Don't Let Milestone Expectations Panic You

Mom Moment 14

baby on sideWhile I was pregnant, I heard many times that twins were always just a smidge behind other kids when it came to hitting their milestones. Knowing this, I swore that I wouldn't let it make me crazy, that I would be totally cool if they were the last of their friends to roll or crawl or walk.

And then, there I was in my twins' group, watching as all of these twosomes who were the same age as my boys -- many preemies -- were rolling all over the place, pushing up their chests, and even showing signs that they were ready to crawl. Meanwhile, my boys would only occasionally roll in one direction (different directions, I should add) and seemed to show no interest in moving at all. Of course, I couldn't help but panic a little. Were my boys just lazy? Was something wrong with them? Should I be concerned?

As if that wasn't enough, I had started one of my little babies in physical therapy again for torticollis, a condition in which the neck muscle is a little tight on one side, creating a head tilt. It's common in twins and not a big deal, if you do the physical therapy and are diligent about doing the stretching exercises at home. But, our physical therapist, as physical therapists often do, was quick to remind me of all of the things my 6-month-old wasn't doing. He's not as strong as he should be, he should be rolling to the right more, he should be pushing up, he should be sitting unassisted. Should be, should be, should be. When you sit there listening to all of the things your baby isn't doing that he "should be," you can't help but let the panic set in. Why isn't he stronger? Is it because he's chubby? I thought he was getting enough tummy time, but maybe he should have gotten more. What does it all meaaaaaaaaan?!

Well, as I found out, literally, just a few days after that appointment, it all meant a whole lotta nothing. Within the last few weeks, both of my twins have started rolling both ways with ease, and one can even sit up unassisted. Boo-ya! Sure, maybe it's a little later than a lot of their peers, but so what, they got there!

Still, I'm going to have to remember this over the next several months, and maybe for the years to come. My babies may crawl and stand and walk later than their peers as well. Their large heads and chubby bodies certainly aren't going to help with that either. But I'm going to have to have faith that they'll ultimately hit their milestones.

What I'm realizing as a first-time Mom, and especially one with two babies, is that you can't help but compare your little ones to their peers. It's not so much that you want them to be "better" -- you just want them to be normal, on track. What I'm also realizing now though is how quickly things change. Like, they change every day! One minute I was thinking my lazy baby was never going to roll, and now he's flipping and flopping all over like a man-baby on a mission.

A friend of mine told me a story about how she was so anxious for her daughter's 6-month pediatrician visit because the baby hadn't rolled in either direction yet, mostly because she absolutely hated tummy time. So, as my Mom friend is standing there, telling the doctor that her little girl hadn't started rolling yet, her doctor interrupted her and said, "Oh, you mean, like that?" My friend turned around to see her daughter rolling all the way across the table (don't worry, the nurse was with her).

My point being that things change really quickly with babies and they learn quickly, one skill building on the next in record time. So, try not to panic if your baby isn't doing what he or she is "supposed to be doing" at 6 months or 8 months or a year, whatever those magic ages are. Your doctor will let you know if there's really cause for concern, but come tomorrow, your baby will likely be doing things you never thought he or she would do.

Have you let milestone panic get you down?


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Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Babies should only be compared to themselves. If they crawl early then they should also walk early but if they're late crawlers then don't worry when they walk late too. From a very early age my son consistently hit intellectual milestones way early and physical ones at the late end of normal. He's in first grade and you can still see that pattern to some extent in that he's way ahead in math and science but if he catches a ball it's sheer dumb luck. Good job really, I'd have no idea what to do with a jock but geeks I know.

Melis... Melissa042807

I gave myself that pep talk over and over and over again as we waited for our little guy to roll over, sit up, crawl, and walk. He was a little "late" rolling over, pretty darn "late" sitting up, WAY late crawling, and WAY late walking. After a while I started to wear down and it really got to me. I was sad and embarrassed that my baby was so far "behind", and my husband was starting to say things like "There must be something we could do differently to get him to walk!" which was well-intentioned, but really only made me feel like a crappy mom. What if it WAS something I hadn't done enough of? Ugh. 


It took a special developmental evaluation with our pediatrician (God bless that woman, I love her) to snap us back into focus. She told us that yes, he technically was behind in gross motor skills and speech (because goober wasn't talking yet either), but he was SMART. Child is ahead in social connection, mental processing, and his listening vocabulary is insane. That really put things in perspective for us. We started physical and speech therapy soon after. He started walking on his own pretty quickly and is totally fine in that area. Speech is still a challenge, but it doesn't get me down like it used to (only occasionally because he won't say "mama"). He shows me daily how smart he is through how well he figures things out on his own, how well he listens, and how well he remembers things. 

nonmember avatar Amber

I am a mom of boy/girl twins and know exactly how you feel. I compared them all the time to other kids, their older sister and even each other. I have noticed the my son is alwasya a few week behind my daughter. They are 15 months now and barely starting to talk. I still compare them and have to talk myself out of it. I know that even they are twins, they are both indivduals. Doc said there is nothing wrong, so I need to stop the self talk. Its hard

CoolR... CoolRelax

I didn't compare my twins to other kids so much as to each other. I have fraternal girls - one is a little prissy and the other is a little sporty.  The sporty one was first to roll over, sit up, crawl and walk.  The prissy one was just laying there babbling at me for a long time.  She would watch the sporty one getting around...and once she saw her moving easily and not falling so much she decided to give it a try, lol. 

azalia00 azalia00

I'm not a 1st time mom, but with my 3rd baby, who is now 6 weeks old, the doctors were always telling us that he has a large head and a small body, they ran all kinds of tests on him. Turns out, he's very healthy, he does have a big head compared to other babies, but my husband has a big head, and yeah it's taking him a little longer to be able to hold his own head up, but hey, it's too big for his little neck muscles.. I try not to compare, but it's human nature to. 

Bmat Bmat

Yes, when my toddler kept falling over I worried. Eventually he was able to walk without falling over.

elasmimi elasmimi

My son did not turn over til he was seven months old, but he turned over and sat up the same week. He was fine.

kellynh kellynh

Not at all!! 

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