As a new parent, tracking your child’s developmental milestones is almost always top of mind. Whether it’s at your regular visits to your pediatrician, talking to another mom who has a baby of a similar age or getting those well-meaning (yet annoying) questions from that ONE grandparent who seems to have completely forgotten WHEN certain things happen - “Why isn’t he talking yet?” “Well, Dad, he’s only 8 months.” “When will she start crawling? “Mom, she’s only 6 months. She just started sitting up.” - It’s hard to ignore this subject.
But, there are just SO many milestones to keep up with that it can be overwhelming. And, it really is true that every child develops at their own rate. However, there are still a range of months that a certain skill should be developed by and if your child hasn’t yet reached that skill at the tail end of that range, it is important to talk to your pediatrician as soon as possible.
In many cases of parenting, the “wait and see” approach is perfectly acceptable and often preferred. Fever and certain mild illnesses are a perfect example.
In the case of your child hitting their developmental milestones, that approach can get you in trouble, more quickly than you realize. We say this not to panic you but to emphasize how important it is to stay on top of those milestones.
Here’s an impressive statistic to drive home our point: By the time your child is five years old, NINETY PERCENT OF THEIR BRAIN HAS DEVELOPED!
Catching missed milestones is important for two big reasons:
Milestones happen in order.
For example - recognizing familiar voices, babbling, laughing, first words, combining words into phrases, etc.
If you miss one milestone then it can be a domino effect into missing the others that follow. The earlier you catch a potential issue, the earlier you can intervene to get things back on track.
2. Missing milestones can be indicative of certain diagnoses or developmental delays like autism, low muscle tone, cerebral palsy, apraxia of speech, ADHD.
We say this not to scare you and missing milestones doesn’t automatically mean your child has one of these diagnoses but it can be a reason for concern and definitely reason to have your child evaluated.
We’ve treated children as young as one year old and you wouldn’t believe the improvements we’re able to make when we catch things early.
Here’s a handy guide to tracking your child’s milestones
Give it a look and if you see any red flags, give us a call. We’re here to help!