Nicole Pates - Motor Development & Milestones

If you’ve had a baby before, or even have nieces and nephews or friends with young kids you’ll remember that feeling of shock and astonishment at how quickly babies change. You see it physically as they change from a floppy, pink skinned, sleepy newborn to a chubby toddler. You see it as they grow interested in the world, start babbling and later talking, rolling, crawling and walking. Some months it feels like the are a different child every week and that they pick up new skills every single day. It’s incredible.

But it’s also a time where we as parents can fall into the trap of comparing our kids with others. Milestones aren’t assessed by years like they are when kids are older… they’re assessed by months. And the comparison devil rears its ugly head as you see friends posting videos of their baby’s first steps, or hear in your mothers group that most bubs are already rolling… And although you know your baby’s healthy, you start to question if they’re behind, if maybe something’s wrong, and maybe you should see someone. I felt this with Rupert who seemed to really want to crawl but struggled to finally get it until 10 or 11 months. I found myself googling ways to encourage crawling, when really that timing is normal. If I’d had this conversation with Nicole back then I maybe wouldn’t have stressed so much because as you’ll hear in this episode, 50% of babies may be crawling by 8.5 months but 90% are crawling by 13 months… so Rupert fit in perfectly with normal timing to meet that milestone… I just wasn’t seeing that in the other kids around me.

So todays’ episode I chat with Paediatric Physiotherapist Nicole Pates of Western Kids Health. We cover topics including:

- What milestones should we expect to see babies meet in their first two years?

- What is considered ‘normal’ timing for sitting up, rolling, crawling and walking?

- What can it mean if our child isn’t meeting their milestones – what are the concerns?

- What is the parents’ role in children's’ physical development?

- Will the average healthy child meet milestones without parental assistance like exercises etc?

- What is ‘purposeful play’?

- What is ‘sensory play’?

- Are there any products that are particularly helpful or unhelpful when it comes to motor development in babies?

Check out the episode in the Listen tab or through any good Podcast App.

To find out more from Nicole she’s at:

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Photo by @twoheartsoneroof