Signs of Developmental Delay in Babies from Birth to 3 Months

Birth to 3 months is an important time period for any newborn as the first indications of most disorders manifest during this period. Knowing the normal development patter during the first three months would enable parents to be sensitive to the subtle changes or abnormal progression in these patterns. Thus, this article will describe the possible signs of developmental delay during the first three months of life of a baby. However, one should remember that manifestation of such signs does not necessarily mean that the development of the baby is abnormal but is just a mere indication of the necessity for being more vigilant and to follow-up.

Each baby will have his or her own timetable

It is also important to remember that each baby will have his or her own timetable when it comes to his or her development. Nevertheless, any big deviations should warrant a second look and further investigations, if necessary. Thus, the important thing would be to be aware of such deviations as in most instances, early interventions can make a big difference in the child’s life.

Head control, chin lift and chest lift

During the first three months of life, one of the major achievements would be the ‘head control’. In the early weeks, a baby would not be able to balance her head and it would be wobbly at all times. However, as the child reaches the third month, head and neck muscles would become stronger and therefore more supportive of balancing the head and keeping it straight. The ability to raise the head will also be evident when the baby is lying on her tummy (chin lift) and by around the 4th month, the baby will also be able to support her chest (chest lift) when lying on her tummy. While head control is an important developmental milestone at 3 months of age, one should remember that even at three or four months, the child’s head may still wobble in response to sudden movements.

Turning when lying on the tummy or when lying on the back

When it comes to other motor signs achieved during the first three months of life, being able to turn from tummy down to lying on the back is a significant sign. However, a baby may not be able to roll from lying on her back to lying on her tummy within this period although some babies may be able achieve this as well. Grasping objects is another sign that parents should look for during this period and in most instances, babies would be able to grasp a small toy extended to her with a grip, which will show signs of improvement with each passing week.

Responding to sounds and visual contact

Being able to respond with a smile and turn towards a noise is another milestone that a baby should achieve within the first three months of life. However, as with most other milestones, some babies might gain these milestones several weeks later. In any event, if a baby does not respond to noises, sounds, does not fix gaze or babble noises, it is best to seek professional support and be vigilant about her further progress in these areas.

Word of caution: Thus, by noting down these signs, it would be possible for someone to assess the development of a baby in her first three months of life. However, it should be emphasized that if a baby fails to gain these milestones, it indicates the necessary to be followed-up by a professional and not necessarily that the baby would be having an underlying disorder, which contributes to her developmental delay.