How do I know if my baby is developing normally?

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As a new Mum myself, I have a new understanding of how much you find yourself comparing notes with friends, family, people from NCT and random people in the street about how your baby is developing. Is your baby rolling, sitting up, reaching, crawling and walking at the same rate and in the same was as every other baby?

It is completely normal to have concerns about whether your child is developing as they should and whilst comparisons with others can helpful, they also create added pressure. It is important to realise that children develop at different rates and stages to one another and that every baby’s ‘milestones’ are unique to them – another baby of a similar age reaching a milestone before your baby is not necessarily a sign that there is something wrong.


Children develop at different rates 


There are a few things you should keep an eye out for however with your baby and young child that may indicate a review by a Paediatric Physiotherapist may be beneficial. This list is not exhaustive and please bear in mind you can call to speak to a Paediatric Physiotherapist to discuss your specific concerns and whether physiotherapy may be appropriate for you child. Also remember that if your child does match anything on the list, it does not necessarily mean there is a problem or you need to be worried.

  • Floppy baby with poor head control
  • Floppy baby with poor head control
  • Flattening of the head on either side or at the back
  • Predominant use of one side more than the other
  • Inability to turn the head to one direction
  • Ongoing intolerance to tummy lying and difficulty in weight-bearing onto hands and knees
  • Difficulty when nappy changing due to stiff hips, rigid or crossed legs
  • Frequent falls or trips
  • Co-ordination / balance difficulties
  • Toe walking, inability to put feet flat on the ground
  • Not walking by 18months of age
  • Intoeing (pigeon toes)
  • Bow legs
  • Knock knees
A Paediatric Physiotherapist can help


Early assessment by a Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist can help detect early signs of developmental problems, which can then be addressed promptly or may simply provide reassurance and peace of mind that your child is progressing normally through their developmental stages. If you would like to discuss any concerns you have about your child, or would like to book an appointment please get in touch.

Author – Madeliene Stalley, Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist