Unraveling Late Bloomers: Comprehensive Parental Guide to Late Walking and Talking in Infants

girl smiling while lying on grass field at daytime ifM0755GnS0 jpg

An Exploration of Late Language Development

A crucial point to note is that all children progress and develop at varying rates. For instance, Luke Nelson, a toddler from Dartmouth, Massachusetts, displays stellar communication skills through an array of faces and gestures. He comprehends commands, can assert himself, but his verbal communication is sparse.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that an average one-year-old can say at least a single word and learns about a word weekly between the ages of 18 months to 2 years. These figures are, however, averages. Some children meet these language development milestones earlier or later.

What Might Cause Late Language Development?

Language delays, the most potential delay to occur in about 1 in 5 children, are generally not abnormal. Dr. Pamela High, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, asserts that communication is a complex skill involving understanding and speaking, which can develop differently. Understanding typically precedes verbal expression by approximately six months. Toddlers that can follow simple instructions are showing receptive language ability, even if they haven’t developed expressive language yet.

Mitigating Late Language Development

There are several steps parents or caregivers can take to foster a child’s language development. These include engaging in regular conversations with your child, frequently reading books, having them engage with peers (playdates), responding to their words with your words, and indulging in songs and rhymes.

If any concerns about language development arise, discuss them with a healthcare professional who may have helpful insights or resources. It’s also essential to note that family chatter and guessing with what a child wants can limit their language practice opportunities. Encouraging them to express their needs can boost vocabulary development in the long run.

Encountering Late Crawling Development

A child’s disposition can influence when they begin crawling. While some children are curious and restless, some are simply content with their immediate surroundings. The AAP states most babies start to crawl between 7 and 10 months. Some children, however, never crawl, substituting it with other locomotive styles like scooting or slithering.

Mitigating Late Crawling Development

Engagement in tummy time can entice your baby to crawl, strengthening their arm muscles. Encouraging them to move by placing their favorite toy just out of their reach can also promote movement. The CDC suggests such but remember to acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments when they do engage in such actions.

Understanding Late Walking Development

Walking timelines in infants can vary dramatically. Although most children take their first steps holding onto something by 12 months, walking independently is not commonly expected until 18 months. Factors contributing to late walking can be genetically attributed, and some babies, especially heavier ones, might walk late due to their larger weight. Indeed, personality also comes into play here, with some babies being content without moving about.

Mitigating Late Walking Development

Baby walkers are ironically unhelpful in encouraging walking. Research shows they tend to negatively affect locomotive development test scores and can affect a developing child’s gait and posture. Encouraging and applauding your child’s independent locomotive actions can foster progress, offering support and excitement to cultivate their confidence.

When Should Parents Be Worried?

While milestone achievement is significant, avoid undue worry if your child is not hitting these milestones “on time”. However, if any developmental concerns persist, consider discussing these with a healthcare provider who can provide perspective. A second opinion, when unsatisfied with the first, can possibly alleviate anxiety and potentially enable early intervention. Significantly, consider your child’s development as a whole and take pleasure in their overall progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do late bloomers catch up?

Yes, most often late bloomers do catch up to their peers. Each child is unique and develops at their own pace. It’s essential to remember that a delay in a single developmental area does not necessarily mean global developmental delay.

What should I do if my baby is a late walker?

Doctors typically don’t consider a baby a late walker unless they are closer to 18 months with no signs of walking. Encouraging your baby to walk includes engaging them in regular play, giving them a safe environment to explore, and making sure they have suitable footwear when outdoors.

How can I help a late talker?

Start by talking frequently to your child throughout the day. Point out objects and actions and name them. Read to your child daily, encouraging them to point to pictures in the book and call out their names. Songs and nursery rhymes can also facilitate language learning.