Washed up at 9 months?
If a baby lacks skills at this crucial age, it’s a sign of trouble to come. But should the government get involved?
Babies  who were behind in motor skill development at 9 months, were more likely – by the time they were 5 -  to be cognitively behind, and also less well behaved than their peers. That’s according to a report in The Guardian, quoting The Millennium Cohort Study of nearly 15 000 children.

A 9-month-old baby is turning its first bubbling gurgles into words, and is just around the crawling stage... are we really going to take observations from this early point, and extrapolate problems by 5?

Inevitably, the discussion becomes a political one about state interference in parenting. Should parents be left to their own devices to give those children who need it the extra help to fulfil their potential? Or should the state put programmes in place to identity those babies who fall short at 9 months?

Surely, if the state’s going to get this involved: a more useful one would be some sort of parent entrance exam... which would probably exclude most of us on the grounds of past misdeeds, mental instability or an unhealthy love of cappuccino.

In this country, certainly, we need to first feed, clothe and defend all our babies from violence, before we get into the details of which baby can crawl and which can’t quite yet at 9 months.

If clinics were not so overloaded already I might even support some sort of mandatory check for developmental progress. As it is, I think parent education would be much more useful in South Africa.

How involved should the government be in parenting?

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.


Want to know what your baby looks like and what you can expect at this stage?




Balance routine and creativity

Little people need routine, but creative play is also essential. Try these activities with them to balance the two.

See more >


Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.