Parenting

Stop Freaking Out! Your Baby Is FINE!

You’d think I would have learned by now. After all, I’m on my third child. That means this is the third time I’ve watched someone roll over for the first time, sit up for the first time, clap his hands for the first time, and stand up for the first time. So, you would think that when my third child was a little slow on milestones, I would be completely cool about it. After all, my second didn’t walk until after 12 months, and it all worked out okay. You would think I would remember that. You would be wrong. My third child is the baby in every sense. Not only is he the youngest, but he is the only boy in this family (besides a dog) in two generations. That’s right. No boys anywhere. To say that he’s a little spoiled and coddled is an understatement. When this child peeps, there are hungry female arms to scoop him up at any moment. So, I shouldn’t be surprised that he is taking his sweet time to learn how to walk. But fourteen months and still crawling around (very quickly) while his peers are running by him? I began to worry.

If you ever are worried about any milestone, the cure is to take your child to the doctor where he will begin doing that very thing the moment you tell the doctor he isn’t doing it. When my middle child was six months old, she hadn’t begun to sit up and so I took her to the doctor, who promptly sat her up where she stayed perfectly upright, a veritable pro. He looked at me and cocked his head with a quizzical expression like there was something wrong with me. He laughed and said, “They all do this.” I took my youngest son to his checkup recently and said, “He just isn’t interested in walking!” The doctor looked at me, cocked her head, took my son by the hand and proceeded to get him to walk around the whole room. Then I tried it. He turned into a noodle, legs limp, and began to squawk like I had asked him to do calculus. The doctor laughed at me and said, “He is playing you!” Well, who isn’t? I have a house full of people who are playing some trick or another on me (including the dog). ‘Six’ insists she cannot make a bowl of cereal for herself and would die if I wasn’t there to pour milk for her. ‘Nine’ claims not to know what she is supposed to have in her backpack (the same five things since… forever) every single week, and Moose (the dog) pretends not to be able to walk forward through doorways when I’m watching. I’m surrounded by fakery!

In the days following the appointment with my son, he has taken several steps on his own, as if he had been doing it all the time and I just wasn’t paying attention. I don’t know what it is about that doctor’s office, but it seems to straighten them right up and he began to walk immediately.

So, if your child isn’t rolling over, sitting up, walking, or talking right on cue, most likely they’re totally fine. If you want to light a fire under him, take him to the doctor and tattle. Sometimes he just needs a little shaming in front of a professional. (This, unfortunately, does not appear to work with dogs, FYI).