New Mum on the Blog

Sharing is Caring! Experiences, insights, advice and tips from one mum to another

Yes…No…Maybe? Reaching those Golden Milestones

on August 30, 2012

Do you get those emails every month about what milestones your baby may reach, and read the list very carefully and think to yourself why hasn’t she done that yet? or have a book that you are constantly referring to every time your baby does something new, and think my babies a genius! Well you are definitely not alone. Watching your baby grow is one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences as a new parents and it is only natural for us as parents to want to make sure our children are on track and reaching those important milestones you read about. Your doctor even gives you a checklist with questions asking what your baby is doing at that stage. I found myself constantly reading up on things Aud was doing, wasn’t doing, maybe was doing. Was that a wave? That was definitely a wave. Did she just babble? I think I heard mmmore. Is that considered crawling? She’s definitely going to walk soon. Come on, I know I’m not the only one with these delusional thoughts that my child will be putting together complex sentences by 12 months and be a ballet dancer by 14 months.

At baby girls 9 month check-up the nurse hands me the ‘developmental screen’ checklist and I carefully go through each question…“by nine months of age does your baby…”as if I am taking my college exams again, I make sure I don’t miss a thing. The first few of course I check the boxes of ‘yes’ and then I get to “Understand short instructions (e.g. Where is the ball? Or Wave bye-bye?)…uh oh…she doesn’t do that. Do I cheat and check yes? Do I put a mark in the middle of the yes and no so it’s like a maybe? Yah, I’ll just create my own answer. So that’s what I did. I put a check mark in the middle. When the Dr. came in and went through the list with me, obviously she stopped at the ‘maybe’ answer. I was worried, I was actually thinking that if I didn’t check yes to all the questions it meant something was wrong.

So the Dr. asks me why I checked in the middle, “well sometimes if we wave bye-bye she flings her arm around, so she’s almost getting it I think.” The look from the Dr. pretty well explained itself- it really didn’t matter if I checked yes, no, or made up my own box, there was nothing wrong with Aud not yet ‘listening to instructions.’ I’m not saying I threw out my book or unsubscribed to the emails, but I have started to take it all with a grain of salt.

I remember watching a movie called “Babies” while I was preggo, (recommended but warning: husband will be extremely bored). It was about 4 different families raising a baby in four very different parts of the world; San Francisco, Tokyo, Mongolia, Namibia. Watching these babies in four entirely different cultures, being parented in different ways and all with different personalities helps you to see that it really doesn’t make a difference whether or not your baby reaches the milestone at the exact time the books say, they all ‘catch up.’ Whether your child walks at 10 months or 14 months, your child will walk.

I have a core group of mummies and babies that I have spent the last year hanging out with. All of our babies are around the same age, so we all got to ask questions, give advice and learn with each other. We would always talk about the different milestones our babes were reaching, and what to expect when they do; it was such a relief to actually see that even though all the babies were around the same age they were all growing and developing in their own way. I always heard that there is this unspoken competition between new mums but I can happily and honestly say I never experienced that with my new friends. We all grew as new mums with each other and probably made decisions as parents we never would have had we not met. I am so grateful for my new friends and couldn’t of found a better group of mummies and babies.

So in the end, you can read the books, and mark the checklists, but don’t worry so much if your baby isn’t saying ‘babababa’ by 8 months, or if he’s not rolling over at 4 months, or walking at 12 months because he will. Before you know it you will be wondering where the year or two went when you could put your baby on the floor and entertain them holding up a black and white picture, and watch them sleep in their bouncy chair for 3 hours…at least until you have the next one…

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