Do you have a toddler at home? Have you been paying attention to whether or not they are reaching toddler developmental milestones that they should be reaching at each stage in their growth? If you have not been paying attention, you should start. Paying attention to these milestones and when your children meet them makes it easier to notice if they are missing them. The earlier you catch these misses, the easier it will be to deal with them.
When I had my first child, I lived by the milestone chart. I could spend hours watching what she was doing with my checklist and question just about everything. By the time her brother was born, I was a pro – I knew what I was doing, had no use for the charts, and could teach anybody anything in the mommyhood business. Or so I thought…
Looking back at it now, I think my son started missing his milestones at about 12 months. However, since the misses seemed so minor, I didn’t pay much attention.
The Importance of Your Child’s Toddler Milestones
When my son was around 2 when I started questioning certain things. Well meaning friends and family suggested that boys develop at a slower pace, plus my son is growing up in a bilingual household so it was ok for him to be behind on his milestone marks.
However, by the time he turned 2.5, I had more questions than answers and started looking for help.
While being very well physically developed, my toddler seemed to have very delayed speech with a vocabulary or 10 words or so, not very responsive to any instructions, and not interested in expressing himself verbally at all. All this often resulted in lots of confusion and tears.
There are specific developmental milestones that you should be looking for when your child hits specific ages. The toddler years are particularly important because so much learning and growing is done in such a short timespan – it might be easy to miss something.
For example, at two years old, according to typical toddler development stages your child should be able to do the following things:
- imitate parents
- show independence
- rebel against authority
- points to and names objects
- assemblies 2-4 word sentences
- follows simple directions
- builds towers
If you read through the listed milestones and find yourself concerned that your child hasn’t reached a specific milestone, there are steps that you can take.
What should You do if you see delays in your child’s toddler developmental milestones?
If you suspect that your child is reaching their toddler development stages slower than they should, don’t give up hope. There are steps that you can take to take a proactive approach to helping your child reach their developmental milestones.
Talk To The Doctor
If you are concerned, act on it and let your child’s doctor know about your concerns. The doctor recognizes that, as a parent, you know your child best. Share any and all concerns with the doc ASAP. They will know what direction you should go from here.
Print out a Toddler Developmental Milestones Checklist
There are milestones checklists available to print out (or you can request one from your child’s doctor) to track your baby’s development. Fill these checklists out and share with the doctor at your next visit.
Request That Your Child’s Doctor Do A Developmental Screening
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for developmental milestones at the ages listed above. If you are concerned, request that your child’s doctor does one of these screenings.
Ask For A Referral
If you do all of the things listed above, yet you are still concerned, be sure to ask your child’s doctor for a referral to a specialist.
Request A “Child Find” Evaluation
At any point in this process, you can ask for a Child Find evaluation by making a phone call to the public early childhood system and asking for this assessment or finding out more about the process.
MORE ABOUT MY STORY
Mother knows best – I should have asked for help earlier, but I am glad I did it when I could no longer dismiss my questions. The importance of early intervention is undeniable, and I only wish that more parents knew what resources are available for kids under 3-years-old.
From the in-home evaluation to a medical diagnosis, from one-on-one therapies to help with specialized pre-school enrollment – early intervention made a huge difference for my family!
You can also order a FREE “Parent Kit” – it includes a Milestone Moments booklet with checklists for ages two months to 5 years and a growth chart.