Saturday, May 2, 2009

Relax, your kid is normal

As a new parent, you will become obsessed with developmental milestones. Can my baby hold his head up? Does he laugh? Can he grasp a toy? Yadda, yadda, yadda. I have 2 nieces and 3 nephews, and my cousins have 7 kids between them, so I thought I'd come to the sensible realization that every child develops at his or her own pace. The milestone lists are not a bad guideline, but they're certainly not a universal schedule. I know from family experience that some kids talk early but are slower to develop motor skills, or vice versa. Eventually, they pretty much level out.

But it doesn't matter what you know in your rational mind. When you become a parent your anxious brain takes over and you can easily fixate on what your child is or is not doing (e.g. he's late tracking objects with his eyes - something's wrong! or, he's rolling over in both directions - he's a genius!). I have to remind myself: stop thinking so much! Relax and enjoy this time, because the baby is changing constantly and these little phases of development don't last long.

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