree and her dream job.
Baby number 2 crawled at 9 months but was diagnosed with dyspraxia at three. However, there has never been any stopping her and she has just got a degree in Graphic Design. She is very determined and won't ever give up.
All babies are different and your little one is growing and developing in the way that is absolutely perfect for him.
When he is 20 no one will know or care when he learned too crawl and I bet he won't be wearing nappies or living on nothing but milk either.
Enjoy your lovely baby.
Your baby sounds lovely and everything you've described sounds normal. Do health visitors offer a 1 year check in your area? It might put your mind at rest to ask for one, and they will assess him - but it sounds like he is well within 'the norm'. It does sound like you are under a lot of stress and especially that you don't have help from friends and family. I don't know if there is any way to ask for some help, maybe a homestart volunteer could help you feel a bit more supported?
Another one here saying stop worrying and I can be pretty anxious myself so I do understand. They really are all different. He sounds like he's doing absolutely great and just reading his 'can do' list, to me, is all the info needed. Of course there are thibfs he can't do yet and will do in different orders to others. My friend said her lo (12m) can't do anything on a 9-12m 'list of things they should be doing' but can do the 12-18m things - go figure. My ds is flying around since 6.5m (crawling) but didn't sit till 10m and I think that's expected at 6m! I decided not to prop him and to let him go at his own pace and you know it was great to watch him figure it out by himself. And your boy will figure out crawling or will decide to bum shuffle-as 4 of my much NT nieces and nephews did. Be kind to yourself and go to your GP 're the pnd. Hope you're feeling reassured.
My dd didn't crawl at all. She bum shuffled and then went straight to walking. She most certainly has no development delays or dispraxia or autism! She's actually 18 years old now and off to uni next year.
My youngest DID crawl and almost certainly does have autism.
Please stop worrying. Your baby sounds wonderfully healthy and happy and banging out those milestones just fine. Just enjoy each moment.
The babies don't read the books, they just do stuff when they are ready. And if he's hauling himself up onto his feet and more than likely will start cruising round the furniture then he will be off and running pretty quickly.
He sounds completely normal to me and I'm comparing with my DSs development. It is really common to worry about development and to compare, all of us at baby group did it but your anxiety and pnd are making it much worse (been there too so I understand). Speak to your health visitor for peace of mind and enjoy your baby. If I had my time with DS again I would do things differently and be a lot kinder to myself. Enjoy him.
Thank you so much for all your wonderful and kind replies - I can't tell you how much I appreciate your reassurances. I wish I could just switch off these horrible feelings and enjoy my darling boy as I know I won't get this time with him again. I will definitely make an appointment with my GP and get this sorted. Just by reading all of your experiences and words of lovely support makes me feel less alone and terrified. Being a mum is so much scarier and pressurised than I ever imagined! Thanks a million again x
Your baby sounds lovely and sociable OP, I'm sure I've read somewhere that babies tend to prefer either motor or communication skills in the first year, my DD was crawling pretty early but at 11 months has only just started responding to her name, they are all so different. Sounds like you are doing a brilliant job with your LO, but might be worthwhile focusing some of your mental energy into managing your anxiety rather than worrying about developmental milestones, easier said than done though!
Mine was a bum shuffler, never crawled and didn't even bum shuffle til 11 months and all perfectly normal
I bum shuffled never crawled ds the same though crawled for about a week before walking at 11 months!!
I can't see any signs in your post as to where you should be concerned have you discussed this with your gp?
Crawling isn't classed as a milestone because a LOT of babies never do it.
My Ds crawled at 7 months, walked at 13 months, pointed, babbled and waved. He went on to be diagnosed with Autism aged 9.
Your little boy sounds just fine and you have nothing to worry about. If he's not doing these things in a year then you're allowed some anxiety.
He sounds perfectly normal. They all get there in the end. Neither of mine smiled much. My DD frowned at me for 6 mths. The GP did point out that most smiled much earlier haha She's now a very bubbly child going into yr2. Both hated tummy time so we skipped that too.
I'd also try and vary the baby groups you go to and change hangouts. Some times NCT groups only have babies the same age in common and the temptation to compare is awful. I'd try some other activities and meet some new people to try and break away a bit. I found a very down to earth rather hippy church baby toddler group in a slightly different area which I loved. Was more focused on mum friendship and support than the DC.
Other groups were awful and competitive.
My DS also hardly spoke a word until 2.5. Then he was a boy of only ever two words : more food, want milk, no, yes, want TV etc until 3. At 4 he never shuts up. Lots of mums go back to work to escape the stifling atmosphere of being at home alone worrying about a baby ....
Hi. I have 3 sons, she 7, 9 and 17. Only the middle one crawled, the other two were bum shufflers. None have any problems. Ds1 walked at 12 months, ds2 at 16 months and ds3 at 19 months. I have health anxiety and worried constantly about their development. I know it's really hard but try not to waste this precious time worrying. Your ds sounds like he's doing great.
Another reassurance here that your baby is definitely not a slow developer! He sounds right on track and I've never heard of or seen any correlation between bum shuffling and future problems. So many babies don't crawl at all. The most recent babies I know of, one was huge and skipped straight to walking at 9 months (and his mum regrets that the baby stage didn't last longer!), another didn't sit up till around 7 months and only crawled around 11 months after teasing that he was about to get it for a good three months prior to that, he also only started babbling around the same time, another nearly walked at 12 months then changed his mind and didn't go for it till he was 15 months. None of these babies has anything wrong with them and no one would say they were slow developers, children just develop at such different rates and at different times. Please try not to worry and do see your GP about the PND
Bum shufflers often don't crawl at all, why would they? They're mobile...
It's pretty common though.
None of mine had crawled at this stage, only one had rolled. Others weren't bothered. Current baby likes tummy time. Others all hated it.
Completely normal. You get to drink your tea without running around after the baby. I loved it.
Definitely no sign for concern in the baby, and hope GP can help you and you can enjoy a few coffees before your baby becomes mobile.
Do consider sharing your anxiety with some of the other mothers you know - I would bet a couple have been hiding similar PND and it could lead to closer friendships. Best wishes.
Hello Lily, your little boy sounds lovely and my heart really went out to you when I read your message. I suffered with antenatal and postnatal anxiety too, after a really difficult pregnancy, and my worries were all focused on my DS's development. It was such a hard dark time and it can be so difficult to differentiate your fretting from genuine concerns. It made me feel very lonely and guilty. I bottled things up for a long time but eventually went to see a counsellor and it made the world of difference, really helped me to calm myself and gain some perspective. I also confided in a few good mum friends who were lovely and had also had similar difficult patches. My little boy is now near three and is a delight, no concerns at all. Sending you hugs and please feel free to PM me if you want to chat. Take care.
Hi OP, my son is also 7 months (nearly 8 tbh) and sounds exactly the same as yours. He is not crawling (or even bum shuffling) ,waving, pointing or babbling (has done a bit in the past few days but not often)
Like yours, he sits up, smiles at everyone and can push up on his arms but doesn't get his knees up.
I also have depression and anxiety and am finding it hard to keep things in perspective and stop worrying. Just this morning I was googling 'how to help baby crawl' and baby milestones. It's really hard isn't it? You're not alone. I hope we can both find a way to relax and stop worrying.
So sorry for the silence - our whole house got struck down with the most horrible cold and I'm only now beginning to feel normal again.
I just wanted to thank each and every one of you who have commented on my post. Your experiences and reassurances have made such a difference (as I hoped it would) to my state of mind. I can't actually express how grateful I am.
On Friday last week DS started babbling a little - well, saying "wawawa". I was so happy and proud I could have cried. He wants to stand all the time and lunges forward a lot. I'm hoping it's because he wants to crawl but who knows?!
Once again, thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for taking the time to share advice and experience. Ooh, I have also booked an appointment with my GP . for all of you x
Lovely to hear from you Lily. I have only just seen your thread but he sounds like an adorable little one and you sound like a great mum.
You will both be fine!
Lovely! Enjoy that fab little boy of yours. Good luck with your GP appointment and take care.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.