Parents often wonder if their baby is developing as he/she should. “Is this normal?” and “How come he isn’t…?” are commonly asked questions. While parents worry, and for good reason, the time period from birth to twelve months, is one of incredible growth and development.
Development occurs across several domains. Motor development refers to physical movement, such as arm thrusts and later, crawling. Social/Emotional development concerns your baby’s relating to others, as well as their general mood. Cognitive development refers to your baby’s ability to learn and retain information, such as learning that rattles make noise when they are shaken and later, that cups are used for drinking. Language development is just what it states; a child’s increasing ability to learn to communicate with others, including babbling.
Particularly during infancy, it’s important to assess for your baby’s progression through developmental stages. Determining if they’re on target should address all of the domains mentioned above. Your pediatrician may not touch on all of these, whether it isn’t their regular practice during checkups or the time constraints of your appointments didn’t allow you to cover everything. Thankfully, the internet has a wealth of information and parents’ use of the right websites can keep them informed of their baby’s progression.
It is necessary to note that all babies do not go through every aspect of a developmental milestone. For example, by 1 year of age, professionals list crawling as a milestone babies should have achieved. However, some babies never crawl; going from supported walking, to walking alone.
Also, milestones should not be considered the rule. Developmental milestones have been determined by health care professionals, based on decades of research that have determined when babies typically demonstrate the behaviour of interest. However, babies achieve different tasks at different rates. So, if your 6 month old isn’t doing some of the same things your friend’s 6 month old is, it may not necessarily be cause for concern. However, if the baby is continuously achieving milestones later than expected, or you notice red flags (included on some milestone lists), you should speak with your pediatrician, a developmental specialist or psychologist. If the concerns you observe are the result of a developmental delay or medical condition, your early identification will give your baby the advantage of early intervention.
Particularly for first time parents, concerns often arise, as the parents may not necessarily have exposure to other babies and so, wonder if their baby is doing what he/she should. It’s okay to be concerned; it’s key to being a great parent! Keep your eyes open, bearing in mind the milestone ranges listed when you Read More.