Grab the camera! Witnessing one of your baby's major development milestones like rolling, sitting and walking is an incredibly exciting and proud moment. But many of us also feel relief: Circle of Moms conversations reveal a lot of nervous concern over whether our particular child is developing normally. Read on to get some in-the-trenches insights into the real range of development patterns for three of Baby's early developmental milestones.
As mother and pediatric physical therapist Kendra G. shares, babies generally start rolling at 3–7 months: "My son rolled over around 3 months, but many babies don't roll until 6 months or later and that is totally normal...They almost always learn to roll tummy to back first. Just make sure you are giving the baby lots of tummy time so he/she has an opportunity to learn."
Kendra's not the only mom who suggests increasing tummy time to encourage your child to begin rolling. As Angie B., a mother of one son, shared: "He wasn't really all that interested…until we started giving him a significant amount of tummy time during the day. His arms got stronger fast and he started rolling around like crazy!"
After mastering the tummy-to-back direction, Jane M., a mother of three children, recommended the opposite of "tummy time": "Try putting her on her back during the day so she can practice and master rolling back over or onto her side."
Babies begin sitting with and then without assistance at varying times, as Australian mom Renae K. explained: "Normal range for sitting unassisted is five to nine months." Dawn S.'s only child, for example, began sitting relatively early: "My daughter has been sitting up perfectly since she was five months old." In contrast, English mom Gemma R.'s children fell on the other end of the spectrum: "None of my four children sat up unaided before they were 9 months."
Don't be alarmed if your child shows little interest in sitting; some children simply prefer moving around. As Olivia J., a mother of two in Philadelphia, related, "My son can crawl and stand up holding onto furniture. He can barely sit though...He shows no interest in sitting and would rather be crawling."
Children may begin walking at anywhere from 8–18 months. Alison M., a mother of three children, outlined the general time frames: "Average walking time is 11–15 months, with 8–18 months being 'normal.'" Many children, including Kelly F.'s only son, begin walking by holding onto furniture, or by walking behind a push toy: "He pulls himself up while holding onto furniture and walks along the furniture or while playing with his lion push toy."
Children can also skip intermediary steps, as Melbourne mom Anita R. explained: "Some babies skip the in-betweens like crawling or walking with support and just get up and walk." Nerman E. witnessed that phenomenon first-hand: "My first son sat until he was 14 months old...didn't want to crawl or anything. Then one day he got up and walked to the kitchen. You can imagine my amazement."
The Bottom Line on Milestones
Above all, relax! As Karen B. wisely advises, your baby will reach each milestone at her own pace: "Babies/children are wonderfully unique and will reach milestones when the time is right for them."
Looking for more information on developmental milestones?
With communities on everything from babies and infants to children with developmental delays, Circle of Moms is a great place to discuss important moments and milestones in your baby's life. Try joining the community based on your child's month and year of birth to connect with moms currently going through the same challenges and exciting developments. And If you haven't already, record your child's milestones on his or her Child Page and share your wonderful news with friends and family.