This post is made possible with support from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program. All opinions are my own.
As a busy mom, I sometimes fail to notice when my children reach a new milestone. It feels like each time I blink, they’re suddenly several inches taller and mastering a new skill. This past year, I noticed that my 4-year-old can sit for longer periods of time to enjoy a book or a movie. She’s also understanding the difference between fact and fiction and can easily retell a story.
But a few years ago, I wasn’t celebrating my preschooler’s milestones. Instead, I was concerned about potential physical delays. She would stumble constantly while running and had a hard time keeping her balance. I compared her to other children her age and often wondered if she needed early intervention.
At the time, I didn’t know that it was perfectly normal for her age and that she was already meeting developmental milestones. Looking back, I wish I had tracked her milestones and discussed my concerns with her pediatrician instead of worrying unnecessarily.
As parents, it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. We hear our friends brag about what their children are doing and we immediately wonder why our kids aren’t quite there. Today, my daughter is a very active preschooler that loves gymnastics. She can outrun most of the kids in her class and has no problem maintaining her balance. Go figure!
Learn the Signs. Act Early.
Developmental milestones matter, and having resources that help you track your child’s milestones is crucial to their development. Thanks to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) you have access to free resources through their “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program. The program can help you track your child’s milestones from 2 months to 5 years old!
Resources to help you track your child’s milestones
One of my favorite free resources is the Milestone Tracker App which is available for iOS and Android devices. The app enables you to personalize information about each one of your children. It offers an interactive checklist to help you track your child’s milestones along with tips and activities so you can support your child. You can even keep track of your child’s doctors’ appointments and get a summary of your child’s development to share with care providers. I just added my newborn to help me track his milestones
You can also order a FREE “Parent Kit” in English or Spanish, which includes a Milestone Moments booklet with checklists for ages 2 months to 5 years as well as a growth chart.
It’s perfectly normal to have questions and concerns about your child’s development. But don’t allow your lack of knowledge to keep you from being proactive and seeking help if needed. Stay informed with the resources offered by the CDC and reach out to your child’s doctor to ask questions if you have concerns.
What milestone has your child reached recently? I’d love to hear from you!