You may have noticed your baby is falling behind compared to other babies that are of the same age. During a plunket or GP review, they may have talked to you about them not reaching specific developmental milestones that are a quick way to see if your baby’s development is on track. The terms ‘gross motor’ and ‘fine motor’ development are often used to talk about these key skills. These terms refer to the large big movement skills such as rolling or sitting and the small movement skills such as using their fingers to pick up toys or feed themselves. Sometimes other areas may also be delayed such as communication and swallowing (affecting eating and drinking milestones) in this situation the term ‘global developmental delay’ is used.
A paediatric physio is trained to look at how they are moving, what they are doing well, and what are the missing components that are making successful progression to the next milestone challenging. It is important to not look at milestones as a tick box. If we look at sitting as an example; are they stuck and fall over with any head movement? or can they reach and turn to get a toy from beside them? can they move easily in and out of sitting by themselves?
Getting on top of delays early has been widely researched with better results found with earlier treatment. Waiting and watching is out! This idea is making sure we are harnessing the amazing learning and neuroplasticity that we see in infants. If we look at the incredible amount babies achieve in their first year of life we know this progress is laying the foundations for sociable, interactive, and physically busy children.
If you have any questions or concerns about how your baby is moving, keeping up with other babies or you feel stuck on how to get them to the next step – let us help. We can find the missing piece to the puzzle and teach your activities to help boost them along.
Quick Milestone Check
- Rolling both directions – 4 1/2 months
- Sitting unsupported – 7 months
- Moving in and out of sitting- 9 months
- Pulling to stand- 16 months
- Walking by self- 18 months