Baby Falling Behind? How to Identify a Potential Developmental Delay

If you are a parent of a baby, then you may worry needlessly that your little one is falling behind. While thankfully those fears are needless in many cases (as each child develops at their own pace), other times they are well-founded. Early intervention can be key in getting the toddler the help that they need. Here are some things to watch for if you think your baby is developing slower than normal. 

Vision Delays

Your baby should be able to focus accurately by the time that they are three months old. At first, you may see them following a large object with jerky eye movements, but they should be able to follow it fluidly by three months. By the fifth month, they should be able to judge how far something is away from them. The child should be able to recognize familiar faces by five months.

Language or Speech Delays

If you are like many parents, you hope that your child learns to talk sooner rather than later. By the time the child reaches their first birthday, they should be able to string long rows of sounds together. You should also start recognizing one- or two-word phrases by the child’s first birthday. There will be some sounds that the child has a hard time making for a long time to come.

Motor Skill Delays

Your baby should be able to sit on the floor independently by the time that they are nine months old. While many toddlers do not walk until around their first birthday, your baby should be becoming mobile with the army crawl before starting a real crawl that may be faster than you can walk. 

Cognitive Delays

Cognitive skills in babies are often measured in their ability to do physical tasks. The child should start using their thumb and fingers to pick up objects by the time that they are one. They should also be paying attention to who is speaking. Expect that they love to play simple games. 

Social and Emotional Delays

By the time that a baby turns three months old, they should be starting to smile when something makes them happy. The child may begin letting you know very loudly when their needs are not met. Fear is not normally an emotion seen in babies.

If you suspect that your child is not developing normally, then an assessment is the best place to begin. The sooner that problems are identified, the sooner intervention can begin. If treatment is necessary, consider exploring the option of children’s in-home therapy in NJ. This way, your child can receive the help he or she needs within the comfort of your home.

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