The old adage that “Babies don’t come with instruction manuals!” is so true. And it can be just as true for parents with more than one child. Each child is unique, with their very own personality, sleep and eating habits, and growth and development trajectory. Many a parent or caregiver has wished for an on-call adviser with expertise in all things baby. The newly revised Developmental Milestones Checklists and Tracker App from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) might just fill the bill.
From birth to age 5, children usually reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act, and move. Photos and videos in this app illustrate each milestone and make tracking them for children easy and fun!
An important point to keep in mind: A child’s not meeting a certain milestone at the suggested age is not a diagnosis. They can, however, be a useful tool in connecting caregivers to resources that help their child grow. Concerns about how a child is developing should always be relayed to the child’s doctor.
An Anchorage mother of three recently tried out the app with her 2-year-old, and credits understanding the developmental milestones with helping them uncover her child’s special needs early in life:
“We knew from an early age that our youngest wasn’t hitting those big moments – like babbling or playing with us – as fast as our older children. But when the delays started to pile up we began to wonder if there was something bigger going on. By paying close attention to the milestones he was missing, talking with our doctor, and tracking his progress, we were able to get connected with early intervention services and other pediatric therapies quickly.
From there we learned that our child has Autism Spectrum Disorder, something that many families don’t identify until much later in a child’s life. With early intervention and more support now, we know that we are giving him the best chance at development we can. Having a checklist like this right in your phone so parents can be more aware is super helpful.”
Specific information about the Tracker for parents/caregivers:
- Add a Child – add a photo and enter personalized information about your child or multiple children
- Milestone Tracker – track your child’s developmental progress by looking for important milestones using an interactive, illustrated checklist
- Checklists Adjust for Prematurity—updated functionality uses corrected age external icon for babies born prematurely
- Milestone Photos and Videos – know what each milestone looks like so that you can better identify them in your own child
- Tips and Activities – support your child’s development at every age
- When to Act Early – know when it’s time to “act early” and talk with your child’s doctor about developmental concerns
- Appointments – keep track of your child’s doctors’ appointments and get reminders about recommended developmental screenings
- Milestone Summary – get a summary of your child’s milestones to view, and share with or email to your child’s doctor and other important care providers