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Am I expecting too much from my 8 month old? How to keep their attention?

(23 Posts)
Cluhol Thu 23-Jul-20 08:40:36

Hi all

I'm looking for some classic mums net honesty and support... Pleeeasse?!

I keep being worried about my 8 month old girls interaction with me and other people. She's an only child.
Her motor skills are great, gross motor skills so good, eats well.

But she just seems.... Antisocial... For lack of a better word.
She isn't a gooey eyed smiley baby at people. She's a death stare or no attention at all.
She does give eye contact on her terms and she does giggle when we tickle her etc.

But. I can't keep her attention. She will look to me but quickly look away. So teaching her clapping and waving is nye on impossible at the mo.

Is the world more interesting than people? Can babies just be antisocial and prefer their own thing?

Dr Google just screams autism whenever I Google anything to do with babies so that's useless as she's only 8 months!

Thank you for reading and really hope you can put my mind at rest.

C

OP’s posts: |
BertieBotts Thu 23-Jul-20 11:10:17

The world is waaaaaaay more interesting than people at 8 months old. Especially if people just want to get into her face all the time rather than letting her explore at her own pace.

Google will tell you every random thing about your child is autism just as much as it will tell you that a slightly odd coloured bruise, or a hair in the wrong place is cancer. You can safely ignore google. 8 month olds can't be diagnosed with autism, it's too early - an autistic 8 month old and a neurotypical 8 month old are indistinguishable from each other.

Don't worry - she'll clap and wave and point and so on when she decides it's something useful to her. I would recommend focusing on baby signs, if you want to teach her something. That's at least useful whereas clapping and waving are cute, but not very useful.

Cluhol Thu 23-Jul-20 11:24:17

Thank you so much for your response that's really reassuring.
I don't know anything about baby signs, but I think I may look into this and see what it's all about.
X

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Yorkiee Thu 23-Jul-20 17:02:09

Keep clapping even if she isn't looking. My lo did the same and I just kept clapping. 8.5 months and suddenly she started clapping

suzysheeprocks Thu 23-Jul-20 17:05:39

My DD didnt start clapping until she was well over 1 ... She could unscrew lids at 9 months but absolutely refused to clap or wave! When I raised this with our paediatrician he said exactly what pp said, 'when it's something useful to her she will do it' and that is exactly what happened.

So relax and enjoy her demonstrations of the skills she does prioritisewink

MovingtoCardiff Thu 23-Jul-20 17:10:19

Google will tell you everything is autism.

Honestly though it sounds normal to me. My DD didn't clap or wave until much older than 8 months. It's very normal for them to only engage on their own terms at this stage (and any stage, in fact!)

Cardboard33 Thu 23-Jul-20 17:30:58

My (only child) is approaching 17 months, so about double the age of yours. He learnt to clap, wave etc when he was about one. Before that he was incredibly focused on one thing (usually spinning things, also a sign of autism according to Google wink) and engaged much more with the wider world than he did with people. We don't think he really started to recognise "friends" until he was about 9/10 months. Now he's walking, saying a few words etc he seems a different child to how he was 8 months ago. He's fun and you can really have a laugh with him. Also, remember that she's spent the last 4+ months (half of her life) in this weird lockdown situation presumably not seeing many people to "socialise" with...

Btw we did do a baby sign class but as a parent you have to be really invested in teaching/learning the signs (kinda obvious) if you want your child to use them. We didn't go all in, for various reasons, so we only took away a few signs from the class which is fine for me but if you want to really get into it then you've got to dedicate time.

Cluhol Thu 23-Jul-20 19:42:43

Aaah thank you so so much everyone you've really put my mind to rest!!
She's very into sitting herself up from being on her tummy and almost crawling so I know she is invested in that.

I picked her up today from mother in laws where she was for 5 hours and she didn't bat an eye lid or look at me and smile when I got her sad which kinda breaks my heart but I dunno if I'm just totally not a big deal?!

Thank you so much everyone who took the time to read and respond x

OP’s posts: |
userabcname Thu 23-Jul-20 19:50:50

Hi OP, funnily enough I was having the same worried about my 9mo recently. He used to be really smiley and giggly but since he became mobile he is not interested in people so much as things (especially wires if he can get hold of one - he makes a bee line for my phone charger if I leave it plugged in!). But then I remembered my first was a nightmare at this age - he would scream in terror if anyone other than me looked at him and refused to clap or wave at all (my 9mo will clap and wave but only when he wants to, not if we initiate it) and he is now 3 and absolutely fine. I think it's a big stage developmentally and they are figuring out they can do things for themselves. Try not to worry - google is a nightmare for stressing yourself out but I totally understand because I do it too!

bloodywhitecat Thu 23-Jul-20 19:54:54

My 8 month old is neither clapping nor waving nor is he bothered if I try to show him how, he'd rather chew his toys or watch the dog or try to scale the bookcase...

He couldn't care less about me when I go and pick him up from somewhere (unless I am holding his bottle or a banana).

He spends his entire life crawling away and into mischief.

Your baby sounds like a perfectly normal 8 month old to me. I am a 56 year old foster mum who has worked with babies and children in special schools and in setting for children with complex learning/health needs for years and NOTHING you have written screams autism to me.

BertieBotts Thu 23-Jul-20 19:55:21

Apparently they don't actually understand you are a separate person yet, so they won't necessarily show affection towards you because they think of you as an extension of themselves! Once they get to about 12-18 months then you start to get kisses and greetings and all those things and it's lovely and cute.

With the baby signs I just started with two I thought would be useful - more and all done - and I tried to remember to make the signs every time I said those words. He didn't pick up more at all but all done was picked up a few weeks after I started signing it to him. Milk is also a good one for this age because you say it a lot and they want to be able to ask for it! As they start picking them up (and it does take weeks and weeks) you can add more one by one if you think they will be useful.

Cardboard33 Thu 23-Jul-20 20:02:09

Bless her!! Once she does start crawling then you can have fun chasing her etc which might make her seem more engaging.

I assume you're her main carer? If so, it's perfectly normal (and good!) that she didn't bat an eye lid when you returned as she's not really grasped the context of you not being attached to her 24/7. She just expects you to be there as you always have been, whereas you'll likely notice that she pays more attention if your partner comes back in the room. We haven't put ours into childcare yet and he still has a lot more excitement about anyone who isn't me entering his life. I'm hoping that changes when he's in childcare! He's also saying dada but not mummy (other than mamma mamma when he's excited) but that's very common across languages so I'm not bothered.

Cluhol Thu 23-Jul-20 20:45:54

Thank you thank you thank you again!
You've no idea how worried I've been and hearing your experiences and advice and opinions is like a breath of fresh air to me.
It's true, I am her main carer and also true she smiles at dad entering the room from work (grr!! Jealous! Lol).
She gets chuffed when I am shaking and holding her bottle walking into the room too.

They're funny little creatures but I honestly can't say how happy I am to hear that it sounds typical for her to be in her own little world most of the time! Xxx

OP’s posts: |
Cluhol Thu 06-Aug-20 11:37:07

Update :
Once again on edge and totally worrying - why do I worry?! It isn't anything to worry about, it just 'is'!

Any further word of wisdom appreciated.

Health visitor did an 8mo ASQ which shows middle range for communication skills as expected.
Not sure if I'm over analysing but she Just is almost in her own world and absent a lot of the time.
She will turn to my voice or name sometimes but not always.

How do I settle down, enjoy baby hood before it goes and just let her develop however she needs to, in whichever way she needs?!

Thank you for reading!
Xxxx

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LightDrizzle Thu 06-Aug-20 11:54:04

Hello there,
It’s over 29 years ago but my first was like this. She was great in many ways but hadn’t read the Penelope Leach chapters about the mother’s face being the most fascinating thing to a newborn who will study it for hours etc...
DD1 seemed to positively avoid my gaze, preferring the bold parallel bars of the cast iron bed head behind me. However when my mum appeared.....her eyes were glued to her face confused
At about 8 months she went to a childminder a few times a week and she gave no fucks about being left and didn’t acknowledge it in any way, and seemed totally indifferent when I picked her up! It was mortifying!
I have to say she was very happy to see me first thing in the morning and did respond to games like peekaboo.
I don’t know what was going on but she grew up to be an affectionate, empathetic and conventionally successful child and then woman.
Sometimes I wish I had experienced the limpet-baby so many have (DD2 was very poorly and couldn’t really be cuddled much).
DD1 was a quite a fighty, refluxy feeder (bf) and I did sometimes wonder if she associated me with being drowned and smothered by enormous knockers, who knows. I remember seeing a friend bf her boy a few months after I stopped feeding DD1 and was stunned and sad to see how peaceful and blissful it was, he gazed up into her eyes.
DD1 mostly weaned herself at 7 months. I’d hoped to continue for longer, at least first and last thing.

LightDrizzle Thu 06-Aug-20 12:05:34

Interestingly from an anecdata perspective, her childminder had 3 boy and 3 girls of her own and also bred English Setters, she said that in her experience males were much soppier, clingier infants (canine and human) and more loving as small children and females were more independent.

happygolucky6 Thu 06-Aug-20 12:36:44

My nephew was like that, and I suppose you could say he is "anti social" now, he prefers to go off and play by himself and doesn't really mind if people are there or not. He's now 3, and he does communicate with you but only when HE wants too 🤣 we've never had any issues with his development, he's just a seriously independent little man who doesn't have time for anyone 🤣

forrestgreen Thu 06-Aug-20 12:45:41

Lots of singing and action songs is great, especially in the bath as she's contained! Soft, sensory books that make noise etc.

BertieBotts Thu 06-Aug-20 15:45:24

Being in their own way and absent is pretty much how babies are until about 3 when they start really relating to other people and wanting to play WITH them rather than just near them etc.

This might help? smile

www.janetlansbury.com/2010/10/babies-and-the-art-of-observation/

Cluhol Thu 06-Aug-20 21:49:29

Thanks I'm not sure how I tag responders in this directly but that's very reassuring (once again) (I'm like A broken blimming record).

I really need to take a step back and just chill. Social media is a blessing for community and advice, and a curse for comparing and over thinking!!!

Hoping she will come into her own soon ❤️❤️❤️

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Cluhol Thu 06-Aug-20 21:50:25

Thanks I'm not sure how I tag responders in this directly but that's very reassuring (once again) (I'm like A broken blimming record).

I really need to take a step back and just chill. Social media is a blessing for community and advice, and a curse for comparing and over thinking!!!

Hoping she will come into her own soon ❤️❤️❤️

OP’s posts: |
Cluhol Thu 06-Aug-20 21:50:51

Thanks I'm not sure how I tag responders in this directly but that's very reassuring (once again) (I'm like A broken blimming record).

I really need to take a step back and just chill. Social media is a blessing for community and advice, and a curse for comparing and over thinking!!!

Hoping she will come into her own soon ❤️❤️❤️

OP’s posts: |
Cluhol Thu 06-Aug-20 21:53:06

Sorry for the multiple message posting! I'm not good at this at all lol

Thank you all xx

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