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Milestone Anxiety

Each child develops at his or her own pace. It's easy to say, but a surprising number of parents don't believe it when it comes to their own children. For example, if your child hasn't started crawling by a certain age, do you become worried and anxious, or even feel like you're a bad parent? Don't! Your baby is probably fine. Your pediatrician can help put your mind at ease if the worry continues.

What Is Milestone Anxiety?

Milestone anxiety is worry and fear about your child not reaching milestones on time. Unless you're the parent of one of those rare babies that always overachieves in all categories, chances are you've experienced a least a little milestone anxiety at some point. While this is probably more common in first-time parents, even seasoned parents can get a bit worried at times. But if you're not careful, milestone anxiety can get out of hand, interfering with your ability to enjoy your baby and causing you to try to rush your child's development too quickly.
 

What Triggers It?

Milestone anxiety is often triggered by an upcoming doctor's appointment for your child. For instance, perhaps your child is nearly nine months old but is not yet crawling. You know your doctor will ask you about crawling, and you're dreading having to answer that question honestly. Maybe you fear that something may be seriously wrong, or perhaps you're confident that everything is fine but fear the tests and referrals your doctor might suggest.
 
Play dates are another common source for milestone anxieties. Seeing other children the same age as yours (or younger) accomplishing things your child cannot yet do may leave you worried. Similarly, baby development e-mails, which tell you what your baby should be doing at each stage, can create some anxiety.
 
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