The title of this post says it all. A mum worrying that there is something wrong with her daughter because she is not walking yet, as her nursery have taken her to one side yet again to have a word about her daughter’s walking progress.
Yep, that’s me.
I am worrying for nothing, I’m sure of it, but I have a little bit of fear in the back in the mind that she is a late developer. I don’t want to be taken to one side by the nursery staff when I pick my daughter up because she is not walking yet. This is the second time in a week that I’ve had this conversation with the nursery, and it leaves me feeling guilty that I’m not doing enough to encourage her to walk or that there is something actually wrong.
Following the first conversation about her walking, I took to Twitter to ask when other blogger’s children started walking. I was overwhelmed with the replies to my Tweet:
What was clear from the replies is that there is a huge age difference when your child does start walking. It seems like most start walking at about 14 – 15 months, with a few early walkers and a few late walkers. I have heard that it runs in the family, and my husband apparently didn’t move until he was 16 months old, so maybe that’s why.
So was the nursery right to make me aware of this. I’m glad that they had a conversation with me about it, however making me feel that there is something wrong with my daughter’s legs has made me feel uneasy. To counteract this and so they can add it to her Early Years log chart I’ve had to demonstrate that she can walk being held under the armpits and can stand holding onto something.
I’ve decided that I’m not going to worry too much, and instead try my hardest to encourage her to walk and take the weight on the legs. I’ll do this by walking her around the house, and encouraging her to coast around the furniture. I’m hoping that the really cute shoes we bought last week from Clarks will help to make a difference too.
With all the assessments and childcare systems in place, are we putting too much pressure on ourselves and children to conform to tick boxes and child care expectations. Just seeing the responses to my tweet goes to show that children and babies develop at different times. It certainly does not seem unusual among us parents that a child is not walking at 13 months old. Yet the nursery is making me feel like she should, and is not taking into account that all children develop differently and a different times. In a few months she will be walking, and I’ll look back at this and wonder what I was worried about it. However this approach to expecting our child to conform to developmental milestones by a certain age, makes me feel terribly bad as a parent that my daughter has not reached this milestone yet.
We’ve just spent the weekend my sister-in-law who is a health visitor, and at no point was she concerned about my daughter’s development. If anything she’s really happy, and would like to see my daughter free of her constant cold and cough.
So for now I’m not going to worry that she’s not walking yet, I’ll enjoy this time until I’m having to chase her around.
Has anyone else experienced child care professionals worrying you that your child is not meeting development milestones. How have you dealt with it? I would love to hear from you.