Identifying signs of concern in 3-6 month olds
As a new parent, it can be overwhelming to keep track of all the changes and developments your baby goes through in their first few months. It's hard to monitor their constant development and identify the milestones they're achieving. We understand you may be concerned about your baby's health and development. Here are key signs to help you identify any possible delays.
Remember that each child is unique and develops at various times and rates. So, if your baby isn't doing the same things as your friend's baby, give your little one time!
You can assist in your baby's growth and happiness with creativity, patience, and love. In addition, milestones are not set in stone and can vary within specific age groups. It may take up to six months to achieve them.
Here are some signs to look out for in your 3-6-month-old baby:
Lack of or reduced eye contact
Eye contact is an essential aspect of social interaction and communication.
Babies should start making eye contact by 6 weeks and maintain it for several seconds by 3-4 months. So to support your little one through this skill, get close and personal! Talk to your baby using soothing voices and tones, giving plenty of eye contact, and make it a habit to face your baby when talking to them.
If your baby does not make eye contact or avoids it altogether, it could be a sign of a delay in their social development.
Lack of or reduced responsiveness to voices or sounds
When babies are around 3-4 months old, they start responding to sounds and voices in their environment. For example, you might notice your little one turning their head towards a voice they recognise or any exciting noise nearby. To stimulate their listening skills, try playing games with shakers around the room, enticing your baby to locate the source of the sound.
If you don't see this kind of reaction from your baby, reaching out to your GP is a good idea. This could be a sign of a hearing issue that needs to be addressed.
Lack of or reduced ability to follow objects with their eyes
By the time they're 3-4 months old, babies should be able to keep their eyes on moving things and reach out to touch or grab things they see nearby.
Provide plenty of opportunities to follow moving objects or people; singing songs with movements is a great way to support this skill as you encourage them to focus on the different actions using their eyes to track activity.
Mobiles are great for engaging your baby's curiosity as they watch their dangling toys and get the impulse to grab them.
Lack of or reduced head control
By the time they're about 3-4 months old, babies should be able to hold their heads up while lying on their tummies or being held upright.
But if your little one is having trouble with head control, you can help them get stronger and to improve their coordination by giving them plenty of floor time, encouraging tummy time, and trying some gentle baby massage.
No attempts to roll over
When babies reach 4-6 months old, they start showing signs of attempting to roll over. These signs include pushing up on their arms, lifting their heads and shoulders, and turning their heads to one side or the other.
To help improve their motor skills, it's essential to provide plenty of floor time with toys around them to encourage movement and rolling over skills as they grasp the objects.
Lack of or reduced social smile
By 3 months, babies start giving social smiles in response to interaction with familiar people. To stimulate their social skills providing your baby with lots of social interactions is essential.
For example, always face them when you are talking and singing to them so they can observe your expressions, gestures and emotions. You can also take turns smiling, play tickling games, and engage in peek-a-boo.
Suppose your baby doesn't smile or has a lack of emotional expression. In that case, it's important to speak with your GP and discuss any concerns about a potential delay in their development.
Remember, as a parent; it's essential to trust your instincts. If something doesn't seem right, seek the advice of a medical professional.
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