Your Baby and Milestones: When to Call Your Doctor

Your Baby and Milestones: When to Call Your Doctor

There are so many variables in the way that our children grow and develop–not only physically, but also mentally and socially.

It’s never quite as simple as, “My baby is this age, therefore he’s hitting this milestone.” With kids as with life, things aren’t always predictable.

And trust me–you will drive yourself crazy if you look at other kids and compare them to your own child, especially in those early years. I can’t stress this enough: When it comes to development, every child is vastly different.

Just because your baby isn’t doing the exact same thing as your friend’s baby doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your child. And sometimes a speech delay is just a speech delay, and not an indication of any other developmental issue.

But it does help to have a rough idea of what to expect, developmentally-speaking, at each age. The first two years are such an incredibly rich time for our babies and their learning experience.

With the increased awareness of things like autism and other developmental differences in children, parents are educating themselves now more than ever on what to look out for when it comes to making sure our kids are on track.

Knowing what is typical can help you decide if it is time to talk with your doctor about your own child’s learning curve.

I’m honored to have partnered with AdventHealth for Children to provide this basic guideline for parents on what types of developmental milestones to expect, and when.

Developmental Milestones For Babies

2 to 6 Months

  • Babbling
  • Reaching for dangling objects
  • Bringing his/her hands together
  • Being able to take small amounts of food (closer to 6 mos.)

6 to 9 Months

  • Sit unsupported for a short period of time
  • Pick up small toys
  • Begin to chew

9 to 12 Months

  • Start of crawling…
  • …Followed by “cruising,” when baby holds onto furniture or other low objects to move from place to place
  • Respond to name by looking in your direction when his/her name is said

12 to 18 Months

  • Walking usually starts
  • Drinks from cup
  • Throws (or tries to throw) ball
  • Child should use anywhere from 3 to 20 words

18 to 24 Months

  • Understand around 300 words; be able to say around 50; string together 2 at a time
  • Jump in place
  • Walk up stairs holding rail
  • Try to pull off items of clothing

Biggest rule of thumb: Trust your gut. If something feels off, it might be.

With development issues, time is of the essence. The earlier you catch a potential issue, the better your chances of improving your child’s trajectory.

But there is one red flag, according to Susan Robins, a pediatric specialist with AdventHealth for Children–regression.

If your child loses verbal or motor skills he or she had mastered at one point, that’s a sign to call your doctor.

If your child loses verbal or motor skills he or she had mastered at one point, that’s a sign to call your doctor.

And that might be the biggest takeaway: Never be scared to call your pediatrician. It’s always better to ask than to question.

And remember, with potential developmental issues, time is of the essence. Occupational and speech therapy can be of tremendous help, but the sooner you catch a potential issue, the better.

Your doctor can point you in the direction of any help your child might need, so don’t be scared to tell him or her what’s going on.

Developmental Milestones For Babies


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