Do you find yourself wondering how you should be working with your baby and what you should be working on? I am not a big fan of setting hard and fast rules on what your baby should be able to do or know, but it is certainly helpful to have an idea of what your baby needs to know when as well as what you should be working on with your little one.
Too often, however, moms fret because their babies aren’t developing right along schedule with the “average” baby (I always wonder who decides this average anyway?). My encouragement to you is to work consistently with your baby toward these goals but not to stress if they don’t meet them right on time. There are many factors that come into play when it comes to your baby’s development, and these factors can impact different parts of their development.
Some development depends on your baby’s size. Skills that require physical strength can be a little harder for bigger babies because they have more body weight to move or stabilize when it comes to skills such as rolling over or sitting up. Babies also tend to develop at different rates in different areas. Some may develop physical skills faster, such as rolling over, sitting up, walking, crawling, etc., and others may develop verbal and other communication skills faster.
Keep in mind that it is rare that any baby develops at the same rate of an “average” baby. Unless your baby seems to be very delayed in an area, it should not cause for concern. Just concentrate on working with them in developing the skill in which they are behind. However, if your baby seems to be having difficulty achieving certain skills and is months behind the average baby, it is certainly worth having a conversation with your doctor at your baby’s next checkup.
Remember that each baby is unique. While average is a good guide, no one is truly “average,” including your baby. Don’t stress over making sure your little one meets milestones on time. Just work with them faithfully, and as in most cases where development is slightly delayed in an area, you will find that your baby will eventually achieve the milestone and no one will ever know there was a delay. Don’t give in to the temptation to compare your little one with others around you. Your baby is unique and made just the way he or she was meant to be.