My Little One Is Not Spoiled, He Is Just Growing Up
This post is made possible with support from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program. All opinions are my own.
My little one recently turned one year old and is growing more independent with each passing day. It seems every day he is ready to venture out in a new way. He often walks away from me without even thinking of looking back, especially in places that he is familiar with like the gym where my older kids take gymnastics, or the dance studio. It’s so exciting to see him growing and becoming more independent but also sad because this is my last baby.
At home, he freely roams the house attempting to break into all the child locks and safety gates, and he will come back to me periodically to ensure that I am still available to him when he needs me. If he is fed, has a clean diaper and is not tired, he is happy to play on his own rummaging through the cabinets, pulling toys from baskets and trying to sneak in the bathroom to play in the toilet.
Recently, we took a trip to visit family that had not met him yet, and I was excited for my cousins and aunts and uncles to get a chance to hold him and play with him. But he was having none of it. We were around unfamiliar people and in unfamiliar places, and he clung to me almost the entire time as if his life depended on it.
The minute he even thought I was going to leave his sight he would erupt into tears. The moments I did manage to sneak away from his vigilant gaze, it was mere seconds before he realized I wasn’t near him and I could see the panic set in as his eyes darted around in search of me. Even if he was willing to go to one of my family members it was only for a few minutes, and I had to stay within arm’s reach of him. He would glance them over and maybe give them a high-five before he practically dove back to the safety of my arms.
To be honest, it was exhausting, my back ached from constantly having to hold him on my hip and my left arm was sore from holding his weight. I was also tired of hearing family members say… ”It’s because you spoil him,” or “You hold him too much,” or “Put that boy down. He is big enough to walk.”
It is easy to fall prey to these kinds of comments and begin to think that my kid is exhibiting abnormal behavior, especially when they come from people who I respect such as family elders. But the truth is my little one is not spoiled, he is just growing up. You see, being shy or nervous around strangers and crying when mom or dad leaves are both indicators that my one year old is actually meeting his social and emotional developmental milestones. So, I can confidently ignore those comments and know that my kid is doing exactly what he should be doing.
As a mom of 4, I have become quite familiar with looking out for my children’s’ milestones to ensure that their developmental progress is on track. But not everyone is armed with this information. The CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program is promoting awareness of developmental milestones and encouraging parents to learn more about their child’s early development. Be sure to visit the CDC website where you can find a ton of resources such as a FREE “Parent Kit” that includes a Milestone Moments booklet, Milestones in Action video and image library and Tip sheets that can help if you are concerned about your child’s development.
The CDC also has a new app, CDC’s Milestone Tracker, and you can download it for iOS and Android to check milestones on the go: http://bit.ly/2xT1LUN
What developmental milestone is your little one experiencing, and if your kiddo is pass this stage what milestone do you remember the most? Leave your comments below.