Development delay signs worth getting checked out
How to look for signs that your baby’s development may be delayed
What is a developmental delay?
The term developmental delay describes when a baby or toddler doesn't reach milestones in their motor, language, or speech within the broad range of what's considered normal. The most common delays include language (receptive communication, or understanding mum when she says to pick up a toy); speech (expressive communication, or saying a sentence); gross motor skills (throwing a ball); and fine motor skills (using a crayon to colour). It's not uncommon for a toddler to be advanced in one area and behind in another.
What signs can I look for that my baby has developmental delays?
Gross motor skill milestones are well documented for crawling and walking – and whether these are reached ‘early’ or ‘late’. But you might also notice your child's finer motor skills, like whether they can pick up peas from the highchair tray or be able to pass a toy from one hand to another.
You may also notice if your baby has trouble understanding the meanings of words and sentences or expressing ideas in words.
It's a good idea to understand the general guidelines for developing cognitive and physical skills, so you are aware what wide periods are considered ‘normal’ for baby development
It’s important to remember that if your child was born prematurely, they may need more time than others their actual age to reach the various developmental stages. Doctors may track a preterm child's development using their due date rather than actual birth date. This can continue right through to the age of 3.