By Dr. Melodie de Jager
If baby was born premature, baby has ONE date of birth, but TWO ages!
Sullivan, an adjunct professor of pediatrics at Brown University found that pre-term babies countered the effects of being born early by displaying a “persistent drive to succeed.” Being born premature may put kids at a slight disadvantage when it comes to certain developmental milestones, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make up for them with the proper support.
When you read: but that doesn’t mean they can’t make up for them with the proper support, read: But that doesn’t mean they can’t make up for them with BabyGym®
Malcolm Gladwell, author of OUTLIERS, states that babies born in the first six months of the year invariably outperform babies born later in the year. With no disrespect to Malcolm, one simply cannot compare a newborn baby with a six month old baby. A newborn baby barely lifts his head or opens his eyes (and focuses) on anything other than mom’s eyes for a few seconds, while a six month old baby is raring to go! A six month old baby has developed such strong brain wiring, that he can turn his head, roll over, grasp and hold objects with both his hands and eyes. Emotionally and socially he is streaks ahead of a newborn baby and those advantages tend to last for quite a few years.
An outlier is an element of a data set that distinctly stands out from the rest of the data. “Outlier” is a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience.
In the southern hemisphere babies born in October, November and December – premature or not, tend to need more focused stimulation than babies born in January, February, March because all these babies will be going to Grade 1 in the year they turn seven.
The pictures below show the developmental difference between two babies born months apart in the same year.
Both the babies pictured above will go to Grade 1 in the same year, the year they turn 7. The educational expectation will be that both should equally be school ready.
School readiness means a child is prepared to convert all the multi-sensory FUN experiences of the first six years into abstract thoughts and express it as symbols (including letters and numbers). Typically, children between the ages of five to seven are ready to leap from concrete learning to symbolic learning, IF they have systematically and sequentially developed physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. For all of these areas to develop well, a little one needs time and opportunity to develop.
“But that’s not fair!” you might say, while in reality that is the way the South African schooling system works.
BUT, babies born later in the year do NOT need more pressure to perform!
They do NOT need to reach their milestones earlier, they do not need ‘hot-housing’, but moms and dads just need to be aware that their baby will thrive with:
BabyGym is the ideal non-invasive stimulation programme for mom, dad, nanny and granny to playfully stimulate baby to brilliance! If you are currently doing (not just attending) BabyGym with your baby, WELL DONE! Don’t stop, baby will thank you for it one day.
Every baby milestone is a BRAIN DEVELOPMENTAL milestone – Dr Melodie de Jager
Don’t let your baby skip a milestone. Talk to us, TOGETHER we build a better future!