How do you not get hung up on what other babies are able to do?


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Lately my wife and I have been having a rough time with feeling like we are “failing” our son, for lack of a better term.

He’s 9 months old, born 3 weeks premature, had jaundice which required light therapy, ended up having torticollis which he is in physical therapy for (and has progressed extremely well), wore a DocBand helmet for 10 weeks to treat a flat spot from facing only one side while sleeping.

I only mention all of this because I use it to tell myself that our son has had some minor tribulations to overcome.

At 9 months, he sits unassisted, holds a bottle with both hands (plays with it rather than feeds himself), rolls to either side, jumps in his bouncer, sleeps through the night consistently, babbles constantly, and is currently learning to wave (or maybe he’s just flailing his arms in response to our waves!)

My BiL’s child is 4 weeks ahead of our son (technically 7?) and he’s been crawling for a while, pulling himself up on furniture, damn near walking.

I feel like my wife and I have been so focused on making sure that we do everything by the book, everything right, whereas my BiL and his girlfriend have a very tumultuous, unstructured household and their son seems to be exceeding, not to say that our son isn’t. It’s just hard to not be envious or jealous of visible progression.

I guess I was wondering if I could hear from some other dads that have experienced this to know that I (we) are not alone. The pediatrician, physical therapist, and everyone we talk to don’t seem worried… I know the first year can be different for every baby. My wife has been “feeling like a failure” lately and I want to help reassure, and myself, that it’s perfectly normal.

Cheers, Dads & Lurkers, enjoy the weekend!
@asalia207 I’ve been drumming for 20 years. I’ve toured, played from coast to coast, internationally, recorded records. There are at least twenty 10 year olds on YouTube better than I ever will be.

Everyone is different, man. Don’t buy into the competition.
@asalia207 Colin Jost didn't speak until he was 4-years-old. Now he's an SNL superstar, and married to Scarlett Johansson.

What I'm saying is: chill out.
@seyram Meh, I dunno, we shouldn't judge people based on their spouses. Didn't you watch Moneyball? Never judge potential by looking at the girlfriend!

(this is a joke if anyone isn't clear; although... yeah, let's also be clear, we shouldn't judge people's potential based on how good-looking their partner is...)
@asalia207 Take this kindly, but man... you need to chill.

If you spend your kid's entire life doing this, you're just going to make them feel inferior to others. I could give you stories of kids who are well ahead of yours or kids who are well behind yours. Wouldn't change the fact that it's a meaningless comparison.

Want to feel bad, go check out some of the videos of babies swimming underwater at less than 1 year old. No way my kids were doing that. But my son is doing multiplication and division in kindergarten. I wasn't doing that until 3rd grade.

They'll all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Society will rank and judge them based on how well they do compared to others.

They don't need it from you. You are the last person who should be doing that, because while you think it's a reflection of your abilities as a parent they won't see it that way.

They'll see it as a reflection of how you view them as a person. And if your parents think you're a failure, that's a heavy burden.

Your kid will progress in time. So like I said. Just chill. They've got this.
They don't need it from you. You are the last person who should be doing that, because while you think it's a reflection of your abilities as a parent they won't see it that way.

Amazingly said and just what I needed to hear. I hope more people see this and take what you said to heart.
@golecoopar I appreciate the “tough love” but I feel as though you’ve misinterpreted how we view our son. Mostly what I was looking for was some camaraderie that we are not alone in worrying about these sorts of things with the hopes of putting my wife’s mind and anxiety at ease. We’re first time parents so this is all new to us.
@asalia207 What I’m hearing is that you’ve been under a ton of stress. We also had a preemie and did light therapy and had a rough recovery so I’ve been there. You never know what the next problem is going to be and it’s easy to worry about EVERYTHING.

It sounds from your details that your kid is doing fine. Truly. Milestones have huge normal ranges and your kid is clearly progressing positively. I would take your BIL’s crawling kid as a gentle lesson in humility and nothing more.
@asalia207 Bro we all worry about it, its natural to make comparisons. And youre new so you havent had much practice talking yourself out of it but you will. Our pediatrician told us "you cant tell which adults walked or talked first" and that always gave me comfort. It really wont matter in the long run, and who we are continues to be shaped long after we leave our childhood homes
@asalia207 All i can say is my kiddo is almost 4, barley starting to talk, finally lets me brush his teeth properly and yet all his life he has been happy and safe and that's all i care. If your Son is happy and safe then all else will fall into place, cant force it. You've got this, and so does you boy!

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