Developmental guidelines and delays

Developmental guidelines are there to show you what your baby has the potential to accomplish within a particular time frame. However, your baby’s development and attainment of milestones need to be viewed from the correct perspective.

While there is a usual sequence of development, all babies develop at their own unique rate, faster than their peers in some areas and slower in others. Babies and toddlers also do not always have the same developmental challenges in their spotlights at the same time so you may notice that some babies will have advanced motor skills while others will be slower but be more advanced with their emotional and verbal development.

The real measure of your child’s development is how they’re progressing compared to themselves - not anyone else and what is more important is that there is forward progress in all areas.

A solitary delay or lag is usually nothing to worry about and does not indicate any long-term issues. Instead, watch out for a cluster of issues, especially if the delays are in more than just one area of development as this may need to be investigated.

*Keep in mind that if your baby was born premature, they will usually need a little more time to meet milestones but will get there in due course. *

Spend time with your baby and trust your intuition as they develop, taking a keen interest in what they are doing and how they are doing it. If you are concerned about any aspect of your little one’s development, you can find support from various professionals (paediatricians, therapists and teachers) and be proactive in providing opportunities to help them reach their true potential.

Dr Martin Bailey

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