Baby milestones in perspective

My baby boy has his six-month checkup this week. I’m nervous.

He may be oblivious to it, but there’s a lot of pressure to perform.

At his four-month checkup, the pediatrician told me I was probably focusing too much on my older son, and that’s why my baby wasn’t rolling over yet. (Ouch!) Now with the big half-year milestone in view, he’s supposed to be sitting up, passing things from one hand to the other, and probably more things I don’t think he can do yet.

With the pressure on, I’ve been trying to help him get the hang of supporting himself when he is propped up on the floor. At first he just folded over forwards. Now he balances upright for a couple seconds before toppling sideways.

My baby boy was six weeks premature, yet he is subject to all the same expectations as the bigger babies who got an extra month and a half over him in the womb. If they would use his adjusted age, he’d be four and a half months. To be honest, he’s probably somewhere in between developmentally.

Sometimes I hate opening those BabyCenter.com email updates that talk about all the wonderful things may baby is supposed to be doing at this point in time. My first son, who was four weeks early, NEVER liked stacking things, and I don’t remember him ever staring at his hands.  I kept waiting for him to do those things. (No matter, it’s a useful service. And there’s always a little disclaimer at the end that reminds you that every baby develops differently.)

But still, it plants the seed: Is something wrong with my baby?

In truth, babies do develop differently. Though he’s not sitting on his own yet, and rolling over is still pretty rare, he loves standing up (holding my hands of course). And he’s nearly potty trained. Don’t those things count?

The problem is that babies everywhere go through a progression of skills they acquire before they can go onto the next thing. That’s why rolling, then sitting, then crawling and finally walking are so important. You generally don’t get one before the other.

Still, I’m in no hurry. It seems the past 6 months have flown by, and I’ll be just fine if my little boy isn’t walking when he turns one. As long as things are progressing, I figure we’re fine.

I’m just hoping the pediatrician agrees with me tomorrow, as we struggle to show off our best almost-sitting-up performance.

Protect your baby from Flat Head Syndrome

Comments (4)

  1. Jane

    Hi Lisa!

    I totally agree with you! My daughter was 2 weeks early, but was also a low birth weight baby. She, like your son, has had some catching up to do! And, I think she is probably a good month or so behind developmentally. It’s hard when you read all the websites that tell you what your baby should be doing at their age, and realize that your little one is not doing many or any of those things!

    My only advice would be to try not to compare, if you can (I know it’s hard)! I know a baby who walked at 9 months, and another who didn’t walk until 17 months. Both were happy, healthy little boys. It’s all relative!

    Good luck with the Doctor’s appointment!

    • Lisa

      Jane, thanks! The appointment went well, actually. The pediatrician seemed a little more forgiving this time, for some reason. I was glad to hear she thinks he’s on track, though my first son was way beyond this point by 6 months. How to not compare? Sigh…

  2. Beth Pociask

    I agree there does seem to be a lot of pressure for our children to keep up with others development. I try to focus on what he is currently doing, not what he is going to do but it’s hard whenever I get my weekly, and mo they emails on what he should be doing and isn’t. Nice article something I can really relate to!

    • Lisa

      Beth, yes, those emails can be tough to take! But I figure there are lots of differences, not only as weeks go on, but between boys and girls, too. I suppose it’s impossible for them to cover it all for each possibility, so we have to filter it ourselves, as you’ve said.

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