Children develop at their own unique pace, determined by the interaction of genes and environment, so some may sit and crawl relatively early, while others have earlier manual dexterity.
There is a broad range of what is considered normal development, and these developmental milestones act as a general guide to how your child is developing.
Most parents fret at one time or another about whether their child is on track; other children at playgroup might be more skilled at colouring, or comparisons are made with older siblings who started to walk earlier.
Usually there is nothing to worry about and children soon catch up. However, if there is a developmental concern, identifying this early on is important, as early intervention can be hugely beneficial.
It’s worth familiarising yourself with the usual pace of development, charted in this milestones guide, so that you can keep a general check on your toddler’s progress.
Children’s development is often down to their own personality. So, if your child is a keen explorer, she may develop motor skills relatively quickly, while another child may be busy working on language and communication skills, and spending less time concentrating on mobility.
In these cases missing a milestone shouldn’t alarm parents as the child is clearly making progress in other areas.
However, if a child is consistently missing milestones across several areas, or is especially late in one area, then it’s worth seeking advice. Talk to your doctor or paediatrician who can observe your child’s development and seek a referral if there is a cause for concern.