My first child -- my daughter Samara -- was as easy a baby as they come. She hit each milestone right on time, she slept through the night at six weeks. She rarely cried unless it was for a specific and obvious reason. Because she was so simple we thought, "Hey! This parenting thing is a cinch! Let's do it again!"
How wrong we were. Our second child -- my son, Alan -- was born 18 months after our daughter and nothing was the same. It took him 15 months to sleep through the night, he loved nursing in a way my daughter had not. He nursed until he was three, in fact. But most of all, he wanted to be carried.
Even now, 3.5 years after his birth, Alan would still prefer to be carried everywhere we go. But when he was a baby, this was actually a problem.
It was around the 10 month mark where my pediatrician started to worry about my son's "crawl." He never crawled, in fact. He had perfected a sort of fast scoot on his bum and he managed to get around the house quite well using it. Crawling was not his thing.
I should have known this early on. We never did any tummy time because whenever we did, Alan would fall on his face, screaming until he was beet red. He acted like we were burning him with hot poker every time we tried. And tummy time came with the added bonus of his toddler sister's attempts to ride her baby brother, smack him or otherwise assert her authority.
In other words, tummy time was in short supply around our house with our second. It seemed fine at the time, but by month 10 when Alan would not even consider getting on all fours, it became a problem.
"We need to put him in early intervention," our pediatrician told us. And with that, I was introduced to a world of stress. The actual physical therapy appointments were not so stressful themselves. In fact, it was kind of nice to have someone come over and play with Alan for an hour every week. They forced the tummy time issue and helped work to build his core.
But I am a mom. I stress. I read incessantly about kids who never crawl or who are late crawlers and what it means. I learned each milestone builds on the last so he would probably also be a late walker because he had not built up the core strength in crawling to start pulling up to standing. I worried he might never walk. This went on for months.
Sure enough, 15 months rolled around and Alan was not closer to walking. I thought about it all the time, worried and worried and carried him everywhere. It took a long time, but by 19 months, he took his first fledgling steps. Then he was off. Within a month, he had his six-month assessment for EI and they declared him all caught up to other kids. Now, two years later, I know it is true. Judging from Alan on the playground and around town, one would never know he was a late walker. He is all caught up.
Of course, don't even get me started on potty training. The fact is, kids hit milestones at different times. As parents, we worry, stress and fret. But most of the time, they get there on their own time.
Did you ever worry about milestones?