HUG Newsletter: Evaluating your baby’s development

“I finally know what I’m doing,” Mom reports.

“I finally know what I’m doing,” Mary reports when she sees her baby’s doctor at her two-month-old check-up. Mary reflects briefly on being a new mother. “There was a BIG learning curve. Every day seemed to last forever, but the weeks just flew by!”

Now Mary feels like an expert about HER baby, who clearly is thriving. Breastfeeding had its challenges, but it’s now going well; both Mom and the doctor are delighted.

Since little Gracie is doing so well, Mary wonders why her baby needs the development assessment she has heard about from a friend.  

The Science: Developmental Assessments to Understand How your Baby is Growing

Along with a physical exam, pediatric providers will administer a developmental assessment of your baby. Developmental assessment are a way to confirm that a child is developing normally in five areas of growth: gross (big muscle) motor control, fine (small muscle) motor control, social interaction, problem-solving (thinking evaluation), and communication (speech evaluation).

Research confirms that doctors miss important developmental issues if they just “eyeball” a kid’s behavior. A structured evaluation is necessary. Two nationally recognized developmental assessments (Ages & Stages and PEDS) are both reliable and valid in the early identification of any developmental concerns. Babies’ brains are incredibly adaptable, and a little help goes a long way. If a development issue is identified, a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or speech therapist can make a big difference in the long-term development of a child.

But, for most parents the developmental assessment is just an enjoyable opportunity to celebrate your baby’s remarkable growth and learning. Parents enjoy seeing that their baby is normal, and also learning “what’s next” in their baby’s development.

An “Ah-Ha” Moment: How The HUG’s  information helps this mother…

Mary is delighted when her baby’s developmental assessment confirms that Gracie is growing and developing well. Her doctor takes time to describe the two-month-old baby as the “Settled-In” baby. Though life is still chaotic at times, it is more predictable than weeks ago! Mary can now “read’ her baby’s cries, and her partner can comfort their (occasionally) fussy baby. This breastfeeding mother has figured out how to leave Grandma with five ounces of breast milk so that Mom can comfortably run a few errands, or go out to a movie with her partner.

© HUG Your Baby 2018