Two thirds of British mums feel under pressure to ensure their child reaches certain milestones ‘on time’, it emerged yesterday.
The study of 2,000 mums examined the average rate of progression for British children who first eat solids at seven months, crawl at 9 months, use a knife and fork at four and a half years and tie their own shoe laces by age five.
Results unearthed the extent of worry mum goes through when it comes to her child’s development and found the average British child is potty trained by age three, can walk by 13 months and rides a bike by the time they are five.
The milestone report, which was commissioned by Munchkin, the international baby products brand who’s strapline is ‘It’s the Little Things’ revealed six in ten mums keep one eye on specific timescales amid their child’s development from a very early age.
Most children kick their dummies away by age two and a half, drink from a beaker at 11 months and catch a ball first at the age of three.
Yesterday Marketing Director EMEA for Munchkin, Matthew Wilson said: ”The results show mums are very aware of how their child is progressing but sometimes this leads to them placing a lot of pressure on themselves.
‘’Sometimes it’s easy to place too much emphasis on targets or judge your own child on the basis of other people’s. What is important is providing parents with the tools they need to help their child in developing at their own pace.’’
Eight in ten mums feel strongly that children should be allowed to develop at their own pace.
But, for two thirds of mums, the reality is that they feel under pressure to ensure their child is able to do things by a certain age.
If their child is yet to develop a certain skill, a mum is willing to wait six months on average for the child to get there themselves before starting to worry that there’s a problem with their development.
Four in ten feel other mums judge them on how their child is progressing and the same number talk to other mothers about child progression at least once a week.
The biggest influence on a mother’s expectations of her child were found to be strongly influenced by how other children of the same age are progressing.
In fact, one in six mums has taken their child to the doctors because they were worried they weren’t developing a certain skill fast enough, while one quarter have spoken with a teacher because they were concerned.
One in five parents admitted they judge their child on the basis of how and when they completed certain milestones.
But 55 per cent get defensive with other parents if their child is a little behind when it comes to a certain skill, while one in six have even pretended their child could do something they hadn’t yet done.
An overwhelming eight in ten feel other mums have a tendency to brag about their child’s achievements – while sixty per cent admitted they are guilty of being a bit boastful themselves.
And child development can prove tricky even between partners – four in ten mums have had disagreements with their husbands over their child’s progression and whether it was on track.
Matthew Wilson added: “There are no right or wrong times to achieve things but the results of the survey averages show that most milestones occur within a similar timeframe.
“Having the right tools, accessories and support network can help to alleviate the pressures mums put on themselves when it comes to their children’s development. Small changes like making meal times that little bit easier or not worrying about mess and spillages can give mum a breather and allow them to encourage their children.”
Most importantly, enjoy all the milestones along the way and share each one with your baby. There is nothing more fulfilling than watching your little one develop and grow.”
First laugh – 4 months
Having solids for the first time – 7 months
Sitting up unaided – 8 months
Holding a bottle themselves – 8 months
Crawling – 9 months
Feed themselves – 11 months
Drinking from a beaker – 11 months
First word – 11 months
Learned to walk – 13 months
Drinking from a cup – 14 months
Count to ten – 21 months
Kick a ball – 18 months
Getting rid of the dummy – 2 ½ years
Use the toilet – 2 ¾ years
Catch a ball – 3 years
Learn colours – 3 ½ years
Ride a bike with stabilisers – 3 ¾ years
Read their first word – 4 years
Dress themselves – 4 years
Know days of the week – 4 ½ years
Use a knife and fork – 4 ½ years
Tie shoe laces – 5 years
Tell the time – 5 years
Ride a bike without stabilisers – 5 years
Know months of the year – 5 years
Cross the road safely – 5 ½ years
Make a drink themselves – 5 ½ years
For more information please visit their website: www.munchkin.com