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Pediatrician Goes Viral After Sharing These "Secret" Baby Milestones

Get a dose of humor and practical advice from Dr. Sami, as she shares her insights into some of baby's unacknowledged milestones.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published April 14, 2023
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Image: Samuel Borges Photography | Shutterstock

Childhood milestones are a big concern for many parents, and while some are well-known, like your child should be rolling over at 4 months or babbling at 6, there’s a whole host of “nontraditional” milestones that often go unnoticed.

Dr. Sami, a TikTok mom and pediatrician @thepedipals, has gone viral for sharing some of these “secret” milestones that parents can take note of as their kids grow. From hiccups to headshaking, it can be comforting to know that many of baby’s sometimes strange behaviors are normal and something that parents across the board are dealing with.

For example, when it comes to newborns, Sami explains that a lot of hiccupping is “totally normal.” Another common newborn milestone—screaming for everything. “They scream bloody murder for everything, right? It doesn’t matter if they’re hungry, if they’re wet, if they’re bored. It’s always just like one setting, and it’s like, ‘I’m dying,’” Dr. Sami joked.

“Four months is that stage where they’re super cute and smiling all the time but they also grab your hair and won’t let go. And you’re literally bald because of it, because they just pull all your hair out,” Dr. Sami says. “Between six to nine months they start to do weird things that you’re like, ‘Is that normal?’ They start to shake their head all the time or maybe they start to stick their tongue out a little bit? Totally normal. Milestone.”

“A lot of people think temper tantrums start when they’re like two and up. But, honestly, they start between 12 and 15 months. That’s a milestone,” she says. “Also around 15 to 18 months they all totally try to kill themselves every day. That’s totally a milestone.”

Dr. Sami reminds parents that milestones function more as a suggestive guideline and aren’t a one-size-fits-all approach. “You know how milestones work. They kind of all go and develop at their own rate. Then some of ‘em kind of skip over milestones. That’s OK,” Sami adds.

Sami emphasizes that tracking your baby’s development should not be a source of anxiety, but rather an ongoing and confidential conversation with your pediatrician. Parents shouldn’t feel obligated to share their child’s milestones with friends. By keeping this topic private, parents can avoid unnecessary worry about their child’s progress and avoid feeling like their child is “weird” or “behind.” Ultimately, the focus should be on supporting and encouraging your child’s growth and development, milestone by milestone.

Learn more about traditional developmental milestones and what to do if baby’s a little off schedule here.

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