Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Missed Milestones—5 Signs Your Baby May Need Physical Therapy

Child development is a priority issue for parents. Parents of young children should possess the ability to identify normal physical development as milestones as provided by pediatricians.

These milestones include crawling, talking, walking and rolling over in infancy. Milestones differ for each age range and pediatricians provide the normal range at which an infant, toddler or child reaches each milestone.

Missed Milestones

By the time an infant reaches two months of age, they should be able to lift their heads. From ages two months to six months, their spines, though still developing, should be able to hold their weight as they roll over and lift their arms.

The baby’s movements should have stabilized and they should be able to push themselves upward. If parents notice that their baby has missed these milestones, they should discuss their concerns with their pediatrician.

An Infant’s Neck Muscles Tilt Downward Frequently

If you notice your baby’s neck muscles tilt downward too frequently, the cause may be torticollis.

An Infant Unable to Lift Its Limbs by Age Two Months

As your baby reaches two months old, he/she should be able to lift its arms and legs without the newborn jerky movements.

Baby Cannot Bear Body Weight by Age Six Months

At age six months, your baby should become more mobile and have the ability to lift its weight, push him/herself to a crawling position and begin to crawl.

Baby Cannot Sit by Age Eight Months

Parents who notice their baby cannot sit upright by age eight months should discuss the need for physical therapy with their child’s pediatrician.

Baby Cannot Crawl or Walk by Age 18 Months

For many pediatricians, an 18 month old child should be able to crawl and walk. If physical movement is impaired or delayed, or the child walks on tiptoe constantly, they will provide a referral to a licensed physical therapist focused on children’s physical therapy such as experienced children’s therapy provider in NJ or near you.

All of the above signs may be caused by delays in motor skills. For example, a baby aged six months should be able to grasp spoons and toys easily. There are several causes of delayed motor skills that include spina bifida, myopathy, ataxia, cerebral palsy and cognitive and vision impairments.

Tim Esterdahl

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