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Are bigger babies generally slower to develop gross motor skills?

by Natalie
(Perth, Western Australia)

My big boy is 8 1/2 months old and is over the 100th percentile in weight and in the 90th percentile in length. He is almost exclusively breastfed as has been slow to enjoy solids.


A recent visit to the health nurse had me worried; he's not rolling or crawling (he just props himself up to do mini push-ups to his thighs) and she's referred him to a physio as a precaution. He does move and kick well.

He's a very happy,healthy and chatty boy so I wasn't worried until I saw the nurse.
Is this common? Is it harder for bigger babies because they have to move all that weight around?
Thank you,
Natalie

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Watch...But Don't Worry Yet
by: Heather ;-)

Natalie,

I can understand your concern - especially after the nurse visit. Babies are amazing, aren't they! Little people in every sense of the word. Besides physical size, some babies just have little ambition to move around. They'd rather watch and learn.

My nieces and nephews were all big children (their father is over 7 feet). None of them started walking before 2 YEARS. They are all healthy children. So, yes, size does matter in development.

With that said, it is proper that your nurse should counsel you towards some physio. She's doing her job - which is to catch those outside the norm to help them "catch up" as early as possible.

It is simply too early to worry. If he is active and happy, and if his head-circumference is normal, those are good signs. (FYI, head-circumference tells doctors how the brain is growing, and is a very important number for development.)

Take him to physio and watch how he does. Encourage him to move around more by placing toys JUST out of reach. Be diligent to watch him, take him to therapy and get a second opinion.

Therapy can only help, and he'll probably enjoy it! But I would reserve worrying until you have more evidence there is something to worry about. Keep your eyes on him, though. If he still isn't showing a desire to move around in a month, I'd take him back in.

Hope this is helpful, feel free to comment back.

Heather

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Thanks, Heather.
by: Natalie

It's great to hear about other big bubs like your nieces and nephews; and I think you pretty much described my son when you mentioned some babies have not much ambition to move! Up until recently he was happy to let that toy go once it had rolled away!

Thank you for your advice and thanks for letting me know I needn't worry just yet.
We'll keep encouraging him and I'm sure he'll get a move on some time in the near future!

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Here are some crawling helps for you
by: Heather

Natalie,

I was researching toys for an upcoming article on the site listing award-winning baby toys for Christmas this year, and came across some interesting ones that made me think of you.

First, "Follow Me Fred" is a neat toy that moves ahead when your baby touches it, encouraging your baby to move forward and touch it again. It won the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award this year.

Also, the Fun House Mirror Crawl Toy by Lamaze uses the same "catch me" temptation. The only difference is this toy is not mechanically powered. It was also a finalist for the Oppenheim Platinum Award.

Anyway, you came to mind when I came across them. Hope they can be helpful!

Heather

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I am a pediatric RN and my grandson who is 11 months is 30#. He has always been bigger than most babies. Never crawled. He does walk holding onto a push toy and along furniture. He can not stand by himself or pull himself up. With everyone so worried about developmental delay these days I do worry at times. His pediatrician whom I work for is not worried, she states it is because he is so big. He smiles, laughs and is sociable. I really do try not to worry, it is nice to see other letters of the same.

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