As a mom, you’re undoubtedly always worried about something — and childhood milestones are a big cause for consternation. Are you allowing your baby to grow fast enough? Is your baby talking soon enough? Is it possible to walk in a stable manner? Parenting is a neverending tension headache that you’re not doing enough or being enough as your child grows up. While every parent worries about certain, more well-known childhood development milestones (think crawling, rolling over, and the like), it turns out there are some that don’t necessarily fall on the standard milestone checklists and may be overlooked.
TikToking mom and pediatrician Dr. Sami has gone viral for sharing some of these “secret” milestones parents should take note of as their kids grow. Don’t start stress-spiraling, though: These benchmarks probably won’t trigger your anxiety.
“If you have a newborn, one of the secret milestones is that they hiccup a lot. Totally normal,” says Dr. Sami, one of the two women who run the TikTok @thepedipals, adding, “The other thing is that they scream bloody murder for everything, right? It doesn’t matter if they’re hungry, if they’re wet, if they’re bored. It’s always just like one setting, and it’s like, ‘I’m dying.’”
Good to finally know that’s not only normal but also important.
“Four months is that stage where they’re super cute and smiling all the time but they also grab your hair and won’t let go. And you’re literally bald because of it, because they just pull all your hair out,” Dr. Sami says. “Between six to nine months they start to do weird things that you’re like, ‘Is that normal?’ They start to shake their head all the time or maybe they start to stick their tongue out a little bit? It is completely normal. Milestone.”
But wait; there’s more.
“By the way, it doesn’t mean that every child is going to do this,” points out Dr. Sami. “You know how milestones work. They all develop at their own pace. Then some of ‘em kind of skip over milestones. That’s OK.”
She even goes on to warn parents to avoid sharing what milestones their kids have and haven’t hit. It breeds unnecessary worry among parents that their kids are “weird” or “special.” She tells parents that she (i.e., your pediatrician) should be the one to raise flags for you — not strangers on the internet.
“A lot of people think temper tantrums start when they’re like two and up. They start between 12 and 15 month. That’s a milestone,” she says. “Also around 15 to 18 months they all totally try to kill themselves every day. That’s totally a milestone.”
Other Milestones for Toddlers
- Be picky about what you eat
Milestones between 4-6
- Asking “Why?”
- Talking nonstop
Milestones between 9 and 11
- Anxiety. (But “talk to your pediatrician about that because if you don’t, it can get away from you,” Dr. Sami says.)
- Talking specifically about mortality and the death process
Milestones For Teens
- A different circadian rhythm.
- It is common to feel tired all the times. Basically because the school system doesn’t match your teen’s circadian rhythm.
Do you feel better about these things. The moral of the story seems to be that nearly everything your baby, kid, or teen does can be attributed to a milestone, even if it’s not one that is talked about as often or may seem like a problem. But Dr. Sami’s biggest and best advice remains that you should talk to your pediatrician whenever you have concerns.
This doesn’t mean scheduling a visit every time your kid coughs or your tween is a little weirdo. You’re a mom; you’re busy. You can send short messages to most pediatricians via MyChart. A well-staffed clinic will be able to take your phone calls, answer your questions, and return your call with a followup. You still have concerns? You don’t have to be concerned.
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