Your child’s individual pace of development
Mums, we are so different! We include tall brunettes, lush blondes and small, fragile women with fiery red hair. And the above does not embarrass us in the slightest.
Why do we sometimes forget that such different mothers have such different babies?
Child Development: all under one roof?
Often we try to fit all children under one standard. We meticulously study various calendars of child development, with interest looking at the tables, which contain data on the growth and weight of the baby, depending on age. We’re up to our necks sitting on forums, reading information about other kids. And all this just to make sure that our child is growing and developing not worse than peers. We say ingrained stereotypes, that at 3 months, a child should turn over, at six months to crawl, and 1 year he must walk. And now ask yourself: who does he have to?
I do not argue, there are situations where the baby is clearly behind in development, but for this entire first year, we visit numerous specialists in children’s clinics in time to identify the problem, if there is one. In this case it is better to be reinsured and consult several doctors. But more often it is not the child who has the problem, but the mother, or rather the mother’s head.
My daughter didn’t really fit into the established standards. She was underweight. At first it was going well, we gained over a kilo in the first month, a little less in the second, but it got worse and worse. At 1 year of age we didn’t even reach the lowest limit of the norm. And naturally, I got upset, but then common sense kicked in: at 30, I weigh 41kg, and this is my normal weight (I do not sit on any diets). And it doesn’t fit any anthropological chart either. What should I expect from a baby then?
Fortunately, our pediatrician is a sensible woman, she certainly wrote underweight in the card, but looking at me, she did not stress about it and did not complain. Before you worry about your baby’s height and weight, take a good look in the mirror at your baby’s mum and dad: maybe then the worry will go away on its own.
Baby development: All in good time
Apart from height and weight, mothers are also very concerned about the pace at which their child is developing. Many of us forget that every baby develops individually. If your daughter was very nimble from birth, looking at the world around her with curiosity, commenting on what she saw and even gesturing, she is likely to crawl before her peers. And if your son was philosophical from the first days of his life, could lie quietly for a long time, looking at a spot on the ceiling, then you should not demand sprinting speed from him.
We are jealously watching our friend’s son, who is 20 days younger, and has already started sitting up! We look with envy at the neighbor’s girl, who at 10 months clearly says: Mom, Daddy, kitty, give, when our one-year old still has not said anything intelligible. I will not hide it, and I was the same, although in principle I am a positive person and not jealous.
I am constantly asking my two girlfriends, whose babies were born in one month with my baby, what they are already able to do. And then I even made complaints to his daughter: they say, Anna is already crawling, and you are not. Time to stop me when this very thing put for three weeks in an infectious disease ward for three weeks.
And then I got it! The main thing – that my child is healthy, and all the rest – it’s nothing! A month early or a month late – it’s nothing compared to the whole life ahead of my little girl.
From that moment on, I decided that my daughter will sit (walk, talk) when she is ready. And immediately it became easier! Here’s an example. My baby stood up in the cot at six and a half months, and three days later she walked along the railing. I was sure that by nine months, she would be running around the flat.
She didn’t walk on her own until she was a year old. My reasoning was that the child was ripe and cautious before that! I’m not calling to burn all the books and magazines about child development – myself with interest looking into them. But, mums, be sensible, no need to blindly follow everything that is written, take into account the temperament and character of the baby, the physical data of his parents. It also matters what kind of family he grows up in, whether it has siblings or he is still an only child. Think of yourself as a teenager. Some of us, at the age of 13, were boasting of having a regular cycle and two-size breasts, some of us were going through puberty at the age of 15!
But when I found out for myself, I discovered that that was not all… We are surrounded by mothers, grandmothers, aunts, in-laws, neighbors and kind-hearted women in the street. Many of them consider it their duty to say that “you should walk a long time ago” or that “you sat down early, it’s bad for girls”! And they also like to say things like, “My little Igor was tying his own shoelaces at one year old, reading books at two, and playing chess at three. And you know her Igor perfectly well, and you really want to ask why he, having such extraordinary abilities, still works as a loader? But instead you are embarrassed and silent.
Let them say whatever they want, while you keep saying to yourself: my child is healthy, well-developed, happy.
I encountered this problem when I was regularly walking in the yard with the pram in summer and autumn and met other mammals. Naturally, all the conversations were about babies. Our conversations usually started like this: “And mine yesterday …”. We’re developing mediums, so we had nothing to brag about. But I had one argument that covered everything – teeth. We got teeth at four months, and at nine months we had eight! In terms of teeth, we were ahead of the planet… within our backyard.
There will always be some annoying mommy or grandma who will be proud to tell you about her beloved son’s or grandson’s achievements and condescending look at your child. Such ladies are useless to explain that your child is not thin. Try with them when talking to transfer the conversation to another topic or avoid such personalities.
Every child is unique and develops according to a timetable that only he or she knows! Some will become artists, some will get PhDs in history, and some will be great inventors. Our children are different, and that’s wonderful!