Parents: Comparisons and Milestones
By: Kerrie Olejarz
Aside from everyone guessing who Cailyn looks like -Mommy or Daddy -it seems everyone is concerned with milestones. There is an ongoing comparison of who’s child has hit which milestones, whether the child is early or delayed. Cailyn has reached most milestones early, like grabbing toys, rolling, using her thumb and pointer finger as a pincer grip, and talking. (Yes, she has been saying words since she was four months old.) She did however seem to crawl late, based on all the books and recommendations found online.
As parents, I think we secretly panic when our child seems behind the ball compared to other kids. I am a new mom and a first time mom so my credibility has been questioned. Other moms doubt me when I say Cailyn was saying “hi” at four months. They assume I am just hearing what I want to hear, despite the fact that others have heard it, even Cailyn’s physician! Being a new mom certainly has challenges, and there is an assumed pressure over these crazy milestones. For me, milestones are merely reminders of child development, just guidelines. If a child has not hit a milestone at the suggested time it is not necessarily cause for alarm and can be discussed with the doctor at the baby’s next visit. Parents want the best for their child’s development and therefore there is a lot of pressure. God forbid you do an Internet search on “infant milestones” – the thousands of pages you’ll pull up will make you feel inadequate and as though something might be wrong with your baby! There is enough to worry about as a new parent; why put more pressure on yourself about your baby not babbling at exactly nine months?
We try to enjoy every moment with Cailyn with only a background awareness of milestones. She has developed at a “normal” rate and as a result we have the luxury to enjoy every day with her without any concern.