Having a baby and knowing how much or little they learn over the next few years will be, for the most part, down to you as parents, and it can feel a huge responsibility and worry for some. 

Your best friends baby may be rolling before yours does, apparently your brothers baby could say ‘dada’ at 5 months and you are sat there worrying that your baby isn’t doing those things yet!

People will tell you not to compare your baby to friends’ babies but it is only natural to do this- particularly if the babies are of similar ages.

One of the biggest pieces of advice I always give new parents is that all babies are very individual, even among siblings and twins!

There is a huge developmental range for rolling, crawling, chewing lumpy food and talking among other physical milestones. Just because your baby hasn’t done one of these new things as quickly as your friends or relatives baby, that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with her or that she will never do it.

To a certain extent you as a parent, have to trust your instinct as to whether they seem to be developing normally or not.

Unless your baby has a diagnosed special need or you are worried that she possibly does have one,that may hinder her development, (which you should speak to your doctor, health visitor, or paediatrician about), then all babies will develop and hit their milestones at their own rate.

So what if your 12 month old still refuses lumps and gags and vomits if you try? Relax and allow her the benefit of smoother food and purées if it means she actually eats something! Have you ever met a 3yr old at nursery who still needs their food puréed?

It doesn’t matter if your baby still prefers to crawl at 14 months rather than let go and attempt those first wobbly steps, as she cruises around the furniture-crawling is faster right? She can get to the places she wants to safely and quickly using a method she is used to. I’ve never met a 2 year old who wasn’t walking!

If your baby develops into a toddler and doesn’t seem to be repeating many words but understands most of what you say to her and can follow simple instructions, then language you understand will come eventually, even if most of what she vocalises now is not recognise-able.

As a parent the biggest thing you can do to encourage the milestones is have fun with your baby. Play with her, sing with her, talk to her constantly about anything and everything. She may not understand what you say initially but she will enjoy hearing the sound of your voice.

Books and songs are a great way to teach her to vocalise-babies and children learn by mimicking things they have seen. If you show her things and keep repeating them in a fun, happy environment she will soon try to do the same.