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Eight Month Baby Development Issue

by Evelyn

My baby is eight months old and has not started controlling

his head due to some abnormalities, (bone abnormality).

What can I do to help baby achieve what other babies are achieving?

Annie's Reply
Hi Evelyn,
I am not a pediatrician so I can't advise specifically to do with your baby's issue, but I am sure you would be able to get access to some specialist help or physio that may encourage his physical development.

When a baby has some kind of medical issue that delays growth or development you can't expect him to be at the same stage as other babies his age.

The baby milestones are averages, and to get that there will be some babies that are really quick to be able to master something, like lifting the head, rolling over, and others that will take several months longer.

You didn't say if there was anything done to help correct the issue, or how it would effect baby long term, but in general if there is something significant that has caused a delay in early development, then you can usually expect a kind of domino effect where most physical milestones he will be unlikely to achieve them at the average rate.

Don't get caught up in feeling there is something "wrong" with him. Yes he has a medical issue and yes there will be delays but the most important thing for good development for any baby is lots and lots of attention and interaction with you.

You did sign up for my free parenting games series but they are for older children and will not be of any use to you yet.

There may well be physical movement things you can do that help to stimulate his muscle development and help the brain to develop but you would need specialist help with this.

But even just simple baby massage, and moving his knees up to his chest, helping him to kick around, having him on his tummy and lying on the floor yourself and talking to him and moving around out of his line of sight to encourage him to stretch and move. You can't force physical development but you can encourage him to look in different directions, following noises or the sound of your voice. All these kind of things are helping the neck muscles develop and also his brain will still be processing things even if his body is not able to be controlled yet.

So the more interaction you have with him, playing peepo games, talking and showing him things getting him to reach and stretch, will all keep his brain developing well and helping other motor and cognitive functions develop despite his physical setbacks.

Some children who have delayed development do catch up eventually, some may always be small or physically not so confident, but I can't say in your case so you would need some advice from your pediatrician as to what you can expect.

The most important developmental tool, toy or game is YOU. The more you interact, play, rolly poly him, giggling games, water play, the better. Many children respond will to being in the bath or a pool where the water supports at the same time as the muscles strengthen. But of course you have to consider safety first since he can't lift his head up to take a breath or to get his face out of the water.

Don't buy into worrying because he is not reaching the usual milestones, clearly he is going to have to go at his own pace and learn to compensate for his physical issues. But he can be a healthy happy wee boy who will have an awesome childhood regardless.

There are lots of ideas on our baby pages for games and interaction, just ignore the age milestones! And get some specialist advice to see if there are any movement, exercises or physical things you can do that would specifically help him get control of his head.

All the best,
Annie Desantis :)

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