This article is beautiful, and the fact that people are continuing to comment on it sixteen months later really says a lot:
(Cross-posted in the comments.)
*Time to brag* My kid (now four) hit every one of his milestones early. He began rolling onto his tummy at eight weeks, tummy-creeping at ten, began crawls up on hands and knees at 4.5 months, sitting independently at five, took his first steps at eight months, and was able to walk alongside me by the time he was ten months old.
The secret? From the day I brought him home, I KEPT MY KID ON THE FLOOR for as long as he would tolerate. I’m talking five to ten minutes stretches as a newborn, several times a day, which increased to twenty to thirty minute periods by the time he was three months old. By four months, if he wasn’t sleeping, eating, bathing, having his diaper changed, or being transported, he could be found happily playing on the floor.
When my kid fell, he’d first look to me before deciding how to react. I discovered early on that if I kept my cool, he would not cry. To this day, my heart swells with pride whenever I see a “sensitive child” run crying to their mommy over the tiniest bump or fall. My kid simply dusts himself off and keeps playing.
I can’t help but be disgusted by parents (as you’ve pointed out, usually women who can claim membership to one “mom’s club” or another) who behave as if it’s perfectly normal for their “wonderfully attached” 11-month-old to not yet be mobile, often hiding behind the excuse that “crawling isn’t even a milestone.” (Uh, really?) Far worse are the ones who claim that tummy-time is somehow “disrespectful” to infants and should be avoided at all costs. These are the parents of children who seldom walk before the age of two. And this new trend of “extended dry-nursing” is borderline child abuse.
They say some babies hit their milestones faster than others, and I suppose this is true. If a baby has a developmental delay, that’s unfortunate. If the delay happens as a result of poor parenting, even more so. But if the delay is clearly caused by a parenting philosophy, that’s just unforgivable.