My Child Met All Her Developmental Milestones
Created by Nandini Muralidharan Updated on Jul 25, 2018
As a parent, one eagerly waits for their child’s key milestones. That first-time s/he turns over, the first smile, the first-time s/he sits up, or the first step she takes. And of course, hearing “mama” or “papa” for the first time is like music to a parent’s ears! My five-year-old’s journey through toddlerhood is an exciting one, and each time she met a milestone, it was like a celebration for us. I feel fortunate to share with you my toddler’s milestones and how I helped her reach each of them.
What Are Developmental Milestones?
So, as parents, we often find ourselves in the either of these two types of discussion; about our child reaching or not reaching their developmental milestones. In my understanding, a developmental milestone is a way of assessing if your toddler can perform a certain activity at that corresponding age. They fall under these categories:
1. Gross motor skills: Sitting up, walking, running, and so on.
2. Fine motor skills: Holding a spoon, using a crayon, eating finger food
3. Language and thinking skills: Using words, and even the babble talk that you first hear, trying to understand what you’re saying and then responding with her babble.
4. Sensory: Using the five senses – taste, touch, smell, hear and see.
5. Social and emotional skills: Showing joy on the face, smiling, showing displeasure, playing games like peekaboo, sharing, interpersonal conversations with toddler friends. Each child is different and can develop at her own pace, meeting milestones when s/he’s ready developmentally. However, based on guidelines, paediatricians usually define some milestones that your baby needs to meet at approximately a particular age. I discovered these cursively first in my interaction with my toddler’s paediatrician followed by reading about these in more detail. I understood through this, that delays may occur sometimes, and one needs to account for factors like premature birth or any medical condition your child might have, and more importantly stay informed about how to tide over.
How I Helped My Daughter Meet Her Developmental Milestones
I learnt that as a parent, my role in my child’s development is crucial. While innately a child can grasp certain things quicker than others, or take longer to develop a certain skill, I can provide a conducive atmosphere and the right guidance for these to happen as a mom. Here are some ways in which I helped my daughter meet her developmental milestones:
1. Physical and sensory milestones: I did these to encourage my daughter to use her fine and gross motor skills regularly,
- When she began walking, one thing that really worked for us is plenty of practice walking barefoot on fresh grass in the park.
- As an age of close to 2 years, I encouragemy toddler to run in open parks and played in the sand pit with her a lot.
- At around the same age, I made sure there were plenty of safe toys of different shapes that she could grasp with both hands.
- During her walking stage, an important thing I ensured was that our home was completely toddler-proofed. So I made sure there were no dangerous wires and sharp edges, so that my toddler could move freely and explore her surroundings.
- Introducing finger foods at the appropriate age helped her grasp the food, as well as try new tastes and textures. Variety is important when you serve new foods.
- Initially allow her to just feel it, perhaps smell it and maybe just take a lick. At least seven or eight tries serving the new food might be required before your child eats it.
2. Social And Emotional Milestones: While physical milestones are an indicator of your toddler’s physiological development, emotional milestones tell you how much your toddler’s brain is developing. Here are some tips:
- Read aloud: The importance of reading aloud to your toddler (right from when she’s in your womb) cannot be stressed enough. Reading together has so many benefits – my toddler picked up new vocabulary, she’s exposed to different languages, it’s been a great way to bond, and it’s also a wonderful way to introduce new and difficult concepts such as potty training to her.
- Play, play and more play: While there are tons of interesting and educational toys that you can introduce to your little one, some of the simplest games are most effective. For instance, pretend play worked very well for us, and it really boosted my child’s imagination and how she thought about solutions to various problems.
- Talk to your child with affection: I Kept a constant dialog flowing at home. I used to tell her what I was doing when I was tied up with chores. Speaking gently and calmly soothes a toddler when they are anxious or upset. Emotional security built at this age is the foundation for a lifetime of good mental health and I realized that while I handled such situations.
- Playdates: Interaction with other children became important as my infant turned a toddler and then a preschooler. Playing next to each other first, and then, gradually, with each other is an important part of development. So provided plenty of opportunities for her to interact with other children.
- Music and dance: Music has a tremendous impact on a child’s mental development. So make sure you turn on the radio and put on your dancing shoes.
While yes, every child develops at her own pace, if you do notice any particularly long delay in reaching a milestone, reach out to your paediatrician to assess the cause. Moreover, it’s important to understand and realize that nothing is for sure with a toddler, your toddler needs all your support through their developmental milestones, each one of them.
Disclaimer- This Blog is supported by Nestle Ceregrow. A child needs more nutrition than an adult. Each bowl of Ceregrow contains the goodness of grains, milk & fruits and makes up for the lack of sufficient nutrition. Follow Early Childhood Nutrition to learn more.
Calculated basis per kg body weight; ICMR 2010
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