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Milestones: How to support your child during this crucial time for development.

Updated: Jan 7, 2023

Navigating through developmental milestones can be very overwhelming as a new parent. I have created this blog to help break down those important gross motor milestones. This is intended to guide parents through understanding the importance of milestones and detecting when your child may have a delay. After having my first daughter, Violet, it became apparent to me that the 5 minutes my pediatrician spent in the office with my child was not going to reassure me that her development was on the right trajectory. I began to dive deeper into ways that I could support my baby girl during this crucial time of development.


From my journey into becoming a mother and chiropractor I have gained tons of information regarding milestone development. It is my hopes that in this blog you will find the confidence you need to guide your child in those first years of life.




Heading #1: What are Developmental Milestones and Why are they so important?

Heading #2: What are the milestones per age group?

Heading #3: What to do if you suspect your child might have a milestone delay.


 

Heading #1: What are Developmental Milestones and Why are they so Important?

Developmental milestones can be categorized into 4 main categories: Gross motor, Fine Motor, Sensory/ Social skills, and Speech/Language skills. In this blog I'll be covering more of the gross motor development milestones. I'm choosing to start with gross motor development, because it lays the foundation for the rest of the milestones. Gross motor development starts on a basic level but by the time your child is two years old they will be more advanced in actions such as running, climbing, jumping, and kicking.

When it comes to neurological development I like to compare it to baking. If you have ever baked anything then you are aware that is much different than cooking. Cooking is like throwing everything together and hoping that it takes good, while in comparison baking if you threw everything in at once it will likely be a disaster. When it comes to milestones and development it is important that each milestone be met before the next, so that the next group of fine motor skills can develop.



Heading #2: What are the milestones per age group?


Newborn to 2 months

  • Able to turn head from side to side equally while on belly and back

  • Kicking both legs and moving both arms equally while on back

  • Performs tummy time on floor regularly without discomfort

3-4 months

  • Raises head in line with trunk when pulled to sit

  • Pushes up on forearms when in tummy time

  • Becomes more interested in tummy time activities

  • Rolls from belly to back

5 months

  • Rolls from back to belly

  • Brings feet to mouth laying on back

  • Pushes up on hands with arms extended while on belly

  • Pivots in a circle while on belly to each side

  • May begin to sit slouching forward

6-8 months

  • Sits alone with erect spine

  • Can rotate from side to side while sitting

  • Catches self with loss of balance

  • Crawls on belly (or "army crawl"

9-11 months

  • Can transition between lying down and sitting

  • Crawls on hands and knees in cross crawling pattern

  • Pulls to a standing position with one foot leading

  • Cruises around furniture

11-12 months

  • Walks with one hand held

  • Stands alone for a few seconds

  • Squats and stands with support

13-14 months

  • Stands up from the floor without support

  • Walks with out assistance

  • Can crawl up stairs

  • Squats and stands back up without holding onto support

15-18 months

  • Walks up stairs with hands or rails to help

  • Can run but may be challenging

  • Kicks a ball forward

2 years

  • Walks and runs fairly well

  • Jumps in place with both feet off the ground

  • Walks up and down stairs alone

  • Kicks a ball with either foot


Heading #3: What to do if you suspect your child might have a milestone delay.


This is the part that I would really like to emphasize " Order is more important than timing". The developmental milestones were created as a guide for us to monitor our children growth in the first years of life. Every baby is different, but if you baby is just a tad earlier or later on the milestone chart it doesn't mean that something is wrong. Babies are born with a built in protection mechanism that if something makes them feel unsafe they avoid it at all times. So if they are a little later performing the milestones it could be that they just need a little more time. If your child skips a milestone or is struggling initiating a milestone, find a provider that can work with your child to integrate this milestone. Some providers that focus on gross and fine motor development are pediatric chiropractor, pediatric physical therapist, and pediatric orthopedic doctors, and pediatric occupational therapy. Remember that neurological development is like baking. Skipping a milestone may not appear to have immediate effects of your child's development, but studies have shown that delays in gross motor milestones in infancy are crucial for learning adaptive and cognitive skills later in childhood.

At the end of the day it is important to remember that these milestones are simply a guideline to help parents and pediatric providers track infant development to prevent and diagnosis possible disabilities sooner that later. It is my soul purpose is to provide information about developmental milestones to give parents the confidence to support their children through this important time of their lives. Use this as a guide to do dig into more research and be an advocate for your family's health.


Thank you for being here,

Dr. B


 

Ghassabian, A., Sundaram, R., Bell, E., Bello, S. C., Kus, C., & Yeung, E. (2016, July). Gross Motor Milestones and subsequent development. Pediatrics. Retrieved December 27, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4925077/

Cognitive development - statpearls - NCBI bookshelf. (n.d.). Retrieved December 27, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537095/





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