This Concerns me.....looking for Other Opinions....

Updated on April 12, 2011
M.R. asks from South Dartmouth, MA
54 answers

My brother and his wife have their first child who recently turned one in March. I'm a mother of two teens and I also watch my niece from time to time when my brother and his wife need me to. At this point, compared to my kids and the numerous other kids I have been around as a school teacher and Vice Principal, my niece seems very behind and her parents seem clueless about this. She is now 13 months old and is nowhere near walking....just actually started crawling a month ago and finally sat on her own at 9 months. She cannot hold her own bottle and doesn't even try to. She cannot drink from a sippy-cup or hold that either. She is still eating stage 1 or 2 pureed baby foods and very little table foods. She has never been given meats of any kind and they refuse to give her juice to drink as well. She is also very afraid of anything new that is shown to her whether it be a food item or a toy she has never seen. The other day I thought we’d play with some bowls, spoons, and dried macaroni to scoop up and she had a canary fit of crying because she was deathly afraid of the macaroni! OMG…I have never seen this before in my life! I have to be honest....this seriously concerns me as I've spent most of my life caring for and teaching children of all ages and what I see here with my niece is baffling to me. Are babies these days doing things on a much slower pace and level on purpose or am I right to think that there is delay in many areas here with my niece? My brother and his wife have some strange hang-ups with her such as the food (or lack thereof) and at 13 months, they still put her in a baby walker and Excersaucer. My kids were in and out of those things by 6-7 months tops! I need some input from the moms here as to whether my thinking is appropriate here or if things have changed so much that my kids just look more advanced back in the day. My niece will be enrolled in daycare within two weeks and frankly, I think she’s going to get killed in there by the average one-year olds who can do so much more than her at this point. I think she needs the daycare to push along her skills but do you guys feel she is way behind or is it just me?

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D.B.

answers from Charlotte on

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6 moms found this helpful

H.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

I don't think this sounds alarming at all. Are they babying her? Yes. Babies get lazy when mom and dad hold, carry, and sooth constantly. 13 months and not walking is sooo normal. If she was 18 months and hadn't taken a step, then yes, a concern there. Every child "blooms" at different stages. I have learned that with my 2 very different children. In 60 days from now, she may be a totally different kid! But at 13 months there's no reason to be thinking she under advanced or struggling.

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M.L.

answers from Houston on

At this point I would say they have just been babying her. I know, my brother and his wife do the same on some things, and it drives me crazy. Especially since they don't baby my niece in many other ways, so it makes it hard on HER!
Anyway, I would let the daycare handle things now that she will be enrolled. They know how to handle talking to parents about developmental issues, and it also wouldn't create problems between you guys. :)

3 moms found this helpful

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S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Whoo, Mama, you come off as kind of a know it all, judgmental auntie. I think you need to take a step back and remember a few things:

1) Kids develop at different paces. Maybe your kids were very similar so the concept is lost on you. I have two who were always ahead of the crowd, often well ahead. Now I have one who is in the slower end of the average range... but she is no less "normal" or okay than my olders. Your experience as a school teacher and vice principal really doesn't speak to early childhood development; you shouldn't confuse the two. Your niece could start walking a few months from now and still be in the average range.

2) Your views of what daycare for one year olds is like is baffling to me. Exactly how is she going to "get killed in there"? The ego of a one year old isn't such that she's going to be scarred by seeing other kids doing different or more advanced things. You sound embarrassed for her, but I can't figure out why.

3) Yes, the food and Exersaucer things are weird to me, too... but the *parents* get to make those decisions. Is it the end of the world if she hasn't had meat yet or that her food is pureed? Really? Is something bad going to happen because she hasn't had juice... which isn't nutritionally as helpful as other foods and beverages?

4) Maybe the macaroni scared her because she knows it's a choking hazard. (Kidding on that one, but seriously... what about choosing activities that are appropriate for a one year old, not a toddler/preschooler?)

I've reread this a few times before posting, and I see that I sound harsh. But I'm leaving it like this because it really is how I see the situation and because you asked. I hope you can take a breather and let her be a bit.

14 moms found this helpful
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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I think that all kids develop at different rates, and if you have extensive experience with kids, you know this too. There is the fat part of the bell curve that *most* kids fit, but obviously you have children on either side of the "norm" as well.
If she were my niece and she is being seen regularly by a pediatrician, I'd keep my nose out of it.

9 moms found this helpful
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B.P.

answers from New York on

It does sound like she is a little behind but seriously, you are really overreacting. You are not supposed to put a baby in an exersaucer until 4 months, so why would they get her out of it 2 months later? Is she can't walk, then why not have her in there? Also, she is 13 months old and so what if she doesn't eat table food or drink juice yet? And not all babies hold their bottles...what's wrong with holding your baby while she drinks if you aren't nursing? Babies are not doing things at a slower pace these days. Every child is different and although the sitting up and crawling seem a bit delayed, every child grows differently. As for the macaroni fear, I don't know, sounds wierd but it could be an isolated incident. As first time parents, I am sure they are scrutinizing their child and asking the doctor.

6 moms found this helpful
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A.D.

answers from New York on

She sounds a lot like my son who didn't crawl until 11 months and walk until 15 months - totally normal. As far as the foods go, again, completely normal. Juice - I think it is great that they are not offering it to her! She will have plenty of time to get addicted to sugar down the road :)

As long as they are taking her to her regular check ups I would say don't worry about it and certainly don't worry them (unnecessarily!) about it!

5 moms found this helpful

V.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

Ditto the others. There MAY be a little delay...but not necessarily because of her lack of ability, but rather she is being "babied" more than you are accustomed to. As far as the foods, my kids are older too... and the pediatric recommendations as to when to introduce solid foods and what and how much, has changed a lot in the last 10 years.
As for juice... so what? Heck, we decided it was nutritionally deficient and full of sugar, and basically a waste. Worse than that actually, it can be harmful...it's full of empty calories that provide virtually NOTHING beneficial. We NEVER gave it to our kids. And when we did let them decide to try it (as 3 yr olds because someone's mom brought it to a play group or at 4 yrs old in preschool) they didn't LIKE it. So they STILL don't drink it. They prefer plain water! My son, 12, loves SmartWater these days, lol.

I don't feel she is "way behind" based on what you've said. I think you are just over thinking and a little set in your own opinions. Do they take her to the pediatrician for regular well baby visits? If they do, their doctor is tracking her development.... so let it go.

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L.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

As long as they are taking her to the pediatrician - and there's no concerns there... I think you shouldn't worry. I don't think she is way behind, probably just a little slow. FYI... may pediatricians don't recommend fruit juice until after 2 years old now.

Besides... its not a competition. Why would you think she's get "killed" in day care? She'll get there.

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A.P.

answers from Chicago on

My son crawled around 6 months but he didn't walk on his own until 13 months. So I don't really see a problem there.
Many of my friends don't give their kids juice at all because of the high sugar content, they stick to milk and water only.
As for the food I don't know. My little guy was stealing food off my plate as soon as he could, he hated baby food. Maybe your brother is just afraid to introduce food to her or doesn't really know what to give her. Have you suggested anything for him to start trying with her? My son is almost 2 and just started eating meat, I offered it but he never ate it, so as long as she is getting protein from someplace I wouldn't worry so much about the no meat thing.
Daycare is going to be a rough start if she's timid and doesn't like new things. My little guy is nervous of new people but not toys or food or textures or anything, but he's also home with me all day so he doesn't have tons of new people entering his life on a daily basis.
Putting her in daycare might be good in the long run as a 'professional' will be seeing what you're seeing and know how to tell the parents if they should be concerned.
Honestly I would give her another 6 months before you suspect any issues. My son changed a lot from 12-18 months in what he was able to do and how independent he was, maybe she will too.

2 moms found this helpful

J.S.

answers from Hartford on

My eldest daughter didn't walk until she was 13 months. My youngest daughter walked on her first birthday. My middle daughter, who is ASD, walked just days before turning 18 months old. In regard to walking it's NORMAL to start walking between 12-18 months old. Anything earlier than 12 months is early. I was told not to be concerned until 18 months. Of course, my middle daughter hit all of her major milestones and many of her smaller ones on the late end of normal. Developmentally with the milestones, your niece is doing the same thing but that doesn't mean there's something wrong with her.

With the food, it's very possible that your sister just doesn't want to push her on it and is waiting for cues from her child when she's ready to try new things. Frankly I think she's smart not to give her daughter juice as she'll be less likely to drink soda later on.

When she gets into daycare I think it's possible if not likely that there will be other kids ahead of her physically but in a similar place with food. There will probably be another child or two not quite ready to walk yet either. It's not that big of a deal, frankly, that she's not walking. She won't "be killed" by other babies that are "so advanced" over her. What I think will happen is that she'll see the other children who are mobile and trying new things, new toys, new foods, and she may decide that she'd like to try those things too.

But above all, I think you might want to lose the judgmental tone about your sister's parenting right now. It's got to be apparent to her, or it will be sooner or later, and it's not going to come across as concern. Sometimes first time parents aren't in any sort of rush to get their children mobile or eating adult food and there's nothing wrong with that. I don't understand the rush or push when people do that.

It's a little too early to know if your niece is really delayed. Does she understand what's being said to her? How's her vocabulary? How are her fine motor skills? Those things are actually more important than the big and dramatic physical milestones at this age. And once your niece is in daycare, your sister very well may see delays in comparison with all the other kids and realize something is off and take it up with the pediatrician. For now trust her to handle things.

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S.!.

answers from Columbus on

I never gave juice to my kids and my dd didnt walk till 13 months. Each develop on their own.

As far as foods maybe they need a nudge there, but everything like the fears could just be her personality.

2 moms found this helpful

J.B.

answers from Houston on

You know, maybe daycare will actually help. The only thing that really struck me as odd was the eating thing. I mean I was a little hesitant with my first, but by that age, he was eating all kinds of things, my second is now 14 months and that kid can practically eat a steak dinner, LOL :) The fact she is a bit scared about things could be why her parents take things slow with her. Hopefully it is just a little bit of delay and it will sort itself out with time.

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P.K.

answers from New York on

Good God she is 13 months. Babies develop at their own pace. Some
crawl at 6 months some at 10. Some walk at 10 months some at 18,
some like table food some do not. Some are just laid back and would prefer
to have everyone hold a bottle etc. She sounds normal to me. Not your child so I would mind my own business.

2 moms found this helpful

G.T.

answers from Modesto on

Sounds like daycare is the prescription. I've known many a young mom that does not exercise their child in the early months and prefer them in a playpen all day..... but they do grow up to be normal eventually.
I'm sure you will notice some changes in development once your niece is in daycare for a bit. Maybe as a loving Auntie you might offer to babysit a little more often and teach your niece some skills? Your bro and his wife are first time parents and- like most- probably dont know what the heck they are doing.... you know we have to WING that job at first till we get the hang of it.

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C.M.

answers from Cincinnati on

There might be an issue, but it could just be that she is a bit slower to develop. As for her taking longer to sit on her own, crawl, and walk... Is she constantly being held? I know my cousin's little boy was about a year old when started to crawl (although it was more of a one-handed scoot) and about 18 months when he started to walk. In this instance, the parents would place the boy on the floor, he would cry, so the parents would pick him up. As for the food... Maybe the parents don't know what to feed her, being that they are first time parents. I know that we did not start giving our sons solids until later, because we didn't know that we could.
As for bringing this up with your brother... Maybe let him and his wife know that you have noticed somethings that have you concerned about your niece, especially considering your experience. Then ask them if you could talk to them and maybe offer some advice. Leave it up to them to decide how they wish to handle it.

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

The child is normal! My son was walking at 16 month and he perfectly normal. You are over reacting.

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S.H.

answers from Washington DC on

I don't really see what the problem is. You can't compare her to your kids. Not all kids do things early. She is only 13 months, if you said she was 18 months and not walking, then I would be a little concerned. A lot of babies are not walking at 13 months. My 2 yr old did not sit up until 9 months, crawling at 10 months, and walking at 14 months, and there is nothing wrong with her. She never held her own bottle either, it's not because she couldn't, she just didn't want to. My 13 month old still sometimes goes into her bouncer, since she is not fully walking on her own yet, and she still eats a lot of baby food, I offer her table food but she just does not want a lot of it. No biggie she will do it when she's ready. I've never met an adult that still ate baby food. All babies develop at different rates, there is a wide range of normal. As long as her doc is not concerned then she is fine.

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C.J.

answers from Dallas on

I think your brother and SIL are just following the letter of the law in terms of introduction of foods, no juice, etc. AND if she wasn't stable until 9 months to sit on her own - why worry if she is still in exersaucer?? BOth my kids were walking by 9 months and they still enjoyed the toys and activities on the exersaucer table so I put them in and let them play. Kept them in one place for a wile too:)
Most guidelines/pediatricians say no juice - period no need for it and also they recommend not introducing solid foods until one year (really!!). Also some children just have different pallates. My oldest was a baby food kid, the next one I nursed until 18 months and he went right to table food - go figure??
I wouldn't get too worried about it. She is going to child care soon and in that environment they have so much to do and learn about the world around them. She is definately not scarred for life - LOL!
She'll improve when she sees others her age playing and laughing,etc.
I have to say, though, she is very lucky to have an aunt as caring and thoughtful as you. Keep it up!

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P.O.

answers from Harrisburg on

You are right she should be doing more at that age, but since you take care of her sometimes, mention that to your sister without being judgemental. The fact that they are first time parents, they might still think she is a baby and really not know what to expect. If your niece goes periodically to the pediatrician, she is probably aware of the "delay". Either way, if she also starts daycare, in time she will catch up out of routine. Maybe your sister doesn't have the routine going and keeping up with the development of that age.

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K.L.

answers from Cleveland on

I think she does seem delayed, but that very well could be because of her parent's actions (or lack thereof). I think that day care will really help her. She will follow the lead of the other babies her age, and she will start to get accustomed to new foods and toys there as well. Her parents will probably have a harder time of it than she will!

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M.B.

answers from Washington DC on

This baby seems very normal.

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J.B.

answers from Atlanta on

It sounds like they've hindered her more than there actually being something wrong with her. It's hard to say anything in these situations without making the parents angry. Unfortunately they're probably going to have to learn their lesson the hard way when she starts daycare. Usually kids her age are AMAZINGLY resilient and will really surprise you once they get into a new setting and don't have mommy and daddy hovering over them. If she cannot adapt, that will be evident and hopefully they'll be told by daycare that she needs to be evaluated. You may want to casually mention to them that she is not going to be fed stage 1 pureed food at daycare and that she's going to have to hold and drink from her own cup. Hopefully they have her enrolled at a place with a lot of structure where they really work on the kid's independent skills. I would be worried about her too!

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

My son walked at 14 months. And he just wasn't ready for solids till the late side - after 1 yr old. We let him have juice every so often, but it's very sugary and it's not great for their teeth. Sometimes it's better to not let them develop a sugar habit.
There's a wide range of what passes for normal, and your niece is well within normal ranges. If her pediatrician and parents are not concerned I wouldn't worry.
Maybe your kids were really doing things very early (which some kids do) but that was normal for them.
Your niece will grow/develop at her own pace.
My son's 12 now. The tallest in his class, straight A's, first chair in clarinet, black belt in taekwondo, earns awards for highest AR reading points in his class. He's turning out fine.

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S.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

Even if she is behind, what would you do about it? It is up to her parents and medical providers to decide if anything needs to be done. I think putting her in daycare may be the best thing. The child will be exposed to new caretakers and children at different levels of development and new activities.

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K.S.

answers from Kansas City on

Every child develops at a different speed. I think you are being overly critical, she's only 13 mos old for goodness sakes!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.P.

answers from New York on

Yes, she is "behind", but please keep in mind that development has a very broad range and the skills you are listing require some level of motivation and "access". She won't walk unless she needs to and has the opportunity to!

My son played in his exersaucer until he was a year old b/c it was a "safe" place for him to be so I could use the restroom or answer the phone.

She's not "way behind", my guess is she's "not exposed". I would think that the daycare provider will say something to your brother and sister-in-law. When they come to you, strongly suggest that they have her evaluated through their county's Early Intervention program!

A.G.

answers from Houston on

Shes fairly behind for a girl. Ive seen boys like this often. its important that you keep an eye on her and make sure she shows some advancements. Otherwise bring up your concerns, but tread lightly and try not to make it sound like an insult to their parenting.

I just have to say though nobody needs meat at this age, or ever in my opinion, But kids this age lack the teeth required to chew muscles of animals and the digestive system is not mature enough to break down these proteins properly. Juice is not important either especially if she gets, milk, water and fruit (pureed or not)

the macaroni fear is not that common i guess but my oldest was scared of altered pictures when she was a baby(like adobe photo workshop) and my youngest hated plastic spider rings, but wasnt scared of actual spiders.

who knows why

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L.O.

answers from Boston on

I read most of the other posts and agree with the mommas who say there seems to be nothing wrong here. I just want to throw in a comment about the walking. My kids both could not sit up until they were 9 months old. They could not walk on their own until they were 16 months old. The pedi was not at all concerned. Why? Because they had LARGE heads. It's been my observation that the babies with the little heads can gain their balance faster. Those with big heads take longer. Every kid is different. Until they can walk, they usually enjoy the exersaucer for a bit. I think perhaps as a school teacher and mother of teens that you've been removed from babies for too long and may have forgotten what they can and cannot do yet.

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M.R.

answers from Seattle on

I did not read the other responses...but I am totally with you on this concern. You would expect her to be more interested in her surroundings and therefore showing more physical motivation and development to explore on her own.

What bothers me most is the the control of food given to her by the parents. It reminds me of the Vegan parents who refused to give their infant any milk/dairy products and the baby died, due to drinking seaweed water. The parents were both charged with neglect and jailed. But your niece is not as severe.

I'm baffled by the amount of ignorance that parents have in feeding infants. Babies developing brains need more fat than an adults to grow properly. And I constantly see non fat milk in the refrigerators and bottles and sippy cups of young children. I just shake my head and wonder where these parents get their info. From mass media I suppose.

I think the daycare will be a rude awakening for the little girl and her parents. Hopefully the the daycare providers are educated and skilled enough to make mention of their observations. These issues rarely go over well coming from a family member. You would think they would want your sage advice and experience. My hunch is that they don't spend much one on one time with the child for her to be this behind.

M.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Yes, she sounds behind. Do you think its her parents doing it to her or do you think she should be evaluated? Hopefully when she goes to daycare they will be able to raise concern to the parents.

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A.S.

answers from Lynchburg on

They definitely need to stop putting her in a walker/exersaucer. That may be the whole reason she is not crawling or walking. She cannot learn if she is sitting all day long. As far as being scared of new things, that could be a learned habit. If she is not associated with new things on a daily basis then she will of course be weary or afraid of touching or the sight of food/toys/etc. This worries me. A lot of children are not exactly walking at 13 months. My two children are 3 and 5 and they both started walking without holding on at 13-14 months. Daycare may be a good idea for her but if there is something wrong or they think she is being neglected, then the right decisions will be made for her wellbeing.

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K.U.

answers from Detroit on

My DD did not walk until 14 months but she was not in an exersaucer either. She was eating table foods and trying to self-feed with her hands or sometimes a spoon. The fact that they don't give her juice should not be a concern since juice is not recommended at this age anyway. However, having her in daycare (if it is a good one) might be just what she needs. She will be exposed to all kinds of new sights and sounds and I'm sure they won't just stick her in an exersaucer all day. She might be overly sensitive to stimuli but if she truly has any delays, hopefully the daycare providers will pick up on that - or maybe her parents will see what the other kids are doing and start thinking that maybe there is a cause for concern, or that they need to be doing things differently. Sometimes they don't always know when it's time to move on to the next step.They can always choose to have her evaluated by Early Intervention services (it is free for children under 3) or you can suggest it to them because of the concerns you have.

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A.H.

answers from Chicago on

Really what's strange to me is that she doesn't hold her own bottle or cup, or pick up any finger foods. Are they trying to give her any finger foods? It is a learned skill, to use the pincer grip to pick up little objects like Cheerios.

I have 2 kids - the first one didn't sit up unassisted until 9 months, crawl until 11 months, and walk until 15 months. My 2nd sat up alone at 5 months, crawled at 7 months, and walked very well by 11 months. So I think every kid just develops differently. I do think that using the exersaucer and walker though could be hindering her natural gross motor development. I think daycare will be great for her! And then if there are some developmental issues, the teachers will pinpoint them right away.

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S.G.

answers from Boston on

The typical age for walking ranges between 12-18 months. Unfortunately, many kids these days are getting up and walking at 8-9 months. From my professional experience, this is much more concerning than a child who has not walked at 13 months. Yet, she should have crawled on her stomach from 3-8 months and crept on hands and knees 8 months to present. It is this sequence that is most important. My guess is your niece may one day get diagnosed with sensory-integration and or an anxiety disorder. However, the root cause of her problems will be a dysfunction in the area of the brainstem known as the Pons.

If you would like to see a chart of normal sequential developmental milestones between the ages of birth and 6-7 years of age check out this link http://tinyurl.com/37ogba7.

Best wishes,
S. L. G., Jr.
Exec. Director
Active Healing, Inc.
www.activehealing.org
[email protected]____.com
###-###-####

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S.B.

answers from Boston on

Good luck with your niece. My experience (I have one 3.5 yo son and twins on the way) has been that kids develop differently. My son virtually never crawled (he scooted on his bum) and didn't walk till he was about 15 months, and he liked the exersaucer for a while. He walks and runs without any problems. Good for them with the juice! Juice really isn't good for kids (or adults for that matter), and my son didn't have any juice till he was over 2 yo, and the juice was diluted. We are vegetarian, so he has never had any meat. My son has always been extremely verbal and has had no issues with fine or gross motor skills, so I'm not sure about that. He was somewhat sensitive to loud sounds (like his Mom). Hopefully, your bro and sis in law keep up to date with their appts with the pediatrician.

I wish you the best.

Peace,
S.

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F.W.

answers from Cumberland on

Yes all kids develop differently--my daughter didn't walk until 14 months. If it was one or two of the issues above alone--not such a big deal. But all the feeding issues and mobility issues might indicate something. Are they exposing her to finger foods? Do they prompt her to hold the bottle or cup or do they automatically do it for her? The time spent in the exersaucer and walker are a concern--she needs floor time to learn gross motor skills.

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K.M.

answers from Denver on

I would definitely keep an eye out. My son didnt army crawl till 11 months, 4-point crawl until 20 months and didnt walk until 26 months! I kept telling people that I felt like something was wrong, and I couldnt get anyone to believe me! He had other delays too, such as feeding himself, though he did have age appropriate foods. Well it turns out he had low muscle tone and has SPD. I feel like if I could have gotten someone to believe me sooner we could have started intervention sooner and that would have been better! All I kept hearing from everyone was that every kid developes at their own pace, so please keep an eye on her for her sake!

A.G.

answers from Pocatello on

I know you are just being concerned but I do think for the most part there isn't much to worry about. Lots of kids don't walk at a year so she is fine in that area. It's not a problem until they are around 18 months. If no walking has happened by then, then the doctors get worried so she has plenty of time. Yes she does seem a little old for a bouncer but if she isn't walking yet and likes to stand in one I don't see the harm. Yes she should be on more table food instead of baby food and using a sippy so I do agree with you on that one. And as for being scared of the macaroni again that's actually kinda normal. My kids weren't like that but my sister's oldest son went through a little phase like that and I used to work in a daycare when I was young and I remember kids being scared of silly things like that. Or like not wanting to touch certain things cause they hated the way it felt etc. so that is normal. I think for the most part she is just fine but I would try to start her on a sippy and give her more table food.

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P.S.

answers from Houston on

I'd be concerned. Where most kids would be thrilled at seeing the macaroni...and even try to eat it, she cried. Red flag!

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

It sounds like it is just your niece's personality...kids have not changed since when your kids were little. But not all kids are like your kids were. Some babies just progress at very different rates than other babies. It sounds like her personality is naturally more timid/cautious as well. To still want to sit in the exersaucer she must be very mellow/laid back. You are a nice aunt to be concerned, but my bet is she is normal. Both my kids started liking sippy cups after 14-16 months even though I kept trying to get them to take it more. She is only 13 months - I bet you will see some BIG changes in the next 6 months with her!

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L.S.

answers from Spokane on

It sounds more like she's being 'held back' than is naturally delayed - at least from your description. The sitting, crawling and walking are within the normal ranges. But the sitting in the excersaucer and what she's eating are being controlled by her parents - she can't help what she's being fed! And if her parents have *always* held her bottle for her, then WHY would she need to do it!

Maybe they're fearful of her choking and getting hurt, but they need to understand that they are NOT helping their daughter by putting her in a bubble.

Is she babbling? Saying some words? Pointing out objects that interest her? Does she try to imitate when you point to a ball and say ''ball''?

I think she might suprise everyone after a few weeks of daycare and being given the chance to explore and try to do some things for herself. I wouldn't jump to any conclusions just yet about her possibly being delayed; wait and see if she's made any progress after a month of daycare. If there's been NO change at all, then perhaps a doctor needs to check her out.

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A.C.

answers from Columbus on

I, too, would be concerned, but not overly so. I found this list of "standard" milestones by age 1:
http://www.kidsgrowth.com/resources/articledetail.cfm?id=...

You might print it off and share it the parents. If you really have concerns, you might send a note to the baby's pediatrician and voice your concerns--rest assured that if you do, the pediatrician will dig into it and make sure that if the baby needs help (such as better education of the parents), it will happen.

Just a couple of other thoughts--Many doctors now believe that there is very little nutritional value to juice, at least to outweigh it's major drawback, which is that it's basically sugar water, and we don't need the sugar.

Also, we used our exersaucer for our LO until he was about 14 months and tried to climb out.... because it kept him happy and contained and within eyesight/easy reach while I was trying to throw some food together for dinner. :) So that part doesn't worry me.

The other parts--the fear, the lack of initiative/curiosity, the "just now crawling" might be something serious... Or might not. But it's better to get it checked out now.

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M.C.

answers from Boston on

Your niece sounds very similar to my daughter. She was sitting at about 7 months and didn't walk on her own until she was 15 and half months old. On the other hand, she had excellent verbal and fine motor skills. Also, I nursed her for a year, so she was quite the pudgy baby and she also had a large head, which some other people mentioned. I talked to my pediatrician about her gross motor skills, and he assured me that there was ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with her! She was ahead of the game in other areas, and she would slim down when she was ready - which she did! She is now a happy, healthy toddler of average weight who loves to run, skip, and dance!

I do remember that when she was about 14 months old, my mother in law tried to "teach" my daughter how to walk. My daughter proceeded to fall flat on her face because *she wasn't ready to walk!* To be honest, it was somewhat offensive to me that my mother in law tried to step in to "teach" my daughter something that she thought I wasn't taking care of myself. On the contrary, I had spoken to the doctor about it several times and was encouraging my daughter every chance I could. Admittedly, I was a cautious first-time mom - why shouldn't I be? There's no mama-manual, and babies are precious and priceless! Still, I was aware of my daughter's strengths and weaknesses and tried to nurture her strengths while encouraging her to grow where there was room for improvement. Perhaps your brother / sister in law ARE aware of their daughter's strengths and weaknesses already? Maybe they are in contact with a pediatrician about any concerns they have. At this point, it's too early for anyone to step in with concerns. If you have any concern that there is neglect involved, that's another story. But my experience is that most parents are trying to do the best they can to help their children develop and grow, and it's a learning process for parents, too! They may just need a little space to figure things out on their own. I do, however, agree with other posters that if walking isn't happening between 16-18 months, it would be cause for concern. Until then, I would keep my opinions to myself.

As for the juice - good for them!

And baby food - some kids are picky eaters. If you didn't have picky eaters - lucky you!!

I don't think your niece will be "killed" at daycare. It may help her to see some other kids moving around - I've heard that that's often why second children walk sooner than firsborns - they have somebody they want to run after! Seeing other kids eat different foods may help to encourage her to do so, too. Also, daycare providers are used to working with all kinds of children! Bold and brave and cautious and timid alike! I'm sure that they will help your niece transition in whatever ways they need to.

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R.H.

answers from Boston on

Every kid is different. My kid couldn't roll over on her own until 7 months which is supposedly way late. From about one year on she progressed very quickly and caught up. She's so ahead of the curve at this point it makes me wonder, what is normal? I mean, really? If she was so physically "delayed" at 7 months then why is she doing so well now? I suspect the answer is that SHE WAS NORMAL ALL ALONG. Big differences ARE normal at this age. Stop comparing.

Your brother sounds like a typical first time parent trying to figure things out. Should he ditch the exersaucer and walker? yeah, and the pediatrician probably already mentioned that to them. Perhaps it's become an easy way to keep her occupied and for that reason they're holding on to it. How many of us have used television for that same purpose?

Daycare will be different in the sense that they won't have baby walkers, but who are these "average one-year-olds" your talking about? Visit her at daycare some day and you will likely see a few kids who speak in complete sentences playing with kids who have yet to say their first real word. And everything in between.

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K.J.

answers from Boston on

if her pediatrician hasn't commented on her lack of milestone achievement ( no, those haven't changed in the last 15 or so years- you're right on!!), then she needs a new pedi! Sometimes they have and the parents just don't want to deal- it is so much "easier" to have a kid who stays put and doesn't get into things- I have seen parents all stressed out when their kids have come to Physical therapy and we begin to see progress and now the kid is "into everything", when really they should have been stressed when they weren't!
She is behind and the daycare will see it and likely improve it (she will begin to mimic the other kids if nothing else) and unless there is some medical reason for the delay, she will catch up in short order. If there is a medical reason, it will begin to be apparent that her parents will have to take action.
Good luck- difficult to stand on the sidelines.

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K.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

I think you're totally right in being concerned. To answer your question, no, kids are not just that delayed these days! My boys were all in and out of their exersaucer by the time yours were, they were eating "real" food WELL before one year....as for crawling, that sounds really far behind! My kids were all very inquisitive and sought out new things- sometimes they would get freaked out by loud noises, but eventually they would get curious enought to try and find out where it was coming from. I'm not sure I would say anything to them though. Since it will be very clear to the daycare that she has delays, I'm sure they will bring it to your brother and his wife's attention. That way, you can avoid the confrontation and fight that would surely follow.
Btw, I wonder how much of it is that she is really delayed, vs. whether or not it could be that your brother and SIL are delaying her by their "hang-ups".

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S.T.

answers from New York on

yikes - seems that her parents dont' allow her the ability to be free and develop normal activities of a one year old. Actually day care might be the best thing for her - it will force her to do all the stuff she's supposed to be doing. I was glad that you said she's beginning daycare becuase I couldn't think of a way for you to express your concerns about her developmental delays without causing a family rift. If your brother and SIL have these wierd hangups and don't allow her to do age approriate stuff then they would probably be super offended if you mentioned your concerns.

Let the daycare people notice it and say thing. But I have a feeling that once she gets to daycare her world will open up - thankfuly. Maybe the parents will see the normal food that other kids eat, the normal play activities, etc.

D.B.

answers from Boston on

No, kids don't do things later or slower "these days" - you're not that out of touch! Why would you think that? As a teacher, you've seen plenty, although at a later age when skills are more development/differentiated and when behavioral issues usually carry a diagnosis or label.

If she were "delayed" in just one area (e.g. walking), it wouldn't mean anything, in my opinion. Kids master skills in different orders - the early walkers might be late talkers, for example. The lack of gross AND fine motor skills concerns me, as douse the apparent lack of nutrition. I think it's FINE that they don't give her juice of any kind - not much nutritive value in most of those, and many doctors recommend against them because of all the sugar (calories, tooth decay). But the absence of table foods (which helps develop her palate as well as fine motor skills to pick them up) is very odd - they must be doing everything for her (feeding her pureed foods, holding her bottle, etc.). The absolute fear of anything new is what bothers me - sounds like a sensory issue if she can't touch, taste or physically be near anything. It's hard to tell if she was afraid of the macaroni, or if the sounds of the bowls, spoons and dried macaroni overwhelmed her from a sensory perspective. But it could be simply a lack of exposure. Day care will do one of two things - scare the daylights out of her and send her over the edge with screaming fits, or socialize her and motivate her. So no, the parents are either clueless or neglectful in some way. I'm not sure what you mean about their "hang-ups" regarding food - are they lazy, or are they afraid she will choke on something solid? The latter is a common fear but maybe they just need some help or encouragement.

You have a few choices - discuss it with them from a personal and professional perspective (perhaps giving them some helpful books on child development from reputable sources), let the daycare experience open their eyes (with the provider giving them input and perhaps recommending the free early intervention services available in the town), or calling CPS if you think there is tremendous neglect. I think there is no evidence in your post that the last option is called for but I raise it in case there is more you haven't said and as an example of what to do in an extreme case.

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Wow. They put her in the baby exersaucer??? Thats so beyond her age! I totally agree with you that she is behind. The only thing that she is not behind on is the walking--its normal for kids to not walk until 18mos. So at 13 mos she is still in the normal range.

Would they listen to you if you suggested that she be evaluated? My hunch is that the child may or may not be the issue--it seems like the parents. They baby her and don't teach her how to do things. They should get some parenting classes and also have her evaluated. I would ask them if they are willing to hear some feedback that they won't find pleasing. Then tell them how you see it. You would be doing them a disservice, especially their daughter to not say anything. GL~!

M

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L.W.

answers from Cincinnati on

She could be but it sounds iffy...some kids just grow a little slower. The fact that she is crawling tells me she is ok...some kids dont even walk until 18 months..
Also some doctors are different too. My hubbys co-workers suggested NO FOOD (not even rice) until the kid was 1 year old...sounds crazy to me...but what is good for my family, may not be good for yours or your brothers. Sadly since she is going to daycare in 2 weeks, I dont think there is anything you can do...that poor little kid will probably do "trial by fire". I think its safe to say your concerns to your brother and SIL about her getting swallowed by daycare...but it you want to really help, be there when needed those first couple weeks for that little one. Instead of them putting her in daycare full time right away...maybe ease into it until she gets familiar.
the fact that the baby cant hold her bottle just says to me that noone ever taught her the skill..mine did it around 5 months, but some other kids took alot longer. I would like to think her pediatrician is stating his/her concerns about the baby being behind, but it could also be your brother and SIL is holding the baby too much and not allowing her to master the minnie milestones...

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K.G.

answers from Burlington on

seems behind, but may be environmental (her parents do seem to be holding her back based on your information) daycare sounds like it will be the best thing for her since she will be in a new environment with kids that will her your niece move in the right directions under supervision of the teachers that will be able to assess (impartially and without reservations) her deficits, and be abe to recommend therapies most appropriate for her.

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M.F.

answers from Youngstown on

This is what I know. I have 3 boys 8,5,12months. My 1yo doesn't walk not even close. Sometimes eats adult food sometimes baby food but more babyfood than adult stuff. Has no clue how to use a sippy cup to get more thant a few sips out of it. I don't put juice in it just water. He is very funny about texture of things he touches and eats. There is nothing wrong with him. My 8yo wanted nothing to do with babyfood after he got a taste of adult food probably about 9-10 months could drink out of anything you put in front of him. He walked at 12 mos 1 week and crawled at 11 months. My 5 yo crawled at 7 mos and walked at 10mos and by 18mos could go up and down steps on his own not holding hands or railings. He also was done with babyfood at about 10 months but basically refused anything that wasn't a carb. His first birthday meal was bread and watermelon he refused anything else! I think she is probably fine just not advanced. Let her parents decide if she needs some special help and if I were you I wouldn't bring it up or you may put them on the defensive. You said she will be in daycare so see what happens there. You are a good aunt to be concerned but really wait and see what happens in daycare.

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E.G.

answers from Boston on

Well... My daughter is almost 1 and not walking on her own yet either. I do believe that children advance at their own pace. I read that a baby can start walking between 9 and 18 months and that is perfectly normal. I also still put my daughter in an excersaucer if I need a minute to go finish a chore. She is perfectly fine with sitting in it for 15-20 mins...and I see nothing wrong with that. I also raised another daughter (13 now) and she didn't start walking until almost a year.

That said, I do believe this baby should be given the opportunity to explore table foods and learn how to eat them. She should start to hold her own bottle and sippy cup though and your brother/SIL should encourage that. I know it took a while for my daughter to get the hang of holding her own sippy. I DO send my daughter to daycare with baby food still, but that is because I am afraid of her choking when someone else is feeding her. And I also see nothing wrong with that - I will send her with Stage 2 or 3 foods.

Just sounds like her developmental range is a little different than you kids. As long as your brother and his wife are not making an effort to stifle her development, just sounds like she is a little behind your kids.

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