It’s scary to notice something different about your baby or child. Maybe your baby doesn't make eye contact or is overly afraid of strangers. Maybe your baby isn't sitting up, crawling, or walking as early as other children. Or maybe they aren't speaking as early. Something’s nagging at you, but you just can’t put your finger on it.
No one wants to believe that something might be going on with their child. Just thinking that your child might be different from others is enough to send your heart racing.
One of our most common, and at times helpful, parenting tools is denial. We often want to believe that something isn't serious, and denial can give us the space and time to get ourselves ready to face things.
But if you’re on this page, chances are that you’re probably ready to move beyond denial and find out what is going on.
It may be hard to get support at first. Your friends, family, or even your doctor might tell you that “all children are different,” leaving you feeling alone in your worries. But you need to trust your gut instinct. You know your child better than anyone else. So don’t give up.
If you suspect something is different, it’s important to do 2 things:
Many times, getting your child into care early can help them have a much easier time as they grow older. So, take a deep breath, call your child’s doctor, and give yourself a high five for being ready to move forward.
A developmental milestone is something that a typically developing child should do within a certain age range. There are many kinds of milestones. A few examples are: the way your child plays with other people; how many words they use; whether they can feed or dress themselves; and how they move. You can see a list of milestones, with pictures, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Developmental Milestones website.
Each child hits their milestones at a different rate. For example, a typically developing child should start walking anywhere between 9 and 18 months of age. If your child is running late on a single milestone, it might not be a big deal, but it’s still worth checking out.
You might be worried about a friend or loved one's child. You care and want to help, but you know that talking to their parents might be extremely awkward. Here are some tips for bringing up your concerns: