All new parents dream of the moment when their baby calls out “mama” and “dada” for the first time. But how can you tell if your baby’s speech is on track?
I was part of a mother’s group with 14 other new moms and babies, all born within a three month time period. With so many babies and new mothers, it’s inevitable that comparisons happen. Which baby rolled over first, slept through the night first -- not mine -- and began to speak first.
The developmental milestones
for babies are big windows of time for a reason -- every baby develops in his or her own time and way. And each baby develops some skills before others. My baby, for example, was working hard on her motor skills long before her verbal skills. She was focused on moving and exploring her world, rather than vocalizing her wants and needs.
The other babies in our group were all babbling and eventually talking before my baby. And now, as toddlers, they are still ahead of her verbally. I was initially worried, fearing that her speech was delayed. When I spoke with our pediatrician, it turned out she was smack in the middle of the range of normal, with no cause for concern.
Remember that every baby and child develops in a different way, and at a different time. There’s nothing to worry about if your baby is hitting their important milestones within a period that your pediatrician is happy with -- not at the same time as your friends’ babies.
Christine Knight is an Australian expat and mother of one enthusiastic toddler. Now living in Brooklyn, NY, she is co-founder of brunchwithmybaby.com, a site dedicated to helping parents navigate the NYC and Sydney food scenes with their offspring.