The moment they place your baby in your arms, you begin to understand the great responsibility you have taken on as a mother. Understanding child developmental stages, from infant to toddler to school-age child, can help you provide the best care. Additionally, it could help you identify any problems that may require medical attention.
Here are 10 things new moms should know about child development.
1 – Children Don’t Always Develop At the Same Rate
New moms tend to measure their babies’ abilities against other children in their circle of friends, family, and acquaintances. However, each baby has his or her own rate of development. Some may crawl at just a few months old. Others may take their time learning to crawl or walk. This difference doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem.
2 – Each Child Has Their Own Personality
Even the tiniest babies show unique characteristics that seem to be part of their natures. These personality factors can influence how they see the world and interact with the world. This is another reason why measuring your child by the standards of another child seldom works well.
3 – Research the Common Milestones of Infant Development
Behavior and skills tend to occur at certain ages. Some examples are smiling at 2 months, holding the head up at 4 months, making consonant sounds at 6 months, and banging objects together by one year. Although your child may not reach each of these milestones at the recommended ages, they are good to keep in mind, in case there is a significant delay.
4 – Some Developmental Stages Look Like Problems That Aren’t Problems
Poor sleep patterns can often be a passing phase. The terrible twos were given that name because behavioral issues are a common feature at that age. Separation anxiety is a normal part of child development at certain stages. Educate yourself on healthy behaviors for each stage of your child’s life, and give your child leeway to pass through troublesome stages before you become concerned.
5 – Enrich Your Child’s Environment and Experiences
Provide a variety of toys, books, and play equipment for your child to stimulate physical and mental development. Mom & Me classes, play dates with other children, and storytime at the library or community center can be a great way to keep children engaged and learning.
6 – Engage With Your Child Regularly
Playing and just spending idle time with your child is one of the best ways to observe their development. Take advantage of every opportunity to have some relaxed time with them.
7 – Encourage Independence, But Always Be Ready To Help
Helping your child through developmental stages often means getting out of the way to let them explore and question on their own. You can encourage independence while still being available to help when your help is actually needed.
8 – Pay Attention To Reports From Others
You probably know your child better than anyone, but it can help you get an outside perspective on development. Babysitters, teachers, grandparents, and friends can often give valuable feedback that can alert you to quirks or achievements that you haven’t noticed.
This information can be important in assessing the development of your child.
9 – Face Developmental Problems Squarely
You may suspect a problem with speech, behavior, or learning and aren’t sure if it’s serious enough for professional intervention. A frank talk with your child’s doctor can provide helpful information and a referral, if needed.
10 – Getting Therapy Is A Victory Not A Failure
Does your child require therapy to help them reach developmental goals? Getting them into therapy is taking positive steps to help your child resolve their challenges. This is a positive reflection on your parenting, and you will reap the benefits of your careful monitoring and proactive steps to intervene to help your child.
Being a mother encompasses many different roles, such as a guardian, nurse, teacher, child psychologist, and mentor. Understanding the many stages of child development can help you to fill these roles more effectively and can help you to know when to ask for help from healthcare and child development professionals.
Keep these 10 points in mind to help you maximize your child’s potential as they grow.