I am a mother to an 18-month-old who was a pre-term baby born at 34 weeks. The doctor had told us that she will reach most milestones as per her adjusted age and not her real age. This means we had to adjust her age to be six weeks less and then check for her development. Every visit to her pediatrician started with a series of questions about her development and I do not remember every saying no to him, as she was doing everything he expected her to be doing.
Though my doctor never stressed me out but people around me definitely did. Why was she not turning over at seven months or crawling at nine months and why was she not showing any interest to walk on her first birthday? These things always worried me and I would read a lot on Google on how to help her achieve her milestones. There were some recommendations that helped but most of them increased my anxiety levels.
She still has to achieve many milestones but one thing I have learnt in my journey is that they all are different. Do not compare your child to others as they all grow at their own pace and set their own timelines. Some will walk early while some will talk early whereas some will do them both late. We need to be relaxed and stimulate them to do more things by giving more exposure. While it is essential to be relaxed and give them time, one must always keep an eye and observe them carefully. This is because if there is any problem, you can take action in time. There are many therapists available today for all developmental issues and they through various activities can help a child. The first person you should always check with is your pediatrician and if he feels there is a sign of worry, take timely action.
Reduce your Anxiety
Feeling anxious is normal but somethings my doctor and a few friends suggested and really helped me are:
- Accept that the child will grow at their own pace and this will have no impact on their future development
- Do not over react and stress about every small thing. Sometimes Google and Facebook can cause unwanted stress. Enjoy what your child can do rather than thinking about what they cannot do.
- Do not set goals for yourself and your baby
- If you are meeting people who constantly remind you of things your child cannot do, avoid them
- If you think something is wrong, do not hesitate to consult a specialist.
However, being too casual is also not a good thing. Our generation has a lot of facilities and we must use them if needed. Watch your child carefully and keep a track of their milestones.
Things You Should Watch For:
- The baby does not track things as they move or does not react to a noise
- They are not curious to know what is happening around them
- They do not hold their head up by 4 months
- If by ten months, they are not able to sit without support
- If they do not show interest in supporting their weight or are not using both legs and hands by 12 months
- They are very behind in reaching development milestones
My Mantra to you, Don’t Worry but Follow Your Instincts. Happy Parenting!!
This article was written by Arushi, a mother and a blogger!