Baby Milestones: How NOT to Freak Out

I’ve never been a competitive person. It’s actually a running joke in my family that I never really cared if I won a board game, or a softball game. This isn’t to say I didn’t want to do well in school, or in other endeavors, but I was never someone who really compared herself to others.

Until I had a baby.


When I was pregnant, reading about “What to Expect” and listening to people’s advice, I heard a lot of, “every baby goes at their own pace” and “don’t get caught up in numbers.” But when you are focusing on your baby’s development, there are a lot of numbers: height and weight percentiles, sitting up by this age, crawling by that age. Yep, I got caught up in the numbers and anxious about William hitting his milestones.

I’m sure most moms can relate. You’re always wondering: is he holding his head up well enough? Why isn’t she smiling yet? Isn’t he supposed to be grabbing things by now? I was a little more nervous than some others, perhaps, because my baby was born very small as a result of an undetected blood clot in my placenta, and every milestone he hit further reassured me that he hadn’t suffered developmentally as a result.

It’s not something I really worry about anymore, as he is a happy, alert, six-month-old. A few months ago, however, I couldn’t stop worrying about the fact that he hadn’t rolled over yet. William has always hated tummy time and, as a result, took a while to roll from his tummy to his back. I started researching online: when is he supposed to roll over? I learned that the average age was four months, and when four months came and went, I started to worry. Every Facebook post I saw by friends bragging about their babies rolling over at three months (and suddenly there seemed to be a lot of them!), I felt disappointed. The irrational part of my brain said: you’ve ruined your child! You didn’t put him on his tummy enough! He’ll never roll over!

But he did. About a week after his four month birthday, he rolled over right in front of me, on our bed! A few minutes later, he did it again! It took another six weeks or so for him to really get the hang of it, but now he can’t wait to roll over when I put him on his tummy! Now we’re working on sitting up, and I’m feeling myself start to relax. I know he’ll learn to sit up. Everyone does, right?

As he grows bigger and learns new things, I’m learning to let him figure things out at his own speed. That advice now rings true to me, but I know how difficult it can be to take. My advice to mommies out there: relax and enjoy your baby. Follow your doctor’s recommendations, and just watch and wait for the excitement that comes with seeing them learn something new. There’s nothing like it, and it’s worth the wait.

What milestone were you most anxious about?

Emma is mommy to one-year-old William and wife to Bill. She was born and bred in Baton Rouge, attending Episcopal High School, the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU and the LSU Law Center. Married since 2010, she is loving her new life as a mother. She is an attorney but has limited her practice for now so she can stay home with William full-time, and she feels so fortunate to be able to do that. She is learning as she goes, rejoicing in every milestone and happy moment as well as working her way through the challenges that come with parenting. When she gets a chance, she loves reading, writing, and watching movies. She and Bill are both lucky enough to have their families close by and love spending time with them. She looks forward to seeing her little boy grow and eventually expanding her family. Motherhood has been the most fulfilling role of her life.


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