A child's milestones, no matter what age or stage, are worth celebrating—and it doesn't matter if it's your first or fifth child. This was the gist of celebrity mom and parenting speaker Jennica Garcia Uytingco's recent post on Instagram.
Before welcoming 2019, Jennica shared that her second daughter Alessi could already stand up on her own. "Ang bilis ng panahon, tumatayo na mag-isa ang aking six months old. Sa susunod magtatakbuhan na sila ni Ate Mori! Looking forward to that season in my children's life!" Jennica wrote as a caption for a photo of Alessi standing up in her crib.
While the mom of two is raving about her youngest child's milestone, she also reminded parents that every child develops at his or her own pace. "Every child has their own timeline. Don't be too worried about developmental delays," Jennica said.
She then compared her two daughters' developments to prove that children hit milestones at different ages:
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Her firstborn, Mori, couldn't walk yet on her own when she turned a year old. She started solids at eight months because that was when she could already sit on her own, one of the vital signs of readiness for solid foods.
Alessi, on the other hand, could sit on her own at five months, and has started on solid food now that she's six months old. Jennica also shared that Alessi is already showing signs that she's ready to take her first steps.
"To simply put it, each child is unique. It's all about honoring that and respecting the phase they are in," Jennica stressed. "Hindi natin pangungunahan, but we simply walk with them as they go through an array of developmental milestones," she added.
It's true. Milestone lists and charts could sometimes cause new moms to worry (and there are several milestone categories to cover: physical motor skills, cognitive, and socio-emotional), but here's proof that you don't always have to worry if they don't happen as scheduled:
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First tooth at 6 months!
Babies' first tooth or his two bottom teeth come out at 6 months, but some babies get all four front teeth all at once. Others wait until the child's first birthday to see one tooth. Readiness for solids includes sitting up on their own and having interest in adult food, and more. (Click here to read more about introducing solids to your baby!)
First steps at 1 year!
Some babies skip crawling and start taking their first steps right away. Babies may learn to walk on their own as early as 9 months up to a year old; some even later! Either way, experts have advised against using a walker. (Click here on how you can help your baby develop his walking skills!)
Says a handful of words at 2 years!
There are late talkers, but it doesn't necessarily mean that their development is delayed. Besides, before your little one is able to string a few words together, he should first meet his socio-emotional milestones at about 3 months old, including making eye contact, reacting to loud sounds, smiling, laughing, and make cooing sounds. If you don't spot these signs early on, you should alert your doctor right away.
Milestone lists or charts aim to help, not cause stress.
Keep in mind: Milestones are a guide to help parents observe their child's development. When the chart says that a child is supposed to be able to do this or that at 6 months, wait until the end of your baby's 6 months before assessing his development. Milestones lists and charts are not set in stone.
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Even then, don't hit the panic button just yet. One unticked achievement on the list does not always mean a significant delay. Maybe your little one just needs a little help so he can reach his milestones!
Worrying still? It's always best to consult with your child's pediatrician. He can better assess your child's development. After all, early intervention can only be a good thing for your little one—that's if he really needs it.