Most people don’t know that I didn’t talk until I was two years old. At least, that’s what my parents tell me.
I remember being shy as a kid…painfully shy, actually. When I did start speaking, I usually whispered. Friends and family got frustrated with repeatedly telling me to speak up.
Apparently, it was bad enough that one of my daycare providers suggested I get tested for developmental and social delays.
I often think back to that story when comparing my children’s abilities to milestone lists. But I still can’t help making those comparisons. Like most mothers, I want to make sure that my children are on track with what they’re supposed to be doing. That they’re healthy and growing properly.
Now we’re on baby #3, and I still look at the milestone charts, but I’m less concerned if one or two milestones are missed. For example, baby E just turned 10 months old, and according to the BabyCentre (UK), website, these are the milestones to look for:
10-Month Old Baby Milestones:
Most 10-Month Old Babies Can:
- Wave goodbye
- Pick things up with pincer grasp
- Crawl well
Half of 10-Month Old Babies can:
- Say “dada” and “mama” to the right parent
- Respond to name and understands “no”
- Indicates wants with gestures
“A Few” 10-Month Old Babies can:
- Drink from a cup
- Stand alone for a couple of seconds
- Put objects into a container
Well, I can honestly say that none of my kids met the cruising milestone at 10-months old. And E definitely calls me “dada” all the time. I haven’t even tried giving him an open cup. Why would I? Sippy cups are awesome.
My 10-Month Old Baby:
- Scoots on his belly really fast. E doesn’t feel a need for proper crawling. Our hardwood floors make it easy to slide on his belly; especially with a little push from those adorable toes. And don’t leave a baby gate open, or he’ll be there before you know it.
- Gets to a sitting position on his own. Possibly one of the best baby milestones ever, now he can not only get to a toy he wants to play with, he can actually get himself to sit up to play with it. Score 1 for the parents.
- Pulls to standing on his own. It’s time to move the crib mattress to the lowest level!
- Is trying to stand on his own. It’s not uncommon to see him on his hands and feet with his rear in the air. It’s the funniest thing to see, too.
- Communicates through screaming. E is in the dreaded screaming phase. Happy, sad, or for no reason at all, he’s able to let out a squeal that can pierce your ears.
- Babbles all the hard consonants. I love listening to him ‘talk’. When he’s not screaming, he lets out a string of babble that he clearly thinks is communication. “Dadadamanabada-cuh. Na-na-na.” (Side note: His “na-na-nah” sounds awfully similar to my “no, no, no”!)
- Loves obstacle-course style play. If the girls leave a step stool out, he crawls on top of it. If he has a ball, he chases it around the room. If he sees a tunnel, he goes through it.
- Sometimes sleeps through the night. We’ll, he slept through the night exactly twice last week, for the first time ever!
In other words, baby E is perfectly normal.
What ‘baby milestones’ should we be looking for*:
- Is your baby curious and excited about learning new things? Baby E is very curious about everything around him. We often refer to him as the ‘little troublemaker’. He always seems to find a way to get into the things he shouldn’t.
- Does your baby try to move around in some way? E is my second belly scooter. T wasn’t very interested in proper crawling, either. Now, she’s a star in her dance class, does cartwheels, and shows no motor skill delays. Sometimes this is a matter of preference, not problems.
- Is your baby making and exploring a variety of sounds? Screaming is normal, babbling is normal. Our second child didn’t talk until 18 months old, and then really exploded with vocabulary. Neither really used baby sign language much.
- Is your baby interacting with you and others? E loves to play with balls. But to him, there’s nothing better than playing ball with someone else.
The most important lesson I’ve learned is to make sure that our babies show signs of at least trying to reach the milestones. And if he does drastically miss a milestone, I’ll stay calm and get him checked by the doctor. We love our children no matter what milestones they meet or don’t meet.
After all, I didn’t actually have any delays. I just couldn’t hear well. A set of tubes in my ears cleared that all up, and I started talking soon after.
*Note: I am not a child care or health expert. These are my opinions after raising three children, each of whom missed significant milestones during the first year. Please speak with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your own child’s development.