August 29, 2023
Meeting Child Developmental Markers
As a new parent, knowing if your baby is hitting child development milestones can be a concern even when you have loved ones close by offering advice and wisdom.
Some Iowans lack the support system that can offer reassurance about early child development.
Kylie is a 22-year-old Des Moines mom who has been married four years. At age 20, she learned she was pregnant. Kylie’s mother passed away when Kylie was a teen and without family nearby, her mother-in-law suggested Kylie seek out support from EveryStep.
Advice and support for new moms
When Kylie was at around 13 weeks of pregnancy, she met EveryStep nurse Stacey Blitz. “I grew up around nurses, so having Stacey around was a comfort,” says Kylie, who met regularly with Stacey for checkups throughout her pregnancy. “I just wanted to know what was normal – were my feelings normal? I also wanted to make sure I was progressing weight-wise, because it’s always been very hard for me to gain weight.”
Pregnancy and delivery were normal for Kylie, who gave birth to baby Violet. Like most first-time parents, Kylie and her husband had lots of concerns and questions about their newborn. Kylie depended on Stacey’s weekly visits that tracked Violet’s development.
“I knew some of the milestones, but I didn’t know which month they were supposed to happen. So having Stacey let me know how she’s progressing is a big help. It’s hard being a first-time mom because everything that happens has never happened before, so having Stacey let me know I’m doing things right gives me reassurance,” says Kylie.
Helping a child with developmental delays
Child developmental milestones track social, communication, cognitive and physical development markers that track a baby’s development at certain age markers. For example, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises that by age 12 months, a baby should be learning to walk.
A precursor to walking is a baby’s ability to stand with assistance. Violent was not hitting that marker and at a pediatrician’s appointment, Kylie was told Violet was around 3 months behind in development. Kylie was worried, but Stacey had ideas to help Violet’s progress.
“I introduced standing toys like a walker or exerciser,” says Stacey. “Kylie worked with Violet to use those toys and she also spent more time simply helping her to stand. Kylie’s dedication paid off! By the next doctor’s visit, Violet was standing.”
EveryStep provides a nurse partner like Stacey from pregnancy through the child’s second birthday. Violet will be 2 soon.
“Kylie is amazing,” says Stacey. “She’s taking Violet to all the doctor’s appointments, is providing for her and has been committed to the program. I’ll miss both of them, but Kylie is ready. She knows what she wants in life. She’s got goals and she is working toward them, and she’s taken care of Violet amazingly. Violet is loved, she’s cared for and she’s smart. I’m proud of them.”
For qualifying individuals, EveryStep offers many free pregnancy and parenting services, education and support.
EveryStep relies on community support to help fund its nonprofit services. Please help us continue to provide free health care programs and access to vital needs for women and children in our community.
EveryStep pulls the thread between health and social service systems tight, so no one falls through the gaps, and no one is left to struggle on their own. Our care and support programs have led to real results for thousands of Iowans who are now leading more stable, fulfilling lives. Investing in EveryStep’s care and support network means no one has to face adversity alone. With your help, they can move through hardship toward a life of purpose and stability.