Do You Have A Late-Bloomer On Your Hands?
It’s not uncommon for children to be late bloomers when taking their first steps and saying their first words.
When your child is a late bloomer
My son was unable to make any headway on the floor. When the pediatrician told me not to worry about James until he was a year old, I started a countdown. A mere 12 days before his first birthday, James crawled around on his hands and knees. At 14 months, Jack took his first two steps across the playpen, and I exhaled a sigh of relief. Then for the next four months, he didn’t move an inch.
Waiting for your child to walk or talk can be nerve-wracking when he’s a late bloomer (that’s a cute name for a baby who meets milestones later than typical). One may ask: Was there something I could or should have done to avoid this situation? Are there any next steps that I should take? Is he alright, or is there something wrong with him? Milestones are more flexible than you think!
What are you saying? I don’t get it.
When it comes to expressing himself, 2-year-old Luke Nelson from Dartmouth, Massachusetts, does it very well. He has a vast range of facial expressions and movements at his disposal. He expresses his desire by pointing to a specific location. When asked yes or no, he shakes his head. To show that he understands what he’s being told, he follows orders and sometimes refuses with a foot stamp. He doesn’t respond in any meaningful way.
And it’s not unheard of either. About one out of every ten children has some delay in their language development, making it the most prevalent developmental issue. That’s because it’s so difficult to communicate effectively. It’s a two-way street: comprehending and speaking are both necessary. A half-year gap between receptive language (understanding) and expressive language (speaking) is typical. The ability to point to the nose, for example, is an indication that your toddler is growing his skills, even though he may not be able to communicate yet.
It’s time to evaluate whether you’re providing your child the chance to talk if they’ve passed their second birthday and still have few words to their name. It dawned on Karen and the rest of Luke’s family that they’d been doing Luke’s talking for him. As she recalls, “I would guess, out loud, what he wanted, and when I got it right, he’d nod and perform his little happy dance,” she explains.
“Now I wait for him to answer before I say, ‘Tell me what you want.'” As a result, this method takes longer. Waiting for Luke to say “juice” or “milk” was more time-consuming than assuming what he wanted to drink. However, Luke’s vocabulary is increasing as a result of his patience.
A person’s personality influences talking. Some newborns are inherently quiet. Singing, telling stories, and replicating their sounds can all entice them out of their shells. Nothing beats spending time with a loved one while reading a great book. To get your youngster involved, point and name things in the photographs and have them do the same.
Get to Work!
Baltimore’s Lydia Hawley-Brillante didn’t crawl or walk until she was almost two years old. Lydia’s mother, Robin, describes her as the calmest infant she had ever encountered. “She was happy that she could sit up on her own by the time she was six months old. She did not attempt to take a position, “As Robin puts it.
Robbie began raising his daughter onto her feet so she could grip the coffee table when she was one year old. She was about to go. Lydia was stranded for a short while before she decided to go on. At the age of 18 months, she was able to do this for the first time. Eventually, she was able to walk unassisted for the first time. She didn’t attempt again for a week, as she was too stunned by her success to try again.
Children’s ages at which they first begin to walk vary widely. According to research, only 50 to 60 percent of babies can walk by the time they become one year old. Some start walking as early as eight months, while others, like my son, begin walking at 18 months old. All of this is very normal. Lydia, like other 18-month-olds, is perfectly healthy despite her inability to walk. “I don’t worry too much if the child has decent muscular tone and reflexes,” he says.
Walking late might be caused by many different things. Genetics has a role, and if one or both parents are late walkers, the infant is likely to be as well. In some instances, babies who are more significant than average take longer to walk because they have greater weight to bear, which takes time to build up strength. Personality also plays a role, just as it does in developing linguistic skills. Some newborns appear content to remain in one place for an extended period.
They’re Going Slowly
Worst-case scenarios tend to dominate our thoughts. When a youngster cannot communicate, many parents begin to suspect that their child has autism. However, your child’s hearing is likely to be the first thing your pediatrician checks. Even if your child isn’t talking by 16 months, which is more common than autism or hearing problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be less intelligent. Some famous people, like Albert Einstein, did not begin speaking until they were well into their second year.
The question “Is he still not walking?” is asked by friends. To block out their accusatory tones, say nothing back. “The doctor isn’t worried about Lydia, so I’m not,” Robin used to say to people. It is best to refrain from making comparisons between your child and others. Early walkers, early talkers, those who reach milestones at “average” times, and late bloomers can be found in any group of infants. When you think about it, babies fall on either side of what you define as “average.”
However, it would help if you discussed your concerns with your child’s pediatrician. She can help you see your child’s growth in context. Consider getting a second opinion if you have a nagging suspicion that the doctor is overlooking something. If you’re still not convinced, seek a second opinion from another physician. You’ll feel less stressed, and if your child does have a problem, you’ll be able to seek crucial early intervention (such as occupational therapy).
Keep in mind that your kid is performing a variety of things, from peekaboo to blowing kisses, so don’t forget about them. There are periods of rapid growth, followed by periods of stagnation. Relax and enjoy your child’s current stage of life.
Helpful related articles: How Can Parents Best Encourage Their Children To Engage in Imaginative Play, 3-Year-Old Toys That Encourage Imaginative Play, Encourage Your Child’s Voice In These 8 Small Ways