The Growing Game: Your Child’s Developmental Milestones
Relax. When it comes to baby development, every child plays by her own rules
When will she walk, talk and smile? Relax. When it comes to development, every baby plays by her own rules.
Kimberly Middleton's son, Charles, is 9 months old and hasn't rolled from his back to his stomach. His cousin, born just six days after Charles, did everything first — smiling, cooing, laughing, talking. “They were compared to each other all the time, and I did most of the comparing,” says the Rockledge, Florida, mom. “Charles has just been so slow about physical milestones.”
Sound familiar? Middleton's concerns echo the frustrations experienced by millions of parents when it comes to reaching key development stages at the “right” age. “Milestones can be millstones,” explains infant development expert J. Kevin Nugent Ph.D., director of the Brazelton Institute at Children's Hospital Boston. “It's a terrible burden for parents.” While fretting over month-to-month milestones might seem like the vigilance of a dedicated mama, the simple truth is that babies develop at a pace they're comfortable with, and the factors that affect when a baby will reach a milestone vary. So instead of obsessing, read on for sage advice from pediatricians and moms who've been there — you know, so you won't drive yourself nuts.