Birth Injury: Delayed Child Development and Missed Milestones


Child Development - Missed Milestones

A child’s infancy is an exciting time, so many new experiences and opportunities to learn so much each day. This can also be a difficult time for parents that may bring up questions like - “At what age should my baby be walking? At what age should my child be able to kick a ball? Is my child’s development delayed?”

To better answer these questions, we have put together an infographic that displays the signs of delayed development and missed milestones.

Missed Milestone Infographic

Physical & Nonphysical Milestones Your Child Should Reach

Every young child will have unique milestones, but the infographic above should provide an idea of what can be expected of the average newborn, infant, and toddler. Still, it is worth going into more detail about both physical and nonphysical development milestones and what it could mean if any are missed.

Signs of Physical Problems

Many birth injuries are not noticeable shortly after delivery but will eventually manifest as physical problems. Noticing that your child seems to be avoiding movements or the use of one specific limb can be the first telltale identifier that something is wrong. Of course, an infant is not going to be completely dependent and completing any amazing physical feats, but they should be able to move themselves somewhat freely, especially after nine months.

Cerebral palsy (CP) could be the cause of your child’s apparent physical weakness. This birth injury usually causes severe muscular atrophy to the point of being unable to move certain body parts, as well as poor coordination. Your pediatrician will be able to diagnose if your child has CP, but it might take several check-ups and the use of radiological imaging like a CT scan or MRI, which can uncover internal brain damage.

Signs of Mental or Developmental Problems

A birth injury that causes oxygen deprivation – like a hypoxic brain injury or placental abruption – can cause brain damage in an unborn child or newborn. The signs of that damage might not be noticeable until weeks, months, or years later, and, even then, they can be subtle and difficult to notice. Parents need to pay close attention to their babies to see if there are any warning signs that they could be living with a brain injury that will cause a lifetime of developmental challenges.

Some of the more subtle signs to watch for:

  • 2 months: Does not smile when happy
  • 4 months: Inability to recognize family members
  • 6 months: No reaction to emotional changes in others
  • 7 months: No response when someone says their name
  • 9 months: Lack of object permanence
  • 10 months: No attempt to say basic words like ‘mama’
  • 12 months: Does not mimic others
  • 18 months: Will not follow simple verbal instructions like ‘follow me’
  • 24 months: No signs of problem-solving skills

You can learn about even more development milestones by clicking here to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, which includes a link to a no-cost milestone tracker app from the organization. also has a helpful list of development milestones, which you can read by clicking here.

To get more information on Birth Injury, Child Development, and Missed Milestones or to discuss your potential case, contact The Law Office of Michael H. Bereston (410) 220-6581 today.