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Feeling low because my beautiful, PFB dd (11.5 months) seems to be the slowest developer in my antenatal group

(35 Posts)
ChunkyChick Tue 23-Sep-08 14:08:08

It’s crazy I know. And I know I shouldn’t compare, but as she’s my first, I just can’t seem to help myself. I’ve always been a bit on the neurotic side anyway, and this is really getting me down. Ugh. She has been late to get mobile – didn’t crawl until 11 months - but then she is very heavy (deep into 99.6th percentile territory) and tall too.

I’m not worried about mobility so much as things that denote ability to communicate and intelligence. She has been waving for several weeks now, but doesn’t clap or point yet. The other babies in my antenatal group have been doing all this seemingly for weeks and even months now. And they all seem to be getting the beginnings of first words too. Dd babbles well, and is clearly inquisitive and sociable, but I expect she will be the last to talk, just as with everything else.

The worst thing is that yesterday a friend came over with her 9.5 month old, whom I haven’t seen for a while. Even she was clapping, pointing and waving (which I know is very early for a 9.5 month old). It was literally like a stab in the guts, and it ended up being an awful day (for me anyway).

I just want dd to be first at something too for a change! And for her abilities to be exclaimed over, like the other babies. Sigh. Both me and dh are highly educated, and yes, I will admit that it is a very unexpected surprise, and severe dent to my pride that she is the laggard of our group. My balloon has been well and truly pricked, and maybe I deserve it. I find I am starting to not want to go to our weekly meet-ups, which I'm aware is completely pathetic. But I spend the whole time there secretly comparing what all the other babies can do compared to mine, and always come home feeling down.

I wonder if part of it is that I have not been stimulating her enough. I have tended to just park her in her playroom while I get on with jobs around the house, although we do go out to activities every day where we get ‘quality time’. I’ve been trying to show her how to clap for the last couple of months, but she just doesn’t seem to want to copy me (though she will with other things) - it's as if she just doesn't 'get it', or isn't ready yet to get it. I think I need to be teaching her more names for things, showing her books, pointing at things etc.

So what does this mean? Is my dd less intelligent than her little friends? Will she catch up and hold her own, or even excel at something? As I said, she is inquisitive and sociable, very smiley and laughs a lot, gives me things she’s holding if I hold out my hand for them etc, clearly is not actually delayed as such, just a little slower than her peer group. But I am starting to obsess about all this now, to the extent that it really isn’t healthy. Sigh. I just love her so much!

What can I do to stop myself from obsessing? As I said, I am a bit of an obsesser anyway, unfortunately that just seems to be the way I’m built. I just want to be able to just chill out and enjoy my time with my mummy friends. They really are lovely girls, and none of them would ever be mean enough to say anything derogatory about my dd.

Can anyone help me?

Niecie Tue 23-Sep-08 14:13:32

None of this, do you hear, none of this has any bearing on her future intelligence or how she will turn out in life. She is gorgeous and socialable and inquisitive. She will be fine.

It isn't a race!!!smile

gemmiegoatlegs Tue 23-Sep-08 14:13:43

i never showed either of my dcs how to clap - they are now fully capable of polite applause at the theatre!

What i'm saying is by the time they are 18, nobody cares who cut their first tooth first, which one said dada first etc! As long as she is somewhere in the normal range(sounds like it to me) and is healthy and happy she will be fine.

I know the pressure when you know lots of babies the same age- the comparisons do seem inevitable but please try and relax. In the not too distant future, none of this will matter. Just try and enjoy her being small while she still is!

EffiePerine Tue 23-Sep-08 14:15:43

I'm sure DS took a while to clap and wave - he's now chatting away at nearly 2. Sounds like you know not to compare to other babies but it's so tempting grin. If she's sociable and happy I'm sure she'll be fine. It isn't a race and it's no indication of her future abilities. A friend of mine didn;t talk till late or read till about 7 or 8 and she got straight As through school and ended up with a good degree. Of course there is nothing wrong with her having other strengths than academic achievement, but there is no WAY you can predict this at less than a year!

If you are worried about communication skills, just chat to her. Can you have her with you while you get oon with chores?

some stuff here

www.literacytrust.org.uk/talktoyourbaby/Parents.html

Megglevache Tue 23-Sep-08 14:16:34

Make sure the other mums note exact times and places as you now have to add them to the extra section on the UCAS forms.

I was like you- exactly, you will change with your subsequent children and you may even have a little laugh to yourself when all of the children are 4 and the same height, weight, talk the same etc
smile

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Tue 23-Sep-08 14:17:45

"So what does this mean? Is my dd less intelligent than her little friends?"

No I think it means you need to chill. I know that might not be very helpful, written down but it's all you need to do. Is you baby group all PFBs? Perhaps find somewhere with older siblings as well, second or third or fourth etc timers tend to look at you blankly when you ask what age their child did such and such (I can't even remember what age d2 and ds3 were when they crawled). If this particular baby group makes you feel down find another one, or something more organised with a wider range of ages so harder to compare.

Niecie Tue 23-Sep-08 14:18:21

And if we are comparing talking, although I am loathed to do it as it is just encouraging you wink, my DS1 was lagging behind others at 1 with his speech. By his 2nd birthday, he was way ahead of the field.

Development is not a smooth line - it stops and starts and transfers from motor skills to social skills to language skills and back again.

TheProvincialLady Tue 23-Sep-08 14:20:15

You are certainly not the first person to feel this way. I sobbed after a meeting with my antenatal group when DS was the only one at 6m who wasn't sitting up without a cushion. Yet at 24m he sits up astonishingly well! As soon as they have moved on to another developmental phase no one cares or even remembers unless someone was an exceptionally early walker or whatever - even then it is of no major interest.

Let me tell you that my friends who spent those early months 'stimulating' their DC are regretting it somewhat now, as their children are less inclined to occupy themselves, which is hard as a parent and can make for discontented children. Children need to be able to entertain themselves and if your DD already has that skill to an extent that is great.

Now stop fretting and try very hard to stop comparing children. Your will never be the best at everything and it is unlikely she will be the worst - just like all the other children. Value her for who she is, not what she can do.

RachelG Tue 23-Sep-08 14:20:25

My DS was the last to speak in all the baby groups I went to. He didn't utter a single word (not even mama) until a month before his 2nd birthday. All the other kids were chatting away by then. Although I wasn't particularly worried, I did start to dread get-togethers. I imagined the other Mums were looking at me with pity, feeling sorry for me and my non-talking son.

Then, a few weeks after his 2nd birthday, he started to talk non stop. Now, age 3, he has the biggest vocabulary of any of his peers. He talks constantly, about a huge range of things, and is renowned at his nursery for being the most talkative child they've had.

What I'm saying is that it all happens at different rates, and obsessing about it is pointless and depressing. I wish I hadn't wasted time being concerned about my son's lack of speech!

Seeline Tue 23-Sep-08 14:20:58

Don't compare!! Although I know it's hard not to. I'm convinced that both my DC developed clapping, pointing, and speach relatively early because we did so much singing. I know it sounds daft but they learnt all the actions to songs very early on, and alot of their first words came from songs that they were very familiar with. We used to go to a very informal singing group once a week and were always singing at home. Give it a try - don't worry if you can't sing in tune your DD won't know. just have fun!!

wilkos Tue 23-Sep-08 14:21:19

this could have been me posting a while back [smile[

everyone elses baby seemed to be much more mobile and bright and I got myself worked into a right state about it, but they all develop at their own pace. also the fact you are concerned that you are not stimulating her enough suggests to me that you probably are stimulating her enough iyswim?

as you say she is inquisitive and sociable and smiley which are all wonderful personality traits to have!

if you are concerned talk to your hv, but do try not to compare it will send you batty

fwiw, my dd caught up in the space of a month roundabout 11.5 months ad now there is no stopping her

you sound like fab parents to a lovely little girl grin

MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Tue 23-Sep-08 14:22:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Tue 23-Sep-08 14:22:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wilkos Tue 23-Sep-08 14:24:17

oh and someone clever on mnet also pointed out that the age they start clapping/ walking/ talking whatever is not a requirement on the ucas form!

wilkos Tue 23-Sep-08 14:25:09

err whoops megglevache, that was you blush

BroccoliSpears Tue 23-Sep-08 14:26:07

I have a completely unscientific theory based on an unrepresentitive sample of my own and my friends' children. I think that often when they are later to do things, they are better at them.

Dd was the last to roll over, the last to sit up and showed no interest in crawling. I could still plonk her like a puddin' on the sofa and wander off to do things long after my friends were shrieking about rolling off onto the floor. Then, suddenly, she decided to do everything all at once and a few months later was leaving them for dust. Even now they are all 2 she is far more physically able than her peers, and it seems odd to think that she was so very much slower than them developmentally not long ago.

I've noticed similar patterns again and again; the little boy who couldn't say a word seems suddenly to be speaking in much clearer and more complex sentences than the others; the little girl who was wowing us all by standing up and taking steps at 10 months is the one who now has difficulty with stairs when the others are all charging upstairs and downstairs.

I think if their brains are more mature before they are introduced to a skill or idea, they are better able to process it.

The above is of course all complete nonsense, but I believe it.

MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Tue 23-Sep-08 14:27:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

quickdrawmcgraw Tue 23-Sep-08 14:27:39

Yes I agree that you need to hang round with different mums these ones are dragging you down.
Hitting milestones early means nothing.

quickdrawmcgraw Tue 23-Sep-08 14:30:04

I also keep thinking of my niece when it comes to physical milestones. She was almost 2 before she walking and 3 before she could jump with 2 feet off something (like a pavement) and at age 7 was competing and winning at a national level in gymnastics.

RnB Tue 23-Sep-08 14:32:34

Message withdrawn

Lio Tue 23-Sep-08 14:32:35

ds is 5 and still hasn't twigged about waving wink

We have lovely friends with a daughter exactly the same age and our ds is slower at everything, but EVERYTHING, but over time I care less. He can finally scrawl his name (sort of) and she is typing phrases on the computer! It's comical really, but it's just too soon for you to see the funny side.

Does your dd have adoring grandparents to remind you of how wonderful she is? And don't forget that there is someone else whose baby is bobbing along on the 1st centile who thinks it dreadfully unfair that you have a lovely big child.

MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Tue 23-Sep-08 14:32:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FioFio Tue 23-Sep-08 14:33:17

Message withdrawn

FattipuffsandThinnifers Tue 23-Sep-08 14:33:38

A fellow obsessor here (though more under control now!), so I can relate to how you feel. But as everyone has says, there is nothing about your dd that is atypical so nothing to worry about at this stage. It is really hard not to compare, especially with the first born, and especially when it seems yours is the last to do things, but I bet the other mums will not be thinking anything about your dd - in fact I bet they all have their secret concerns of their own.

She may grow up to be a nobel-winning astrophysicist or she may not, but in the long run (as long as there are no problems which mean they won't walk/talk etc), it doesn't matter at all who walked, clapped, waved early. It's not something anyone would put on their CV is it.

EBenes Tue 23-Sep-08 14:35:01

We all do this. It's really early to worry about stuff like that - the development is all over the place at this stage and no indicator of future intelligence. Just enjoy the things about her that make her so gorgeous: really, you will feel silly when you look back and think about how you worried about tiny things like this!

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