With all humans being different, it’s surprising really, how much comparison there is between parents between children. We all know of people who’d had comments made because their baby Is ‘late’ at hitting a milestone whether it’s speech, walking, weaning and more. It’s interesting how most of the comments come about children being ‘late’ rather than early at doing something. Crowing about how early your baby does something is often judged, so it’s like the parent and the child can’t win. Of course you’re proud of your child having achieved something, and want to shout about it.
It is amazing when you think about it, how different children can be in development, even though we shouldn’t be surprised.
Through the baby and toddler stages you’ve got:
I only ever saw N roll from back to front, never the other way (which he must have done to get in the places he did and couldn’t tell you how old he was. Until he was an older baby and then he just rolled and rolled all over the house
Mmm, we had lots of babbling but not much clarity where we could say it was a specific, intentional word for a long time
N was relatively early at sitting (just about alone) at around 20 weeks old, but most take a lot longer.
My view is baby led all the way, but really you can only wean when the child is interested. Some like to play with food, some (like piggy N), just like to eat with it. They all eat in the end, and however much or little they eat, they mostly put on weight as they should.
Could be from 6 months to never, if your baby ends up being a bottom shuffler and never doing a traditional crawl. N rocked on all fours for a month or so, then took another 2 months to actually move forward rather than backwards at 9ish months.
Could be any time. Some are ready to walk at 9 months, others can be nearer 2 and more. N was just over 11 months; he didn’t really cruise, just decided to stand up and walk.
Pot luck on when and how clear. I was always amazed by how clear and how detailed the vocabulary and language was of some of the girls of N’s age. While he knew quite a lot of words, N took a long time put more than 2 or 3 together, and it wasn’t until he was 2 ½ that his speech was clear enough for anyone to understand him.
Once they start to really converse and start to learn numbers and letters, that’s when I’ve found more comparisons coming through and being more visible. There’s quite a few children (mostly girls) we know of N’s age who can clearly write not only their names, but other words as well. N can sing the alphabet (thanks to a Happyland school tune), and count just about to 20 (with the occasional prompt for a missing number from me), but actually telling me what a letter or number is when he sees it, is beyond him. He just doesn’t seem to try (or want to).
But he’s enjoying ‘writing’ his blurb (the other day he came home from nursery with 14 (!) ‘cards’ he’d made and written in. He holds a pen nicely, and sometimes asks to do ‘writing’, if only for a short time before getting up to play. I’m hoping that in the rest of this time before school in September, that he’ll be more interested, be more focused in sitting still and writing for longer, and be able to recognise more letters and numbers.
One thing N does know is his right and left. Because I’ve always talked to him about directions and when getting him dressed, it’s something that’s been drummed into him. So it surprises me that there’s probably more 4 year olds that we know, who don’t know them than do. But then, I suppose there’s a number of adults who also don’t know either so I shouldn’t really be surprised.
Obviously the older they get, the more varied a child’s knowledge is. One child might know lots about cars if that’s something that’s talked about lots at home. Another might be obsessive about tractors and farming (that’ll be us then). Other might be all about numbers and letters but no ‘topics’ in particular.
So it’s amazing how they get informally assessed when they start school because the teachers have to be able to get them to a certain level by a certain point in the year. A few will have started school with no understanding of numbers and letters, others will be well ahead of their age, while there’ll be the whole spectrum in the middle, with flashes of the different knowledge and skills for each child to be encouraged as well. I don’t envy teachers their jobs at all at those early stages.
What surprises you about children and development?