Parents worried about their children’s development

baby development

New research reveals common concerns

A nationwide study commissioned by developmental baby toy brand Tiny Love® has revealed that when it comes to milestones such as first smiles, sitting and crawling, parents are feeling the pressure more than ever.  43 per cent were so concerned that their baby wasn’t advancing that they lied to friends and family about them hitting milestones they hadn’t.

The brand surveyed parents who had children up to three across the UK and many said they felt worried that their baby was not hitting milestones at the right time.

Though conscious that all babie are different and that they shouldn’t compare their child to another parent’s, seven out of 10 parents said they felt anxious when other babies hit milestones before their own child. Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) said they knew of a “baby bragger” within their circle of friends who made them panic.

Parenting in the digital era can, they believe, lead to more anxiety, as expectations are raised by social media and parents are able to Google their slightest concern.

baby development

The study also revealed:

  • 28 per cent of parents felt like they’d failed if their baby wasn’t sleeping through the night.
  • More than one in 10 parents had worried that their child hadn’t started babbling.
  • 15 per cent admitted serious concerns about their infant’s fine motor skills when they were tiny.
  • One in five were left panicking that their little one was taking far too long to take their first steps.
  • More than half (56 per cent) had even resorted to seeking medical attention to double-check their child’s development.
  • 78 per cent said their first port of call for any child-rearing advice was always their own parents.
  • 42 per cent felt that bringing up children was the hardest thing that they have ever had to do.
  • Nearly a third (30 per cent) said they frequently rowed with their partner in the early days.

TV Psychologist and Spokesperson for Tiny Love, Emma Kenny said: “Having a baby, especially the first time around, is wonderful but can be a worrying time for parents too. In the digital era where comparison is part of everyday life, it’s hardly surprising that parents are feeling the pressure for their little ones to measure up. Now that parents also have a wealth of information at their fingertips where they can self-diagnose and scare themselves with their findings, it’s no wonder that they feel anxious with about their baby’s growth and development.

The truth of it is that there is no manual as a new parent. It’s only natural that you’re going to fret, but that’s OK too. All babies develop at different times and it’s easy to compare our children to others, though logic tells us not to. Add all of these factors to the sleep deprivation of being a new parent and even the most practical of people will develop some level of anxiety.

Debbie Wakefield, Marketing Manager for Tiny Love adds: “This research shows just how worried new parents feel about their babies’ development, and how much comparing goes on when it comes to hitting milestones. Being able to help your baby’s development is important, but it’s equally important not to panic about it. At Tiny Love we are constantly creating new products to support baby development. The new Magical Tales range is designed to help parents encourage their little ones to reach those first milestones from day one.”

Despite the worry felt by new parents, the study found that 99 per cent loved watching their babies hit milestones and 56 per cent noted that ‘every day brings you joy as you watch your children grow.’ 

When asked what advice the survey respondents would give to first time mums and dads, nearly two thirds (64 per cent) recommended parents to be mindful that every child develops at their own pace, and over half (56 per cent) advised them to trust their own instincts. 55 per cent advised that spending the time playing with your baby will help them develop whilst creating memories to cherish.

For more information on Tiny Love, please visit www.tinylove.com/uk_en.

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