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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards Baby Milestones App

Finalist in Nonprofit


Infancy is one of the greatest periods of neuroplasticity, and an optimal time for detection and intervention of motor, communication, sensory and feeding delays. Research estimates 600,000 babies are born at risk for early delays each year, and less than 50% are identified early.

But why? There are many reasons, including a lack of awareness and understanding of early warning signs and the benefits of getting help early. Many parents, especially first-time parents, have little knowledge of how to track and support their baby’s development. Other factors, such as living in a rural or inner-city environment, can be formidable barriers to adequate healthcare services or reliable information. As a result, parents may seek information from unreliable sources such as social media, where information is often inaccurate or inconsistent. They may wait months or even years for therapeutic intervention. was founded in 1985 as a 501 (c)(3) organization that shares free resources to support the early detection and intervention of developmental delays. In 2022, set out to empower parents with via the FREE mobile app, to track and support their child’s development and find expert-approved resources to answer common parent questions. Users receive recommended content for their baby, including milestones, abilities, weekly activities, and hundreds of videos and articles to learn more about pediatric development. All content comes with the Promise: milestones validated by American Academy of Pediatrics findings and resources vetted by a team of experts, which includes physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and physicians.

Strategy and Execution

The Baby Milestones app began by working with designers and developers to organize decades of information and resources for parents within an easy-to-use mobile app. Throughout the course of the app’s development, we routinely did user testing and focus groups with parents of babies and young children. Their feedback was crucial in knowing if the functionality and design are useful for them, and many new and valuable ideas came out of these groups.

After nearly a year of designing and developing, the result is an app that provides a place to support and track baby’s development, so parents can have informed conversations with healthcare providers and become their child’s best advocates. With the knowledge provided through this free app, parents are empowered with answers and warning signs so they can advocate for and ultimately improve their child’s development.

The Baby Milestones App is completely free to download and use. In a world where many of the top baby apps require subscriptions or premium packages to access their content, there is no cost to download this app, or access hundreds of expert-approved and research-backed activities, videos, articles, developmental tips and more. This free app provides research-backed and expert-approved resources to track baby’s development from anywhere. This means that some of the most vulnerable populations, such as those in rural areas or inner-city environments, have the tools they need to track their baby’s development and detect delay early. Additionally, in places where there are long wait times to receive therapy, parents have access to hundreds of activities, videos and articles to help support their baby’s development. materials are used worldwide, which is why our app is available in English and Spanish, and we look to expand to other languages in the future. Additionally, our app automatically adjusts baby’s milestones and activities if they are born more than three weeks early and considered premature. Adjusting milestones is recommended by the AAP, yet many parents aren’t aware of this. has been instrumental in spreading the word about simple interventions to support baby’s development. For example, Tummy Time is an intervention that parents can do to help improve motor outcomes, yet little is explained to new parents about it. Tummy Time is essential to build neck, back, and shoulder strength, and leads to key motor skills like crawling and walking. To give Tummy Time the platform it deserves in the app, we not only included a full section on Tummy Time with videos, games and articles about the intervention, but we also made one of the central features the Tummy Timer. This timer helps parents keep track of their baby’s Tummy Time throughout the day, so they reach the physician-recommended 1 hour of Tummy Time a day by 3 months of age.

The features, functionality, and purpose of the Baby Milestones app are all rooted in the belief that it is never too early (or too late) to get baby on the right pathway.


Since launching in August 2022, the Baby Milestones App has been downloaded more than 50,000 times. We have a perfect 5-star rating in the App Store, and 4.9 stars on Android. Additionally, we have heard from many parents and healthcare providers about the value that this app provides to them.

“Being a therapist myself, I know is the go-to for child development,” said Kate Enzler, physical therapist and new mom. “And now with the Pathways app, it’s even more helpful.”

Other parents have shared:

We have shared this app with many large organizations that help with pediatric development, including Ronald McDonald House Charities, where we presented the app at their February 2023 conference, and Easter Seals. materials are used in every country except North Korea, and this global reach extends to our app.

Additionally, reaches parents through our website, social media channels, conferences, and healthcare and educational institutions. Our resources are used 40 million times annually around the world, and our videos have been viewed more than 38 million times. Our Instagram account (@pathwaysorg) is a popular source for reliable information and activities to help baby’s development, with more than 100,000 followers and 4.8 million people reached annually. 


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