Hey Mommies… it’s very easy to start comparing your child to others their age. I think as mother’s, we all do it at some point whether we may think, “Wow my kid seems way ahead of that kid” or “Hmm why is that one year old talking and mine isn’t?”
In my line of work, I frequently have moms ask me why their child isn’t doing something that they saw another child do. Although, I typically work with kids with some type of delay or disability, development is always a concern of parents, and you can often see vast differences, even in typically developing children.
This is when you have to look at your child as a whole instead of just the one part you’re trying to compare. The biggest difference parents see when looking at other kids is crawling/walking and talking. A lot of times, parents will ask me why a child the same age as theirs is saying 2-3 word phrases, and their child is only saying a few single words. Or they will ask why another child is walking and their child is just barely pulling up and cruising.
Most of the time, the kids that walk early don’t talk until later and the kids that talk early don’t walk until later.
Walking and talking are two huge developments. As children excel in one area, another area often takes some time to develop. When taking this into account, it’s very likely you will notice that while your child isn’t saying many words, they may be excelling in physical development. Whereas, another child who has quite a vocabulary, may not be as physically advanced.
I also have parents that worry about the size of their child. They’ll notice that their baby/child is either a lot smaller or a lot bigger than a friend’s child. When looking at this, you also have to take into account the size of a child’s parents. If one baby looks giant, he may have a 6’2” dad, or if another child is smaller, he may have petite or shorter parents.
While everyone says you shouldn’t compare children, it is nearly impossible not to. As moms, we care about the well being of our child and we want to make sure they’re developing as they should.
As long as you’re interacting, engaging, playing, providing proper nutrition, and stimulating the mind and development of your child, they will be fine! They may just be developing differently and at their own rate from other children.
Now, if you start to notice that they are significantly behind in multiple areas, or they have been proficient at walking for months and still aren’t talking, THEN it may be time to consult a professional.
By: Emily Bettis, MOT/L
Emily Bettis, MOT/L is a pediatric occupational therapist and mother. She has been working with children birth-5 since 2008 and has been a mother since 2013. Emily is the founder and author HeyMommies.com