Fraternal twin boys months apart in development

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by Tier1Terrier, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Tier1Terrier

    Tier1Terrier Active Member

    Hi everyone! It's been a long time since I posted, but it suffices to say, it's been a long road getting here.

    Without getting into too much history, here goes.

    We have twin 9 month old boys. They were born at 31 weeks 6 days and spent about 6 weeks in the NICU. No major health issues overall but I have a laundry list of little things that I won't muddy this post with.

    Twin A was the really active one in utero and for the first few months. Very fidgety. Was not a very still sleeper. But overall, no very abnormal signs of delayed development for their gestational age.

    Twin B was the one we were worried the most about during the first few months. Just the opposite of twin A in terms of physical development early on.

    Today, Twin B is doing great with nearly all his physical milestones. I'd say he'll be walking on his own within the next week or so.

    Twin A on the other hand has not developed nearly as well. He's still not even crawling yet. He seems to have very poor eye/hand coordination and has trouble grasping things in front of his face - but eventually manages. Both his fine and gross motor skills seem at least a couple months behind his brother's.

    Both twins have been evaluated and followed by PTs and OTs from very early on, but Twin A is just not keeping up. We've stepped up Twin A's PT treatment frequency and work with him constantly at home on all the prescribed exercises.

    Let me just say that I am confident that we are doing just about anything and everything we can do, and have been under close observation by a variety of clinicians (PT/OT/Neuro and more)

    What I'm curious to know is about other people's experiences with twins that have what seems to be a wide gap in development at around this age (9 months) and what outcomes have you experienced moving forward. Have you found that there can be significant improvements (or catching up) from the lagging child? Have you found that the gap remained consistent and/or possibly gotten worse? I'm sure that both scenarios are probably common, but I guess I'm just looking to hear from 'real life' people on this board who've had similar experiences.

    I know I'd probably be better off asking this in the later year forums as many people that follow this (first year) forum might not have long term answers to share with me.

  2. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    You have to keep in mind that there is a wide range of what is normal. So it's possible to have kids months apart on milestones who are both normal. I had a friend whose daughter was the same age as my twins who crawled at 5 months. Mine crawled at 9 months. Everyone was normal and totally on track.

    My 37 weekers were generally around a month apart on gross motor milestones. They both caught up fine. Something else to consider: my DS has always been ahead on all the milestones that people ask about. He crawled, walked, rolled, sat, talked, etc. first. But my DD hit other milestones that weren't as exciting first. She went through stranger danger first. She STTN first. She was always ahead on the emotional development stuff.
  3. Mom2VLS

    Mom2VLS Well-Known Member

    My 39 weekers were about 2 weeks apart on rolling and by the time they got to walking they were 2 months apart. But that meant that my A walked at 10 months and my B walked at 12 months. For reference, my singleton didn't walk until she was 14 months.

    My B also hit other milestones earlier than A - she smiled first, clapped first, babbles more, etc. And as soon as she starts doing something like walking it seems like it takes less time for her to master it - or maybe time is just really distorted with the craziness of life with twins. ;)
  4. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I was going to say that it sounds less like twin A is "behind" and more like twin B is "ahead". Like Rachael said there's a very wide range of normal (for example, anything between 9-18 months is considered normal for walking). My girls are ID and were always pretty close together for hitting their milestones but often at the later range of normal. I used to worry so much about it but they were just fine. I wish I hadn't wasted so much energy on useless worrying

    It sounds like you're already doing a lot with them. Take a deep breath and TRUST them. They will develop on their own time and their own way and be just fine. Try to enjoy what they ARE doing rather than focusing so much on what they aren't doing.
  5. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    We have a very similar scenario to what you described.. right down to the twin who was most active and alert early on was the one who was slower to reach developmental markers.

    DD - all she did was sleep as a newborn. i was worried about her. she hardly opened her eyes the first few months. They were 6 weeks early. She reached all her milestones on time or early (without adjusting age).

    DS - was wide awake even in the NICU. He was late to make all his physical milestones (even after adjusting being 6 wks preemie). The point he was furthest behind, PT accessed him as one month behind developmentally (adjusted age). He was 3 months behind DD. A week later he crawled for the first time and three days later he pulled to stand. A week after that he could STILL not go from the crawl to the sit position! He did everything backward and in his own time. PT was a big help for him... especially in keeping the frustration at a minimum.

    It is hard to have one early developer and one late. (and you have an EARLY developer.. nearly walking at 9 months!!) It is impossible not to compare them but try to look at each child separately. I had to keep asking, 'if i wasn't watching his sister sit, crawl, cruise around the room would i be worried.

    Now at 18 months they are fairly equal. They are both running everywhere! DD is still faster and will probably always be more coordinated.
    Now they are working on their fine motor skill and it seems like DS has a little advantage in this. He is willing to concentrate and work on those things. DD will jump up and do something else rather than stay and keep working.
    Every child has different strengths. Because your son is behind in these things does not mean he will be behind in all things or that he will always be behind.

    Early on, DS seemed so uncoordinated part of me was already worrying that he would be a target for teasing at school. Now at 18 months, i don't have those concerns. He seems very average and that is good.

    Another note, i am convinced that DS had some developmental delay in his ability to focus. i think that played a part in his physical delays. As a baby he would only look in mirrors at a distance. As soon as you got close he would look at something else. That improved around one year and there is no vision issue today. We did have him checked by an ophthalmologist (for crossing one eye, which he no longer does). At the time I asked about his vision and the Dr said he was too young to make a true assessment. they will check it again when he is able to communicate better. Another thing to watch for...

    Sounds like you are doing everything right and getting the support to help him. Try to enjoy him where he is and trust the professionals to help keep him and you on track.
    When my DS took his first independent steps i cried.. partly because it was so amazing to see and partly because he was suddenly a toddler and no longer a baby.
    These will be our only children and that moment was the end of my babies.

    I felt like it took forever for him to get to each stage, but really it was such a brief moment.. don't let your worry make you miss out on enjoying those baby moments.
    soon you too will have toddlers.
  6. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    Jessy had health issue and was behind. She was a lot smaller at birth so she had to play catch up, Jazz walked at 10 months Jess didn't walk till 16 months and even them she did it so comically we had her seen by a orthopedic dr! She had low but not concerning muscle tone. Turns out she had a undiagnosed hole in her heart which they missed for 4 years! All her energy was going to that. Both girls are pretty much on target for their age and no worse for being preemie. Just make sure you keep your dr aware of your concerns
  7. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    Don't forget to adjust for age. 9 months minus 9 weeks give or take. Which is around 7 months. Not crawling at 7 months is very normal. Not crawling at 9 months is normal as well. There is a wide age range for milestones. And keep in mind that crawling is not a milestone. I do not remember about grasping objects or anything or when they did it. Both of mine crawled within 1 week of each other but one of mine walked at 9 months (taking steps independently) and the other shortly before his 1st birthday. Without adjusting for prematurity (they were 8 weeks early). So a 3 month difference in walking and they were both perfectly normal and no worries.

    One did have a speech delay and had speech for 5 months. You would never know it now. He talks nonstop. The other had no speech delay.

    Sounds like you are doing everything right with getting evaluations and help as needed. I worried a lot when they were infants since they were preemie. Like others said I wish I had enjoyed them more and worried less.
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