child development

Comparing Toddler Milestones Is Never A Good Idea

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little geniusLast weekend I broke one of the cardinal rules necessary for low stress parenting – never compare your child’s developmental milestones to another kid’s.

I confess that I have a type A personality. I loved school so much that growing up I would drag my mom to the store right after the 4th of July every year to stock up on notebooks and binders. I would spend days labeling and organizing in preparation for back to school. Sticky notes were (and still are) my jam.

I still enjoy learning, so when my twins were newborns I would fill the empty hours during naps with online research. When I wasn’t searching for baby food recipes or trying to reassure myself that they would turn out alright despite being fed formula, I looked up baby milestones.

At one of their first pediatrician visits, I mentioned my concerns to our doctor that the boys weren’t doing things they were supposed to according to various parenting websites and online mom chat forums. To our pediatrician’s credit, he managed to keep his composure and didn’t laugh directly in my face as he told me no good could come from comparing my kids to others. He advised me to stay off the internet and just watch that they continued to make progress in development. He told me to enjoy my kids and focus on the fact that they were making progress, rather than when it was happening.

I trust our pediatrician completely, so from that point on I channeled my nerdy needs elsewhere and chilled out on the baby milestones. At nineteen months, my babies are actually toddlers now. They take weekly gymnastics classes and we try to make it to story time at the library. Between seeing them interact with other kids roughly their age and regular pediatrician visits, I haven’t worried at all about their development – until last weekend.

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