Developmental Delays.....

Updated on May 02, 2011
T.N. asks from Boston, MA
9 answers

My daughter was born at 35 weeks gestation. Delivered via csection for breech and preclampsia. She was only 4 pounds 3 oz because of my preeclampsia and the early birth.

She will be 1 year old in two weeks.

She crawls army style, rolls over, can sit unsupported, though she doesn't like to! Babbled, interacts and trys to get a response out of us by shaking her head and saying things for us to repeat back to her.

I took her to the pediatrician on Friday bc i have noticed that she prefers to keep her head a little tilted to the right. My pedi said that it isn't torticollis (sp?) because she CAN hold her head straight and she does turn her head side to side.

I'm nervous though that she may have torticollis and that her delays aren't just because she needs to 'catch up'. It's so hard seeing other babies her age or younger that are so much bigger (she only weighs 15 pounds) and so active. Cruising, sitting a pulling to stand etc.

We are going to have early intervention come in and evaluate her.....I'm so nervous.

Does anyone have thoughts or input about premies and delays? How do you really know that she has a delay vs she is just behind bc she is a premie?


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answers from Rochester on

That doesn't sound like much of a delay to me. My oldest, who was born on time, didn't walk until about 14 months old...basically, was at the same place yours is now. My second is turning one next week, and walks well. They're all different.

I don't think 15 lbs is too small, either, for a preemie baby. My youngest turning one weighs about 24 pounds, but chances are she's just a lot taller and has a bigger frame. I know several one year old babies who are around 17-18 pounds, so she's not so far off from that.

Good for you for doing early intervention, though...I honestly don't think you have anything to worry about, but it never hurts to check. Prayers for you and your family!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Hi there,
I think it's really hard to tell sometimes if there is a delay. The developmental milestones are so wide in some cases... I think it's terrific that you're having her evaluated. The people from early intervention services will be looking for specific things that you may or may not be aware of.

Just to give you a little encouragement...My son was born at 34 weeks. We had early intervention and he ended up needing some minor physical therapy, which we were committed to. He was completely "caught up" at 3years old, and now at almost 6 he continues to be a smart, funny, active boy.

My advice is to listen to what the evaluators have to say and be consistent about what they ask you to do. Ask questions and pay attention to what you think your daughter needs and she'll be just fine.

Good luck Mama!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

She doesn't really sound delayed from what you are saying. Did she hit all those milestones late? By the age of one she should be crawling in the traditional way but I think my son was only doing that at 10 months and didn't walk until almost 14. I think you are smart to have her evaluated because if doesn't qualify you can relax and if she does you wont question if you called them early enough. She does sound very small though, is she very thin or just little? How does the doctor fell about that? Are you and your husband petite? To answer your question, even if she does need some help, she will probably be just fine!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Since she was five weeks early, there usually won't be huge delays. But, it's great you're on top of things. She sounds on the right track to me. Even though she favors one side, torticollis is when a baby can't turn their head because of the muscles in the neck. As hard as it is, you'll just have to wait for the early intervention evaluation. Just keep working with her by giving lots of opportunity for movement. Also, try not to compare to other babies! You're comparing apples to oranges. You're looking at your baby born five weeks early to babies born on time (or even past their due date). You are comparing your daughter's weaknesses to other kids' strengths. My twins were walking so, so early, but they didn't talk until they were almost two. So, on the outside, they appeared to be on track, running and jumping by age 1. But, I knew they were behind in language. Hang in there, Mama! EI will help your daughter if she needs it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

What you need to realize is that every baby is different. My son walked unsupported at 8 months, my niece is 14 months and still hasnt yet to even son is now 3 and wearing a boys size 4/6, he can read and write and can count to 30 by himself...thats who he is....we never pushed it....we just let him do his thing....dont worry about the "milestones" they are an estimate...its not a definitive "if shes not walking and talking by this age shes delayed". just like every adult has different likes and dislikes and personalities so does every baby. i am a twin and didnt walk until i was 15 months my twin walked at 9 months...i just wasnt readyu and she may not be either...if you want to help her buy a pretend shopping cart that is sturdy and show her how to hold it and walk with it....and if your worried baout her speech, make sure that anyone who talks to her speaks like they were holding a real conversation, baby talk is actually more of a delay when speaking to a child who is trying to learn...other than that just relax and enjoy the accomplishmenst she is making...she just sounds like a stubborn girl who wants to take her time and eventually make a grand entrance!! good luck hun!



answers from Boston on

my son was born at 34 weeks, 5 years ago. he weigh 4lbs, 12oz. and he was so tiny, like your daughter i worried that he was going to need special ed when he went to school. as a matter of fact, the doctor had told us that he might have dev. problems. he had seizures for the first 6wks and i started to believe the dr. today, he is 5 and way ahead of his k class. he is teacher is always, sending home notes about good he is at reading, writing and knowing the basic stuff. fret not. she will outgrow it.



answers from Lake Charles on

You have to look at it like she's technically a month and a week behind other kids and that can make all the difference. Kids develop at different ages, my daughter has a cousin and he was 6 weeks premature (maybe more) and it took him until 1 1/2 to "catch up" and now he's bigger than she is. If the Dr. says nothings wrong, then nothing is wrong. Stop freaking out and enjoy your beautiful baby!



answers from Hartford on

Just a thought about your observation that she prefers to keep her head tiilted - look into craniosacral therapy. Craniosacral is so gentle yet powerful. I had my son via c-section and always felt he was so tense when he was small. He always clenched his fists, and resisted having his arms or legs moved away from his body (like when I was dressing him) and at rest always turned his head to the same side. Nothing that screamed that there was a problem, but something seemed a little "not right". After a few sessions of craniosacral all of that disappeared. He was so much more relaxed, fussed less, ate better and held his head straight. Even though c-section babies didn't have to get squeezed through the birth canal, they too can get twisted up on the way out. Craniosacral can undo the birth trauma, and better to do it when they are tiny than 20 years later. The craniosacral therapist we used LOVES working with babies because she said it's like working with butter, and older people are like wood.



answers from New London on

Research has shown over and over that the earlier preemies get intervention, the quicker they catch up. If you are having your state's early intervention people in for an evaluation, that's great! They will know what your child needs. And sooner often means less.

My youngest was born at 27 weeks, 2 lbs 3 oz. I started early intervention right away. He'll be 6 years on Wednesday and is doing great - top of his class. I worked with the Birth to 3 folks, incorporated the OT and PT into his play without him really noticing. He still can't regulate himself when sensory integration issues pop up - but he can ask for help. And most people don't even notice.

Don't be nervous - they are there to help you and your daughter to grow and succeed. No one likes to hear their child has any issues - but you already knew that with the premature birth. And yes, it can be very hard - but look at her grow rather than milestones compared to other children or rigid books.

I recommend reading "Welcome to Holland" by Emily Perl Kingsley

And a great book - where you read a few basic chapters, then only the chapters that pertain to you:
Parenting Your Premature Baby and Child

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