Every parent wonders if their child’s develop is “normal”…at least with their first child. (It’s a bit of an uncertainty with any subsequent children.) Our pediatrician provides us with informational sheets at each appointment, and those are helpful. The worry between appointments though required multiple calls to the nurse at the pediatricians office, the lactation consultant at the hospital, and the dermatologist at big Mercy. (With the first child, of course.)
In an effort to help parents gauge their child’s milestones and eliminate some of the worry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed an app for tracking milestones for children birth to age 5. (I’m almost certain that milestones for teenagers are tracked through snarky comments, and this app doesn’t cover that.) The app is called CDC Milestone Tracker, is free, and is available for Apple and Android devices. I tried it out, and it is very simple to use.
It asks simple information about your child; age, gender, and name. Then, you go through a checklist of milestones for each child that you added. The questions are simple and illustrated to avoid confusion.
After answering the milestone questions, the app provides information about activities that might help with your child’s development. These are pretty simple and are designed to be easy to implement. The app also provides a summary that you can email to your pediatrician or talk about when you go in for an appointment.
Overall, it is a good tool to assess developmentally appropriate milestones based on your child’s age. Use it as needed but with a good deal of common sense. For example, my three year old has a hard time remembering that she is three because her birthday was just over a month ago. She had delays in speech, so the fact that she’s talking and says she is “two” is a win for me. The app though suggests that I speak with her pediatrician about her inability to say her name, age, and gender. That’s not a concern for me though.
Like the app says, parents know their children better than just about anybody. This app might just eliminate some worry and help you find out what really requires a more thorough assessment.