Block Sorter: How Important Are All Those Baby Milestones?

Do those baby milestones emails and articles ever make you suddenly panicked that your baby isn't progressing like he should?
My son turned six months this week, and he is going strong. He’s rolling over both ways, sitting up on his own for long periods of time, playing and interacting with toys (and people), and his hand-eye coordination is getting better every day. (His hands move around at light speed these days! It’s hard to make sure he’s not eating everything he picks up.) He also has seven teeth (but that’s a topic for another day).So when I recently received an email of baby milestones in my inbox, I opened it feeling confident. Then I read this statement, “Your son/daughter might be able to sort blocks.” What? Huh? Sort blocks? At six months? I thought it was good if they could even pick up the blocks at this age–let alone sort them.

Thoughts immediately started racing through my mind–Am I not giving him enough floor time? Is daycare giving him an adequate amount of tummy time? If he had more floor or tummy time, could he sort blocks?

Silly, I know.

Then my thoughts slowed down and I reminded myself that every baby is different, and these emails aren’t supposed to make me feel bad. Just set expectations. But sometimes they do make me feel bad. I feel like they also can potentially set up a sort of competition between moms–“My son rolled over at two months.”; “Well, my daughter crawled at six months”; “My daughter walked at eight months!” Instead of comparing, measuring, weighing and worrying, we should all sit back, relax, and be happy we have healthy, well-adjusted youngsters. And let them develop at their own pace.

So now I’m not going to open those milestone emails anymore. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I will.

5 thoughts on “Block Sorter: How Important Are All Those Baby Milestones?

  1. Oh, man. That mom competition thing is poisonous. Right now, my fellow moms of two-and-a-half-year-olds are all looking sideways at each other going, “Your kid knows all his ABCs, in German and English? Well mine is almost completely potty trained.” In a nice way, of course, but you can just sense the comparisons being made. Bleah. I’m sure it will only get worse when they’re in school. “My Johnny sings opera.” “Well Susie is the only third grader taking College-Prep Chem.”

    But sort blocks? Nah. I don’t think babies start sorting blocks until they’re one or so…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes I think of these competitive attitudes and I wonder: would the same people be so proud if their son or daughter became a parent at an early age? Can you imagine somebody proudly saying “My son became a father at 12!” It’s a great way to keep everything in perspective.

    In the mean time, I’m happy that my son does what he does: smile at everybody including our cats, and insist on standing while not seeming to care a bit for rolling over or crawling. He’ll do it when he wants to.

    My Jon E might accidentally get a block in the right slot, just as he accidentally gets his pacifier in his mouth the right way from time to time. True, he is trying to get the pacifier in his mouth on purpose, but pushing kids too hard can really back fire and hurt them, as my parents found out with my siblings and I.

  3. Jeez, my kid was sorting blocks, like, before she was born. But I guess they all develop differently, huh?

    Just kidding, T. The only thing my mom remembers is that I could read and write way before kindergarten. That’s her favorite fact about my childhood. But as for when I rolled over, crawled, talked, walked, etc., it’s all a blur.

    I figure the same will be for us. So why do we care so much now? Only because we love our babies and want them to be perfect. And guess what? They totally are.

  4. Man, I feel bad that my 4-year old has trouble identifing letters. I try not to get frustrated when I hold up the letter B and he says it’s the number 13. You’re way off kid.

    But, then he’s really good at putting puzzles together. So, I guess kids just master things at different speeds.

  5. Tela, I totally thought you your post today when I got my 5-month baby email. The “baby activity” suggestion was a game to teach object permanence, called “Where’s my Cookie?”

    At 5 months old, I’ll tell you where my baby’s cookie is: on the shelf in some supermarket with the rest of the foods she won’t eat for another handful of months!!

    Perhaps “Where’s my Bottle” would have been more appropriate. Or maybe the author of the article was really boasting that her child was born with a mouth full of pearlies and was sitting at the dinner table at 2 months old…

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