Evidence-Based Milestone Ages As A Framework For Developmental Surveillance

Developmental milestones record

Developmental surveillance is crucial to ensure proper development in children at milestone ages. A child’s growth starts from the moment they are born. However, some milestones can be studied at each age, and development can be monitored. There are some milestones over this first year that involve gross motor development, so to keep this piece short, I tried to remember five major ones where parents called or emailed me so excited to share the good news. Or when I consoled a mother who missed the first time their child demonstrated acquisition of a milestone.

Evidence-Based Milestone Ages As A Framework For Developmental Surveillance
Evidence-Based Milestone Ages As A Framework For Developmental Surveillance

Developmental Framework For Milestone Ages

It is crucial to keep a close tab on the different developments your child/children show at different ages. Milestones can include responding to sounds, learning to turn over, crawl, stand, walk, get their teeth, etc. Some charts outline each of these and the acceptable time frame (years or months) within which they should start to show these developments. If you see a delay in your child’s growth in these areas given their age, you should monitor the situation closely. That will help you figure out if your child is differently-abled and in need of special care.

Through the years, I have noticed that milestones in infants, for the most part, follow the bell curve. Denver Development charts seem to hold. They smile at two months, start rolling over at four months, sits with support at six months. Crawling has been optional for outliers (the term used to mean the bell curves edges) as most babies still crawl at nine months, but a few sit up then stand up and walk. That could be because of the move “back to sleep. (a SIDS avoiding infant positioning supine to sleep) in 2000. The core muscles do not seem to develop as much. Toilet training is still the same age. However, the knowledge to use a touch screen phone and tablet have gone down to 9 months.

Evidence-Based Milestone Ages As A Framework For Developmental Surveillance
Evidence-Based Milestone Ages As A Framework For Developmental Surveillance

Monitoring Development

Theoretically, a “child development milestone” is a skill that a child should perform by a certain age (or age range). In reality, each child develops in their way. However, if a child is behind on several developmental milestones, a parent should seek help from a pediatrician. For expressive language, two simple things to remember are that on average, a child will say their first word by age one year (12 months) and put two distinct words together by period 2 (24 months).

The first year of a child’s life is the busiest and most important developmentally. It is at this time when they develop the muscle strength and control that will help them to hold their body up and move against gravity, to initiate purposeful movement and complete simple tasks. The acquisition of these simple skills will allow them to jump, run, play baseball, do gymnastics, and clean their rooms when they get older.

Costume play might be a nice idea for engaging kids. There are many great resources about child development, both online and in print, and the right pediatrician will include the screening of developmental milestones during well-baby visits. 

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