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  Competitive mothers
I really enjoy the mother and baby days that I attend but I get so stressed by the competitiveness of the mothers. How do I know if my baby is developing ok when other babies are more advanced?

While you may know in your head that your baby is normal, for some reason the natural urge to compare the progress of babies is hard to resist. The range of normal behaviour is wide and babies do progress at very different rates in many different areas. A three year old who is speaking well and putting together coherent sentences may not be able to complete a puzzle, while a friend of the same age whose speech is incoherent may have wonderful eye- hand coordination. It may be helpful to take a humorous approach to the problem and assure yourself that when you child walks down the aisle to get married, the child will be weaned from the bottle, speaking full sentences and doing their own buttons up. The ridiculousness of this thought may help you to put the situation into context.

Your baby is unique and is progressing at the rate which suits baby, and you are playing your part in every way you know how to facilitate this progress. Your regular checkups at the pediatrician and visits to the clinic are very good opportunities to reassure yourself that the baby’s progress falls within the normal range. Have a list of questions ready in this regard so that you fully use the opportunity to ease your mind. Once you have this information it is much easier to cope with these competitive situations. Babies are full of surprises and make sudden leaps of progress, similar to growth spurts. So the main thing is to enjoy every day with your baby. Savour these moments and allow the baby to progress through life in baby’s own way. That is a gift that you give to your baby.


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