Milestones are a funny thing. On the one hand, they’re a great source of excitement as you see your baby reaching them and reveling in the joy of them learning and growing. On the other hand, however, they can also put unnecessary pressure on parents who feel like their baby should be walking, talking, sleeping, eating and pooping to a schedule! It’s just not realistic.
We’ve all had that friend who loves telling us how their 2-year-old is fluent in French, can play the piano and is counting to 100. *Cue eye roll*
Guidelines are great to keep a rough idea of milestones, but getting hung up on hitting them is only going to be extra stress on you and your baby. This parenting thing is hard enough.
This is particularly the case for first-time parents, but as any parent of multiple little ones will tell you, they are all so different and will do everything in their own time – no matter how many books you read to them or how many extracurricular activities you enrol them in.
Go easy on yourself and your baby, enjoy the journey; there’s nothing like seeing your baby try and try and try something, followed by the joy on their face when they finally get it! Don’t lose sight of the moments in front of you.
And don’t worry about booking your baby into a million activities and classes; spend time with them, get out in nature with them and enjoy them just as they are.
Now, that said, you should, of course, be somewhat aware of developmental milestones because there does come a point when if your child is not doing something, you may want to speak with your doctor. However, as long as you are taking them to all their scheduled check-ups, your doctor will be checking in and monitoring this too.
Try this activity for cognitive and motor development
Activities are a great way to give your baby time to explore and play with your attention and praise at the ready. They love being showered with attention and positive reinforcement. This is how they grow, learn and thrive.
As babies engage with the world around them through play, they are actually developing their thinking, feeling, communication, understanding and memory skills. Playing and doing activities with your baby will help to encourage their physical and mental development – but don’t stress too much, your loving attention is really all they need at this stage!
1. Introducing numbers activity
It might be some time before your little one can recite their 1-2-3’s, but it’s never too early to start to introduce numbers. Start by counting things out loud whenever you can. This could be anything – peas, cars, balls, apples or the steps involved in changing a nappy; what you count isn’t important, it’s more about how you are building familiarity with numbers.
What you’ll need
- Items to count
- Identifying ‘trends’ and similarities in objects
- Analytical skills and making sense of information