The Importance of Checking Developmental Milestones

Every parent wants their child to be happy and healthy. Developmental milestones are significant because they track your child’s progress compared to other children their age. You can view developmental milestones as a checklist that ensures your child is developing and progressing at a proper rate. Here are some details to consider concerning your child’s developmental milestones:

What Is a Developmental Milestone?

Developmental milestones are physical, social, cognitive, and communicative points that showcase a child’s growth. Children tend to develop specific skills around a particular age — with most skills building upon one another. You’ve likely noticed that your child’s healthcare team asks about milestones to better track and understand their growth.

Most medical professionals and parents begin to check for milestones when an infant is around one month old. You can expect your baby to smile at the sound of your voice when they’re approximately three months old, sit without support at six months old, and walk around eighteen months old.

It can be hard to recognize the various developmental milestones that should be checked while your child interacts and plays if you don’t know what to look for. The Child Mind Institute offers a comprehensive checklist you can follow at home to ensure your little one is on-track.

What if I Believe My Child Hasn’t Hit a Milestone?

It’s necessary to check your child’s developmental milestones to be cognizant if they’re not ‘checking them off the list’ as expected. While these milestones certainly act as guidelines for parents and your child’s healthcare team, knowing that every child has a different journey is important. Please don’t worry if your child is seemingly not hitting a milestone when they’re supposed to!

If this is the case, you can and should speak to your pediatrician, however waitlists can be 3, 6 or even 10 months. A month is a long time in the developmental path of a young child. While you wait, start the process connect with the allied health professional who’s skills match your concerns.

If your child is less than 3 ½ years, book a Bayley screener or assessment. This process checks motor, language, social and emotional development collectively

If your child is over 3 ½ years, book in for a screener or assessment with a paediatric physiotherapist (motor skills), speech pathologist (speech and language skills), occupational therapist (sensory processing, regulation, skill development, feeding, sleeping), or counsellor (social-emotional development, attachment). Other allied health professionals who may help include; chiropractors, optometrists’, behavioural optometrists, psychologists, dieticians, and homeopaths.

Think Creative! It is so important to log your child’s early development

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