Baby Development Slowing Down

by Simon
(Queensland, Australia)

I may have a problem with baby development slowing down. My son is now 4 months old and has always seemed to pick things up very quickly. He seemed to be turning his head towards interesting things within days of being born. He quickly gained head control and by about half way through his first month was fully confident holding it up with no support. In fact he almost always insistent on it!


By this time he was also clearly a lot happier sitting up and by 2 months he could sit while holding my hands and was delighted to be doing it. He also began holding things in his hands and shaking them and making a fist and actually trying to hit the toys on his mobile with them (usually missing them but hey he tried).

I noticed these skills were rapidly improving and he has mastered these skills and a few other minor ones very well. Now I know this is nothing to be too worried about and I might be making a fuss but I feel he is losing momentum and I was hoping he would continue to develop fast. When I first started laying him on his belly he showed a lot of promise. He began raising his head up while on his belly at about 2 and a half months and can now raise his head to 90 degrees but was never very happy for long in this position.

He still can't lay on his belly for more than about a minute maximum without getting really upset. He also seems to get tired quickly when in this position and lays his head down or holds it very low and then gets upset. He won't even lay on his back by himself for very long.

He makes absolutely no attempt to roll over and seems uninterested if I try to divert his attention with a toy. He seems only interested in what's right in front of him and will ignore any toys if they are put out of his reach. I have tried addressing these issues with toys and encouragement but to no avail. His development has simply stopped when it comes to these milestones and it is starting to affect his new skills.

I have several tummy time toys like activity mats and a thing he can lie on and swivel but no matter how much fun he seems to have at first he soon gets upset. When on his back I sometimes begin to roll him but stop at about 45 degrees and since he is off balance he sometimes puts his leg over and finishes the roll. But it seems like more of a reflex than anything.

Is it a good idea to do this or will it make him think I should always help him roll? I should also mention that he is quite a big boy too! He is in the upper range of his age I can't think of the weight off the top of my head, but he is a bit above average.

Does anyone have any advice on how to motivate him? I know it might not seem like an emergency but I was hoping he could stay ahead and it's sad to see he might be falling behind.


*** Comment by Dalene ***
Wow Simon, what a great description of the situation!

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Baby Development Rates
by: Margart Watson

Baby development rates may slow down a little at some point. It is as if they have to catch up with themselves. Rolling independently from front to back usually is a skill acquired some time between 3 and 6 months. Although there are huge variations including those who learn the apparently harder trick of rolling from back to front first.

You hint that your son is a little overweight and this could be contributing to the problem. However, if he always protests in certain positions there may be a physical reason so don't think you are a fussy mother - get it checked out. If there really is nothing the matter, at least you will be reassured.

Does he try to push himself up with his hands? If so, his muscle development is probably fine. Why not make a video of your son on his mat and take this with you to your pediatrician so that he can see exactly what goes on. If he is overweight, take the chance to discuss this at the same time.

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