The TikTok Doc Is In

Pediatrician Goes Viral For Sharing The "Secret” Kid Milestones Parents Might Be Missing

These things aren’t on the traditional developmental checklists, Dr. Sami explains.

A pediatrician has shared "secret" kid milestones parents should know about.
Mike Kemp/Getty Images

As a mom, you’re undoubtedly always worried about something — and childhood milestones are a big cause for consternation. Is your baby growing fast enough? Talking soon enough? Walking stable enough? Parenting is a neverending tension headache that you’re not doing enough or being enough as your child grows up. While every parent worries about certain, more well-known childhood development milestones (think crawling, rolling over, and the like), it turns out there are some that don’t necessarily fall on the standard milestone checklists and may be overlooked.

TikToking mom and pediatrician Dr. Sami has gone viral for sharing some of these “secret” milestones parents should take note of as their kids grow. Don’t start stress-spiraling, though: These benchmarks probably won’t trigger your anxiety.

“If you have a newborn, one of the secret milestones is that they hiccup a lot. Totally normal,” says Dr. Sami, one of the two women who run the TikTok @thepedipals, adding, “The other thing is that they scream bloody murder for everything, right? It doesn’t matter if they’re hungry, if they’re wet, if they’re bored. It’s always just like one setting, and it's like, ‘I’m dying.’”

Good to finally know that’s not only normal but also important.

“Four months is that stage where they’re super cute and smiling all the time but they also grab your hair and won’t let go. And you’re literally bald because of it, because they just pull all your hair out,” Dr. Sami says. “Between six to nine months they start to do weird things that you’re like, ‘Is that normal?’ They start to shake their head all the time or maybe they start to stick their tongue out a little bit? Totally normal. Milestone.”

But wait; there’s more.

“By the way, it doesn’t mean that every child is going to do this,” points out Dr. Sami. “You know how milestones work. They kind of all go and develop at their own rate. Then some of ‘em kind of skip over milestones. That’s OK.”

She even goes on to warn parents to avoid sharing what milestones their kids have and haven’t hit. It breeds unnecessary worry among parents that their kids are “weird” or “special.” She tells parents that she (i.e., your pediatrician) should be the one to raise flags for you — not strangers on the internet.

“A lot of people think temper tantrums start when they’re like two and up. But, honestly, they start between 12 and 15 months. That’s a milestone,” she says. “Also around 15 to 18 months they all totally try to kill themselves every day. That’s totally a milestone.”

Other Milestones for Toddlers

  • Picky eating
  • Selfishness
  • Unreasonableness

Milestones Between 4-6

  • Asking “Why?”
  • Talking nonstop

Milestones Between 9-11

  • Anxiety. (But “talk to your pediatrician about that because if you don’t, it can get away from you,” Dr. Sami says.)
  • Talking specifically about death and mortality.

Milestones for Teens

  • Having a different circadian rhythm.
  • Being tired all the time. Basically because the school system doesn’t match your teen’s circadian rhythm.

Feeling a little better about these things? The moral of the story seems to be that nearly everything your baby, kid, or teen does can be attributed to a milestone, even if it’s not one that is talked about as often or may seem like a problem. But Dr. Sami’s biggest and best advice remains that you should talk to your pediatrician whenever you have concerns.

This doesn’t mean scheduling a visit every time your kid coughs or your tween is a little weirdo. You’re a mom; you’re busy. Most pediatricians have MyChart or a patient portal, allowing you to send quick messages. A well-staffed office will also be able to field phone calls, note your concerns, and call back with a follow-up. Still feel concerned? Go ahead and schedule that appointment.