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Must. Reach. Toy. MONTH 7 WEEK 2

Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board

Annnnnd, we’re off! If your baby is crawling, you know it’s now a whole new world. For everyone.

Whether baby’s M.O. is Army-style on her elbows, a slithery belly crawl, or ape-like on hands and feet, she is now probably able to get from point A to point B – and she’s proud as a peacock!

Co-existing with your new, mobile human definitely requires extra vigilance. By now you’ve baby proofed, but you’ll still need to rethink some routines now that baby’s on the go.  No longer can she just hang out on the activity mat while you shower; use the bouncer seat, which keeps baby strapped in securely, or consider a play-yard AKA baby-jail, or one of those large gates to section off a portion of a room where baby can roam safely within an enclosed area. And though we love a darling baby frock as much as anyone, put her in pants for awhile. Those knees may be chubby but they provide only so much padding.

Crawling is a big milestone, and we’re going to go out on a limb here and guess that one thing you may be doing right around now is comparing. In one way or another. We’ve been there (boy, have we), and we’d bet there isn’t a parent out there who hasn’t compared her baby’s progress to others’. Let’s get it all out in the open, shall we?

First and foremost, if you’re concerned that your baby is missing big developmental milestones, talk to your pediatrician.  

And.

We can say from our collective experience raising kids (and each of us raising our own multiple kids similarly) that babies are just different, and the spectrum of “normal” is vast. Truly. So when a baby reaches any given milestone has no bearing on what’s to come. The baby who crawls at 5 months isn’t necessarily going to be an Olympic athlete – and she may not even turn out to be an athletic kid. Likewise, the baby who’s babbling up a storm at 4.5 months and seems destined to talk early isn’t necessarily Harvard-bound – nor does she necessarily turn out to be a particularly verbal toddler. And if your baby isn’t sleeping through the night yet like some of the others in your playgroup, that’s not bad (except for the fact that you’re really $%^& tired).

So if you catch yourself wishing that your baby would sit up sooner or roll over faster, press pause for a sec and ask yourself why. There’s no trophy for being first. Babies’ varying timelines may feel significant now, but it’ll all come out in the wash. Try not to let the parenting experience be marred by your competitive spirit. Save that stuff for your Bachelor betting pools.