Milestones to Milestones

The books make it sound as if baby milestones are obvious, when often they are anything but. Sprout’s path to various milestones has been unpredictable and the ambiguity sometimes makes me twitchy.

Sometimes, it’s unclear if he’s reached a milestone at all. Is he really sitting up if he supports himself with his hands? (Yes.) If he rolled from his front to his back when he was two months old several times but hasn’t for months, does that count? (Sort of? He did eventually do it again.) What if he’s so close to crawling that it seems immenent but he’s just missing one little piece? (No.) And how on earth am I supposed to tell if his vocalizations are consonant / vowel combinations or not? Does any baby outside of comics actually say, “Ah-goo?” (No idea still.)

Milestones can also be unpredictable in their timing. One week, Sprout was hardly putting weight on his feet. The next, he could stand on his own while holding on to something. I’m not entirely certain he wasn’t practicing in secret. Now, despite being able to stand with support for months, he hasn’t shown any signs of trying to pull himself up to standing.

The route to get to some milestones has been rather circuitous. Rather than crawling, Sprout has taken to scooting. But he only moves backwards! He leans back on his knees, as if he’s about to crawl. He then kicks his legs back, pushes his arms, and slides across the hardwood floor. It’s very funny to watch. I figure he’ll either start crawling soon or get really good at going backwards. In fact, he already looks behind him before he starts moving.

And then other milestones come as a complete and utter shock. On Monday, Chris was frustrated that Sprout wasn’t drinking much from the bottle. Every time Chris broke Sprout’s latch to adjust the pressure, Sprout would bat at it. Yesterday, Chris realized he wasn’t trying to grab it for himself – he was trying to push it towards Chris! When Chris took a couple of pretend sips, Sprout thought it was fantastic and then was willing to drink from it again. Chris may have been seeing things in an overly optimistic light, but certainly seemed like he was trying to share with his daddy! It’s possible Chris misinterpreted his actions, but if Sprout was trying to share, I guess he’s got a better grasp on that non-possessiveness concept than I realized.

Watching Sprout soak up experiences and exhibit new behaviors is exhilarating. I don’t have to worry; I just need to watch in wonder.

6 thoughts on “Milestones to Milestones

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  2. My son used to “swim” rather than crawl.(It’s called a “commando crawl”.) By time he could crawl on his hands and knees, he was ready to walk.

    The consonant/vowel combinations sound like “ma”, “ga”, “da”, “um”. “Ah goo” is a little more advanced because it requires a change in vowel, but yes, kids actually do that, or stuff like it.

    Mostly what those of us who work(ed) with the young and the restless look for is change in behavior over time. What’s worrisome is when everything stays the same for long periods, although as you have noticed, sometimes a child needs to practice one behavior for a while before moving on to the next, or is able to perform a motor skill almost by accident a time or two but isn’t ready to do it consistently just yet. Since your little one is constantly amazing you with new behaviors, you are right about not having to worry.

    • Thanks! The “ah goo” was just a reference to the sometimes bizarre descriptions of milestones in the What to Expect book, which sets some questionable expectations. That book in particular makes everything seem so straight-forward that it can be confusing when it isn’t as obvious as they portray it. I’m not worried though – as you say, he’s changing so much every day that it’s pretty obvious he’s developing well.

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