Tracking developmental milestones 101!
As we explained in a Georgia Parent Power blog post earlier this year, paying attention to your child’s developmental milestones can go a long way in helping you support your child’s individual development of important skills as well as give you an early warning if your child seems to be having problems. Remember, each child is unique and so is their development and mastering of skills.
When tracking milestones, children most often achieve certain skill levels within a specific age range. Your child may reach some skills ahead of the suggested age and others a few weeks after. Developmental milestone age ranges should be used as a guideline, not as an absolute timeframe. However, these research-based parameters are valuable in identifying possible delays and concerns early which allows for intervention sooner.
What milestones should you track?
The good news is that it has never been easier to understand and track your child’s development. There are many different organizations that provide explanations, checklists and even free, easy-to-use apps for use on your smartphone or other device.
- Milestone tracking most often begins at two months of age, and last through your child’s fifth year. Find a source that list the milestones, along with examples, you should be aware of for each age.
- Utilize checklists that assess gross and fine motor skills, language skills, cognitive skills, and social skills.
- Be aware that “developmental” milestones differ from “growth” milestones. Developmental is concerned with the learning of more complex abilities while growth refers to a child’s size.
What should you do if your child is not meeting the milestones for his age?
If you are concerned about your child’s progress and think there could be a problem, call your pediatrician to share your worries. Be sure to talk with other important people in your child’s life such as grandparents and child care providers to help you monitor his progress and support his development.