Milestones Schmilestones

12:01 PM

Last week I wrote about the milestones that my little ladies have been achieving.  According to our doctor, they are far ahead of where they should be.  I thought it would be beneficial to compile some information about milestones so that no one would be confused, considering there are different achievements for different ages and according to birth stories.

My twins were born 8 weeks premature.  Therefore, their milestones fall on a different scale than full-term babes.  Now, I've always been a watcher.  When we had a scale, I was on it every day.  When I was pregnant with Jane and Emma, I was on TheBump.com every week comparing the babies to fruits and veggies.  So when I was told that their milestones will lag behind those of a full-term baby, I threw my hands up in despair!  I no longer watch for milestones.  Here's why.

Emma comforting Jane the night before her surgery.
Each and every baby is an individual.  Each baby has 2 different individuals for parents.  Each parent has individual grandparents, different caregivers, etc.  What your baby does relies on how you treat and care for him or her. 

For example, according to the adjusted age chart, Jane and Emma, at 4 weeks adjusted (aka 12 weeks for my girls), should be able to look at a toy when you put it in front of their faces; make a face in response to sound; have their heads sag forward when sitting; clench their hands when you touch them; vaguely acknowledge you; stare at surroundings, but not really notice them; and stop and look back at someone who is looking at them.

According to BabyCenter.com, full-term babies that are 3 months old should smile at you; imitate your expressions; babble at you; lift their heads and chest when on their bellies; shake toys; swat at dangling objects; push down with legs when you hold them in standing position; closely track objects that are interesting to them; focus intently on faces; and recognize you from across the room. 

Hershey and I are very good at reading to the girls, talking to the girls, and walking them around to socialize.  They have tummy time daily, and I hold them upright most of the time so that they can practice holding up their heads.  We hold toys up for them, offer them pacifiers, and speak to them in adult tones (instead of baby babble).  With all of that, the girls are closer to the adjusted 8 week and even almost normal 12 week milestones! 

Jane and Emma, recognizing me and smiling away!
 I think that parents should review milestones, and then throw them out the window.  Regard your baby as an individual, and follow his or her cues when it comes to actions and interactions.  Exercise is of utmost importance, for the mind, body, and soul.  They need to practice holding their heads up just as much as they need to practice socializing with people other than you and your spouse!  If you look at the 3 month milestone of SMILING, and your LO is not smiling, then it may be cause for concern, and worth mentioning to your practitioner.  Otherwise, follow your parental instincts and help your babe do whatever it is he or she wants to do.  

Jane is smaller than average, and she had some setbacks from birth, but today she lays on her belly and grunts and moans and squeals and then against all odds, she picks her head STRAIGHT UP and stares you dead in the eyes, holding her head up for 10-30 seconds before smashing it back down on your chest and starting over again.

Jane picking her head up at 10 weeks
Listen to your baby.  They know what's up.

Have a great weekend!  Happy twinning!

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