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No worrying is to be done. I think common sense and knowing your kid is much more important.

Our son was a very late talker. He only started talking at the age of almost 3. 4 years later we found out (and had him tested) he was gifted - he skipped first grade and is on his way of geeting bored again at school. No speech delay whatsoever, and although he is better in maths, verbally he is STILL way above average.

Our daughter only walked at 18 months. She knew how to walk, but was afraid to let go of things. Now at 6 years old, she is physically well developped and loves to go to gym class. She does have a mind of her own - the reason why she refused to walk before she was really sure about it.

I don't beleive in milestones. Just keep an eye on the babes, and see they ARE developing, one way or another. Sometimes they start to speak early but forget the walking, sometimes they think logically and associate things but can't yet explain it in words...

You're doing ok. There's no need to push them.

From the uninformed view of someone with no kids.......

I would imagine that the main worry is if the child is not developing much at all. If there seems to be a steady progression of development, then maybe things are okay. If there is very slow or very little, then maybe things need a closer look.

Your two little ones sound just perfect!

For a really balanced approach to milestones which encourages giving your kids the opportunities to move in a bunch of different ways (which spurs on movement and helps brain synapses develop), check out the site sparkplugdance.org. The women who runs the site is a developmental movement teacher for kids, and she knows a ton about how movement helps kids' minds and bodies develop. Basically, as long as you're providing them with different experiences and not keeping them in the same position all day long, they're going to develop, barring real problems. She's a huge fan of tummy time, and has some great suggestions of how to make it fun for the babies.

There's quite a variation of normal development. I think boys are often more advanced with hand eye coordination and girls are more advanced with communication. So it would make sense that Adam was able to suck his fist earlier. Kate will probably talk circles around Adam at 2.

As far as tummy time goes, I let my little guy (14 wks today) spend as much time as he can stand before helping him flip over. I find he enjoys tummy time more if I pick a time he's relaxed and happy to begin with and put him on a nice texture, like a flannel quilt. Also, some friends have cut down a pool noodle to a couple feet long and let their baby have tummy time with the noodle under his armpits to keep him raised up a bit and more happy.

I will take the opposite track here. My daughter is autistic, and it is partially through the use of milestones that this was discovered (and partially because her behavior was downright loopey.) Remember they are a range for a reason, but if one or the other is falling out of the range, your ped. should be notified. Of course, the office should help you by asking at each check up what each child is capable of accomplishing.

Also, I wasn't one of those obsessive mothers that wrote down when every milestone was reached (crawling, walking, 10 words, etc.) and that has been a rather large problem. At the age of three, I am still routinely filling out forms that ask those particular questions (luckily our photographical evidence has help us with these.) For any testing, etc. that any "special needs" child will have you will need to know these things.

So would I push either of them to hit a specific goal? No. But would I watch them like a hawk and notify their pediatrician when one of them misses a goal? You bet I would. Early diagnosis/assessment is critical for quite a lot of disorders. Especially if one or the other is constantly befind in physical/verbal/social/emotional goals.

I found that I became a much more relaxed Mom once I stopped obsessively reading parenting books. As earlier posts mentioned, there is quite a range of normal.

I don't know how things work in SA, but here in the States you have freqent well baby checkups (plus of course all of those sick visits). The ped will go over developmental guidelines and alert you to concerns.

I'm not saying don't be interested in milestones, but honestly - don't dwell on them.

Like you, IF/IVF was an exhausting, obsessive process for us. It has been so nice to actually enjoy the fruits of our labor (bad pun) and watch our DD grow and develop. I am a big believer that those baby books may be the experts on babies (general) but you are the expert on your baby or babies as the case may be.

I've always thought that as long as they are making progress, not to worry, unless they are way off. My son walked before he could pull himself up, and never really crawled. He didn't cruise on furniture either. He would walk holding onto people's hands, and then one day just took off. It was only months later that he could pull himself up. I didn't realize how weird that was until I had my girls, who crawled and then pulled themselves up and then cruised and then walked. I was more concerned about their milestones, because they were born 9 weeks early, but I didn't really worry about it. You'll know if something is off enough to have any concern. I always trust my ped with things like that, and at a regular appt. I'd say "they don't X yet, should I worry?" and he'd generally say no, and that would be that.

I think the poster with the no kids said it best: It's really about lack of developing at all.

You may have a late talker, but if by two they can run and try to jump, know the uses for household objects, Says 12-15 words, uses body language to tell you what they want, toss a ball use tableware...etc (All sorts of other stuff they're "supposed" to do at two) then you probably don't have problems.

It's when they seem to lack ALL development that is a problem.

And as for walking I think the time frame they give for that is 9-18 months so there is PLENTY of time for a baby to walk in there. And even after 18 months it's not HORRIBLE if the baby isn't walking unless there are problems of another kind.

It's amazing that we all managed to grow up without the intense scrutinzation that baby books champion. I didn't walk until I was 16 months old, my daughter didn't walk until she was 14 months old.

Enjoy your babes, don't obsess. Nothing wrong with checking out progress once in a while; your regular checkups will cover that.

My kid hit every milestone on the "slow" side of normal. Or even later. You know, like the normal range of rolling over is 2-6 months? He finally rolled at 6 months. Started talking at about 3. Potty trained right before his 5th birthday, damn him. And now he's 12 in honors classes, perfectly potty-trained, running, reading, shooting hoops, driving my car when I let him (in the country, y'all!). I used to really worry about the milestones, and he taught me to look at him as an individual.

Damn milestones. Remember, the ages are just averages, and there's a wide range of normalcy for each milestone. Plus a kid who reaches some late may reach others early. For example, my kiddo seemed slow in many ways during the first year: didn't lift head till 3-4 mos., rolled over at 5 mos., sat up at 6 mos. crawled at 10 mos. But then he really picked up speed: walked at 12 mos., started speaking in sentences at 20 mos., and learned the entire alphabet at 22 mos. Every kid is unique. I don't think you need to worry unless one of your babes is very late with several milestones at once.


Unless you have a nagging, mother's intuition, bad feeling about some aspect about your child's development, then I say continue to not be concerned when your child does certain things. Most children will accomplish all milestones when they are good and ready, and there is no sense worrying over what-ifs.

Case in point, child #1 didn't get her first tooth until 13 months. I didn't worry because she still gummed the steak up and most books said delayed teething generally meant stronger teeth. Meanwhile child #2 had 12 teeth by the same age. Seeing as he is a nursing fool, I kind of wish he HAD been a bit delayed with his teething! Child #2 has done everything at the early side of development (b/c he's a boy?), while child #1 was too busy thinking and thumbing through board books to worry about whether she walked by her first birthday.

It sounds like you are doing just fine, kiddies are growing and look healthy and happy (well, mostly happy!) in your pictures, Dr. hasn't been concerned, and you are mostly relaxed!

In general, I think the milestone targets are several weeks or months in length to start with. And there's absolutely NO correlation between hitting them early and future special talents. A kid who doesn't walk until 18 months can still go on to be an Olympic runner, in other words. (Although not walking until 18 months is sometimes a tempermental marker for someone who's going to sit back and watch the action for a while before joining in, and I don't know if that plays for or against competitive sports....)

So, no, in general, I don't think this is anything to worry about.

There MIGHT be one caveat, which will be more noticeable with multiples or with younger siblings. A baby who ISN'T that mobile MIGHT have temper tantrums because she can't keep up with her brother. And temper tantrums in 8-month old babies are No.Fun. One of our girls had a very large head (specific benign medical condition) and she acquired all her gross-motor stuff late because of that. It Drove. Her. Crazy. And that made me a little crazy sometimes, too.

Given that, I think you'd be wise to stick with the tummy time for Kate. Tummy time is the key to triggering all the later gross-motor skills: rolling, scooting, crawling, etc. Also, from about 6-8 months onward, a lot of mental development comes from being able to control one's actions and explore the world, so an early crawler will be more self-stimulated (which can be a huge relief or a baby-proofing nightmare, depending).

Cutting a long story short, we started working seriously at tummy time at 5 months old, on the advice of a PT. We used a wacky noodle -- http://tinyurl.com/7a9hl -- cut into lengths, with each baby draped over the noodle (at nipple height) and their hands in front. That helped them get used to the experience and not tire out so quickly. (You could use rolled towels, too, but they tend to collapse, unroll, etc.) I would set the kids in three-point star facing toward each other, and then take rattles and move them from the center of the circle, and then between each kid (to work on head control, turning, etc). I know it sounds really formal and dull, but there was a lot of giggling and it did make a HUGE difference in the kids' mobility and interactiveness, almost instantly. Just stop as soon as someone starts crying.

Again, I don't believe you lose anything by not playing these games with your infant, but there aren't actually that many games to play with small babies, so why not? No kidding, we had babies rolling and laughing all over the place within a week.

It is really hard not to compare your child with other kids and these milestones were the start of that for me. Our daughter didn't walk until late (17m), but she was talking and doing all sorts of other things by then that other babies weren't doing, and of course, I was worried. I really feel like these babies do things at their own pace and that once I stopped reading/obsessing, it was much better. Also helpful to try and stop the competition that I was feeling with my friends about who was doing what when. That one is going to take a lifetime to master!

Like has already been said, milestones have a range of age, and that range is pretty broad. I'd be more concerned if there was NO development going on. Also, consider your babies' gestational age and "birth" age...there is going to be discrepancy for a little while on a few things (maybe, probably, possibly - I'm just speaking off the cuff here).

On the flip side, while I wouldn't WORRY about it, I would make note of when milestones are reached and if certain ones aren't. My nephew has Downs Syndrome, and he has accomplished a great deal, but his milestones are considerably delayed in some areas (however, he did walk at 13 months and has EXCELLENT gross and fine motor skills for a three year old). He doesn't talk much - he knows four words - mine, no, please, and daddy (he has a little sister who steals his toys - can you tell?) - so he is in speech and occupational therapy.

I guess what I am saying is don't dwell on them, but do let your pediatrician know if you feel something might be amiss. Other than that, just enjoy them and revel in their amazing development!

You know, there was a little girl in our newborn-baby-toddler group that was very delayed in walking. It concerned all of us except her mother. We worried privately about her not walking at 18 months, and not even making any efforts to that end. Nor did she want to stand assisted. Her pediatrician told mom not to worry, that every child develops at a different rate.

Know what? She's almost four now, and there's absolutely no difference in her abilities from any of the other seven children in our baby group.

The ped checked her out, found nothing that would impede her from standing/walking, and mom was comfortable with that.

My son was nagged to death by his grandma when he wasn't walking at 12 months. (This was 24 years ago) So one day, at 13 months, he took a look at her, walked 3 steps and sat down. And didn't walk again till he was 18 months old. He showed her!

Like alot of the comments have said, just keep an eye out generally, play a bit with the tummy time, and talk to the doctor if you've got into gut level concerns.

Milestones are useful only if your kid is significantly behind on them. My son was on the late side for learning to sit and learning to walk, but not so late that it was a cause for concern. He was also behind verbally (had the verbal skills of an 11-month-old at 18 months), so he started speech therapy at 21 months. Now that he's five, I can't shut him up, and he's aces at sitting and walking.

They are all different and they do things at their own pace. I don't think you have anything to worry about.

My kids are 5 yrs apart. My dd (9) has always been my "eager to learn" child. She is very stubborn, too. She could have a conversation with you at 18 months and tie her shoes at 3.

My ds (3) walked at 8 months (sister at 11). But don't try to teach him anything b/c he doesn't give a rip! Thank God he only has 2 letters in his name (nickname) or he'd never be able to spell it! And he'll be in high school before he can spell his last name!

It's taken me a while to stop saying "But she could do this at this age and he can't." It's ok. He'll be just fine.

It's hard not to worry, though.

My twin boys are very developmentally delayed but this is caused by being born at 22 weeks and 6days. Also Blane had meningtitis and has hearing loss. Until your babies are not progressing at all, I would not worry. You know that all babies are different.

And remember, just because you are developmentally *advanced* doesn't mean anything either!! I began walking and saying words at 8 months. Everyone in my house thought that I would grow up to be a nuclear physicist. 25 years later I can't even SPELL physicist. I'm actually quite a dumbass!!!

My DD, Kennedy, (4.5 months) HATES tummy time too. She will let me put her on her tummy if she propped up on the boppy (nursing pillow) for a few minutes. BUT, now she just seems to climb over it and land on her face on the carpet. Oh well!

Now DS, Triston, (now almost 3) did everything very very early. We're talking pulling up and cruising the furniture at 6 months and walking at 7 months. Our pediatrician said he would prefer all children to be developmentally delayed. It is more dangerous for them to do things early. For instance, Triston could walk around and climb and all of that WAY before he really understood "No" or before you could reason with him at all. So he was more likely to get hurt because he had no inhibitions. Fortunately for us he never did.

All babies develop differently. The main point of tracking milestones is that they can point out significant developmental delays which may be a sympton of something more. Most babies acheive their milestones when they are good and ready and turn out just fine!

Glad the babies are doing well!

I think you have to show some common sense about it, but I wish, wish, wish, WISH I had been a little less casual about my daughter's nontalking.

My oldest talked early and a lot. By a year, he was talking just like anyone, in complete sentences, with a large vocabulary. So when my youngest wasn't talking much at all by a year, 18 months, I didn't worry. Kyle was advanced, Katie was wonderfully normal. Her motor skills were highly developed, so I just figured that was where her talents were.

Well, at age 2.5 years, we found out that she could not hear at all. I was an aware and concerned mama. She was taken to all of her well checks, got all of her shots, didn't go to day care, etc. She had two ear infections her entire life. She acted like she could hear -- I would have never guessed that Katie couldn't hear. She got tubes inserted in her ears in August 2004.

Now, at 3 years old, she has improved considerably. She goes to speech therapy twice a week.

I have a niece and a nephew who are infants, and I have been watching them like hawks about their speech and hearing. If I can help it, no parent will ever go through what we went through. It's been very rough on all of us.

I'm not sure what the purpose of my post is, but I felt like I had to post it.

I think you'll know when to worry, for the most part, if that makes any sense.

With five children, I have learned several things about milestones...

They can be important indicators that a problem exists---one son had a speech delay that was helped tremendously by therapy. Another had a treatable hearing loss. Had I said "Oh, don't worry, he will catch up" our son with the speech delay would have been denied the confidence he received from finally being able to communicate effectively. I'm a good mom, but no speech therapist.

Had I ignored the signs in my son with the hearing loss, he could have gone more months with us waiting for him to "catch up". Putting tubes in his ears was the simple solution. I guess I could have waited longer and denied him the right to hear properly...

Childhood is short. A few weeks or months may seem like no big deal to an adult's perspective, but to a child a few months can represent a quarter of their entire life. It IS a big deal.

It isn't necessary to crack open the development books for daily inventories of what they are doing. It is necessary to not let yourself slide too deeply into the other direction of not giving a rat's ass about what is going on. Every mom thinks "not *my* kid!"

Be watchful of milestones, don't be afraid of asking for help, but don't let yourself become too crazy about it. I am still figuring out how, personally...

Yeah, it's not that missing the milestones has an effect in itself; it's that it can be a symptom of a pervasive problem.

I am watching pretty closely because Charlie was so premature, and therefore at greater risk of experiencing developmental delays. I believe that early intervention is absolutely key to resolving any developmental problems that manifest themselves; the earlier, the better, in my opinion.

The interesting thing about the Denver II chart I described is that it does posit a range, with little tickmarks in each range to indicate when 50% of children have mastered a skill, then a shaded area to show when 90% have mastered it. The ranges run from three weeks to months long. I'm finding it pretty useful, but then again I am not the anxious sort.

Ha ha ha ha ha fucking ha.

I'm really not in the "whatever! who cares!" camp at all. I worried about my son at 9 months when he only made vowel noises and didn't babble, at 12 months when he only babbbled "da" and "ba", at 15 months when he had no words...my pedi blew me off, saying he'd grow out if it, he's healthy, he hits the motor milestones early, he's not interested in talking..

Well, he's 2 now, and you know what? He has verbal apraxia, a condition that is treatable ONLY by frequent speech therapy, which is best done ages 2 to 5, the earlier the better. He'll talk normally by the time he starts school, I've been told by the therapists, but he needs a lot of help to master speech sounds that other kids do easily. He's also super smart and way ahead in motor, social, etc, so it would have been easy for me to focus on that and "ignore" his speech delay. I'm so glad I referred him to early intervention at 16 months myself. Now he's getting what he needs, and he's saying some words, and even using some 2 word phrases with the words he's mastered! (he called cheerios "cook ball" today. That is, round cracker. (his word for cookie and cracker is cook))

Bottom line: worrying too much can hurt you. Worrying too little can hurt them. Try to find a medium where you pay close attention to milestones without obsessing, and listen to your gut. If your kids are way behind in doing something compared to most kids their age that you know personally and have interacted with, do something about it! Better to spend a few "useless" months doing once a week play-therapy sessions just to find out there's no real problem than to wait and to find out there is!

Great advice here Tertia, those guidelines are just that, guidelines. They are meant to help you along and offer assistance to show when intervention might be necessary. You are doing great, you're kiddos are happy and beautiful.
One bit of tummy time assvice if I could... Our sweet little girl didn't like it either, she fussed and squirmed so desperately, we just had to flip her over. What we finally did though, was so helpful and really lengthened her tolerance for tummy time. We simply put her on our tummies and gave her something she LOVED to look at other than the weave of some silly old blanket. Just imagine Kate's thrill at being able to stare longingly into your G&D face, she will LOVE her time on her tummy for sure!!! Just be sure to offer the same fun for Adam, from the looks of his last picture, he sure could use it!

I refuse to get worked up over the timing of milestones. People will sure try to get me nervous but I make a conscious effort not to. I know people whose children have had developmental delays and they knew something was up, it wasn't because they were 2 weeks late rolling over. I know plenty more who have lost sleep over something that came on its own time.

Worry. Worry obsessively. Track every movement. Have you considered 24 hour video surveillence that you could download to the ped's office at weekly intervals? So s/he can independently verify their progress? Buy every book and Denver Chart, make a HUGE Excel spreadsheet with every milestone ever mentioned. Make checkmarks when they acheive them, have huge alarms go off if they miss anything by a day. Go at it wholeheartedly, ignoring all their emotional requirements to try to get them to preform every parlor trick on the charts. Work for HOURS on getting them to say their first word, roll over, suck their feet (perhaps honey on the feet? - unpasturized of course, it tastes better - they may die, but the milestone will be accomplished.)
Or, sit back, listen to the ped when s/he asks questions, and enjoy your g&d babies. Your choice.
P.S. My 15 month old boy only says "roahr-roahr" - to which he is referring to his older brother, the DOG. No momma, no dadda, no nothing. Just wants to know where the dog is. Of course, he can go get any object you ask for (book, ball, elephant puppet, whatever). I'll wait. I'll pay attention, but I refuse to obsess and to hell with anyone at playgroup who talks behind my back!

Gosh, I think there's a happy medium somewhere, Betsy...

My 13 year old had severe language delays associated with autism that somehow didn't show up on the milestones our doctor compared against. So much for milestones and Harvard-educated pediatricians! And I thought I had it covered.

I went with my gut feeling and got him intensive intervention.

In general, though, I don't think I'd worry unless my child was consistently missing milestones in a specific area. Most of the kids who worried their parents and doctors as infants and toddlers are indistinguishable by the time they hit grade school. Autism and related disorders seems to be the big ugly exception.

I would not worry on this. Every kid is different, and has his own way to achieve these milestones. I do think that having twins makes it harder to not worry, because you have the possibility to compare the two on an everyday (oh what do I say, every minute) base and this really can drive you crazy especially if it is always the same kid who seems to fall behind in a certain field. But the reality is, you could have 10 kids and every single one would show a slightly different developmental pattern.And they do often compensate on another ability, for example one may not be that quick with motoric development but may start to talk at 10 months or so, and vice versa.


For what its worth, I would have Kate do tummy time - don't torture her, but it will help with the head lifting, rolling over, etc.

As for delays... you'll know one if you see one. My daughter didn't walk until 14 months, didn't crawl till 9 or 10 months, but she was talking early. They are all different, but if there is something wrong you'll know it when you see it.


Nope. nope. nope. nope.


i don't have children of my own, but i helped raise my sisters and i work in childcare. if i were in your position, i wouldn't worry.

we have this one child at work who is almost 12 months old. he can't sit up, he doesn't have good head control (it's always wobbling) and he's only just mastered the art of rolling over. and as i said, he's almost 12 months old. and he still has his soft spot on his head...

in my personal opinion, if your children were in a position like that and i were you, i'd worry.

but they're g & d and perfect the way they are. don't worry about it :)

My brother and sister are twins and were fairly early. My brother was always farther ahead kinesthetically; he walked a full month earlier. My sister developed language earlier; she was using adjectives when my brother was still working on ma-ma and blankie.

There are, obviously, some serious things that parents should keep an eye on. I had a neighbor who was deaf and wasn't diagnosed until five. However, with some minor things that the milestones could indicate - mild sensory integration disorders, for instance (I have some of these, and so do several kids I nanny for) - I'm not really sure that an early diagnosis makes that much difference for the child. It definitely makes a difference for the parent, though, to have an explanation if their kid's behavior is really off.

I have 4 kids. They hit the milestones at different paces..Some were even skipped. All 4 are normal, well adjusted children. I promise you Tertia, that if one of your babies fails to learn to suck on his/her fist on time, that this WILL NOT adversely affect the rest of his/her life.

I wouldn't worry at all. My son was behind in some things and on target with others. People would tell me this, or 'suggest' that I do something about tummy time, solids, the works, but I did things when I felt I should. My son is 2 1/2 and doing great. Enjoy the baby time. They will make those milestones when they're ready. We all did.

My baby (4 months) hates tummy time with a passion. He screams, cries, smashes his face into the carpet, the whole works.

Our Ped recommended starting with just 1 minute a day, twice a day, for a couple of days. See how he does. Then increase to 2 minutes, 3 minutes, etc. He's up to about 5 minutes now, and only has a minor meltdown at the end. :)

The almost PhD perspective:

Relatively few of the milestones are "set in stone", and in fact, vary by culture. Babies in cultures that tend to swadle are later reaching milestones that have to do with hands/legs, and those that sleep on their backs tend to be later with the walking/crawling, and often walk before they crawl. A lot of it is relative.

Later on, you will want to make sure that they are close-ish with their language milestones to detect any speach/hearing difficulty. Also, once they are consistantly walking--make sure that they are not on their tippy-toes all the time (a sign of certain developmental problems). If you are really worried about something, talk to your ped, she will know the warning signs--but there is no reason to stress them reaching milestones differently. Milestones are really averages anyway, so not all babes reach them at the same time. It is all about the wiring in their brains and nervous systems, and those things may develop at slightly different paces. If they seem normal to you, they probably are.

I never made Aidan do tummy time (he hated it too). He's almost 1yo now and hasn't been negatively affected (crawling, rolling, opening child-proof cabinets, etc). I always gave him the opportunity for tummy time, even if it was only 2 min, and picked his best times of day for it. But I'm not for letting him cry it out, so I didn't push the issue. Do you think Einstein's mother made him do 10-15 min of tummy time every day?

Looking back - if the children are healthy and happy - I don't think there is much to worry about. My 12 year old walked at 18 months only... so did my almost 6 year old, while the 9 year old walked at 9 months... and is still running!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Has no bearing whatsoever imho. Unless the child is REALLY delayed I would not worry about it. My ID twins did everything about the same time (never crawled, walked at 14 mos.) Son the opposite. No biggie. In fact, the longer it takes them to get mobile the better it is for YOU!

How important is it that babies reach their milestones at the average / recommended stage / age?

It depends on how *far* behind they are, and in how many areas. Hitting each one is of little to no importance. Missing *all* of them by several months, or missing one or two by more than several months, may be the sign of a possible problem.

Do you have Early Intervention - type services in SA? Here in the US there is a whole government-run (and somewhat-funded, thanks Mr. Bush) program to assess kids under age 3, and provide them with help if they need it.

My son needed help with a speech delay -- he was literally saying NO words at 18 months. He is 5.5 now and doing ok, but still somewhat blurry/slurry speech. He first got help at 18 months, and at that point he had to be at least 5 months "behind" in order to qualify for help. This is just an example to show you how things work around here! :)

I think it's probably worth knowing the outside edges of "normal" -- as in, average kids have 50 words at 18 months. Having "none" (like my son) is beyond the edge of normal. Having 25 or so is worth noting but probably no big deal.

Does it matter if they walk at 12 months or 18 months?

Walking at 12 months is "average." Plus or minus 3 months is no big deal. A child who is still not walking at 18 months may need help -- not because walking is *that* important, but because it may indicate other problems. (My friend's daughter had some physical delays because of other more "hidden" delays -- that would have caused her trouble later on, if not diagnosed and therapied.)

Do I have to do tummy time with Kate? (She hates it) Does it matter that she is a bit slower in lifting her head than Adam is? I figure she will lift her head in her own time but perhaps I should be pushing her harder? She is better than him at focusing and tracking objects. Each child is different?

No, you don't have to do tummy time. Yes, each child is different. Slight differences are normal and should not be worrisome-making :).

Do I / should I be actively encouraging them to roll over etc? My gut says let them be

I wouldn't target any particular physical goal -- but rather encourage them to move and explore and play. Which you are most likely already doing :).

Does it really matter if Kate is only starting to suck on her fist now rather than 4 weeks ago when Adam started? Do I really have to worry about that?

Probably no big deal.

Just my opinions, feel free to ignore at will.

I am an experienced professional in this area, and I would encourage you to note significant milestones, but not to worry. They are indeed ranges, and are simply SCREENING tools. For example, average age for speaking words is about 12 months. This means that about 50% of kids are start saying words between 12-14 months. Lots of leeway. And if yours were to be getting far outside that range, discuss it w/pedi. Usually it is nothing, but the "milestones" are used to try to catch those kids for whom it might be an indication of something amiss. There are many subtle things that lead up to saying a first word (or whatever) that professionals check for to determine whether the variation is likely to be pathological or just an individual difference. (If she's not saying words at 12 months, is she making sounds at all? Eye contact? Imitating actions? Imitating sounds? Using gestures? Joint attention?etc.)

I would also encourage you always to pursue answers if something seems amiss to you, even if the pedi tells you it's nothing to worry about. If it is a problem for you, it IS a problem. Period.

But nothing you've mentioned about your kids concerns me, as a mom or a professional.


To slightly expand on what I said yesterday- you shouldn' worry about them not reaching milestones in "right order"or at the "right time"- ie not obsess about them keeping up with the charts, but use your gut instinct about whether or not they're OK. They tend to develop in steep slopes and plateaux rather than nice neat upward lines, and they're all different. Exeptions would be not babbling/ vocalising by six months, which as other people have mentioned, might indicate hearing impairment of some kind. Also, as a mother as they reach around 2, you get some idea of their speech competence- in England, they don't like to treat speech delay actively until 3.5 years of age, but from experinec I think you can tell sooner. Having said that, our son spoke precisely three words by 20 months: lorry, cat, and daddy (no "mummy"- sniff).

By 22 months he spoke in sentences. His sister however was always better at speaking that he was when they were toddlers (he is 21 months older, but for about six months she spoke better, more grammatically, and more clearly). Yet from the age of four, he had a remarkably large vocabulary (some not even rude), and still has at 11. All this to say that it's difficult to say how a kid will evolve over years.

As long as there's no actual problem and you're not keeping them in a box under the stairs, they all reach those milestones. Eventually.

I feel deja vu

Every child is different
Every child is different
Every child is different


If you're worried, ask your doctor. That's always the easiest way.

just a random twin learning story:
i worked with a set of twins a while ago. The boy was so active- he did everything first. He was so determined. When he was learning to crawl, he would get on all 4s and rock back and forth and cry his heart out because he couldn't make those stupid things go.
the girl on the other hand- she just sat and watched. She watched her brother work and scheme and suffer through the hard parts, but as soon as he had figured it out, she would just copy what he'd done and off she crawled- all the way around the room.

It's interesting that you're writing about this now, b/c my DH and I were just talking last night about a friend's son that I'm concerned about. He is turning one in just a couple of weeks and he isn't crawling yet. What's more concerning to me is that he's barely able to bear any weight on his legs still. Meaning, when I've tried to pull him up into a standing position, his legs curl up under him (as if he's still sitting) and he can't or won't put any weight on his feet. At all -- they're like wet spaghetti. And I don't think my friend knows that this MIGHT be a problem.

So, what am I getting at here? I think that "milestones" are something parents should be AWARE of, but not obsessed with. Yes, I think we should know enough to be able to recognize if our kids have a delay, but then let it go at that. As so many people have already said, each of our kids will develop differently. You really have to look at the big picture.

Hey T, I read a cute quote the other day in response to someone's "anal" question and it said "No one ever went to Varsity sucking a dummy!"

My suggestion for Kate with the lifting of her head, instead of tummy time, since she hates it and all, just hold her sitting up more often. It works the same muscles, because she will be straining to look up at you. Aiden hated tummy time as well. He's 6 months old, and is just fine. rolling, trying to crawl and all that.

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