Baby Milestone and Comparison

Everyone tells you not to compare your baby to other babies, but it can be really hard.  We have a friend whose baby was born one day before Mary(we will call him bub).  How do you not compare at that stage when the babies are so close in age? Today I want to talk about how I handled the comparison and what I recommend.  The first thing is to recognize that all babies are very different and do things at their own pace. There is no right time or right way for babies to do things. But it can be hard not to compare. Each baby has their own things they are better at and remembering those can be very helpful. 


My friend dealt with hours and hours of cluster feeding the first few weeks. She just could not stop feeding bubs.  Mary, on the other hand, had hour-long feeds each time but did not cluster feed. We could just change her nappy and put her to bed. But as time went on, bubs stopped cluster feeding and started sleeping for longer and longer stretches.  He is a unicorn baby sleeping through the night from a couple of months old.  We are here still doing an overnight feed at 8 months. But I remind myself that I had an easier first few months with sleep.  


Each milestone has been similar.  Mary will reach one before bubs, then bubs will reach one before Mary.  We talk and compare and bounce ideas off of each other, but try not to judge each other or ourselves for how our babies are doing. 


I will admit I had a hard time recently with this, which enforced the importance of not judging.  I was at a playgroup and talking to bub’s dad. And Bub was crawling at 8 months! He had done his first real crawl 3 days before and then just took off and would crawl everywhere. That afternoon I was thinking bitterly to myself: Bubs new skill is crawling and Mary’s is biting my shoulder! She kept biting my shoulder so much I had teeth marks! She didn’t want solids, water, or breastmilk. She just seemed to want to bite! Luckily it was a short phrase and only lasted 3 days.  3 long days.  We ended up increasing her solids and it helped her sleep as well.  But I was a bit bitter at first. But then Mary started sitting up on her own. Actually going from tummy to sitting so that was exciting! And then I was talking to my friend who was complimenting Mary’s noises and saying bubs wasn’t making so many sounds.  


We all compare, but it isn’t good for our mental health. If you find yourself comparing and putting yourself down or worrying what would you say to yourself?  Having the conversation with my friend really made me realize that I would be very positive about her baby not crawling yet, so why am I not the same with mine? 


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