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What to Do If Your Baby Isn't Reaching Their Developmental Milestones?

If you suspect your baby might have delayed milestones, taking proactive steps can make a significant difference:

  1. Consult a Pediatrician: Schedule regular well-baby check-ups and express your concerns to your pediatrician.
  2. Early Intervention Services: These services provide specialized support to address developmental delays.
  3. Occupational and Physical Therapy: These therapies can aid in motor skill development.
  4. Speech-Language Therapy: Vital for addressing communication delays and disorders.
  5. Create a Stimulating Environment: Offer age-appropriate toys, games, and activities to encourage exploration and learning.
  6. Read and Communicate: Engage in reading and talking to stimulate language development.
  7. Play and Interaction: Encourage playtime with you and other children to foster social skills.
  8. Nutrition and Health: Ensure a balanced diet and address any underlying health concerns.
  9. Start giving your child lessons in movement: You are your child's ultimate advocate and movement coach. No therapy or modality can do as much for your child's growth and progression as you can. No one will fight for your child like you will. Most everyone will be passive about your child's progression unless there are obvious signs of regression and physical mutations. 





As a parent, closely monitoring your baby's growth and development is natural. From their first smile to their first steps, each milestone is a significant achievement that brings joy and pride.


However, if you are worried about your baby's progress and everyone tells you, "It's important to remember that every child develops at their own pace."


STOP! You are NOT crazy.


Don't be wrapped up in a false sense of security that your baby is okay.


If you are worried, there is a reason for it!


We are here to help validate your feelings and give you the tools you need to optimize your baby's experience of milestone progression. Your child could have a small glitch in the system that is not letting milestone achievements happen, or it could be a REALLY BIG PROBLEM, but no one is telling you. 


We don't want you to have to go through what we went through. Worried sick about our child, not getting help from the doctors and professionals, not getting support from family, and clueless about what you can do at home to be proactive. 


Again, if you find that your baby isn't reaching their developmental milestones as quickly as others, it can be a cause for concern. In this blog, we will explore the potential reasons behind delayed milestones, offer guidance on what steps to take, and provide valuable insights into fostering healthy baby and child development.


Understanding Developmental Milestones


Developmental milestones are key skills and abilities that children typically acquire by a certain age. These milestones are categorized into different domains, including motor, cognitive, communication, social-emotional, and visual skills.


It's been accepted that there is a general timeline for when these milestones are achieved and that it's crucial to recognize that there is a wide range of normal variation. Some babies may reach certain milestones earlier, while others may take a little longer. FOR BABY-DICTATED DEVELOPMENT, THIS IS TRUE, BUT YOU DON'T WANT YOUR CHILD ON BABY-DICTATED DEVELOPMENT. 


Baby-dictated development causes parents the most stress because they are WAITING FOR DEVELOPMENT. You should NEVER be waiting for development. IT JUST HAPPENS! This type of development is time-dictated development. 


Parents who have a child experiencing time-dictated development are often surprised at how quickly their child is going from one milestone to the next. Their child is flourishing, and they can hardly believe it. Time goes by quickly, and all too soon, they realize that their baby is not a baby anymore but almost a mini-adult. Independent to some degree and wants to do everything himself or herself.  


At Movement Lesson, we use the words "typical" and "atypical" to describe your baby's development, but they don't mean the same things to us as they do everyone else. Typical is any child on time-dictated development.  Atypical is any child on baby-dictated development. 


Watch the video below to see what type of development experience your child is having. 



Red Flags: Signs of Delayed Milestones

It's important for parents to be aware of potential red flags that could indicate delayed development. Your child should never hate or skip milestones. Below we show you typical and atypical development in tummy time, rolling over, sitting, and crawling.


What should and shouldn't tummy time look like for your baby? 


What should and shouldn't rolling over look like for your baby? 


What should and shouldn't sitting look like for your baby?


What should and shouldn't crawling look like for your baby? 


Possible Reasons for Delayed Milestones

Several factors can contribute to delayed developmental milestones in babies and children:

  1. Genetics: Genetic factors can influence the pace of development.
  2. Premature Birth: Babies born prematurely might need additional time to catch up.
  3. Health Issues: Chronic health conditions or frequent illnesses can impact development.
  4. Environmental Factors: Lack of stimulation or opportunities for play and exploration.
  5. Sensory Processing Issues: Challenges in processing sensory information can affect motor skills.
  6. Language Environment: Limited exposure to language can affect speech and language development.


(Side note: don't wait to make appointments with the specialist you think your baby needs. Wait lists can be up to 12 months out! If your child has low-tone (hypotonia), there is a high probability that genetics is involved. You can often get genetic tests on your child faster if you visit a metabolic specialist. They can order genetic testing for your child. The wait is still 2-3 months out, but it's better than 12 months when your child needs help YESTERDAY! If your child had birth trauma or oxygen deprivation, ask your doctor about cerebral palsy. If your child is on baby-dictated development, they are at higher risk for developing Autism, ADD, ADHD, or a Sensory Disorder. One determining factor of this is how movement-impaired your child is to begin with and how environmentally you are accidentally further compounding that movement impairment with swaddling, too much car seat time or other container time, iPad or phone time, etc. One specialist you don't have to wait long for is a Movement Specialist. We offer FREE movement reviews on our Facebook Group Movement Lesson for Parents and Practitioners. CLICK HERE to request access and make a post (you can do anonymous posting)) 


Empowering and Optimizing Your Child's Development


This is what you are being told, and it's not helping you, "It's important to remember that every child is unique, and progress might occur in fits and starts. Celebrate the small victories and maintain open communication with your pediatrician. Avoid comparing your child's development to others, as this can create unnecessary stress. Instead, focus on creating a loving and supportive environment that nurtures your child's growth."


We know so many parents that are talking with their doctor and nothing! THE ABOVE STATEMENT IS not helping you. You are not being helped, and you shouldn't feel so helpless! 


Watching your baby reach developmental milestones should be a thrilling experience, not one full of waiting, worry, and feeling stupid for saying anything because you are being a "worry wart." 


For your child's BEST FUTURE, follow your mom/dad instinct. If you are even questioning your child's development, HELP THEM.


We teach you how. BUT FIRST, you need more resources to help you understand your child's movements and what that means for their development.


CLICK HERE to get access to our FREE "IN-TIME Baby Development Parent Resource Toolbox.


You need to be empowered with knowledge about true development before you will decide to do whatever it takes to optimize your child's development. Enjoy the shortcut to giving your child the experiences of movement, growth, progression, and, ideally, independence. 



Michelle M. Turner and Erin Fulks




FREE Movement Lesson™ Boot Camp

What you need to know to use Movement Lesson™ successfully at home.