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How New Mothers Can Avoid "Baby Rivalry"

It is only natural to think that your baby is the cutest, smartest, and best at everything. In fact, you may absolutely know this. That said, it is also normal to look at other babies and wonder if your baby is on target, ahead, or behind the natural curve of things. This may lead you to compare your baby with others in your neighborhood.

Why Making Comparisons Is Normal

It is perfectly normal to look at the baby next to you in the pediatrician's office and wonder if your baby is doing the same things. Or you may see another infant in baby gym class rolling over while your precious bundle still just lies there and smiles.

Making comparisons from baby to baby is natural and normal. It's simply a part of human nature. You want to know that your baby is where he should be for his age. You want to reassure yourself that there isn't a problem with his growth or development, and comparisons are the easiest way to reassure yourself.

Why Comparisons Are Dangerous

While it is perfectly normal to compare, remember that it can be dangerous. Pay attention to your obsessing over the skills of your baby. If your concerns are that great, be sure to have a chat with your pediatrician. She should be able to give you a handy chart showing some ranges for normal activities of a baby the age of your little one.

The key to remember is that there is always a range of normal. Just because your neighbor's baby rolled over at two weeks of age doesn't mean your baby is destined for subpar schoolwork for not rolling over until six weeks. There are many considerations to take into account, including the gestational age at birth (remember, preemies take a while to catch up), body weight, freedom to move around and play, parental involvement, and many others.

The constant comparisons will serve only to drive you crazy. Remember, less is more, and every child is an individual. Real concerns should be taken to your pediatrician; push the silly stuff aside.

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From The Everything Mother's First Year Book Copyright © 2005, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

To order this book go to Amazon.


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