Baby milestones and how they make me crazy


Have you had a conversation with your parents about the way they used to raise kids? It is pretty hilarious, right? I have been urged to give Lillian juice, to wean her from the breast as early as three months, and even to give her children’s cold medicine. I know that it used to be OK to do those things, but times and research have changed, right?! I have had moments of frustration trying to explain to family and friends that I know my baby and have thought through why I am doing certain things, and while I am thankful for their advice, it will not be used. Politely, of course:).


Then I remember the Time Magazine cover photo featuring a boy breastfeeding at three years old. The story talked about attachment parenting and how it is the way to go. A few weeks after that I was urged by my pediatrician to do the Cry It Out method, and how that is the only way to help my child learn independence.

I have talked to moms who co-slept with their babies until they were seven, and moms who had their babies in the crib as newborns. I have friends who breastfed their babies, and friends who didn’t. What is the right way to parent a baby?!

Then, once you are filled with guilt and confusion by the media and other mothers out there, you start hearing about percentiles and baby milestones. I will never forget taking my baby to a reading class at the library and having a mom actually complain to me how she wished her son were able to be as social as my daughter since they were the same age. I was so sad to hear the comparison. He seemed like a bright, adorable little guy who was interested in playing with his toys, not talking to my daughter. I also remember when the pediatrician told me my daughter was in the 15th percentile for weight and height. I was like, “Is she OK?!”. He had to explain to me how the measurements worked, but already I was overwhelmed with how my daughter was being measured up to every other kid… at 6 months old.

I am venting about this whole baby milestone issue. We love our children, and we want them to grow up safe and healthy. I am so there. And of course I want my daughter to develop well. I know milestones, in essence, are important to gauge where our children are at developmentally. However, every kid is unique, different, and special- so much to the point that comparing them is hard to do. Some kids excel at math, some at reading, some at music. I think their little personalities start coming out as early as infants!

I think there are “milestones” us moms create in our heads. I hear another baby is sleeping through the night and think, “What am I doing wrong?!”. When my daughters playmate started walking and Lillian was not even close to standing, I was concerned she was behind developmentally. However, Lillian was fine and she started walking eventually. Not every single thing I do or don’t do effects how my sweet little darling develops. She has a mind of her own, a will of her own, and timing of her own.

At the end of the day, I want my daughter to know that she has been given a set of unique, important, and valuable skills that fit her. I am trying to settle down and just do the best I can, knowing that every playtime, cuddle, and moment I teach her is a gift I am giving her that will help her develop into the lovely Lillian she is to become. I want to help guide her growth and development as a joyful and exciting experience, not one filled with pressure, stress, and deadline. Do you have any stories to share that fit with this topic? Let me know.


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Comments

  1. says

    I agree with so many things you said! My baby is still co-sleeping with me, is extremely intelligent, but has NO schedule what so ever. Everyone I tell that too basically kills me with death stares but for us, it just works. We’re always moving around or traveling and it’s been hard to do that. If it works for the mom and baby, it shouldn’t matter!

    Great post!
    Samantha
    http://www.hooahandhiccups.com

  2. says

    I love this post! As an expectant mother who is doing things a little differently [ we have a midwife and want a natural birth at a birthing center – Gasp! ] and will probably do things a little differently when it comes to parenting, it is refreshing to hear people say that its ok for our babies to be different and develop differently. Thanks for such a great reminder!

    Shannon [ lifeofpoole.blogspot.com ]

  3. says

    I felt the same way when my guy was little. We all do things differently they could be right, they could be wrong…but if they work for your child then hey, no body should judge. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. says

    Great post! It’s so frustrating to constantly feel like your baby is being compared to all these other kids… and it’s hard not to get sucked into it, wondering if your kid is normal, or hoping that they’re advanced. I too hate all the “advice” I get from people… If I wanted your thoughts, I’d ask for them. I’m doing what I feel is right for my kid… that’s all I can do!

  5. says

    I feel like you took the words right out of my mouth. We are in the “milestone” period too and it can be overwhelming and frustrating but I have to pray and just know my daughter is exactly where she is supposed to be and she is happy and healthy! Thanks for sharing.

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