When you first found out you are pregnant\u2014OH THE JOY! You\u2019re suddenly curious of the things happening in your womb. Are the cells creating the limbs? The heart? The lungs? There is even a mobile application where you can key in the relevant information about your pregnancy, and it will visualise foetal growth\u2014from the size of a blueberry to the size of a melon! Image credit: Pexels I\u2019ve seen parents who monitor their pregnancy journeys from the very first few weeks to the full term, soaking in all the scientific information and asking all the relevant questions to the point where\u2026 hmmm, they could (almost) be as knowledgeable as their obstetrician. However, the learning should not stop upon delivery. Once the baby is born, parents should continue monitoring and celebrating milestones, making sure they are in sync at the right stage of development milestones. This is crucial because the parents would be able to identify any delays in the toddler\u2019s developmental milestones immediately. Here are some signs parents should be focusing on. Socioemotional delay Also known as social and emotional delays (just in case it is not obvious), it refers to conditions when children do not arrive at the supposed interactive and responsive milestone for their age. Here is a brief of what you should be looking out for. \tAt 3 to 4 months, they should be responding to loud sounds. They will also start imitating some of them, discovering how to create these sounds with their mouth. \tAt 7 months, they start recognising sounds and responding to them. They will usually react when they hear a familiar voice by smiling, gurgling or screaming. By the time they approach their first birthday, they will have favourites for certain people and do baby talk. \tAt 12 months, they should be using singular words such as \u2018Mama\u2019, \u2018Dada\u2019, \u2018Yes\u2019 and \u2018No\u2019 very frequently. It also depends on the words they are exposed to and what you are teaching them. Visual developmental delay When your baby is born, they only see black, white and shades of grey. So don't be offended if they look past you. However, their blurry vision will slowly get better. Once they reach 4 months, they will slowly develop their colour vision. At 5 months, they start to see things in a three-dimensional way. Then again, delayed visual maturation may happen. Signs of delays parents should take note of include: \tInfantile spasms, which will need to be treated for vision to improve. \tLazy eye, which happens when the eyesight on one eye is affected. It is also known as amblyopia. \tEyes that turn in, out, up or down; commonly known as a cross-eye (strabismus). It is normal for newborns to experience it, but once they hit 4 months, their eyes should straighten up. One way is to check if their eyes follow moving objects or follow things that are one to six feet away. Be cautious if their eyes are often teary\u2014not from crying. If they have visual development delay, they might need spectacles, surgery or an eye patch. Sensorimotor delay Image credit: Pexels The human body consists of large and small muscles. The large muscles of the body perform gross motor skills like running and jumping. As babies try to figure out what their body is capable of, they will randomly move their arms and legs or try to grasp with their tiny fingers. For infants who experience sensorimotor delay, they might have difficulty rolling over and holding their head up. Once they enter their third month, they should be trying to grasp and hold objects. You can have a clear observation by setting up a baby mobile and notice how your baby reacts to it. By 6 months, they should be able to sit up without aid and doing a lot of rolling (that is why you might have to lay pillows and blankets almost everywhere your baby is at). Before they reach their first candle on their birthday cake, they should be able to crawl and stand with support. Cognitive delay A child with a delay in cognitive development may have trouble following simple instructions. Similar to socioemotional development delays, they may have difficulty speaking and imitating words or actions. Because it involves brain development, playing and communicating with others may be a challenge. Now, you may not be able to notice it in the first few months after birth, but by 12 months, they should be able to find hidden objects that they saw. They should be able to wave and point to images as you name them. Once they hit two years old, they should be able to discern the functions of common objects, follow simple instructions and even ask questions\u2014yes, the many many \u2018why this\u2018 and \u2018why that\u2018 questions. If your child can do that, that IS a milestone! What if? Image credit: Pexels It is time to throw all taboos out of the window. Your child\u2019s development is not based on taboo, but on your involvement in their lives. When I was working as an educator, I saw too many parents who did not want to come to terms that their child needs help. Why? Because they wanted to believe that their child had no developmental delay. Now, I understand that it stems from love and faith in their child, but coming to terms with possible developmental delays immediately will help them further in life. Therefore, if you have a child with developmental delay, they need you by their side. When you are there to walk them through it, to guide them in improving what they lack, they will still be able to thrive. No matter what, professional help is needed from the moment you discovered a delay in your child developmental growth. Having an expert on board can possibly get them back on track. If you need additional support, insurance is an assurance that it is going to help even when challenges from raising a child with developmental delays arise. Having insurance to cover it will give you peace of mind so you can attend to your child\u2019s developmental needs without worrying about money. Get the help you need Developmental delays are indiscernible at birth. Later on, as you begin to cheer your baby through their milestones, that you might stumble upon a possible delay. What happens then? We advise you not to delay and visit a paediatrician as soon as possible. They will be able to run a few tests to determine if indeed, there is a delay, or whether they will catch up on given the time. Late bloomers are found to be geniuses after all. However, for your peace of mind, Allianz now has PreciousCover and BabyCover insurance coverage. BabyCover provides an additional 20% of the Rider Sum Assured upon diagnosis of any Child Development Disorders so you can focus on your child\u2019s treatment. You can access Allianz Careline support for immediate medical advice, telehealth support made accessible for PreciousCover and\/or BabyCover policyholders. It is powered by Sunway Medical Centre to provide medical advice (through their medical officer or nurse) on maternal and children\u2019s health. The telehealth support is available from Monday to Friday, 10am - 8pm (except public holidays). All you have to do is call 1300 88 8822 or WhatsApp to 019 2212 398. The first 1,000 customers who purchase a new Allianz PowerLink policy and attach PreciousCover and\/or BabyCover during the campaign period will get an exclusive Allianz Baby Box, on a first come, first served basis. If you are expecting, register ASAP as the campaign ends on December 31, 2021. Parents, you have the power to put a stop to your child developmental delay. Slough off the taboo and start tracking on their milestones. When they reach one, celebrate them; when they don\u2019t, support them. That way, they will achieve their highest potential! For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!