Author Topic: Developmental Milestones  (Read 14851 times)

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Offline Johno & Aurelias Mum

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Developmental Milestones
« on: June 25, 2006, 19:17:23 pm »
One of the best statements to sum up being a Mum (or Dad) is 'just when you think you've got it, everything changes'

Lots of questions on the Getting Back on Track Board about routines having suddenly gone off track relate to developmental advances.  They start early and continue on a regular basis throughout babyhood and toddlerdom.  Sometimes the knock on effects are obvious, sometimes not so.  We've tried to cover the main ones here but there will be others.  If your routine suddenly goes out of the window, an important question is always 'have they just learnt something new?'

An important thing to remember about all of these developments is that babies learn them through instinct and necessity rather than you teaching them.  Therefore, when they learn to do it its wonderful but they can't help but keep doing it to perfect the skill - even if they choose the most inconvenient time of the day or night to stage a practice session!

Also, they often learn to do something before they learn to undo it.  So they can roll onto their fronts before they learn to roll back, they can stand but can't sit down.  It's obvious really, there was no call for back rolling before they could roll to the front and they didn't need to sit before they could stand.  So you have a little gap for a while.

The most important advice is stick to your routine as much as you can, try not to fall into accidental parenting or be aware of the measures that you are having to use that you will need to undo later.

So here are some of the most common milestones.  All babies are different and will perfect these skills at different times, this isn't intended to be any sort of developmental checklis, just a few pointers on things that may help at these stages:

Rolling Over

Rolling over onto the front and not being able to get back can disturb nightime sleep and can make getting off to sleep in the first place tricly.

Possible tweaks to the routine:

-   Swaddling - you might need to start leaving arms out to assist in getting back over.
-   Practice rolling during the day on a playmat to develop rolling skills and strength.

We all move about during the night and this is really the first step towards that.  The problems should cease once they learn all of the skills to roll back and forth.

Sitting up

Again, this ability to sit yourself into an upright position can cause nightwakings and difficulties in getting off to sleep.  It can make PU/PD or PAT/SHH very challenging.

Possible tweaks to the routine:

-   Practice lying down from sitting during the day.  Whenever you are lying LO down, sit them down first, then roll them round to the lying position to show them how you do it.
-   When doing PU/PD or PAT/SHH, you often need to help them lie down and almost hold them in a lying down position.  I always found that a hand across the hip was necessary along with the one hand patting the back. 

Hands and Knees / Crawling

By this time you'll be an old hand at the disruption milestones can cause to sleep.  Its the same advice as with sitting really, help them get back down to a laying position without falling on their faces - its more difficult than you think!

Again, with PU/PD or PAT/SHH, you may need to hold them for a while.  If you are concerned about your help with sleep becoming a prop, don't worry to start with.  Its a better idea to get them their sleep and to teach them the new lying down skill before then working on a gradual withdrawal of your assistance.


The same advice applies again however you have a more athletic maneouvre involved in PU/PD.  This can be really hard work on your back I'm afraid.

Its really important that you teach LO how to sit back down from standing.  Every opportunity you get in the daytime will help to show them how to get down.  When they are standing, have them hold the vertical bars of the cot, then slide their hands down and their bottom will follow

« Last Edit: August 02, 2006, 12:09:08 pm by johnosmum »