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Should I be worried I’m not worrying more?

I had rather thought I’d managed to unsubscribe myself from those development emails but no ‘plink’ another one has dropped into my inbox

And so begins the monthly worry about whether I should be worrying about Littler.

I have made a conscious decision to not really think about whether she is doing ok compared to her development goals, to remember that most babies that have problems in utero catch up by age 2 and to remember that irrespective of all that taken on her own in isolation she is a great little thing.


One of our big worries when I was pregnant with her, well apart from the whole would she survive the pregnancy and delivery bit but that sort of got put to one side because it was so all encompassing.

Where was I…?

One of our big worries given that her growth showed that she wasn’t growing her whole body at the same rate, that she was protecting the growth of her brain over the growth of the rest of her was that, perhaps, her brain would be impacted by the whole thing, that perhaps we should have listened to her trying to come out early and not tried so hard to keep her.

But she came out as a perfect, if very small, baby and breathed and cried and fed.

And we got through the early days, the feeding issues, the discovery of her cow’s milk protein allergy and so on. And we’re all doing ok thank you.

Except for these occasional wobbles.

One way in which I’m very lucky is that because I’m at work I don’t get to see her next to other children of her age. Yes I see comments from friends that their little ones of a similar age are doing x or y that Littler hasn’t even considered but they are quite easy to brush off because obviously these friends have genius children and Littler isn’t a genius and just a normal little girl.

Its hard as well because Bigger was incredibly big and sturdy. Think going from under the 25th centile to the 98th and staying there. That Bigger has always been so alert and engaged and chatty.

And it doesn’t do to compare one to the other in any more ways than it really doesn’t do to compare her to her peers.

Except that perhaps I should be comparing her.

And it is hard to reply to people asking if she’s still running a little late in hitting her developmental goals. Obviously you brush off the question and just look at her happily toddling around but it does niggle away.

I’m fairly certain that there is nothing significant wrong with her.

I’m fairly certain that a large part of this is normal middle class angst fuelled by seeing charts saying that at x or y months your child should be doing all of these wonderful things that she isn’t.

I’m fairly certain that she is a wonderful, happy, fun, adorable little girl.

But I’m still worrying about whether I should worry.

And wondering if this niggling concern is something I should just carry on ignoring or whether I should do something about it. Wondering if I am turning in a nutty, pushy middle class mother or if actually this is something I should bear in mind. If this is something like the CMPA which I really should have faced up to sooner or if its a side effect of that.

Is it something, nothing or neither?

And in any case is this something about which I should be worrying more?

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12 comments to Should I be worried I’m not worrying more?

  • I think you should always, always trust your instincts. Remember, the professionals know what is ‘right and normal’ across a broad spectrum but YOU are the professional of your child. No one knows her the way you do, and if you’re concerned then I would get her checked.

    You’re right, children do things at different times but sometimes our rush to reassure each other that ‘everything is fine, relax’ can sweep issues under the carpet. Not saying that is the case here, but if in doubt..get her checked.

    Bertie was very very very late to talk. Both were hideously late to potty train. Diggy has a wonky brain (picked up at 32 weeks) and Bertie has a dicky heart (picked up when he was 2). Both of these things are just the way they are, but it doesn’t stop me worrying!


  • With children I always think that you SHOULD listen to your instincts, Boy was running late in certain areas and I disregarded this. However, I don’t think I should have and almost certainly if I had caught his speech sooner it would have been easier to deal with. I don’t think its something to worry about, I think you just need to get it checked if you are uncertain and put your mind totally at ease

  • Come here lady and have a great big hug. As Spudballoo said, trust your instincts.

    also – if she is behind is there anything that you can do to change that? If there is perhaps you need to decide whether to voice your concerns to a doctor or not. But, if there isn’t and it’s just a case of ‘this is the way she is’, then don’t waste your time stressing and worrying about it. She’s going to grow up to be the same person whether you keep you keep yourself awake at night worrying about it or not.


  • It is a difficult issue, as there is a lot of stress when other mum’s comment on what developmental milestones their little ones have picked up. Your instincts are important and worth getting reassurance, but also chat to your husband and your mum and your baby’s carer. Do they think there is an issue? worth getting some other views, but in the end if you are anxious, even if there is nothing to worry about it is worth getting her checked over and that way you will be reassured.

  • I agree – trust your instincts. But if your instincts don’t know where to go, speak to your GP, get a second opinion (and a third and so on, until you are happy).

    I don’t know specifically what is worrying you about your Littler but don’t forget that she’ll still be a wonderful, happy, fun, adorable little girl even if her development isn’t textbook.

    As we discovered with Rhys, sometimes there are things like glue ear that slow down development but things like SALT are designed to get them back on track while they have fun.

  • A friend of mine in Uganda (by way of NY) told me her son came late to reading. She said it was hard to not compare him with other children, but she believed in letting her kids find their own way to creativity and learning and did not subscribe to worrying and judging his development alongside other little one’s progressions. He now not only reads well, he LOVES books, devours them. While his peers are already snubbing books in favor of more instant gratification, like computer games, he will sit for hours reading. I remember this every time I start to worry about my daughter and where she is supposed to be.

  • It depends what you are worrying about I guess? The early years foundation stages are all set out so the age spectrum usually spans a whole year or so – (at littlers age)so there is always catching up space, and is only a guide based on averages (as with most things in life gah! hate the term average or ‘norm!’) Go with your gut, trust your instinct. It’s better to have your worries alliviated than to have kicked yourself for not listening to that nagging voice in your head?

  • Like the others say, go with your instincts. Difficult to ignore the ‘at this age x y z’ thoughts, but you will have the best feel about whether there is something you should be worrying about.

    Big big hugs. xxx

  • Definitely trust your mothering instincts but if not sure I would get an opinion from a GP or a pediatrist until I’m at peace.

  • I don’t think you’d be pushy to get a professional opinion, just so that any potential additional support can kick in as early as possible. On the other hand I wouldn’t worry as such – all we can aim for is to have happy children, and every child is special (as my daughter sings almost every day in a song adaptation from nursery) and different. I feel similar about my little one, I’m not worried about potential learning difficulties as such, but would like to make sure if this is the case, it gets spotted early so she gets the support she needs to reach her fullest potential, whatever that is.

  • With number three on the way, my mantra (and in fact the only way I can cope) is ‘Ignore all charts, always’!

  • I’ve given up comparing. I attempted to keep up with “the race” in the early days but gave up when at 7 months my daughter still wasn’t confidently sitting on her own. It’s funny how these things turn into a competition among some mums. I just keep in mind the fact that my partner (according to his mum) didn’t walk until he was nearly 2. Doesn’t seem to have affected him now, as much as he tries to say he “can’t walk” when he wants me to get him something from the kitchen!

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