Developmental milestones

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In medicine, there are abilities a child should develop at each stage of life. These are called milestones. At birth, the baby would be noticed to have a ‘dangling head’, be unable to sit, stand or crawl. By 3 months, he should hold his head upright. Teething usually occurs by 6 months, and many babies will sit between 6 to 9 months. A professional can tell if there is a delay, or the baby is just taking his sweet time to achieve these abilities.

This particular patient came in with her 11 month old son. He had a wound that needed to be dressed. Why would an 11 month old have a wound so deep it needed to be dressed in the hospital, I wondered. She deflected my questions, insisting that the nurse should not touch the child.

“So who will dress the wound? She’s the most experienced nurse here and you usually get along with her”, I asked.

“She offended me. I asked her to come and dress it at home and she refused”

“Let me see the wound”

Reluctantly, she let me open the ulcer on her son’s hip. I stiffled an exclamation.

“What happened? “, I asked.
Boy Crying

“I brought a native healer to massage his legs so that he would start walking. She tied a bandage on his legs to ‘bring out his nyash’. After 2 days, I noticed it was too tight and loosened it. That’s when I saw the wound. I even poured tetracycline on it”, she narrated.

Dear muse, I was screaming mentally! What! Don’t wait for me to interpret the pidgin, I can’t. You may google it.

Now, a brief background. She was not only educated, but well to do, and married to an educated and wealthy man as well. This was her 2nd child. I cannot fathom why she believed it was abnormal for him to be unable to walk at 11 months.

“Why didn’t you bring him to us, if you were worried?”

“Eh, I wanted him to start walking. The lady said her method would work”

“Can he sit?”


“Can he stand? ”


“Does he attempt to walk with support? ”

“Yes, but his legs are weak. He often falls”

“But you have a 3 year old daughter. Why were you so worried?”

She kept giving excuses. I told her the nurse was right to refuse to come to her house as such a wound should be dressed in the hospital. It was a large ulcer and already had some dead tissue, coloured yellow by the tetracycline. She was not convinced.

To every parent, please ask a doctor what to expect. Google is great but, you may need an assurance if there is cause for concern. Neighbours and friends will give you conflicting information.

Money can make you wish for everyone to be at your beck and call. Can you pay for your child to start walking early? Perhaps she wanted to be independent; No more lugging him around. The higher you go, the cooler it should become. However, do not let your achievements or wealth become a trap for you. Remain level headed.

Sometimes, I park my car and take a walk or ride in the 3 -wheelers (we call keke). I don’t want to forget that I am not any better than others. Death will come to us all. That certain luxuries are ours, should not becloud our sense of judgement.

So, I ask, do you remember where you came from? Cheers, Dr. N


24 thoughts on “Developmental milestones

    adefunke said:
    May 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    dts word! Thanks doc, happy Sunday

    cc said:
    May 18, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Ssometimes I feel for mothers cos pressure can push u to do crazy things,so when my son was younger my mother in law was all for sitting him in hot water to strengthen his bones,she kept going at me cos he wasn’t walking at one she blamed me cos my son was taking his sweet time,he started walking on his own,still remember his first steps!

      drnsmusings responded:
      May 18, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      Whaaaaaaat! Hot water? O no!

    Cate said:
    May 18, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    I always enjoy ur blog and I cant wait to read from you. I like your strong christian values. I really admire you

      drnsmusings responded:
      May 18, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      O, thank u very much. God bless

    tenderonii said:
    May 18, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    wow,…indeed..we must take advantage of the education we have and stop using all sorts of methods to cure our fears…..
    like you said ma…we should not forget where we came from as well.
    Thanks for this post..I hope that child is well and walking
    Happy Sunday Dr. N

      drnsmusings responded:
      May 18, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Happened too recently. Still managing the ulcer. Hope u’re doing great

        tenderonii said:
        May 18, 2014 at 9:20 pm

        Ohh wow….thank you ma…Yes I am..rounding off the exams and all.

    Anonymous Chick said:
    May 19, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Goodness gracious! Boys tend to be slower than girls (not gospel fact) perhaps hence her worry. Her daughter might have started walking much earlier and she may have expected the same for her son. But different children grow at different rates. Some time back I remember how I thought the son of a family friend was a bit ‘dull’ as I was comparing him to another daughter of a family friend who was very intelligent and knew all her ‘abc’s’ and could count to 10 when she was 1! I was so wrong as that boy is so much more intelligent than most of his peers at the moment. Everyone reaches their milestones differently. Hope that woman learned that.

      drnsmusings responded:
      May 19, 2014 at 8:19 am

      U’re right abt d dull thingy. My son has a female classmate who is sharper than a razor. Boys tend to to be slower. But generally, children will walk withisupport from 1 year.

    preshigwe said:
    May 19, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Lovely blog post ma’am,I am a teacher and I relate with mothers a lot.At times its as if they are competing on their child’s growth rate which shouldn’t be so.I think I should bookmark this for them.this reminded me of my predicament when I was 8,I was a chubby,robust,plumpy little chic with breasts like a teen,my mama was so worried because she didn’t want he darling Presh to look like her busty grand mother.So in her desperation for a lasting solution, someone advised her to use the head of broom on my breasts..hahahaha ..thanks heaven for my dad that cautioned her oooo.

      drnsmusings responded:
      May 19, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      What! !! O no. Lucky u escaped dt one

    imperfectlyperfect92 said:
    May 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you Dr n.
    Your question reminded me of Joyce Meyer’s podcast I was watching.where she said sometimes she just looks at her former journals where she was excited at having 20 people in a church she had to minister at, when she and her husband were soo happy at getting 300dollars…
    As God takes us higher, it’s important that we don’t forget from whence he took us out of

    niki said:
    May 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Wow.. is story is so surreal. People need to know where to draw the line. When i was reading i thought the lady was uneducated. Her being educated and still believing in something like that shocks. God please give us wisdom and understanding and the ability to discern. Cause we do need it in this world.

    pynk said:
    May 21, 2014 at 6:16 am

    I would have said she got what she deserved if a child wasn’t involved. It makes you sad that this is what folks are willing to do to their kids because of their own confusion.
    It reminds me of one of my sister in laws who has chosen to over feed her 1 year old. My father a.pharmacist told her to stop giving the child dynamogen and unnecessary antibiotics. This foolish girl has refused. My mom is a nutritionist with over 35 years experience told her to stop giving the child multiple eggs a day. She has refused to listen. At 20 months the child weighs 45 pounds. He is struggling to walk and can barely move. The stupid girl said she likes plump kids. My cousin is a medical doctor told her about blunts disease and she wouldn’t listen. She visited the states and the doctor there told her they would report the case to child protective services as he felt she was an irresponsible mother.
    as far as I am concerned the babe is an illiterate with a degree that wears lv and gucci

      Anonymous Chick said:
      May 21, 2014 at 11:32 am

      I really didn’t want to reply to this comment but hey…

      Ur sis-in-law is obviously making bad choices on the health of her child, but I do believe your brother should also bear some responsibility.

      It just came very off by you referring to her as ‘foolish’ and ‘stupid’; I hope you realise that you’re also inadvertently referring to your brother by referring to her like that… You have no right to cal her such names. You wouldn’t like for any of ur in-laws to say that about you would you?

        drnsmusings responded:
        May 21, 2014 at 5:11 pm

        When children are involved, emotions run high. I even had to edit d post cos my husband felt it came off as critical to d mother. So, pls cut her some slack. Cheers

      drnsmusings responded:
      May 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      Plump kids will take me a full post, my dear. It is something else. I would have made a lot of money if I was willing to lie to parents who long for plump kids

    jenny pham said:
    July 3, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Very wonderful. Im reaaly in to kids

    thuochanoi said:
    August 19, 2017 at 5:06 am

    I agree with a lot of the points you made in this article. I appreciate the work you have put into this and hope you continue writing on this subject.

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