Would it be horrible if I admitted on the cusp of giving birth for the third time that I haven’t so much as skimmed a baby book? In my previous pregnancies, cozying up with ‘What to Expect’ and ‘Bringing Home Baby’ felt almost like a rite of passage as much as it seemed like the responsible thing to do.
I remember when my first-born was three months old and wasn’t rolling over. The books said he should be rolling from his belly to his back at least one direction. I was concerned and worried when all my son seemed to do was scream and flail until I finally rescued him and put him on his back. I brought it up at his well-child check a few weeks later with his doctor. Although not overly concerned, he recommended more tummy time and as the nervous new mother that I was, we did lots and lots of tummy time. Eventually he rolled over (albeit late) and before I knew it he was rolling, scooting, crawling and walking not that many months later.
Fast forward four years and I am sitting in a staff meeting at Children’s Village, heavily pregnant with my third child, listening to a presentation on the Learn the Signs. Act Early grant Children’s Village is operating through the Department of Health.
Children’s Village wants all parents throughout our Valley to know and recognize typical developmental milestones in their children, so that if something is ‘off’ or a baby is NOT reaching appropriate milestones, parents can talk to their child’s doctor earlier and get the resources they need sooner.
“We want to empower families to look for what’s typical in their baby’s behavior and development. If they know the milestones and skills a child should be doing at a certain age, they are better able to recognize if a child is not meeting them,” Children’s Village speech therapist and autism coach Cindy Carroll said. “Tools like developmental screenings are key to helping parents and caregivers recognize typical versus atypical behavior in a child.”
Children’s Village has a free online developmental screening tool on the website. This excellent resource is easy to use and available in English and Spanish. Regularly checking in on a child’s development at 9, 18, 24 and 30 months empowers families to look for what’s ‘right’ and ‘typical.’
The presentation prompted me to dig out my dusty baby books and start reading. There’s no such thing as too much information when it comes to learning about our children and helping them to grow and thrive.
If you are concerned about your baby’s development, check out the Children’s Village website or call your doctor to set up an appointment to discuss your concerns.