Taking Care of an Ill Loved One

3 Important Things To Know About Milestones With Babies

During the first couple years of your baby's life, you will bring him or her to the pediatrician's office many times. These pediatrician visits have multiple purposes, and one is to determine if your child is developing at the right pace. Doctors determine this in several ways, but a common method is by asking you questions related to milestones.

What Are Milestones?

If you are a new parent, you might not yet know a lot about your child, his or her development, and how to be a good parent, but you will learn little by little. One way you can learn about your child is by taking him or her to a pediatrician for regular visits, and you should plan on visiting the doctor for routine checkups at least eight times during your child's first two years of life.

Each time you visit the pediatrician for a visit, the doctor is likely to ask you a series of questions related to milestones. Baby's develop quickly and learn a lot of things during their first two years, and these things are referred to as milestones. The doctor may ask you questions like these during the visits:

  • Does your baby look into your eyes?
  • Is he or she sleeping through the night?
  • Can he or she rollover?
  • Does the baby talk?
  • Can he or she crawl?

The questions will change as your baby grows up, simply because there are different things he or she should be doing by certain ages. For example, the doctor will not ask you if your baby can walk at a three-month visit, but he or she may ask this at a nine-month visit.

Why Are These Important?

As a new parent, you may wonder why these questions are so important, and this is a good question. While every child develops differently, the majority of babies typically develop at approximately the same pace. Your pediatrician will ask the questions simply to make sure your baby is developing at the right pace.

If your baby is slightly behind on certain things, you shouldn't fret. This can happen, and many babies will catch up within a few months. What concerns doctors the most is when babies are not catching up fast enough.

By testing these things, your doctor can spot problems at early stages, and this is very helpful for treating problems with children. Without knowing that your child has problems, you wouldn't know that he or she needs help. Delaying getting the help your child needs may only push him or her further behind.

What Is Done When There Are Problems?

If you suspect your child has developmental problems, you should discuss your concerns with your pediatrician. Your pediatrician may recommend waiting for a few months to see if the child improves with these things, because in many cases waiting will solve the problems. If waiting doesn't seem to help, the pediatrician may suggest therapy.

There are multiple types of therapies available for children with developmental issues, and speed therapy is one of these. If your child is not speaking or meeting normal communication milestones, the doctor might suggest getting the child tested by a speech therapist.

Occupational therapy is another form that is used with children, and this is often recommended when children demonstrate problems with motor skills. Behavioral therapy might also be used in certain cases, especially when a child does not seem to be developing fast enough socially.

Regular well-visits with a pediatrician are vital for babies and children. If you just had a baby and would like to learn more about well-visits and milestones, schedule a visit with a pediatrician today.