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Comparing children - does anyone else have this issue?

(21 Posts)
Meanmum Wed 02-Apr-03 19:00:14

I'm hoping someone out there can help me. I met two very good friends through ante natal classes so our boys are all the same age.

My ds was the first borne with the next only 12 days later and the last one just under 2 months after my ds. The last one has issues with eating. He looks healthy but is tiny and so light in comparison to the other two. Anyway, that's not really the help I need though if anyone has any advice for his mum (neither of them are on the internet so I'm asking on their behalf) about how to get him to eat that would be great. I gave his mum Annabel Karmel for Christmas and he eats from that but has just gone back to not eating hardly anything and it can take her a minimum of an hour just for him to have four mouthfuls.

The real reason I'm writing is because the boy who is a couple of weeks younger is still not walking. My ds tends to be ahead in comparison in nearly everything he does but by very little, crawling a week or two before the other etc. Well his mum was talking with me today saying she is worried that he isn't walking. My advice to her was not to worry and not to compare him with my ds who is now running as opposed to walking everywhere. My ds has been walking since he was 11 mths and they are both now 14 months.

She then told me that she was told that if kids aren't walking by the time they are 14 months to go and see the health visitor. Her son certainly looks fine to me as he understands things when you talk to him, his memory is good in the fact he remembers how to play with things and so on.

Is she right to worry. She told me she wasn't comparing but how can you not when you see one crawling and the other walking everywhere. Isn't it a natural reaction to compare and worry if there is something wrong with your child.

She has also told me he can stand in the middle of the room without any assistance to get up but I haven't seen this yet so can't confirm this.

Do you think there is a problem or is this normal. When should children with no learning difficulties be able to start walking?

SoupDragon Wed 02-Apr-03 19:10:39

It's normal! My 2 walked at about 14 months having shown no inclination to do so. DS1 was the eldest of 7 in his antenatal class group by 10 days - first to roll, first to sit, first to crawl, last to walk by over a month! If they can crawl well and fast, where's the incentive? A friend's DS didn't walk til about 16 months and he's absolutely fine. They soon catch up.

If he can stand by himself in the middle of a room then it's probably sheer stubborness on his part. If his mother's still worried, then of course she should have a chat with her HV - there's certainly no harm in mentioning it. Will he walk holding onto things (mum's hands for example)?

It is natural to compare and then to worry that your child does not compare favourably with others. And once you've stopped worrying about one thing, I guarantee you'll start worrying abut another

Hilary Wed 02-Apr-03 19:15:55

In our family, ds2 walked at 10 months, ds1 at 11 months, my neice at 1yr and my nephew at 18 months. They are all perfectly normal children, and the late walker, my nephew is a very very bright lad.

Apparently it runs in families - my dh was 10 months when he walked too.

At 14 months, it is very normal for children not to be walking, she really shouldn't be worrying, especially as, like you say, he seems very with it.

It is very easy to compare your children with other people's though. I'm sure we've all done it.

Meanmum Wed 02-Apr-03 19:25:16

I suppose one of the reasons she compares is not so much with my ds but with her partner who apparently walked at 10 months.

How do I tell her not to worry as that didn't seem to help when I said it today? I know each child is an individual but that can sometimes be hard to impart.

snickers Wed 02-Apr-03 19:26:43

I agree - I don't think there's anything to worry about. Many very competent crawlers don't rush to walk, in the same way that some babies don't even bother crawling and get straight up. I've even seen good walkers sometimes decide the quickest way to get across the room is still to crawl... My antenatal group consists of about 7 babies, and we are all amazed at how they all go through the same phases, but at different rates. One baby two months older than the rest looks like she's on for being a bum shuffler to a walker, as she's not got into the getting up onto all fours at all. Doesn't bother her mum one bit - she was exactly the same as a baby! We try very hard not to find ourselves running the "development derby" (as I heard it referred t recently!) Although I know we all feel it a bit sometimes!

lou33 Wed 02-Apr-03 19:52:51

Blimey I can't believe anyone actually wants their kids to be able to get up and reach all those things you don't want them to have so early! My first 3 walked at 2 (dev delay) 18 months and 15 months, and tbh I would have liked the last one to wait a bit longer . Ds2 aged 25 months can't walk and is unlikely to for a couple of years (he has cp), so I would obviously like him to get up and do it, but on the whole the later the better as far as I'm concerned!

Seems we spend ages willing our babies to do something , then years thinking "why did I want them to do that?"

janh Wed 02-Apr-03 22:14:16

Meanmum, is it her partner who is actually worrying more than her? I wonder if he is getting nagged by his family - "that boy should be walking by now"????

I love snickers phrase "development derby" - that's exactly how it can be. Just keep telling her he will walk in his own time and it is normal (and if you get a chance to speak to her DP tell him that too.) I have 4 kids who all walked at different ages, from 13 months through to 19 months.

The only advantage in them starting walking is that you don't always have to carry them. The downside is that you start moving v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y wherever you go!

Meanmum Wed 02-Apr-03 22:22:05

I don't think her partner or his family are pushing it but as she is one of six kids and he is from a big family you can appreciate they probably have a fair bit of advice flowing their way.

I'll keep reassuring her.

bells2 Thu 03-Apr-03 08:41:14

My DD is 16 months and has zero interest in walking and gets very cross if you make her stand. She also isn't saying any words. She was using a knife and fork perfectly at 12 months though and is generally very dextrous so I think she's a good example of children all having individual strengths.

I'm not worried about her as such (her brother walked at 12 months) although I suppose that at her 18 month old check I will be glad to confirm with the HV that everything is OK. I am also desperately hoping that she is walking when No. 3 arrives when she will be 22 months as she is built like a tank!.

Meanmum Thu 03-Apr-03 08:43:54

Bells2 - I hope she walking to in time for the next one. I know what it is like lugging around what feels like sacks of potatoes on one hip as they wriggle and giggle.

susanmt Thu 03-Apr-03 10:38:25

My dd didn't walk until nearly 16 months, but now at age 3 there is no difference between her and one who walked at 10 months. Ds is 14 months today and can stand but has no interest in walking whatsoever - he could crawl for Scotland and so has no need to. In fact, if you hold his hands he'll take a couple of wobbly steps then want down to crawl.
Nothing to worry about if the rest of his development is OK, as far as I can see. Nice to 'meet' someone else with a ds the same age as mine too!

futurity Thu 03-Apr-03 11:08:34

My ds is 14 1/2 months and not walking either. He will stand up and will push his walker if persuaded but much prefers to crawl (which he started at 10 1/2 months). All his other baby friends are walking but I can't see it happening for a while with Adam. I worry whether he is developing ok but he is very happy chap so I expect he will get there eventually!

Meanmum Thu 03-Apr-03 12:34:44

Thanks for all your advice. I'll let her know what you have said and that she is by far not the only one whose son won't walk.

It certainly is nice to meet other mums whose children are the same age as mine.

Bumblelion Thu 03-Apr-03 12:47:58

My youngest DD is 17 months and has only been walking for the last fortnight or so. She bum shuffled at about 10 months but showed no interest in crawling or walking. Two days after taking her first steps, she then started crawling! She is not very proficient at walking yet, hasn't quite grasped the confidence required, but walks round the house holding onto walls, her siblings, the cat's tail.

Flippa Thu 03-Apr-03 13:41:33

Slightly different angle but my 7 month old is being compared with his 2 week cousin my MIL. If its started this early, my fear is that it will escalate and get worse. Anyone else have this problem?

janh Thu 03-Apr-03 14:17:09

Good grief, Flippa, that's ridiculous! In what sense is she comparing them? Length of fingernails? Colour of eyes? Beauty and intelligence? Loudness of cries?

Silly woman. Does the other baby belong to your DH's brother or sister? If it's his sister then you will probably just have to resign yourself to it...I think a lot of grandmas feel closer to daughters' babies than to sons'. (Of course once she's got over the initial excitement she *may* realise how silly she is being.)

If not try to rise above it - don't get mad - smile sweetly and agree with whatever she says. If she is trying to wind you up she will be disappointed, and if she really means what she's saying she will think you are wise and perceptive!

When they are older, being so close in age means they really can be compared and then it might get tough. I hope if she does stay like this she won't favour the other child over yours...that really would be unfair. Lots of luck!

Bozza Thu 03-Apr-03 14:33:37

Glad to hear your DD has started walking Bumblelion - I remember you posting about it before. I don't think there is anything for Meanmum to worry about. DS was walking at 12/13 months but didn't crawl or shuffle before that point so had more incentive to try walking. He started furniture walking at 10 months.

manna Thu 03-Apr-03 14:50:10

haven't read everyone elses, but your friend can take heart from a friend of mine - both her ds & dd started walking at around 22 months!!

Wills Thu 03-Apr-03 15:17:44

Flippa I agree with Janh that at the moment you should simply ignore it. She's also right that as they get older it will get harder. I was always the favoured grandchild and I hated it. Naturally my cousins were not keen to play with me during our holidays with her and I used to spend the first few days overcomming the barriers with them that she'd inadvertently set up. When she eventually started comparing me to my brother and putting him down it was the final straw and as by this time I was a young teenager I flatly refused to visit her for quite a few years. I don't think she ever understood what she'd done despite my dm trying various different means of getting around this.

I think this is something you should watch out for later on (in a couple of years). Hopefully at the moment she's just proud about the new born etc and that will gradually wear off. Good luck.

Flippa Thu 03-Apr-03 15:27:00

Thanks - its DH's sister's baby. She was comparing their length at birth but in a way that implied that the longer the better! Ridiculous, I know, but it rankled me and I know it will only get worse.

Bumblelion Thu 03-Apr-03 16:26:58

Flippa, this does happen in families as I have seen with my (ex) H's family. Ex-H mum and step-dad were very into their grandchildren born to his sister. When our 3 were born, they never seemed very interested in them. The youngest is now 17 months and they have only seen her once and that was at her christening last January. Whenever we do meet up (not that often now me and H are separated), his parents always seem very "into" the other grandchildren and not at all interested in my children. They never ask them how they are doing, show interest in things they are doing, etc. All they talk about is how well ****** is doing at school, and now well ****** is doing at her dancing lessons. This upset met a bit to start with, but now we are just used to it. Like others have said, I think it is because mothers are automatically closer to their daughter's children rather than their son's. One thing that did rankle a few years back was when the grandparents asked what they could buy the grandchildren up to maximum £10. When we met up with H's sister's family, I found out the grandparents had bought her children boots from Ravel (which cost at least £25 each).

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