Busted: 10 child-care milestone myths debunked

There are several myths about what milestones are and which ones you should be paying attention to, as well as when to be concerned about your child’s development. Here are 10 myths that we are busting about milestones, so you don’t go nuts, and focus on what matters when raising healthy children. 

1) Myth 1: Milestones must be hit by specific ages

This is absolutely not true. Every child develops differently, so there’s no need to panic if your toddler hasn’t started walking by 12 months, for example. 

We notice parents constantly comparing their children with others, and that’s not the right way to make an assessment.  

Instead, pay attention to how she/he interacts with her environment and understand that she is still developing mentally and physically. She’ll walk when she’s ready – don’t worry! 

2) Myth 2: Missing milestones means your child is delayed

This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you are concerned about your child’s developmental progress, talk to a pediatrician and compare their development against what is considered normal for their age. 

3) Myth 3: The same milestones apply to all children

From birth to age 2, every child hits each milestone at his or her own pace. If your baby hits one milestone (like rolling over) later than expected, she probably has already reached other milestones ahead of schedule. 

Don’t stress—your baby will get there soon enough! For example, some babies crawl at 10 months and start walking at 11 or 12 months; others take their time rolling over but start walking much earlier.

4) Myth 4: Put honey on a pacifier to soothe a teething baby 

There is little scientific evidence that honey reduces teething pain, and it can make a baby more prone to developing botulism (food poisoning), which can lead to paralysis. 

In some cases, infants who are less than 12 months old have developed botulism after ingesting raw honey. Please consult a pediatrician who can offer safer ways to pacify your child. 

5) Myth 5: Early intervention prevents delayed development

This is one of those dangerous myths that lead parents to push their children when they aren’t ready. In fact, if you work with a child before they are developmentally ready, it can actually prevent them from ever reaching their potential because you are forcing them down paths they aren’t able to handle yet.

6) Myth 6: Certain developmental problems never get better

For example, one of the most common milestones that parents worry about is their child’s speech delay. Many parents fear that their child will never catch up to other kids his or her age, but with intervention and targeted exercises, a speech delay can actually be resolved. 

7) Babywalkers help babies learn to walk faster

Research shows that babywalkers do not help babies learn to walk. In fact, babywalkers hinder development of gross motor skills and may lead to decreased mobility later in life. By providing a place for babies to move around, they are able to practice their gross motor skills.

8) Myth 8: Feeding formula will affect your child’s development

Feeding a child formula won’t have a negative effect on his/her development. While breast milk is best, it isn’t always possible for mothers to provide it. 

Remember, breastfeeding alone does not ensure that your child will be healthy and well-adjusted; you still need to watch for signs of developmental delays or other issues during regular doctor visits.

9) Myth 9: Classical music can make your baby smarter

According to some studies, classical music can make you smarter and able to solve problems better. While there’s still a lot of research that needs to be done, there isn’t really enough evidence yet to suggest that making your baby listen to classical music makes them smarter. In fact, it might not have any effect at all.

10) Myth 10: If they don’t eat well, it will affect their growth and development

It can be difficult to know when you should be concerned about your child’s nutrition. There are a few different signs that indicate it might be time for you to consider talking with a pediatrician:

  • If your child is eating poorly or losing weight; 
  • if there is any change in appetite; 
  • if there is any change in growth pattern; 
  • if there is any change in behavior or mood; 
  • or if you notice something unusual about how much food they are eating.

Many parents worry about their children not meeting milestones. But before worrying, get the right information. Talk to a pediatrician who will provide you with a thorough assessment of your child’s health, and give the right advice to ensure that your child is receiving high nutrition and growing well. Bust those myths like we just did! Talk to us today.