CDC and AAP Revise Guidelines for Child Developmental Milestones

development education Feb 20, 2022

The CDC in conjunction with the AAP has released new guidelines for infant and child development in the Learn The Signs. Act Early program. Prior to this, these milestones have not been revised for nearly 20 years. 


Worry over your baby’s development is a huge primal instinct for new moms everywhere. 


When should baby sit on his own? When should he start to crawl? Walk? What about sleeping through the night?


There are so many varying answers to these common questions because all babies are different! One thing is for absolute certain though, the AAP and CDC have never rarely wavered in their responses- until now. The updated milestones serve to help parents and caregivers understand and identify signs of developmental delays and autism sooner. 


What does This Change Actually Mean?

 In the past, the checklists developed by the AAP and CDC have used average-age as a benchmark for analysis of milestones. Only 50% of children were actually expected to meet a milestone for their specific age. This meant that doctor’s and families could delay diagnosis of developmental delays by choosing a “wait-and-see” approach. 


With the new guidelines, we expect to see 75% of children hitting milestones by a certain age “based on data, developmental resources and clinician experience.”


The CDC has added checklists for every well-visit kids have in the first 5 years of life, adding in 15-month and 30-month milestones. They’ve added new social and emotional milestones, cut vague language and added new activities to encourage development in children. 


The revisions can help parents and doctors to understand more quickly if a child needs early intervention services and open up the lines of communication between experts and parents sooner. 


If you believe your child needs help with early intervention, your local Help Me Grow can help you to evaluate and (if necessary) put together an action plan for your family.


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