Tracking Your Baby’s Development

Tracking Your Baby's Development

There’s more to tracking your baby’s development than logging height and weight. There are a number of other childhood milestones to keep watch for.

 

Pediatrician Michelle Bailey, MD, medical director of Duke Health Center at Southpoint, says you can look for signs of emerging motor and language skills in the very first months of your baby’s life.

“Babies begin to vocalize around 1 month.  “At 3 months, they should push their head up when they’re on their stomach. By 4 months, they chatter in response to you and squeal with laughter.”

It is a good idea for parents to watch for these early childhood milestones, along with the more obvious “firsts” such as walking and talking. Just be careful about comparing your child with peers or older siblings. “Remember that each child is an individual,” Bailey says. “There’s a wide range for when children achieve a particular milestone. For example, I’ve seen children walk as early as 9 months or as late as 14 months.”

Spotting Developmental Delays

So how can you tell the difference between a child who is just taking his or her time and one who has a true developmental delay? According to Marat Zeltsman, DO, of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, a developmental delay is when a child does not reach a milestone by the upper range of normal. Even though babies develop at their own pace, he explains, “every child should do certain tasks by a certain age.” These tasks fall into five main categories:

  • Gross motor skills, such as crawling and walking
  • Fine motor skills, such as stacking blocks or coloring
  • Language skills, including speech and comprehension
  • Thinking skills
  • Social interaction

Culled from WEBMD:Sherry Rauh

To be Continued……

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