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Warning Signs of Developmental Delay

Warning Signs of Developmental Delay

As mothers, you prepare for the rigorous process of childbirth, follow all types of do’s and don’ts, and then it hits you that your journey has only just begun with the birth of your little bundle of joy! As you admire your creation in your arms, a lot of questions pop in your mind. You say to yourself that you will guard your baby, watch and help her grow! In order to do that you must be well aware of the milestones that come in the path of her development!

Although there are lot of variations as to what development milestone a child has to achieve at what age, a rough idea can be attained. It also varies from child to child. Like for example a child may totally skip crawling and start walking after the sitting stage. However, some children are not able to attain these milestones. For example, some children are unable to walk as late as their 2nd Birthday! A developmental delay occurs when your child is not meeting basic milestones at the stipulated age.


Warning Signs of Developmental Delay in Babies

Newborn to 3 months

  • Doesn't hold her head up when you pick him up

  • Overextends her back and neck when you hold her in your arms

  • Stiffens or crosses, his legs when you pick her up at 3months

  • Lethargy – feeds slowly or does not suck well

  • No response to loud noise, bright lights

  • No smile

  • Trouble moving the eyes or following moving objects

  • No hand or foot movement


3 to 6 months

  • Doesn't grasp or reach for toys even at 4-5 months

  • can't support her head well

  • Does not bring her favourite toy to her mouth

  • Doesn't push her legs when held and made to stand on a surface

  • Does not roll over

  • Does not interact or smile

  • Can’t sit even when supported


7 to 9 months

  • Cannot sit independently at 7-8 months of age

  • Still unable to get objects into her mouth

  • Is not reaching for objects

  • Cannot bear some weight on her legs.

  • Does not make any sounds


9 to 12 months

  • Unable to stand without support

  • Is not crawling at all or crawling in a way that she falls more often

  • Does not babble

  • Does not point at objects


Warning Signs of Developmental Delay in Toddlers

13 to 24 months

  • Cannot walk at 18 months of age

  • Constantly walks on toes

  • Slower growth rate

  • Does not speak at least 5 meaningful words

  • Does not understand or follow simple instructions


36 months

  • Cannot use the stairs as in fall off frequently

  • Drools frequently

  • Is not able to speak simple short sentences


How to Help Your Child With Developmental Delays

  1. Be on the lookout for signs always. The earlier you detect these delays the easier it will be for you to correct them and help your child catch up.

  2. Immediately visit your pediatrician. They will show you pointers and tell you what’s lacking, and if necessary, recommend screening.

  3. Take notes. Include dates. Refer to a development chart and help your child reach her milestone.

  4. Also consider underlying factors like prematurity. For example, if your child is born 8 weeks early you can expect a delay of 8 weeks for her to achieve her milestone.

  5. You can enrol her at intervention centres that have certified care givers that specialize in correcting delays

  6. For children of the school going age, it is recommended that you stay in constant touch with the teachers to track the child's behavior and development in a foreign environment.