"My baby is better than your baby"

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Before you get excited and defensive, the title of this post doesn't have anything to do with how I feel about my baby compared to yours, which is why it is in quotes.  Both of our babies are super fabulous, cute, and awesome.  Now that we have cleared that up, I'll start in on the post and the reason for the title.

During my years TTC and through the many miscarriages that I endured, the BBC (B.aby C.enter) website has helped me navigate some tough times.  When I was TTC, I used it to understand more about how to get pregnant.  When I had my first miscarriage, I found a great support group that I am still a part of this day (and have even met some of the ladies in it!).  When I was having issues keeping babies, I was referred to FF (F.ertility F.riend) to track my cycles, which took me to a whole different level of TTC knowledge.  When I finally became pregnant with B, I never joined but constantly read the posts from the April 2013 Birth Club.  When I thought my pregnancy was going wacky, I would no sooner than jump to the Birth Club page and find someone with a wackier pregnancy than mine.  It made me feel so much better.  All in all, BBC has provided me a knowledge, support, and entertainment for the past 2 1/2 years and for that I am extremely grateful (even though I am not a fan of their owners, Johnson & Johnson...barf).

Now that I have B, BBC has become my late night breastfeeding entertainment.  What else am I going to do at 2 in the morning other than read about how someone else's baby ate bananas for the first time and then had a green diaper which was evidenced in the post with a lovely picture?  Yes, this might make me a total loser for reading this crap, but it keeps me awake when I need to be and often provides me with a chuckle or something to chat with my husband about over dinner.

Yesterday, while perusing the halls of the April Birth Club, I happened to notice that there was a whole post dedicated to April babies and their accomplishments.  Yes, in case you didn't know it, babies in the age range of 6 months (plus or minus 2 weeks) should have already completed a long list of things on their "to-do" list.  This accomplishments list sparked my interest so I started casually scrolling through it.  The first thoughts that came to my mind were, "Holy $#!t, my baby is so far behind the other April babies" and then it was "Holy $#!t, my baby is huge compared to these peanuts".  Some of the things that the April mommies boast that there babies can do are as follows (in no particular order):

  • "pulls himself up to a stand"
  • "tries to walk"
  • "started crawling at 5 months"
  • "started saying mama and dada"
  • "likes to drink water from a cup"
  • "mimics sounds and words" 

I could keep going, but I'll stop.  the thread seemed like a total contest of my baby is more advanced than your baby.  With each post, it seemed like people were trying to out do one another.  I guess it is possible that these people have super advanced babies, but really, trying to walk?! Then I thought about the things that baby B is doing right now (at 5 3/4 months), which I had thought were great, and started to get worried that he is behind:

  • "sitting almost completely unassisted" (will fall over if he is tired, so we sit him in the Boppy just in case)
  • "has rolled in both directions, but doesn't do it frequently"
  • "screams at a high pitch and babbles nonsense"
  • "reaches for his toes"
  • "reaches for toys, grabs them, then throws them at the floor as hard as he can"
  • "jumps in the jumper" (he loves that thing)
  • "smiles and laughs"
  • "has 2 bottom teeth" (the only thing I think he is "advanced" with)
  • "stands when completely supported"

I have always been the kind of person that strives to be the best at everything.  If I am not the best, I will work as hard as I can to try to be the best.  I knew that when I had a child, I would subconsciously feel like my child would be the best at everything, too.  I told myself that I would have to work on not forcing my child to be the best at everything (yes, I have non-verbal conversations with myself) because then they will end up resenting me.  I know I shouldn't be comparing my almost 6 month old to others (and definitely not nameless/faceless others on BBC), but seeing the list of all of these crazy things that some babies are doing already and seeing what my baby can do makes me seriously stressed and question if there is something wrong with him.  He isn't even close to crawling or saying mama/dada.

I know that I am going to come across this type of situation in "real life" more and more.  The more new mommies I meet and friends that B makes, the more I am going to want to compare those babies with mine.  When he gets older I am going to want to compare his reading skills with my friend's kids.  What about his soccer skills with the neighbor boy's skills?   I just can't do that, for my sanity and his.  We won't make it.  He'll hate me and I'll be miserable.  

I guess what is all boils down to is how do I know that he is flourishing and doesn't have any issues or delays that I should be worried about?  I know we have regular check-ups at the pediatrician, but those are spaced out every few months and will be happening less and less as he gets older.  Since he is not yet in daycare and won't be until he is over a year old, how do I know if we have a problem?  Should I just relax and not even think about it?

If you are reading this and thinking that I am nuts, you have right to think so.  Most likely I am (but if you are only just realizing that now then I would be extremely surprised :-).  I wonder how many other new (or even not so new) mommies have similar concerns to mine and how you dealt with them.  Did any of you have kids trying to walk at ~6 months?  Is that for real?

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4 Responses to “"My baby is better than your baby"”

  1. Like you I want to be the best and I basically give myself anxiety if I'm not. Crazy of course I know but still. However, when I got pregnant I didn't read a single book and still have not read a single book on anything developmental baby wise. I took a stance that I was not going to compare Reagan to any baby, younger or older. Heck I don't even like to compare her to me or my husband as a baby. Even when the doctor brings out the charts and she is in such and such percentile I just nod because as long as my baby is growing and is healthy that is all I care about. Yet, there are times where things creep into my head or I read somewhere (like you at 2am) where baby was doing this by age 6 months or was doing whatever at 9 months I do tend to freak out sometimes. But then I bring myself back and just move on.

  2. I is so natural to compare. Because my twins were early I always end up worrying when they aren't the same as their peers, even though that's unrealistic. All new parents in my area get given a book with a list of usual developmental markers. And a list of things that are worth seeing someone about "ie not smiling in responce to you by x months". Maybe your peed could find something like that for you. Also, my local mother baby nurse said they learn heaps during the tummy/crawling stage and developmentally it isn't really good if they walk too early. 6 months is crazy! Your not mad, B is im sure doing just what he needs to do :)

  3. Haha, I totally do the same thing with babycenter! I stop in now and then to read about how the other preggos are doing but even there it seems competitive. How much they are working out, how little weight they have gained. SMH.

  4. Gosh you sound EXACTLY like me! And your little one's list is identical to mine lol. So I think we are the "norm" and our babies are just right! I highly doubt any baby at 6 months is trying to walk! I guess I've heard of it but that is so super rare and if I haven't seen it with my own eyes then I call bull lol. I think the same things all the time with mine, is he behind? is he just lazy? is he going to all of a sudden do a bunch of new things at one time? But, it all comes down to they all go at their own pace. My first son did not sit unassisted until 7 1/2 months, he NEVER crawled and only scooted on his bottom, he did not walk until 18 months (this was due to hypermobile joints and PT helped right away). This little guy who turned 6 months on Oct 3rd still does not sit but for a few seconds at a time, nowhere near crawling, doesn't even get up on his knees, babbles loudly and the 'bababababa' or 'dadadada' are not words, they are babble lol! He rolls only when he feels like it but not often. Will stand if supported but doesn't do the 'bouncing while standing' thing unless he is actually in a jumpy. So I'm right there with ya girl, I'm so competitive and have always wanted to be the best and do the best and 100% if-I-don't-know-how-I'm-going-to-figure-it-out-right-now lol. Drives my husband crazy (and me sometimes lol) but some of us are just that way and we have to tell ourselves sometimes that it's ok to be average, it's ok if our kids are not the most advanced with the highest IQ superkids ever even though we want them to be. But we are REAL. I truly believe half the people that say their kids "did this and that so early you wouldn't believe it" are stretching the truth a bit. My mother in law says all the time that my sister in law (her youngest) was speaking in full sentences and walking by 6 MONTHS! HAHAHAHA um yeah right. So don't stress it, each baby likes to go at his or her own pace and even though my first did alot of things late he is very intelligent, kind, and is right where he needs to be now. :-) Thanks for this post though, I feel a lot better about my little guy and his milestones that are not super advanced! :-)