I am raising two children. My daughter is 4 years old. My son is 10 months. He is not crawling. The difference between them is 3.5 years. But the feeling and state is like becoming a mother again for the first time.
I recently noticed that he is more right sided. He can eat from a spoon. Little by little, he discovers the joy of movement. He really likes water.
I suspect that difficult experiences I had while I was pregnant had an impact on his development (he had a pinched nerve in his neck at 6 months ). It seems to my husband that he is a little slower than his sister. My experience shows that boys mature a little slower and that is neither bad nor good. That's just the way it is. However, I don't know how to help him grow fully further - self-confident, brave, independent...
It scares and obliges that the first year of the baby is the most important... How not to miss it...
Maybe you can give me some advice on how to help my son grow up? There are only girls around...
First, I think your children are lucky to have you. Your concern about these issues demonstrates that you are on a positive parenting path. Observing and trying to compassionately, skillfully help are just so important in parenting!
As you mentioned, children do develop at different rates. My own daughter never crawled. She went straight to walking at right around 10 months. My son was an expert crawler and started walking around 13 months. So, the fact that your son is not crawling may be typical development and no cause for alarm. Or, it may mean he needs some extra support.
There is a great free milestones tracker at MontiKids. Scroll through that to see if your child seems to be on the right track.
Begin by continuing to encourage him to move and be engaged in all the activities of daily living. Do you have a floor bed instead of a crib? Is the house baby-proofed so that he can be free to explore? Is he placed on the floor often so he has space to move? Do you get outside with him often?
Try to develop his interest and curiosity in the world around him. Speak naturally with him and describe what is happening when you change him, help him eat, help him wash, etc. Sing songs, read books with him, and just share your enjoyment of life.
You can learn more details about this in my YouTube video on Practical Parenting to Support the Brain.
Also, try to limit screen time in every way. Screens are passive tools that can be quite helpful for research with older children but tend to be detrimental in children under age 6.
You mention that he had a pinched nerve, can you provide more details on that?
As far as being the only boy around, I wouldn't worry. My brother is the only boy with three sisters and no father in the household. He has become a rather extraordinary man. Still, I would encourage your husband to play an active role in his life.
There are many wonderful resources available for free from the Montessori Notebook website and also from MontiKids. These may give you some ideas and more direction on helping him reach his full potential.
I hope this helps!