Baby developmental delays in twins are normal… right? My first born was and still is my over-achiever baby. She rolled earlier than expected, crawled on schedule, and picked up talking and reading so early I smugly indulged in many a proud moment as my toddler read out the title of a pamphlet in the doctor’s waiting room. But this time around, it’s a little different…
My boys have the unfortunate combination of being huge for their age (they’re wearing 18mth clothes at 9 months) but are behind in development. Yes, I said it… they are ‘a little behind‘. When I say this in general conversation people tend to look at me as if I’ve given up on my own children. It’s just not the done thing to say it out loud, despite many moms worrying about it in silence.
The Twins oversized proportion means everyone thinks they can ‘do‘ more than they actually can. At the gym a month or so ago – I’ll be honest, it’s been a while seen I visited the gym – I checked in my boys to the convenient childcare facility. I handed over one chunky monkey to a confident young girl as I retrieved the other from the stroller. She promptly plonked him down on the floor beside her while she came back for his brother.
It was one of those slo-mo mom moments when you can see what is happening but are unable to move your limbs fast enough… and I have the reactive response of a sloth, so I watched him slump from his sit and topple to the side, bumping his head on the wall. Lots of crying and cuddles required, and I left feeling grumpy that my desire for a firmer butt had resulted in injury to my not-so-little boy. “I thought he could sit.” She said. And who can blame her, he has noticeable baby developmental delays and the skills of a baby three months younger.
I don’t mind waiting… their pediatrician isn’t particularly concerned at this point so I shouldn’t be either. But still the questions…
“Are they nearly walking?”
No, they’re not actually, and now I feel like an inadequate mother, for no sensible reason what so ever.
Other Moms agree it’s family that are the worst culprits. Granny wants bragging rights when she visits the country club “Oh and he is clearly a talented musician because he can already play Incy Wincy Spider on the xylophone you know.”
My boys also suffer from having an over-achieving cousin three months younger, meaning there is the constant comparison… even though when they FaceTime each-other they don’t seem to mind at all, dribbly grins all round.
I used to babble justifications at people: “They were 4wks premature,” “Twins are often behind schedule,” “It’s the weight of their giant heads…” but to be honest it feels better just to say “They’re behind but they’ll get there“, whether it’s to the person in front of you or repeating back to yourself in your manic mommy brain.
So if you’re baby is not breakdancing yet and you’re worried about baby developmental delays, I’m just here to say you’re not alone in the wait. And remember that everyone’s quick to brag but there are probably just as many moms silently panicking that Mr Jelly-Legs will never walk. The milestone guidelines are broad and I find the ‘speak to your pediatrician if…‘ sections on this link reassuring:
UPDATE: The Twins eventually walked at 18months and caught up with most their physical milestones. They do, however, continue to struggle with speech and are in therapy through the Early Intervention Program. If you’d like to find out more, read more of our story –> here.
And because it’s totally cute, here’s a baby actually trying to breakdance: