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Milestones: assessing your child’s progression

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Ever wondered why a child takes those first few months to start smiling yet can recognise parents within the first few days? Or why a child walks independently but takes quite a while to start climbing stairs? You must have noticed your physician carrying out a thorough examination of your child’s development at regular intervals. This development review by a professional is done to assess a child’s milestone progression.

What is a milestone?

Milestones or developmental milestones range anywhere from your little one smiling to being able to dress on their own. It is a set of behaviours and skills exhibited by children as they grow. These skills develop over time, and you will notice it differs for each child as well. In most cases, children develop skills in a predictable pattern, but it is important to remember that every child follows a unique pace and there is usually no reason to worry or rush them unless a physician or professional says so.

Why are developmental milestones important?

Developmental milestones serve as a checklist. They represent what a child can do around a particular age. By looking at the different milestones, parents, doctors, and teachers are better able to understand how children typically develop and watch for any potential problems as early as possible and tackle them accordingly.

What are the different kinds of milestones?

Physical milestones

These are divided into large/gross motor and small/fine motor skills. Large motor skills are usually the first to develop and include actions such as – rolling over, crawling, sitting up and standing. Fine motor skills take a comparatively longer time and include actions such as – holding a pencil, grasping things with either one or both hands and picking up objects.

 Cognitive milestones

This set of milestones determines a child’s ability to solve problems, think on their own, learn as well as be able to retain what they have learnt. Some examples of cognitive milestones are – identify objects, point to already known objects, follow simple one-step commands and scribbling.

Social milestones

Social milestones start right from birth and develop especially rapidly after the first year. These milestones help you understand your child better as you watch them react to certain people and things. Some of the most common ones include – handing toys over to peers during play, temper tantrums, fear of strangers, affection with familiar people or clinging to a familiar adult in new situations.

Communication milestones

Communication milestones include a child’s ability to hear, understand as well as speak. Parents, teachers, and caregivers play a key role in enhancing this development. Common communication milestones include cooing, recognising, and smiling when spoken to, blabbering words and eventually being able to string full sentences together.

Developmental monitoring vs developmental screening

Developmental monitoring observes how your child grows and changes over time and whether your child meets the typical developmental milestones in playing, learning, speaking, behaving, and moving. If you notice that your child is not meeting milestones, talk with your doctor about your concerns. A missed milestone could be a sign of a problem, so the doctor or another specialist will take a closer look by using a more thorough test or exam.

Developmental screening takes a closer look at how your child is developing. Your child will get a brief test, or you will complete a questionnaire about your child. Your child should be screened if you or your doctor have a concern. However, developmental screening is a regular part of some of the well-child visits for all children even if there is not a known concern.

How Nurturey PinkBook can help you track milestones and more

Nurturey PinkBook is the smartest digital upgrade for the NHS paper red book. Aimed at parents with young children and pregnant women, Nurturey’s intuitive tools help you navigate the journey of your child’s health and your pregnancy while feeling supported, informed, and empowered.

Here is how we can help you track the accomplishment of your child’s key developmental milestones –

  1. The Milestone Tool consists of a wide yet specific range of milestones of all four kinds. It helps parents update achieved milestones as well as prepares them for what might be coming next depending on the child’s age.
    For instance, when your child starts crawling once it has been updated in the PinkBook, you will receive notifications and reminders to further encourage crawling as well as to baby proof your home accordingly.
    Once a certain amount of time has passed and your child is closer to the next milestone i.e. cruising/standing without support, you will receive guidance on baby walkers.
    Similarly, we have built a structured algorithm to ensure parents can closely track the progress of each milestone and receive relevant information.
  2. Popular features such as NHS Library (directly from the NHS), Pointers and FAQ are parental guidance such as articles, listicles and videos that are sent to parents, relevant to the stage of their parenting journey.

As a leading supplier of the Digital Personal Child Health Record (DPCHR) program, we are constantly building and innovating to the needs of children, parents and the NHS paper red book. PinkBook’s child health tools that have been built to adapt the NHS paper red book, and help parents track important child health and development parameters.

PinkBook tools such as Vaccinations, Measurements, and Dental Health support parents to be on top of their child’s health needs whereas tools such as Pregnancy Health Card, Prenatal Tests, Kick Counter, NHS Weekly Pregnancy Guidance help support and empower women during their pregnancy journey

You can access your pregnancy and your child’s health records anywhere and anytime. You can book appointments and communicate with your GP via messages, receive reminders about upcoming health events and receive trusted parental guidance directly from the NHS systems, helping you make informed decisions.

All these tools and more make up the Nurturey PinkBook – a smart, insightful, intuitive digital version of the paper red book.

It’s like Red, only better.

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About Author

Anisha Sodhi is a General Physician with a Bachelors Degree in Medicine and Surgery (MBBS). Her main takeaway from the degree was how important communication is as people tend to get easily overwhelmed and confused while visiting doctors. Joining Team Nurturey gave her the chance to do exactly that because nobody requires as much reassurance and support as parents to be or parents.

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