Causes of Fine Motor & Gross Motor Development Delays in Children

Understanding Motor Development Delays In Toddlers

Some toddlers may not keep up with their peers in reaching milestones. However, if you’re concerned about the slow progress, there are ways to deal with it effectively. Gross and fine motor delays in children need sensitivity and patience above anything else.

Do you know the telling signs of development delays in your toddler? From an unsteady gait to an inability to clap, there is much that you can decipher.

Fine Motor and Gross Motor Delays in Toddlers

Fine Motor Skills

The movements your baby makes with the tiny muscles in his hand is referred to as ‘fine motor’. This includes an increase in grip, enhanced vision, and better pencil skills.

Healthy Development Signs

There are several developmental milestones in a toddler’s life that signify that he is growing up with perfect fine motor skills.

0-4 month phase
  • Recognises sounds and voices
  • Stare and follow bright colours and objects
  • Move arms together
  • The hand-to-mouth reflex
  • Lift head when lying on the belly
4-8 month phase
  • Grab objects near at hand
  • Reaches out to objects by rolling over
  • Support body weight on arms
  • Can sit for a certain duration of time
  • Pass objects

Warning Signs

The causes of motor skills delay in toddlers could be hereditary, environmental, or an over abundance in muscle mass. The red flags are as follows:

0-8 months phase
  • Still clenches fist
  • Stiff arms
  • Inability to support body when lying on tummy
  • Unable to reach out and pick up objects
  • Unable to sit on his/her own for a short period
  • Inability to roll objects
8-12 months phase
  • Grab onto objects and may place them in the mouth
  • Use pointer finger or tongue to grab on circular objects and food
  • Transferring objects from one hand to the other
  • Ability to drop and pick up toys
  • Clash objects together
  • Drop object purposely
  • Place things in containers and remove them
12 months phase
  • Inability to grab toys and release them
  • Unable to clap
  • Unable to pick up finger food
  • Unstable movement
  • Hands in a fist

Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills refer to the development of the larger and stronger muscles of your child like the movements of your baby’s legs, arms, feet, or his entire body.

Healthy Development Signs

These are the gross motor skills milestones that signify that your child is healthy:

3-6 month phase
  • Movement of arms and legs randomly
  • Ability to lift head when on stomach
  • Ability to move head
  • Stability when sitting
  • Touch feet and knees when lying on back
6-9 month phase
  • Roll back to front
  • Ability to sit alone
  • Stand stiff legged when holding furniture
9-12 month phase
  • Crawl over and around objects
  • Start to cruise around furniture
  • Move from sitting to lying down
  • Pull to stand while holding onto furniture
  • Walk with 2 hands held

Warning Signs

If you spot any of the following signs of gross motor delays in toddlers, you must seek immediate medical assistance:

  • Head is flat
  • Feels stiff
  • Skills are regressing

With proper guidance and treatment from a paediatric therapist development delay in toddlers will just be a minor stumbling block.

Did you ever deal with development delays in your child? How did you deal with it?

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