It’s 9:00 in the morning, and you’re just settling into the morning. Your coffee is warm, the music is humming in the background, and your sweet baby boy is sitting on the floor next to you.
Or should I say, he sits for about 5 seconds, tips over, and then you steady him back up again. And again. And again. He’s happy and smiling, and you’re both having a great time. He tires of it eventually, so you lay him on his play mat and pick up your phone.
A quick scroll through Instagram shows you some videos of your cousin’s daughter who’s a few weeks younger than your son. Her baby is…
- Sitting up with ease and for much longer than 5 seconds.
- Rolling over from her belly to her back.
- Cooing and laughing up a storm.
Your stomach sinks. My son doesn’t do any of that, you think. Should I be worried?
Baby Boys vs. Baby Girls
What’s the Developmental Deal?
I’ll spare you the agony, boy moms: You probably don’t have anything to worry about.
All kids develop at different speeds.
As a mom of 4 kids myself, I have observed this up close. My own baby boy is currently bringing up the rear, and after having had two girls and then another boy before him, I can attest to the fact that while there are general guidelines and milestone goals, all kids meet them at different paces.
As far as boys vs. girls go, there aren’t any hard and fast rules, but there are some trends your doctor will be using to keep an eye on things. You can learn more of these in the Milestone Marker eBook Series. (Her research is cited at the end of the eBook if you want to dive in even more!)
Go Boys! Skills That Boys Typically Rock Out Early
Here are the developmental milestones that (it seems) boys typically reach before girls.
- Tracking moving objects with their eyes
- Understanding where objects go when they can’t see them (peek-a-boo under the blanket, or roll a ball under the table, and it will come out the other side)
- Are drawn to crowds of faces
- Prefer watching mechanical moving objects over moving people
- Will squirm and wiggle earlier than girls
- Express less fear than girls, aren’t as easily startled
- Tend to be more fearless in exploring new toys and experiences
Go Girls! Skills that Girls Typically Conquer First
Science tells us that there are physiological differences between the brains of the genders. This obviously doesn’t make one better than the other. It makes them different! And you can help your anxiety level by letting those changes happen at their own rate.
- Holding themselves up
- Picking up and holding small objects (fine motor skills)
- Will focus on a single face faster
- Will respond faster to voices
- Will understand facial expressions at an earlier age
- Are more easily startled
- Will mimic others faster than boys
- Will use utensils sooner
- Will self soothe quicker than boy
Eventually these even out, of course, but in the beginning, it’s easy to feel like your son is “behind” or “delayed” when perhaps he’s just not your daughter.
Yes, there are times when delays have to be carefully monitored, but let the doctor worry about that right now. Your pediatrician will let you know when it’s time to be concerned. In the meantime, your job is to track things so when you sit down for your appointment, you’ve got all the facts there ready to present.
Baby Boy Development:
Trackers to Share With Your Doctor
Heather has created not one, but two amazing resources to kick your anxiety to the curb.
The Growth Tracker teaches you the physical milestones you’re going to want to follow, and provides all the worksheets you need to keep an eye on them.
The Memory Tracker teaches you the social, emotional, and language milestones your baby is going to be tackling this year, and everything you need to help him practice those skills as often as possible.
Here’s a taste of what you’ll find inside.
- 5 Worksheets full of the social, physical, emotional, and language milestones your baby boy will be working on.
- Activities and suggestions for games to play together.
- Space to capture memories as he tackles these milestones, so you can write them in his “official” book later.
- How to spot a developmental delay (like autism) and what to do if you suspect he may need a specialist’s help.
- What Stewie Griffin can teach you about your son’s growth.
- The growth goals your doctor will be looking for (and the worksheets to make sure he gets there!)
- And other helpful tracking tools.
The Milestone Marker eBook Series is easy-to-read, beautifully formatted, and, personally, made me feel better about the fact that my 6-month-old baby boy isn’t rolling over from his back to his belly quite yet.
Let’s Stop the Comparison Game
Stop worrying about your cousin’s kid.
She’ll develop at her own speed, and your handsome little guy will develop at his.
Is it important to pay attention to developmental milestones and general grown patterns? Yes, of course. But only as far as it relates to your own children.
And now, with the help of your new Milestone Marker Series, you’ll have a better idea of what exactly you should be looking for.
So, go ahead and resume your regularly scheduled morning before your coffee gets cold.
That baby boy won’t be a baby forever!
Have You Read These Yet?
- How to Make Homemade Baby Food in 15 Minutes or Less
- Everything a New Mama Warrior Needs to Know About Baby Care
- The Best Brain-Boosting Baby Toys: a Buying Guide for Parents
- You Need to Try These Surprisingly Fun Newborn Activities
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Molly is the mom of three kids under the age of four and the wife of a busy (and extremely handsome) resident doctor. Mostly though, she’s a particularly average person just trying to live each day well. She spends most of her days perfecting the messy bun, drinking all the coffee, and observing every piece of beauty she can find in the mundane. Read more about Molly in her full bio here.