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11 week old poor eye contact, few smiles and an anxious mum!

(17 Posts)
user1490854461 Thu 30-Mar-17 07:26:59

My LO is 11 weeks this Friday and he does not look me in the eyes still! Whenever I try to make eye contact and talk to him he will look anywhere but in my eyes, more like over my shoulder or in the opposite direction. Sometimes if I'm at a distance he will look at me but only for a few seconds. I also haven't really seen a proper smile yet and it's got me so so worried. sad He does have bad reflux so spends his days in a lot of discomfort so I've been telling myself that that is why he isn't smiling or being interactive but I just can't shake this nagging worry in the back of my mind and it's really getting me down. I feel like I spend every day watching and analysing him so much to see if he's being "normal" (I realise how crazy this sounds!) and can't just relax and enjoy him while he's so little. He also doesn't coo or make any noises that suggest he's trying to communicate.. the times where I have thought he's cooing at me and smiling have always followed with him being sick and I've noticed that it just seems to be the noises and expression he makes before being sick. I'm so desperate for him to just look at me and smile and make a few cooing noises so I can stop panicking! I also read recently that babies start reaching for things at this age.. but he doesn't even look at his toys or pay any attention to them. He doesn't track objects either.
I know I'm definitely over worrying and I know babies all develop at their own pace and I should just give it time but I think I'm just having a hard time with anxiety at the moment and I just worry worry worry!
I don't know whether I should bring up my concerns to a doctor but I'm afraid they will just laugh at me and tell me I'm being a typical first time mum. Which I might well be!
Any advice is appreciated!

OP’s posts: |
Alfieisnoisy Thu 30-Mar-17 07:42:35

Hello user

First of all some flowers for you as the early weeks are very hard work and I remember being exhausted and very anxious all the time at that stage.

First things first...was your baby full term? That can make a huge difference to when they smile and interact. Secondly all babies develop differently...you are quite right so rather than all babies smiling at six weeks for example it would be more accurate to say that there is a window of time when that develops. A lot

Have you spoken to the GP or HV about your anxieties and asked them to review the development? That's something they could do for you and also give you some anxiety support. I had rip roaring post natal depression which manifested itself in anxiety and was horrible. My son also had terrible reflux too....which didn't help. I had permanently white shoulders!

user1490854461 Thu 30-Mar-17 07:48:30

He was full term but he had a low birth weight, don't know if that can affect things?
Unfortunately I've not had good experiences with my GPs, who have in no uncertain terms told me to stop coming to them when I'm concerned and to contact my HV instead. And although I really like my HV I feel that she doesn't understand my concerns at all and just says everything is fine without really looking into it.

OP’s posts: |
AprilShowers177 Thu 30-Mar-17 09:00:57

It's tough isn't it- could you speak to your hv for ideas of how to help him develop. My DS is 10 weeks and I had no idea how to play.. especially when I got no reaction. I started a couple of groups - which have been great for me feeling more confident during playtime. The wonder weeks app is really useful in thinking about there development leaps, whilst you little one may not be meeting at expected timescales it will give you some understanding of what he may be experiencing- you may need to adapt the timescale according to what stage he's at. I was reading and they say your LO will prefer certain sensory experiences such as sound, touch etc.. my LO loves sound and movement. He will track objects but only when in the right mood.

If you feel your hv is dismissive could you talk to a different one- we have drop in clinics for weigh in, could you speak with someone different there?

silkpyjamasallday Thu 30-Mar-17 09:17:12

Well I don't have much good advice, but my DD who is now 6 months has only just started having an interest in her toys, before she would hold them briefly if handed to her but drop them without looking at them, only now has she started reaching for things that she wants. She also starts avoiding eye contact when she starts to get sleepy, could the reflux be disturbing his sleep perhaps?

Ojoj1974 Thu 30-Mar-17 09:24:29

Have you tried some cranial osteopathy? It might help with reflux and generally maki f him feel more comfortable x

AprilShowers177 Thu 30-Mar-17 10:22:36

Just read your post again OP, I get so sick of hearing 'is this your first baby' in that patronising tone. Until you ask the question you're not going to know if any concerns we have are normal or something to be worried about. It seems as though the professionals want us to raise our children via google! Frustrates me... rant over!

Also, don't worry about being an anxious mum. I've never felt so anxious since DS was born- not in a clinically anxious sense but just this awareness that you're the one person in the world he needs and relies on. I hate in when the response from others is to sort out your anxiety - it's totally normal for some level of anxiety. If it starts feeling out of hand or irrational then thats the time to get help, not when you have genuine concerns and real things to worry about!

Sorry.. I'm a bit ranty today!

Applebite Thu 30-Mar-17 11:49:16

ah OP, it's such a shame when anxieties about development cloud your enjoyment of your new baby. I was the same with DD; she wasn't smiling at first, and all the other younger NCT babies were, and I stressed a lot!

to take it in turns - I think it's quite normal for them to want to look around. there is a huge window of "normal" for smiling too. and don't expect a big gummy grin, which is what I was looking for - it really is just a curl of the lips at first. when I realised that was a smile, I was all hmm.

same with the cooing; he's still so tiny. as for toys - you sound exactly like I was. I have so many pics of DD at 11 weeks old, draped in toys or with them pushed into her little fist, and she clearly has NO IDEA what is going on. a lamp is their idea of a good time at 11 weeks. by about 4 months, she was just starting to bat at things over her head on a play gym, but they really don't give a stuff about dolls or teddies etc for ages!

if he is sick a lot, maybe he has a touch of wind or colic or reflux - that would definitely mean he doesn't feel like cooing or smiling much.

some words of wisdom I read on here: he is whoever he is. you can't change that. so enjoy him as he is now, because he will never be this little again. however, if you have concerns, go to the dr and talk about them - if there is something that is troubling him, like tummy ache, they can help you.

lots of luck, it is the most anxiety inducing time, and you're exhausted and your hormones are everywhere, which doesn't help the rational thought process smile

Gemmum1985 Fri 21-Dec-18 19:54:29

Hello! I know this is an old post but I was hoping you'd be able to help my anxiety with experience...

My DD is 12 weeks old and I'm experiencing the same issues..she doesn't hold eye contact, seems to prefer to stare at chests/lower down. The smiles we get I don't believe are social, more gas/wind/facial grimace. If she gets at toys I don't think it's on purpose! So would like to hear some hindsight input!

I'm suffering with post natal depression anxiety so feel stressed at all markers and can't help be get further stressed when reading wonder weeks/books etc

Any advice would be appreciated sad

wheresmarybloodypoppins Fri 21-Dec-18 23:06:28

OP and @Gemmum1985 please try not to worry. I took my DS for his 8 week check and he hadn't had a social smile and made very little eye contact. The HV put the fear of god into me and made me sick with worry but at just under three months my DS started smiling and making eye contact. He's now 8 months and one of the smilest babies I know and will try and make eye contact with anyone until the smile at him.
All babies are so different and milestones are different for every baby. Having said that if you are truly worried go and see your HV as they can point you in the right directions
Try not to let the worry eat you up and enjoy your babies. Before you know it the worry will be a distant memory.

tomhazard Sat 22-Dec-18 19:03:56

Hi Gemmum1985 try not to worry. They work on averages and there will always be babies who take more or less time.
My DS didn't smile until 12 weeks or so, he had poor focus in his eyes and didn't respond to my face. Suddenly he just did. He's 3 and a half now and totally fine and normally developed. Only thing is he has astigmatisms in his eyes which mean he needs glasses - not a big deal but he would have been born with them so may well have struggled to see well in the early days.
It could be something small or nothing at all but don't drive yourself mad. See your HV for reassurance but remember that they're all different.

surreygirl1987 Sun 23-Dec-18 18:35:01

Hi Gemma. I have an 11 week old. While he does sometimes smile at me he often won't hold eye contact and is very hit and miss with trqxjung objects. I had a meltdown worrying over him a fortnight ago and was probably suffering from Pnd and anxiety but when I saw him discover his hands and then start playing with them I realised that they often learn something in the blink of the eye. What your baby doesn't do today, might easily do suddenly tomorrow or next week. I was so stressed I took my son to a paediatrician who was lovely but advised me to step away from Google. All babies develop at the own pace and one week is MASSIVE in the life of an 11 week old!!! As an example, thing about walking. Apparently my brother walked at 7 months, but my husband walked at 18 months! They just had different developmental timelines. But I do know where you're coming from. I bet I'll have another concern next week about mine hmm

Skydancera Fri 28-Dec-18 22:25:14

I was glad to find this post. My Granddaughter is 13 weeks and exactly the same. Seems to be developing fine in every other way but her eye contact is poor, seems to deliberately turn away. She can clearly see lights and colours and does look at things but just not interested in eye contact and struggles to follow objects. Her mum has booked her a GP appointment to get her checked out but glad to hear it’s not just her and I’m probably being an over anxious Nan! So even after having three kids of my own this doesn’t get any easier 🙉 lol

surreygirl1987 Sat 29-Dec-18 13:35:58

The other day I also read that turning away from eye contact can also mean they're overtired and overstimulated. Could this be a possibility?

Newmum0219 Tue 07-May-19 15:20:24

Hello mum's and grandma's , I know this is a super old post but I'm experiencing something similar with my 11 week old girl and would love to hear how your getting on . She makes only a little bit of eye contract (mostly when lying on her back) doesn't smile often and isn't really that interested in faces. Everyone is sure she's social smiling but I'm not 100 percent. She will track my face and her toys sometimes. Any updates on your little ones or words or advice encouragment. Thanks xx

surreygirl1987 Tue 07-May-19 20:44:42

My son is almost 7 months old and I was worrying over nothing. He now holds eye contact, tracks objects brilliantly and is doing really really well. I think we are programmed to worry smile

Lilnut31 Sun 21-Jun-20 21:34:17

Can I ask how your little one is now x

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