Developmental Milestones - Why are they so important?

The early years and months of your child’s life are very important for their health and development.  Developmental milestones have been established by professionals to give guidelines as to when a child will grow, change, and be able to achieve certain skills.  Children meet these milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed resources for parents to be informed of what developmental milestones most children reach at what age.

So why do pediatricians, therapists, and teachers make such a big deal about when your child stands by themselves or when they say their first word?  It is because even the smallest of milestones play a role in a child’s future social, emotional, and educational growth and development.  Core strength and tummy time can affect your child’s attention span and communication.  Crawling before walking can affect your child’s future learning abilities in school.  Infants and children develop at their own pace, but delayed achievement of a skill can influence later attitudes, behavior, academic performance, coordination, and health.   

Our bodies are constantly processing information from our environment through our innate senses in everything we do without having to think about it.  These senses include:  hearing, taste, smell, sight, touch, movement, body positioning, and interoception.  So how did all of this processing become so automatic?  It is through all of the developmental stages from when we were infants and children exploring our environments and learning through experience.  If something is missed or skipped, this can lead to a glitch in our processing systems as children and even adults. 

What can you do?

So, what can you as a parent, guardian, teacher, or mentor do to ensure that the infants and children in your lives are achieving these foundational skills to set them up for success as they continue to grow and learn?

  • Be Knowledgeable – look into the resources provided by your pediatrician and listed above
  • Pay attention to your child’s skillset based on the knowledge you have gained
  • Ask your pediatrician or a pediatric therapist if you have questions or concerns – don’t wait!
  • Provide your children with opportunities to explore their environment (safety first!)
  • Establish routines and household rules
  • Limit screen time throughout the day
  • Additional positive parenting tips from the CDC

Please email us or call 866-588-0230 for a free screening if you are concerned with the progress of your child’s development.