We as Pediatricians pay a lot of attention to milestones. That being said, it is important to know that every child develops differently and there is a wide variation within “normal development.” When we say a certain milestone is achieved at a specific time, that is only true for half of kids.
For example, we commonly say that kids learn to walk around 1 year old. However, what this means is that kids on average learn to walk at 1 year old. Half of kids will begin walking before their first birthday and half of kids will begin walking after their first birthday.
We worry about a developmental delay if a child misses their milestone by two visits with us. For example, children have check-ups at 12 months old, 15 months old, and 18 months old. The walking milestone is associated with the 12 month visit, so we would wonder about a delay if a child is not walking two visits later, which would be the 18 month visit. That being said, there is still wiggle room with this, so please let us know if you are worried about your child being delayed, and we will talk about it with you.
Crawling is a topic that comes up frequently. Even though people commonly talk about their kids crawling, it is not a milestone. While many kids do crawl before walking, some kids never crawl but develop completely normally otherwise. Kids who do crawl do it with a variety of different techniques/styles and no specific method is better than the others.
If your child is not meeting their milestones, please talk to your Pediatrician. It could be completely normal, but we would like to make sure that we do not find any “red flags” that might prompt us to refer you to Early Intervention (Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and/or Speech and Language Therapy).