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As you watch your child grow it’s natural for you to wonder and anticipate if everything is all right with your little darling. Comparisons with other babies in the family or friends and neighbours are drawn unintentionally. So, how can you know for sure?
Every child is different and grows at varying rates. If your baby is lagging behind in weeks and months from the average then you can consult your child’s doctor. Everything may be normal but just in case of any actual delay, diagnosis and treatment are better with early attention!
The thumb rule in detecting any developmental delay is to trust your instincts as no one knows your baby better than you. If you feel everything’s not right with your baby, chances are there might be some issues. Look out for the following signs of problems and get in touch with your baby’s doctor in case your little one shows one or more of them:
Newborn to 2 Months Old Baby
- Doesn’t hold his head up when you pick him up from a lying position
- Feels stiff or limp
- Strains his neck and back when you cradle him in your arms
- Stiffens, crosses or scissors his legs when you pick him up
What you must do: Do not worry too much if your baby seems to fall short of these milestones. Every baby develops at a different pace. Also, muscle stiffness is a very common problem in babies. You can try fixing this by using some newborn exercises to reduce muscle stiffness. To encourage your darling to hold his head up, try and prop him on baby-friendly pillows and gently help him along. see a variety of adorable pillows for your baby in various colours, shapes and sizes. Tummy time, floor time and baby massage can help your child overcome this problem. ||
3 to 6 Months Old Baby
- Doesn’t grip or reach out for toys or unable to support his head well
- Isn’t putting objects inside his mouth
- Doesn’t push down with his legs when held on firm ground at around 4 months
- Still exhibits Moror reflex when startled or has the asymmetrical tonic neck reflex with his arm straightening when he turns on one side with the opposite arm bent up
- Can’t sit up with help or roll over in either direction by 6 months
- Uses only one hand to play while the other remains fisted post 6 months
What you must do: If your baby isn’t reaching out for toys or using hand signals often, check if you are using the right, age-appropriate toys. It is important to get engaging, high-contrast toys for your baby to encourage him to play. As for rolling over, low tummy time is often the culprit! Make sure your baby doesn’t keep lying on her back all the time. You can use a developmental baby gym to encourage him to kick, reach out, and attempt to sit up.
7 to 9 Months Old Baby
- Has poor head control when propped up in a sitting position
- Unable to extend out for objects or put them in the mouth or can’t bear weight on his legs
- Can’t sit individually by 9 months
What you must do: It is possible that these signs are an indicator of low muscle tone. You should consult the paediatrician to start working on a solution. In the meanwhile, you can help your baby to sit up by propping her up on pillows and baby-sized chairs. Often, with a little help from your side, babies understand that they have it in them to do this!
9 to 12 Months Old Baby
- Crawls in a lopsided fashion after 10 months
- Not crawling or unable to stand with support at 12 months
What you must do: If your baby isn’t crawling, try and entice them by placing motor-oriented toys within, but just beyond, their reach. Little monkeys that jump, a rolling baby-friendly ball, or even a regular toy in the pathway are alluring incentives for them to try and crawl. Pick any one of these toys to get your little one crawling in no time. Also, ensure that you have babyproofed the furniture to make crawling safe.
Developmental milestones broadly classified as gross and fine motor skills unfold in rapid progression. You need to closely monitor whether your baby is progressing in all domains. However, also understand that these milestones dont always arrive like clockwork. Some babies simply take more time and this doesn’t mean they are slow or developmentally lagging. We recommend a visit to the child’s health practitioner if you have even an iota of doubt about your baby’s development.