Check out baby's milestones
Gather a bunch of babies or toddlers in a room and you're bound
to recognize a wide range of skills and abilities. But when it
comes to comparing your baby with your friend's baby, it's
important to remember no two babies are alike.
"Not every baby develops at the same pace," says Chicago
pediatrician Dr. Julie Selig. "Comparisons with other babies aren't
Some babies, however, may need some extra help when it comes to
reaching important milestones. The earlier you connect with
services, the better and sooner progress will be made, she
A developmental delay is determined when your child does not
meet a developmental milestone in the categories of motor,
speech/language, cognitive or social/emotional skills at an
expected time. For example, most babies can sit up without support
at 7 months. If your baby is still not sitting on her own at 9
months, this would be considered a developmental delay. It is also
important to note if your baby reaches a milestone and then falls
behind, unable to reach that same milestone as time progresses,
this also may indicate a developmental issue.
In many cases, delays are caused by reversible factors, such as
hearing loss from ear infection or lead poisoning. Other factors
may be genetic, stem from birth issues (prematurity, infection,
etc.) or simply unknown.
"Parents are usually the first ones to sense that there may be a
developmental issue," Selig says. "Many 'normal' babies may fall
behind in one area and yet make great strides in another, and
milestones are simply guidelines. Most issues turn out to be
Your best bet: See your pediatrician for an evaluation, she
Most pediatricians screen for developmental delays during
routine visits, but don't be afraid to ask about your baby's
milestones and share your worries.
Plainfield mom Robin Gonzalez shared her concerns at her
daughter's 6-month-old check-up.
"I realized she was delayed after reviewing the milestones with
my pediatrician, confirming that she was not meeting them,"
Gonzalez says. "She didn't seem to have any issues with wanting to
respond to me or follow with her eyes, but had difficulty holding
herself up. I spoke with the doctor and we treated her as if she
was a newborn and went step by step on developing her muscles."
She rolled over at 12 months and walked at 18 months after
taking swim classes that helped strengthen her muscles.
"She is now 3 and doing all the things she should be. I couldn't
be happier for her."
Amy Bizzarri is a mom of two living in Logan Square. She also blogs at tiramisumom.com.
See more of Amy's stories here.
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