Parents: Comparisons and Milestones

By: Kerrie Olejarz

 

Aside from everyone guessing who Cailyn looks like -Mommy or Daddy -it seems everyone is concerned with milestones.  There is an ongoing comparison of who’s child has hit which milestones, whether the child is early or delayed.  Cailyn has reached most milestones early, like grabbing toys, rolling, using her thumb and  pointer finger as a pincer grip, and talking. (Yes, she has been saying words since she was four months old.)  She did however seem to crawl late, based on all the books and recommendations found online.

As parents, I think we secretly panic when our child seems behind the ball compared to other kids.   I am a new mom and a first time mom so my credibility has been questioned.  Other moms doubt me when I say Cailyn was saying “hi” at four months.  They assume I am just hearing what I want to hear, despite the fact that others have heard it, even Cailyn’s physician!  Being a new mom certainly has challenges, and there is an assumed pressure over these crazy milestones.  For me, milestones are merely reminders of child development, just guidelines.  If a child has not hit a milestone at the suggested time it is not necessarily cause for alarm and can be discussed with the doctor at the baby’s next visit.  Parents want the best for their child’s development and therefore there is a lot of pressure.    God forbid you do an Internet search on “infant milestones” – the thousands of pages you’ll pull up will make you feel inadequate and as though something might be wrong with your baby!  There is enough to worry about as a new parent; why put more pressure on yourself about your baby not babbling at exactly nine months?

We try to enjoy every moment with Cailyn with only a background awareness of milestones.  She has developed at a “normal” rate and as a result we have the luxury to enjoy every day with her without any concern.

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Comments

  1. Madgew says

    I think the pediatrician can evaluate with your thoughts if something really bothers you. I worked for pediatricians for years and most of the parents concerns were unfounded but based on anxiety. All babies develop on a curve and when they fall off is when to be concerned, otherwise, the bell shaped curve pretty much covers it. I know babies who walked very early and talked late and visa versa. Their little brains can only do one thing at a time so they walk or talk and the other follows along. If you see obvious signs of trouble don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. But don’t discuss with friends. They will make you crazier.

  2. Kerrie says

    I agree Madge. Observe then ask questions, the best approach. Like I said in my post above, we are aware but not obsessed and can therefore enjoy the “milestones” as they come.

  3. Lisa RM says

    Good for you, Kerrie. Those milestones and their timing are so varied, but they can sometimes induce panic. Congratulations on not letting them do that. :)

  4. Tina Hunter says

    Yes, I agree with all you ladies. Milestones are just guidelines, I’ve known some parents so fixated on this. I think you’re doing a great job Kerrie and have the right attitude. I have enjoyed following your family’s story.

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