9 Developmental Milestones That You Shouldn’t Overlook
While it is perfectly reasonable for parents to worry about their little ones, you should try not to be overly concerned about your child’s developmental milestones. Each child is different, so you should not expect every child to hit the same milestones at the same age. It is not race.
However, there are some developmental milestones that may alert parents to potential issues. If these issues are addressed early, most can be managed successfully. Here are the milestones pediatricians want parents to pay attention to:
- Not responding to sounds
If your baby does not respond to sounds, this may be a sign of hearing loss. For instance, where most babies have their hearing tested at birth, some babies suffer some hearing loss due to recurrent ear infections.
- Not smiling or laughing
If you notice your baby is not beginning to interact socially, such as smiling at parents, this is something to watch. For example, most babies start laughing around 4 months of age; however, if you little one is not laughing at 4 months, do not panic. But, if you begin to notice your baby is still not smiling readily as she gets older, then you should speak with your doctor.
- Speech Delays
With speech, you should watch for a gradual progression. Babies begin with babble, then they move on to words, then they begin to use adjectives and form short sentences. Again, before you panic, speak with your doctor. WebMD explains, “When children are behind in speech or comprehension, […] the likely culprit is hearing loss due to recurrent ear infections. A less common cause is autism, particularly if the child also has difficulty interacting socially.”
- Not mimicking sounds or actions
If your child does not attempt to mimic the sounds and actions you make, keep trying. If you continue to notice that your child does not try to copy you, then alert the pediatrician.
- Severe mobile delays
Walking is one of the milestones with a wide time range. The average age is around 12 months, but it some babies walk as early as ten months, while others do not walk until 14 months. What should concern you is if it seems like your baby cannot bear weight on his legs.
- Not alternating feet
During the toddler years, your child’s mobility should improve by leaps and bounds. Literally! Your child should be running, jumping, and walking up and down stairs by altering her feet.
- Struggling with fine motor skills
During the toddler and preschool years, your child should begin to use more fine motor skills. This is also a progression. Your baby will work on stacking blocks, while your preschooler will work on using writing utensils.
- Difficulty with memory and cognitive skills
As your child becomes a preschooler, he should be able to tells stories using his imagination as well as from memory.
- Lacking empathy
If your little one does not appear to care about others, you should begin to work with your child to teach empathy. However, if your child does not seem to improve in this area, you should consult your child’s teachers to see if this is also apparent in the classroom.
Ultimately, early intervention is vital. Parents who are proactive can get their children therapies that will help them overcome these obstacles.