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|Does My Baby Need Physical Therapy?- A Paediatrician's Perspective by StJosephsPhysio: 9:27am On Jun 20|
As a doting New Nigerian parent, I'm sure you are excited to experience your baby's every milestone and look forward to telling friends and family about your baby's new development. When a baby experiences developmental delays, parents become anxious with the thoughts their babies may not be developing like other babies.
Children develop at different paces, because your baby isn't rolling over, crawling, or walking isn't an indicator that something is wrong with your baby, however, the St. Joseph's Physiotherapy team is glad to educate you about the signs you shouldn't ignore concerning your baby's development.
Paediatrician Dr. Oladunni Okodugha, a Resident Paediatrician at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), and Clinical Direcror at Shepherd Medical Centre has taken the liberty to furnish us with signs to look out for if you have concerns about your child's development.
Dr. Okodugha says early intervention is key to averting any possible developmental problems. A baby or toddler's motor skills can affect other functionality. Motor skills can affect the cognitive, perceptual, and social development of a child.
On that note If you're seeing any of these five signs in your child, you'll want to visit a physiotherapist.
Baby not trying to lift the head up
Dr. Okodugha says that one sign that could raise an eyebrow, is if your baby is not lifting or trying to lift its head. A typical newborn will lift and turns its head from 1 to 3 months, it's expected that a baby should not find it difficult to turn their head side to side. She says, an inability to do this, indicates a sign of torticollis, a condition in which the baby's neck muscle is too stiff to move properly.
They are not meeting their milestone
Other than being able to lift their heads, there are milestones a baby should achieve from the time of conception to 15 months. Dr. Okodugha points out that although a baby's development can be influenced by several factors and all babies develop at different paces, your baby should be able to accomplish the following within this range; if otherwise, the baby might be experiencing such problems such as low muscle tone and should immediately see a physiotherapist
Rollover within 4-6 months
Sitting unaided without cushions within 5-7 months
Sitting up on their own without assistance between 8-9 month
Crawling; somewhere around 8-10 months
Stand up using an object within 10-12 months
Take the first step within 10-15 months
They can't prop themselves up.
Babies can have core weaknesses. If at 6-9 months, you observe that your baby doesn't like to lie on their belly with an extended arm prone prop position, it could be an indication of core weakness, Says Dr. Okodugha Physical therapy can help strengthen the baby's core.
Lack of proper coordination.
By the time your child is 3, they should be able to stand balanced on one foot, be able to catch a ball, and jump up and down Dr. Okodugha says that if you notice your child being clumsy, avoiding some playground equipment, then they should be taken for an evaluation
Some babies born too early might be at risk of experiencing developmental delays. As early as a few days old, enroll your premature baby into physical therapy. A physiotherapist can help the baby early on with lifting their heads, sitting, crawling, walking,and feeding.
Is your baby behind on developmental milestones and you are not sure if it's something to worry about? Feel free to consult with us. We are at 21B Christ Avenue, Off Admiralty Road, Lekki Phase 1. Lagos Nigeria
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