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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.

baby milestones
@ThePediPals/TikTok

There are many, many milestones in a baby's development

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:

Toddlers

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.

Teens

Having 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.
@thepedipals

♬ original sound - The PediPals

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.

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.

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This development flies in the face of public opinion on the topic. A recent poll found that 88% of Americans wish they had been taught financial literacy in school. The same number said their state should require either a semester or year-long personal finance course for graduation.

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Sensing something was wrong, he sprang to action with many witnessing his kind act.

Images from YouTube video.

Addie Rodriguez does her cheer.

Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Elmo did a well-being check-in with everyone and unintentionally opened the floodgates

The response was massive, and Sesame Street's follow-up was perfection.

Elmo's check-in brought out thousands of emotional responses.

Few things evoke a visceral comfort response in people of all ages like the colorful characters of Sesame Street. Millions of us grew up with Elmo, Big Bird, Bert & Ernie, Grover, Oscar the Grouch and the rest, and have nothing but warm, positive memories associated with them.

So when Elmo asked all the grownups on X to how they were doing, it triggered a deluge that spoke to people's need to share their mental and emotional struggles as well as the safe place Sesame Street has been for generations.

It all began with a simple question: "Elmo is just checking in! How is everybody doing?"

Elmo surely did not expect thousands upon thousands of people to dump their emotional loads on him like they were in a therapy session, but that's exactly what happened.

Not only did people respond that they were tired—a common refrain—but they also shared about the deaths of loved ones, their relationship struggles, jobs they'd been laid off from, their feelings of despair and depression. Clearly, some people needed a place to put their woes, and who better to receive them than a beloved childhood character who we know understands and accepts us unconditionally?

To Sesame Street's credit, they handled the trauma dump as best a fictional world filled with fictional characters possibly could. After the initial post's impact, Elmo posted, "Wow! Elmo is glad he asked! Elmo learned that it is important to ask a friend how they are doing. Elmo will check in again soon, friends! Elmo loves you." Elmo added the hashtag #EmotionalWellBeing.

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Yes, it's silly. But it's also not, because Sesame Street truly has been a lifeline for countless kids who found solace, support and celebration of themselves in those beloved characters, sometimes even more than they found at home.

The main Sesame Street account also shared a link to mental health resources.

But the wave of support and words of kindness and understanding didn't stay confined to Sesame Street. All kinds of big accounts, from NASA and the United Nations to Xbox and Verizon—even the President of the United States himself—weighed in with gratitude for Elmo checking in and reminders that we're all making our way through this life together.

Does it get more wholesome than NASA reminding us we're made of stardust?

The entire phenomenon was a testament to the enduring influence of Sesame Street, but also a good reminder to check in with people once in a while. You never know who might need to offload some emotional weight, and as cathartic as it might feel to drop it all on a beloved icon like Elmo, nothing compares to a real-life friend who offers a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.

Thank you for the inspiration, Sesame Street creators. Still managing to nurture the children within us, all these years later.

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The dropping birthrate has many worried that it will upend government programs because there won’t be enough young people to work and pay taxes to support older people on Social Security and Medicare.

Faith Hill from The Atlantic recently illustrated another problem with the declining birthrate in the U.S. and Europe that no one talks about: the decline of cousins.

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George Biard/Wikipedia,Paramount Pictures/Wikipedia

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