Monday, December 4, 2006

Developmental Milestones

(Originally posted on Monday, December 4, 2006 by Tim)

Sorry for the dearth of posts. Things have been busy here and it has been difficult making time for them. As Cat eluded to in her November 24th post, I?ve been beginning to take more of an interest in Baby Dal?s development in relation to the dreaded 4-5 month ?norms?. I figured I'd better post fast before we got into the 5-6 month "norms".

Frankly, I?m surprised I avoided obsessing over this stuff for so long. I tend to be very goal oriented and I can?t imagine having a child would somehow squelch that trait. I?m guessing I was able to avoid it in part because Dalton is so big for his age. I?d equated growing fast with learning fast in my mind. The book I?ve been looking at has also been a bit confusing. It talks about five month olds and it isn?t clear whether they mean 4-5 months or 5-6 months. There?s a big difference between fifth month meaning 4-5 instead of 5-6.

I made the mistake of picking up the book at the dinner table a couple of weeks ago and jumping to the developmental milestones section at the back of the fifth month chapter. I found that it actually says ?four to five? months back there which removed quite a bit of ambiguity. Dalty?s current milestones are as follows with editorial comments.*

Large Motor

1. Pushes up on partially extended arms, chest and part of tummy off floor. Plays airplane: rocks on tummy, flaps arms and legs.

Ok, Dalty hates to be on his stomach. He?ll tolerate somewhere between 15-30 seconds of tummy time before wailing ensues. As a result, he doesn?t know what this ?push with your arms? thing is that you speak of.

2. Creeps and wiggles a few feet.

On his back?

3. Cranes neck forward to see and grab his toes when lying on back.

He?s all over this one. ?Toes! I have toes!?

4. Holds entire weight on legs when supported standing.

Ok, he?s had this one down for months. He?s definitely not lagging on leg development. It must have been all the Dad enforced baby squat sets in the first month.

5. Assists by lifting head, flexing elbows when pulled to sit.

I hadn?t seen this one when I first read this. I think he started doing it the next day. Either that or I wasn?t actually looking/testing for it previously.

6. Sits propped up with pillows or leaning forward on hands; can lift one hand to reach for toy.

Two weeks ago, he wasn?t doing any of this. Today, he can definitely sit propped by pillows and he can support himself with his hands for a short time before he demonstrates the patented Baby Dal face plant. I don?t think I?ve seen him go for a toy with one hand from this position.

Fine Motor

1. One handed , more precise reaching for toys within arms length.

More precise than what?

2. Transfers objects purposefully from hand to hand, hand to mouth.

Well, everything goes in the mouth these days. Hand to hand transfers are still accidental as far as I can tell.

3. Hand accommodates to shapes of objects before making contact.

I?m not even sure what this one means. Is that a no?

4. Grabs and plays with necklaces, glasses, hair.

and clothes and plates and placemats?


1. Babbling begins.

Well, I have been a little incoherent over the last few months.

2. Crying diminishes as expressive sounds and gestures increase.

I think we?ve been seeing some of this.

3. Attempts to mimic caregiver?s sounds.

He often says things like ?ga? and ?hey? right before I say them.

4. Responds to labeling accompanied by directed gestures.

No signs of this. The dogs have it down pretty well though.

5. Develops rhythmic dialogue, turn taking.

I?ve seen a little of this, but not really any more than he was doing two months ago.


1. Tracks familiar person leaving the room, pursues dropped toys.

He?s been tracking for some time.

2. Attention span increases; may play with blocks and small toys ten to fifteen minutes.

Yes. Thank God.

3. Interested in colors, small objects, picture books, squeeze-and squeak toys, different textures.

and dogs and spoons and napkins and tablecloths?

Today?s picture is actually from a couple of weeks ago. You will notice the similarity to the one that Cat posted on the 24th of November. I think this was the day after getting worried about Dalty?s milestones and we were doing some Dad powered baby sit ups.

* All milestones are taken word for word from ?Growing Together: A Parent?s Guide to Baby?s First Year? by William Sears.

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