Current Pediatric Research

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Research Article - Current Pediatric Research (2020) Volume 24, Issue 1

Saudi mothers’ knowledge and awareness of infant developmental milestones

Background: Parents’ knowledge of childrearing is essential for children. Parent’s knowledge is considered the reference for their interpretations of their children’s behaviours and provides the basis for having the appropriate expectation of the child’s developmental stage. Objective: To assess the Saudi mother’s knowledge of infants’ childrearing and developmental milestones, the socio-demographic variables of relevance to knowledge, and the source of information about developmental milestones.


Method: A cross-sectional study using a modified version of the Knowledge of Infant Development Inventory’ questionnaire among 203 Saudi in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Results: Saudi mothers were highly knowledgeable about physical safety issues including attending an infant in the tub (99%), and infant position in bed (82.3%). Vast majority (90.6%) knows that they should feed the solid foods and ensure to increase fluid intake for infant when having diarrhea. Majority (81.8%) of the mothers correctly knows the suitable age for introducing complementary food to infants, and 92.1% know that some healthy babies spit out almost every new food until they get used to it. There was a moderate knowledge about parent-infant relationship. For developmental milestones, more than 80% of the participated mothers have the correct knowledge about the age of smiling, and recognizing mother face at 87.7% for each. A total of 6 out 22 questions correctly answered by more than half of the mothers. The poorest knowledge score (13.8%) was for the age at which the baby’s personality or temperament is set. Parental age, educational level, working status, occupation, and monthly income were significantly correlated with developmental milestones knowledge. The most commonly scored knowledge resources were physicians/nurses, mother’s family, experience from rising up elder children.

Conclusion: Saudi mothers were highly knowledgeable about certain aspects of childrearing, mainly physical safety measures, while they are lacking knowledge in other parenting skills such as baby’s personality and temperaments. It is recommended that nurses/physicians provide teaching and support to families through offering parenting instructions across all developmental stages of children.

Author(s): Nouf Al-Backer * , Abdulrahman A Al-Shehri, Abdulaziz A Al-Sadoun

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