Do Milestones Really Matter?

Bundoo Pediatrician
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Do Milestones Really Matter?

Admit it – as a parent you wonder from time to time if your baby is meeting all of his or her developmental milestones. But do milestones even matter or are they just another needless thing to worry about as a new parent? Join me to discuss the ins and outs of developmental milestones and what they really mean for your child.

Comments

  1. I think they matter so that you have an idea where you are with your baby but everyone is different. Personally my 7month old isn’t sitting by himself or into eating any baby foods yet & it’s been a struggle trying to get him started on these thing j know I can’t rush him but it does worry me a little.

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    1. Hi Danielle, I couldn’t agree with you more. Developmental milestones simply give pediatricians a general guideline to evaluate your child, but keeping in mind that every baby develops at their own pace. So while you may read that every baby should be sitting unsupported at 6 months old, that milestone is simply an estimate of what many babies are doing at that age. If your baby is already rolling and sitting with support, and your pediatrician isn’t concerned, you should just be patient as well. Also some babies take their sweet time learning how to eat. I would just recommend offering a wide variety of foods consistently until he gets the hang of it. Remember, the majority of your baby’s calories still comes from the milk he is drinking. My best advice – enjoy your baby at every stage, without always worrying that something might be wrong. And if you continue to worry, bring it up to your baby’s doctor at the next visit for a little reassurance.

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      1. Thanks & I will definitely will keep trying with the foods

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  2. Thoughts on baby signs…? Do they delay speech or enhance verbal communication? My 3yo had a huge sign vocab at 12-15mo but didn’t start speaking really at all until 15-18mo. I had family saying it was because of the signing. He didn’t have to actually speak because he knew the sign. But he’s actually the most articulate and well spoken 3yo I’ve ever met, so overall, I think it was good for him.

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    1. Hi Roxanne, there is no research to date suggesting that teaching a baby to sign leads to delayed speech. In fact, I have found that it eases frustrations and allows your baby to express him or herself in ways that he would not be able to at an early age. But make sure you always say the word every time you or your baby uses the sign so they learn to associate word with the sign. And since he is very well spoken now, I would say it didn’t hurt him at all! Here’s a great Q and A written by our Bundoo speech therapist dealing with this issue. http://www.bundoo.com/qotd/will-teaching-sign-delay-speech/

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  3. My daughter was born 4.5 weeks early and was in the NICU for 8 days. At her 2-week appointment, her pediatrician said she was not going to be considered a preemie. But I’ve noticed that she ends up meeting milestones and going through typical behaviors about a month late (or about a month later than her brother did). How much does a premature birth factor in to how milestones are evaluated?

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    1. The earlier a baby is, the more delayed he or she may be when it comes to meeting milestones. Pediatricians use a “corrected gestational age” with preemies, taking into account how old they would be if born on their due date. For example, if a 6 month old baby was born 3 months prematurely, he would be expected to meet milestones for a 3 month old instead of a six month old. Because your baby was only a month early, you may or may not notice a difference. Remember, milestones are just an average of a baby’s development. If your daughter is slightly behind your son, it may simply be because every baby develops at their own pace and may have nothing to do with her being a little early.

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  4. Great topic! What are your thoughts on allowing babies to come to their milestones on their own? That is, not trying to get them to sit up by propping them, or trying to “teach” them this? I’ve read that allowing babies to be more self-directed lets them develop at their own pace, but it seems that people are always trying to get babies to the next milestone ASAP.

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