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Stress Over Developmental Motor Milestones

We have recently met many new parents that experience fear and stress over newborns motor milestones. Being new parents is an amazing but tough job. First time parents worry that their baby is not meeting developmental milestones and continue to compare their baby to other babies.

It is important to know that every child will march to the beat of their own drum and reach motor milestones at their own pace. If your baby reaches a motor milestone later than your siblings/friends’ babies, that does not always mean your baby is behind or delayed in their motor skills. Girls tend to be faster at reaching motor milestones when compared to boys, so remember to keep that in mind.

Your child may not sit at 6 months, crawl at 8 months or walk at 12 months. It is important for parents to know that there is a suggested age range for motor milestones. The age for rolling in both directions ranges between 3-6 months. The age for sitting independently ranges between 6-9 months. The age for crawling ranges between 9-12 months and walking ranges between 10-18 months. It does not matter if your baby reaches the above milestones on the earlier or later side, as long as your baby is reaching them within the specified ranges.

First time parents should focus on the joys of parenthood and not consume their time over meeting milestones as this can lead to fear, stress, frustration, and anxiety. New parents need to support one another and stop comparing as no two babies are the same. Don’t forget to celebrate what your baby is achieving as time flies and you will miss out on many special moments.

As resourceful as google is, it can become your worst enemy when it comes to motor milestones. When your friend’s baby is walking at 10 months, you google “why is my child not walking at 14 months” and this leads to more stress and fear. If you feel that your child is not meeting a certain motor milestone, try not to google and reach out to your pediatrician or directly to a pediatric physical/occupational therapist. We as PT’s and OT’s know there is a suggested age range when it comes to meeting motor milestones along with knowing typical from atypical development. We can help ease the fear in new parents by reviewing videos of their baby or doing a one-on-one consultation, which will hopefully allow them to see the amazing milestones being achieved right in front of them.

Parenting is the toughest job you will ever experience, but always remind yourselves that you are doing an amazing job and if there is any way we can help calm your fears, please reach out.

Tummy time is the foundation of achieving motor milestones so check out our post on tummy time (click here) to make it more enjoyable for your little ones. Feel free to check out our website (click here) or Instagram @bigleapsct to get information on our tummy time or motor development classes.

This post was written by one of the owners of Big Leaps Pediatric Therapy, Sneha Gosalia PT DPT. Sneha is a pediatric physical therapist who lives in Stamford with her husband and two children. Sneha received her Bachelor of Science degree from Stony Brook University and Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from New York University. She loves to work with children and educate parents/teachers/pediatricians/caregivers on the importance of motor development.


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