At some point, all parents compare what their children do against what their cousins' or their friends' children do. "Competitive parenting" ― it makes us all feel a little nutty―and it's very hard to stop.
Are we worrying too much? Too little? What is enough of a reason to worry? Trust your instincts. You know your child best.
If you note that your child is not developing like other children or something just seems off, it is important to talk with a trusted source.
Reassuring Developmental Milestones for Infants & Toddlers
In her book,
Mama Doc Medicine: Finding Calm and Confidence in Parenting, Child Health, and Work-Life Balance, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson lists the following as signs that your child is developing great communication skills on time:
Responds to her name between 9 and 12 months of age
Smiles by 2 months of age; laughs and giggles around 4 to 5 months; expresses with eye contact and smiles or laughter to your humor around 6 months
Plays and thinks peek-a-boo is funny around 9 months of age. Share enjoyment with you during this game
Makes eye contact with people during infancy
Tries to say words you say between 12 and 18 months of age
Uses 5 words by 18 months of age
Copies your gestures like pointing, clapping, or waving
Imitates you, i.e., pretends to stir a bowl of pancake mix when you give him a spoon and bowl or pretends to talk on the phone with a play cell phone
Shakes head "no"
Waves bye-bye by 15 months of age
Points to show you something interesting or to get your attention by 18 months of age
Editor's Note: Children with ASD may have other medical problems that may need further evaluation and treatment. These may include seizures, problems with sleep, gastrointestinal problems (feeding problems, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and behavioral health problems (such as anxiety, ADHD, irritability, and aggression).