Parenting is a roller-coaster. It’s a whirlwind ride that starts with pregnancy and then continues non-stop for the rest of parents’ lives. If I should divide my life into 2 parts, it’s clearly “Before Kids” and “After Kids”!

When kids come along they bring enormous happiness for parents and at the same time, lots of questions and confusions. Just like kids, parents also keep learning throughout.

Call it a query or doubt or worry, but we parents constantly think about one thing and that is: Whether my child is growing well, is he/she achieving milestones properly.

Read on about my take, my experience about Kids growth and milestones. Don’t forget to share yours too at the end of the post in comments.

Growth and Development Milestones – How to measure?

I remember when I gave birth to my daughter, I had myriad of confusions and used to get panicky about every little event. She sneezed and there went my night’s sleep away…that was the scenario! First time parents will surely relate to this feeling.

When the child is in their infant stage, every day is eventful. Infant’s slight smile puts big smiles on parents’ faces and slight cry of tummy pain brings tears in parents’ eyes. Ok, might be a bit exaggerating but this does happen! That first vaccination – oh! Do you remember that still? I clearly remember the actual vaccination, the preparation before and after it.

Common ailments and other turbulence is common in kids’ life. Once you accept that as a parent, then starts the fun of watching your kids grow and observe the changes every day brings to these little people. How time flies and the most helpless and dependent person in your life becomes independent young girl / boy. Wow!

In these growing years, it’s important to be watchful and ensure that kids are growing well and achieving milestones properly. Not only physical milestones like height, weight but mental, visual and cognitive development is something that parents need to monitor very closely. How?

When I was a new mom, I used to be a bit confused about what is the exact meaning of Developmental milestones for kids. What I learnt after some search and research is this:

Developmental milestones are nothing but the skills that babies will demonstrate example – roll over, sit up, crawl and finally walk n run.

You also must have heard terms that also come under Developmental milestones like:

  • motor skills development
  • Socio-emotional development
  • language development

There are many charts available on search engines to measure Growth and Developmental milestones. What I used to refer and still refer is this. I found these charts on Friso website very concise and quick to refer to. I also check with my Paed periodically.

My Experience: What should not worry you?

I have seen many moms getting paranoid about their baby not speaking clearly say at 18 months and other such points. As a mom, I too tend to press panic button very fast. Example: For my second kid, I was scared a bit when he was too reluctant to write. Again, Paed said fret not! Give him some time and let him just explore pens, pencils, Colors, play-doh and all…Indeed, it all helped. Time took its own time and the boy can write and all properly now.

So, as a parent, I have learnt to take note of a few pointers:

  • Don’t let the pressure boggle you down. Other parents, friends and even relatives can sometimes ask too tricky questions and give unsolicited advice. Result? we start worrying. Remember, each child will follow their own curve of growth and development and there is wide range of normal regarding the time taken by kids.
  • It’s not a race! So, don’t become overly competitive and compare your baby with other babies in terms of weight, height and other activities. Let each child bloom in its own way.
  • Some kids do skip milestones. It’s not necessary that sit and crawl and then stand n walk routine HAS to be followed to the tee. Example: my son never crawled much.
  • Don’t be too ignorant of course. Watch carefully how the child is growing. If any doubt, don’t hesitate or wait to consult Paed.

What should worry you?

Based on my own parenting experience, some kids are late-bloomers. But this late should not be too late and as a parent, we need to watch for red alerts.

Around 7-8 months, the baby should be already grasping rattles and putting them in mouth. Also, it should have become more and more responsive to sounds. Baby should also be able to carry its weight with firmer neck when you try to make them stand. I very clearly remember my Paed doing this check thoroughly for my kids during routine appointments.

By the time, the baby becomes around 1 year old and ready to welcome toddlerhood, it should be babbling a few words in her own baby language, waving and shaking hands, pointing to objects and Recognising them and so on. There is something to worry about if some of these things are missing. Probably Paed intervention is needed then.

There are developmental milestones for older kids too!

This was kind of eye-opener for me.

When my daughter started going to primary school, I thought oh, now no need to refer to milestone charts for her but I was wrong when I discovered that yes, there are milestones for older kids too. Kids are growing every day and there are constant changes happening in their minds and bodies.

Once a parent, always a parent! You have to keep abreast of milestones even for older kids and be there for them always.

Remember, each child is unique –

When my son was born, I invariably kept comparing the entire experience to the one that I had during my daughter’s new-born and toddlerhood days. So not correct!

My grandma and mum told me to stop doing that! Age-old wisdom – even 2 leaves of one tree are not the same so how 2 kids will do the same things?!

Yes, each child is unique and special in his / her own beautiful ways. One might start rolling over late and another will skip crawling. One might start speaking quite early and master the language very fast while the other will keep struggling with it. One might be weak in Maths while the other will be able to do mental sums fast. But each of them will develop amazingly with parents’ love and support.

How are you monitoring your kids’ growth and developmental milestones? Any suggestions and experiences? Do share with us 🙂

This blog post is in collaboration with Friso.

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