Is my baby developing normally?

How to worry a lot is one of the first things that mothers learn. Indeed, even during pregnancy, news, forums and their personal experiences worry mothers who want their children to lead an easy life. They also want their baby to be accepted and develop well. They want grandma to be proud and they carefully read their baby guides and their From tiny tot to toddler, especially when they are raising their first child.

While this concern is commendable because it shows the willingness of a mother to take good care of her child and to make him happy, having all the information is necessary to look at things with an objective eye instead of worrying more than necessary.

For several reasons, we expect some stages more than others. The first teeth, the first steps, the first words, the first word read but most children develop at their own pace and these expectations can make us ignore other aspects of development.

Food for thoughts

Stages of development are also affected by many factors such as personality, luck and the environment of the child. For example, while some active children will learn at full speed thanks to their energy and curiosity, other children who are timid and careful will prefer to master the concepts perfectly, one at a time. The personality of our toddlers has a significant impact on their development.

Also, some aspects of growth are completely random and should not worry you. For example, children begin teething around the age of 6 months in theory but it is not uncommon to see a newborn with teeth and toothless children at the age of 7 months old.

Finally, some children face additional challenges that slow their development without being an obstacle. For example, a child whose mother speak French and whose father speaks Italian who speaks English at home will take more time before he talks but will eventually catch up.

Stages of development

Despite all these variations, some elements of development should appear within a reasonable time for your child to develop normally. Here are some examples of behaviours that you should observe in your child from birth to kindergarten.

Age Gross motor skills Fine motor skills Social and speech skills Cognitive learning

3 months
Rolls from tummy to back Brings hands to mouth Smiles alone or when you smile Follows objects in movement

8 months
Rolls both ways, sits alone and stands up (with help) Holds and shake a rattle Opens arms and imitates sounds related to language Tries to reach out for an object and finds a toy partially hidden

12-14 months
Crawls or scoots and moves sideways by the couch Eats with fingers, scribbles with crayons and voluntarily drops objects Is shy, imitates, has preferences, takes his socks off and says "mama" or "dada" Reacts to music, throws and explores causality

18 months
Climbs on a chair or on steps and walks without help Builds towers of three blocks and uses a spoon Says 5 to 10 words and takes off his clothes on his own Use objects as tools

24 months
Pulls a toy as he walks, kicks and throws a ball and starts running Makes simple puzzles and turns cardboard pages Uses to words together and is happy to see other children Begins imaginary games

3 years
Goes up and down the stairs, jumps and runs easily Holds a pen in writing position, closes lids and begins beading Shows affection, wait his turn, objects to changes in his routine, puts toys away and asks for help Finishes a four piece puzzle, understands the difference between one and two and names body parts and colors

4 years
Jumps and stands on one leg and catches a bouncing ball Does finger-thumb sequences (spider that goes up), draws circles and squares Expects happy events, plays "mom and dad" and negotiates solutions Understand the concept of counting, knows his address and invents stories


Talk to a doctor

These stages are defined by Canadian paediatricians and represent what most children can do at a specific age. If your child seems to have a significant delay in one or more of the skills listed in the table, do not hesitate to contact your paediatrician who will assess his development and make him run a few tests, if necessary. This visit could reassure you and your doctor could say that everything is normal. This will mean less stress for you. Your doctor could also notice a delay. If so, you may need to make some changes to give your child a chance to compensate. In both cases, your doctor will give you all the information you need to support your child’s development.

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