As mothers, we are excited about everything our baby does. Our baby books are filled with dates and times recording every small (for us very important) milestones. When did our baby roll over, when they smiled, when they cooed back when did their first tooth fall? Ask a mom and she remembers it all.
But first-time mothers can go through a lot of anxiety too. Since no two babies are the same, it might seem like other babies of the same age are doing a lot more than your own child. Worry seems to be a mom’s constant companion. But the best thing to do is follow your paediatrician’s chart.
When you go to a paediatrician first time they will measure your baby and give you a growth chart. These are in percentiles. So the important thing to know is the general timeline. If anything seems to be off, please check with your doctor. Follow your motherly instincts and get answers for those nagging doubts. It might just be nothing but it’s better to hear it from the experts.
Another important thing your doctor will give you is the vaccination schedule. Follow the schedule and give timely doses as per the country you are in. Vaccinations are an important part of growing up years. As much as we hate the idea of giving shots to our precious little bundle of joy, vaccinations are seriously important milestones of your baby’s life. They are probably the most effective public health measure introduced in the last few decades. If you are doubtful about any of the vaccines speak to your doctor.
So let’s speak about the exciting journey of a baby growing into a very active toddler and the tremendous changes they go through.
Perhaps the most anticipated milestone of the baby is when they take their first step. But before they reach there, they go through a lot of other milestones.
Rolling over: Some babies do it at three months while others take up to 7-8 months. All are completely normal.
Sitting up: Most babies can sit without props by 5 or 6 months. And do it well by 9 months.
Crawling: Crawling here can mean moving on their tummy (like a fish), shuffling their bottoms or crawling backwards. Most babies start between 6 to 9 months while some skip it altogether and start standing up with support.
There’s an absolutely huge variation in the age babies/toddlers walk –and how early they start is not necessarily a sign that they will be more physically capable in later life. The average age to start walking is 12-13 months, but there are plenty who don’t take their first steps until 16-18 months. If they aren’t walking by 18 months it is officially classed as ‘delayed’, but it’s still nothing to worry about if your doctor is happy with their development.
As much as a baby’s first step is looked forward too, perhaps the other bigger milestone is baby’s first word. Long before your baby utters mama or dada he/she is communicating and absorbing sounds from the environment.
Some babies are saying ‘mama’ and/or ‘dada’ around nine months, and the average age for a first word is 10-11 months. However, lots of babies/toddlers don’t take much of an interest in talking until after their first birthday, some nearer to 18 months. As long as you’re talking to them lots and they seem to understand you, don’t worry – talking will come.
Other than these two much anticipated and much documented moments, there is a variety of other milestones that your baby crosses before turning into a toddler. The first night they sleep through, the first time they finish their meal, the day when they are completely potty trained ask any mamma and she would describe these as her life’s best moments.
Just remember to not compare your baby with any other. All babies are unique and develop at different paces – don’t forget, they haven’t read the baby books! But if you’ve got concerns please consult your doctor.
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Updated Date: Feb 21, 2019 12:28:10 IST