All babies develop at different rates, so if your little one doesn’t reach one or more of the milestones mentioned, it doesn’t mean he has a delay or that something is wrong with him.
He is very likely to reach these milestones in the upcoming months. Also, according to the American Pregnancy Association, premature babies tend to reach their milestones later than full-term babies of the same birth age.
The Rules of Development:
In her book, First-time Parents: What Every New Parent Needs to Know, Dr Miriam Stoppard urges parents to remember these important facts about a child’s development:
- Don’t compare your baby to other babies, as no two children develop at the same rate. If your friend’s baby is already walking while yours is still crawling, don’t fret – this is normal.
- Although certain developmental skills will be acquired quite fast, it may take your little one longer to obtain other skills. If, for example, your child mastered walking quite quickly, he may turn into a sloppy eater.
- The development of your baby’s whole body depends on how mature his brain is and whether or not his brain, nerve and muscle connections have grown. Your little one can’t learn skills such as walking or talking until all the connections are in place. (According to Stoppard’s book, bladder control, for instance, is not possible until 18 months of age. So if parents expect their child to use the potty any earlier, it is likely to lead to failure and can slow down their baby’s developmental progress later on.)
- Development progresses from head to toe, which means a baby can’t sit before he can control his head or stand until he can sit.
- Skills gradually become finer – they don’t just happen overnight. Your little one may be able to grasp with his open hand at 5 months old and by 8 months he can pick things up with his fingers.
- Avoid over-stimulation and under-stimulation, as both are equally negative. A constant flood of noise around your little one may make him confused and he will thus not gain very much.