Pediatrician goes viral after sharing the 'secret' milestones parents might be missing
These things might not be on the traditional checklist, but they are baby benchmarks nonetheless.
There are some chapters in a baby’s development that all parents know to anticipate—taking those first steps, saying that first word, doing their first backflip (okay maybe not that last one, but you get it).
However, as pediatrician Dr. Sami explains in a now-viral TikTok, there are also some common, yet not-so-publicized “secret” milestones that many parents might be experiencing without even realizing it.
Rather than adding potential stress, she hopes that this list might help parents recognize that there are plenty of benchmarks worth taking note of and celebrating…and to also not agonize over fitting into a finite timeline.
“So you have kids…which means that you’ve gone and looked at what milestones they ‘should’ be reaching…we’ve all done it,” she says, listing apps and the internet as primary sources of research.
“But I’m gonna tell you some secret milestones…cause what happens when I'm in clinic is that I'm talking to a lot of parents and I'm like, ‘Oh she’s probably doing this by now right?’ And then they’re like 'How'd you know?’”
Profuse hiccuping is listed first, which Dr. Sami asserts is “totally normal,” followed by “screaming bloody murder for everything,” whether they’re “hungry, wet, bored,” and everywhere in between. “It’s always just like one setting, and it's like, ‘I’m dying,'” she quips. Okay, so this one is much louder than hiccuping, obviously. But still normal.Dr. Sami continues, “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.”
Then, somewhere between 6 to 9 months, things get a little “weird,” apparently. “They start to shake their head all the time or maybe they start to stick their tongue out a little bit,” she notes. Though at this stage parents might wonder if these behaviors are normal or not, Dr. Sami reassures that, yes, they’re not only normal—”they're a milestone.”
Next, at around 12 to 15 months old is actually when the milestone of temper tantrums begins, not age 2, as most people believe. Then, at around 15 to 18 months, “they all totally try to kill themselves every day,” she jokes. “That’s totally a milestone.”
Dr. Sami breaks then breaks down milestones for toddlers all the way up to early teens, which are as follows:
Becoming picky eaters and “selfish, unreasonable terrorists.”
4 to 6 years old
Talking non-stop and asking “Why?”…to the point where as a parent you might reconsider wanting them to be able to talk in the first place.
9 to 11 years old
Developing anxiety toward death and mortality. While this is normal, Dr. Sami does recommend talking to your pediatrician about it so that it’s easier to navigate.
TeensHaving a different circadian rhythm, like wanting to stay up later at night and waking up later in the day. And, as a result of the school system not matching this new rhythm, being tired all the time.
Perhaps most importantly, Dr. Sami notes that not every milestone will be checked off at the same time for every kid, if at all.
“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,” she states.
She also suggests that rather than sharing with other parents (or strangers on the internet) what milestones kids have and haven’t hit, which can elicit unnecessary worry, parents should simply tell their pediatrician, who can more likely be the one to address any real concerns anyway.
Bottom line—almost everything in a child’s development is a milestone in its own right. Even the weird and obscure ones. Odds are that as long as your pediatrician has given their thumbs up, you can simply ride that wild and crazy wave that is raising a tiny human.