Forget milestones - All babies are different!

Blogger and mum-of-one, Ami Roberts, reminds us that baby "milestones" should be approached with a pinch of salt.

Why is it that we place so much pressure on ourselves and our children to reach milestones? As a first time Mummy, I know this pressure as much as anyone!

When Bubba was born I remember reading all of the books and different articles online about when babies should do different things. I remember that when Bubba was 8 weeks I saw that babies should smile at 6-8 weeks. My baby wasn't smiling. Did this mean he was unhappy? Was there something wrong with him? Was I a bad mother??? No, no and NO! At 9 weeks, we got our first gummy smile and all of my doubts were washed away for the time being.

Hitting milestones

A few months later, a few of my friends babies that were around the same age had started to roll over. All of the books said that babies should reach this milestone at about 4-6 months. At 7 months, Bubba finally rolled over. I panicked that perhaps he was a slow learner and that maybe something was wrong with his development but I then took a step back and looked at that babies around me that I knew. They were all so different in their abilities. One could sit up unaided at 7 months were as Bubba could at 6 months. Another could roll over both ways, Bubba was struggling to do just one way.  They were all getting to their milestones at different times and it reassured me to see that it wasn't Bubba being 'slow' or anything… it was just nature!

Even now, when our Bubba's are 9/10 months old, the different milestones they are reaching are just amazing. Bubba wants to walk (with the help of your hands) everywhere and just won't sit down, Bubba 2 (as we will call her) is chatting away with Mum and Dad, with the occasional Bob chucked in for good measure, whereas Bubba 3 (as we will call him) has such brilliant co-ordination and is able to do things with toys and food that I have never seen Bubba do.

Avoid comparisons

It just makes me realise when I see them all together that they are all so different and that these milestones should be seen as what they are – a guide! Babies are born different. They are individual and will do things at different times. They will also have things that they are good at and things which they struggle at. Don't panic if they haven't rolled by 6 months or if it takes a while longer for them to reach certain milestones. They will get there in their own little time. For now, enjoy the present and nurture that little individual that you have :)

If you are ever seriously concerned about your baby's development then please speak to your health visitor or GP.