Saturday, 30 August 2014

Trying not to freak out about developmental milestones

I planned to write this post last week and then never got round to it... All about how 'it's ok if your baby isn't doing x, y and z' by their 'deadlines'... but that was before Joseph threw a curve ball. However, I still think it's applicable as I still find myself ranting about what he can't do 'for his age'.

"Should I be worried, Mummy, because you look kinda worried..."
So, Joseph turned four months old on the 19th and, according to all the baby books, the interwebs, and other #fourmonthsold babies on Insta' (I spend far too long over there), babies should be able to roll over at four months. Although he sometimes attempts, Joseph can't roll over. Another thing I've noticed four monthers doing is playing with/ eating their feet. Joseph couldn't care less about his feet. Therefore I've been quietly wondering recently whether anyone's at home in there, yet also trying to stay level-headed and patient with him.

When  one of the supervisors at a baby group I went to this week asked me how we were getting on, one of the first things that uncontrollably blurted out of my mouth was 'he's four months old and he can't roll over!!' To which she replied 'that's ok, he'll get there in the end'. Which didn't really alleviate my mumzilla side, yet my rational side really wanted to believe her. I also often catch myself saying 'why you no roll over?' to Joseph, too. So, clearly it's at the surface of my mind.

But what I want to use this post to get affirm in my head, if no one else's, is that it really is ok if your baby isn't rolling over at dead on four months. It doesn't matter if he hasn't found his feet when it seems like everyone else has - it's actually good in Joseph's case as it mean his amber anklet has a fighting chance of staying on him - and it doesn't matter if your baby doesn't do things at the same age that their baby friends did them.

The supervisor lady also said that babies do things in their own time, and she showed absolutely zero concern as to his development (although I don't really know what qualifications they have - not in a horrible way, I just genuinely don't know so I don't know whether they'd know if a baby was showing signs of not being quite right). She noticed that he followed me around the room when I went to get his food out of my bag, and commented on his reaction to a loud noise, so I'm taking those as positives.

The aforementioned curve ball is that Joseph started sitting up this week- two months earlier than she 'should'. After that baby group, I went to my mum's house and was sat with him on the floor. He was sitting between my crossed legs when I noticed that he wasn't actually leaning on me, so I moved away. To my surprise he stayed put for about 20 seconds... Long enough for me to find my phone, take a photo and a little video before he toppled over onto some empty new-toy boxes (he was fine). He sat up, still, quite a few more times throughout the day and what I noticed is that he needs to be focussed on something else to do it. The first time he was staring at the telly and the next few times he was staring at me whilst I sang to him.

I am signing and signing the 'Hello' song from Baby Sensory. (Pls inore the cluttered house!)

He didn't do it for the following two days, which made me wonder if it was a fluke, but he did it a few more times today... whilst watching TV again. (I do worry a little bit about how much he stares at the TV, by the way... He really cranes his neck and turns like an owl to look at it if I face him away from it!)

So, yeah, I am going to bite my tongue the next time I catch myself saying 'roll over, Joseph, roll over!!!' or 'yeah but he can't roll over' and instead I am just going to enjoy seeing Joseph doing his thing- even if it is in the 'wrong' order, give him plenty of tummy time, not compare him to other four monthers and, although I've taken his sitting up as a sign that someone is home and the cogs are a-turning in there, I really am just going to not let myself get bogged down with what he 'should' be doing by dead on the age that he's 'meant' to. From what I can gather, the only developmental milestone that's an issue is if babies walk before they crawl... but then again I missed out the crawling stage and I'm alright (apart from if I try to play any sort of bat and ball sport / sport in general) so even that's not a big deal.

They will all be just fine!
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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x

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