When you have a baby, your life is changed forever. You have this amazing child to love and they love you more than you’ve been loved before. You want the best for your child and you want your child to thrive. There are so many appointments and I remember getting the list of milestones your child should reach.
At first, my daughter was destroying milestones ! I was so proud of her! She was rolling onto her back at around 7 weeks and rolled from back to front around 17 weeks. However, it was all downhill from there.
At six months, my daughter’s weight was still under 30%. We hadn’t been too worried because she had been gaining weight from birth but at six months it started going down. Thankfully, my doctor was understanding that I didn’t want to do formula since I was breastfeeding my daughter. We pushed on and introduced solids over the next three months. Even with solids my daughter did not gain weight. At her nine month appointment she dipped into the 17th percentile for weight. Our world came crashing down when the doctor sat us down.
My doctor tried to be kind but told us we only had one more month of trying to get her gain weight before she was considered failure to thrive. That hit me so hard. I stressed about how I was starving her. Fear creeped in and I thought that I was the reason she wasn’t gaining weight. That somehow my milk was not good enough. I researched everything about fatty foods and tried to add butter to everything. That was the doctors idea, she said add butter to anything I can. I obsessed over this and it hurt my mommy heart that my wonderful baby could be struggling.
I cried and worried constantly because no one wants to hear that. You question everything you’ve done. I questioned if i ate enough, if i was starving my baby, was there something I didn’t do, the questions were endless. I had so much mommy guilt for going back to work and not being there to feed her on my own.
During this time, she started daycare around 9 months and that was a whole new struggle in itself. First, being kicked out of two daycares because she wouldn’t eat, sleep, or stop crying for 6+hours was not something we thought would happen. They kicked her out after only two half days. I was struggling and my baby clearly had separation anxiety. We found our saving grace and she was more than willing to help us get her weight in a good place. She loved Violet like her own child and I think that is why she was perfect for us!
At our appointment a month later, I was on pins and needles. My baby had only weighed 17lbs at 9 months old. She was fine in every area except weight. When they put her on the scale I held my breath. This would be the answer. This decides whether or not she would be listed as failure to thrive. Guys, my baby weighed 19lbs!!! I almost happy cried! I kissed my baby so much and was so excited!
The wave of relief washed over me and I felt like I could do this. This was of course until she started lagging behind in milestones. My daughter has been consistently 1-2 months behind for almost every milestone. It stressed me out, made me feel like a bad mom, and I compared my sweet girl to other kids her age. That was the WORST thing I could have done.
How We Fought Back
Now milestones are important yes, however, they are just a guide! Every child is different and it has taken me two years to figure that out. It caused many sleepless nights and a loss in confidence. My daughter only said three words until she was 19 months old. There were so many tantrums because we couldn’t understand what she wanted. I stressed about that until finally I decided to not care anymore. Instead, I sat her down and I dedicated time to just really talk to her. If she pointed to something, I’d repeat it three times. Guess what guys? Shes 22 months old and talks ALL the time!
So my advice to new moms and first time moms, take milestones with a grain of salt. Your child grows and flourishes the way they were meant to! Every child is unique and special. They will learn at their own pace and as long as you are doing your best, they will love you. Your doctor will guide you and listen to them. My doctor always told me don’t worry that she’s a month behind, that is not a big deal. There are only certain things that a child HAS to be doing by 1 and 2. Those lists are so simple!!
Don’t worry mama, you are killing it. You are amazing, wonderful, and a warrior. Raising littles is so hard. Take a deep breath and realize you are an AMAZING mother. Everyday is a new day and a chance to start over. I always remind myself “this too shall pass” when the tantrums get rough. It’s all a phase and with a positive attitude you will come out the other side!