When your precious baby is born all you feel is excitement and love for this new miracle. Eventually your feelings become stronger and you feel pride with every simple milestone they conquer. As a parent you might brag about how your new baby smiles, makes eye contact or the length of time they sleep.
Soon your excitement, love and pride will be joined with feelings of anxiety and you will question if your child is reaching their appropriate milestones. These feelings are usually brought about by people around you talking about their experiences with their child or simply comparing your baby to another. This is definitely natural for all parents to feel this way.
Take a look at the CDC’s recommendations for child development milestones and get a better understanding of where your child should be. Remember these are suggestions for basic check points of development.
Every child learns at their own pace, but they should at least meet most if not all of these milestones. If you have any concern or doubt please discuss it with your pediatrician. Your doctor will be able to validate your concern and guide you with the next step you should take or possibly he might be able to explain why they have not reached the milestone yet.
For example, a child of 18 months is suggested to reach the physical development milestone of walking up steps and running. Sometimes a child is not exposed to walking upstairs and needs the opportunity to practice.
Another example, is a language milestone for a 5 year old is to say their name and address. Parents may not think it is necessary to educate a child on their address at such a young age, but it is important for many reasons.
Meeting Child Development Milestones
A wonderful way to expose your child to more opportunities to learn and meet these development checkpoints is by enrolling them in preschool. Most preschools give you the option of enrolling your child in a two to five day class. During the school day the children will use their fine and large motor skills, expand their cognitive development, practice their language skills and much more.
Preschool is a fun learning environment which prepares your child to be independent for “big school!” All certificated preschools assess children throughout the year to see what milestones they have met, what skills they need to practice, or what issues they might struggle with in their classroom. All of this information is communicated to you. This allows you to breathe a little easier knowing someone else is helping you evaluate your child and is also looking for any red flags.
If you chose for your child to not attend preschool there are other ways to help your child meet their milestones. Start by reading over the milestone development checklist and find out what is expected of your child. Create moments which allow them the opportunity to practice the milestone. Copying sounds or gestures and kicking a ball.
These are child development opportunities that cannot be met without help. Play a game with your baby and invite them to copy you. Start a kickball game in the backyard with your whole family and teach your child how to play. Arrange play dates at your home for the children to play and learn from one another.
Another option to consider is visiting a chiropractor with advanced training in pediatric patients. Our brains and bodies are so complex and sometimes small children need help growing and developing. Simple reflexes and milestones of a baby or small child should occur at a certain time to indicate that the nervous system is developing properly. These doctors have the knowledge to assess a child and gently administer techniques which will promote the growth of a child.
As parents, we want our children to be happy, healthy and have endless opportunities. One great way to ensure your child’s future is to be proactive with your child’s overall development. This is your opportunity to start helping your child from birth by helping them fulfill their full potential.