You have a natural birth, you have a c-section, you adopt...
No matter how your little bundle of joy comes into your life there’s one thing no one tells you about. What to do when they don’t reach their milestones.
In fact, if you just google “baby milestones” things that come up will be information like your baby will respond to sounds by the time they are just one month old, by just four months old your baby will hold their head up steadily and make sounds, by 5 months old your baby will be able to roll from their tummy to their back, by 8 months old your baby will be able to sit up on their own and by 9 months old your baby will be able to pull themselves into standing and sitting positions.
Perhaps your baby has reached all their milestones and really “most” babies will, but can you imagine the feeling of a parent when their child doesn’t do these things.
The first thing you do as a parent when they don’t reach their milestones is research online about what age they should be doing certain things and as a parent of a child who didn’t reach their milestones, I can honestly tell you that the feeling you get is complete heartache and pure worry.
Everyone told me that my child would be sitting up and grabbing toys... why isn’t he?
Then of course comes the guilt of “what did I do wrong?”
First of all, I hate these expectations of what a child should be doing at what ages - my daughter with no disabilities was late at sitting up and didn’t walk until she was around 17 months old which is considered late (apparently!) and I remember that was a worry as a new mum. But when my son couldn’t even grab his toys never mind sit up by the time he was 9 months, I had a horrible feeling in my tummy. I didn’t know who to talk to or what I should have been doing.
So why isn’t this something that is spoken about?
Did you know that around 1 in 20 children have some form of disability? Surely that’s enough for it to be spoken about when having a child, but it seems that it’s not. I understand not wanting to worry new parent unnecessarily but maybe if it is something that could be discussed on what to do or who to contact when your baby doesn’t reach these milestones then it could take the worry away even just a little bit.
Parents need to be reassured not to panic and told that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with their child if they don’t reach their milestones but there’s help out there if they need it! But we could be given information on what to do if our children aren’t doing certain things by a certain age. I know if I had been told what to do then I would have steered myself away from the internet which either basically tells you that you’re doing something wrong or your baby isn’t normal, it’s heart-breaking!
My son was over a year old when we finally found out that he had cerebral palsy and given help with different therapies to help him but maybe I would have found help sooner had I known what to do rather than worry alone at home.
This is why it’s so important to know that there is help out there, it’s nothing you have done wrong and you can get help.