Frequently Asked Questions

My baby cries all the time – is this typical and what should I do?

 

Whilst it is not uncommon for newborn babies to cry excessively, crying and unsettled behaviour can be indicative of a number of things. This will often be described as Colicky behaviour by midwives and GP’s however if this continues beyond 12 weeks and ALL medical investigations have been completed (Reflux), it could be indicative of sensory overload and difficulties with regulation. 

 
Why does my baby seem fussy and overly sensitive?

 

Some children are born more sensitive than others to sensory input and have a low threshold for all the information they are required to process in their world (clothing, nappy changes, feeding) and display extreme responses to the input. This can lead to extreme fussing, poor sleep habits, feeding issues and emotional irritability and can warrant further investigation. 

 

If your baby is over six months of age and displays at least two of the following traits, an occupational therapy assessment may be indicated to ascertain whether he/she has a regulatory disorder.

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Difficulty with self- regulation (ie taking extreme measures of co-regulation 2-3 hours to settle)

  • Feeding difficulties

  • Distress with changes in routine 

  • Distress with play and care giving (ie cuddles, dressing, teeth brushing)  doesn’t want to experiences anything of a sensory nature

 

My baby’s head has a flat spot, I have been told this will come right as he/she develops?

 

Flat spots known as Plagiocephaly are rarely due to positioning alone and often indicates something else. This is usually due to Torticollis, ie stiffness of the neck which results in laying in one position and thus developing a flat spot. It is recommended that this is investigated early to ascertain the reason for the flat spot and if intervention is required. If left untreated could result in permanent deformity.

My baby mainly looks to one side

 

It is important that babies look to both sides equally and symmetrically. The absence of looking to one side could indicate Torticollis. Torticollis is the tightness of one side of the neck (the strenocleidomastoid muscle) which restricts freedom of movement this can lead to other serious complications.

 

It is also important that no vision of visual field deficits are present and the reason for only looking to one side. 

 

My baby doesn’t seem to behave like other babies or like being around other babies.

 

If the infant has been frequently exposed to other babies and this continues to be distressing it may indicate a delay in development or regulation difficulties. Whilst we appreciate that all babies are different it may be worth investigating.

 
My baby doesn’t spend any time on the floor exploring?

 

Babies are born with an innate interest to explore in order to develop and learn. If the infant displays no interest in moving and exploring new objects and terrain this may warrant further investigation to ascertain why as this could impact on their development.

 
Is toe walking normal?

 

Toe walking is, well, pretty much as the name implies – a pattern of walking on the balls of your feet without touching the ground with your heels. Toe walking beyond the age of two is not typical and can be attributed to a number of factors. In addition it can also cause a number of further complications including poor depth perception and  poor muscle development.

 

My child never had tantrums at 2? Is this normal?

Whilst frustrating, meltdowns at 18 months to 2.5 years are typical developmental milestone important for cognitive development.

Toddler temper tantrums are natural child behavior. These emotional toddler meltdowns result from unmet needs or desires. They are more likely to appear in toddlers because that's when they start to learn that they're separated from their parents and want to seek independence, and yet they cannot. 

My baby never put anything in their mouth to explore?

Babies have an innate will to explore as this contributes to their development. Babies explore objects in their mouths as this area of the tactile system is designed to be more refined than that of their hands. Thus they mouth objects to gather more information about the object as the perception of their hands is not yet refined and developed.  The absence of mouthing could indicate a poor tolerance for tactile input. 

My baby skipped crawling. And started walking at 9 months.

Parents are often told not to worry about skipped milestones. There is however always a reason why these milestones are missed. Crawling is essential for development of shoulder stability, pelvic stability, coordination, spatial awareness, binocular vision.

 

My baby doesn’t like socialising with other babies, he is happiest at home

Babies are born with different sensory personalities. Some baby have a low tolerance for sensory input. Your baby may be overwhelmed by the amount of sensory input he/she is required to process during this time. 

Why doesn’t my baby like tummy-time?

Whilst most babies have a poor tolerance to tummy time initially due to the challenge. Tummy time is important for building up some of the essential postural muscles, developing the visual system, the vestibular system. It is important to note that tummy time is one piece of the puzzle essential to gross motor development. 

Poor tolerance of these positions after numerous exposures could indicated a number of challenges and should be investigated.

My midwife says I should put my child in a jolly-jumper or walking ring when he/she is unsettled?

Jumping is a skill that should emerge at 20 months, placing infants who are not ready for this milestone places unnecessary stress on the hips and contributes to in-toeing.

In addition it impacts on bub’s ability to freely explore and move within all the necessary positions for consolidation of gross motor skilss (tummy time, back time, side laying which facikitates

Should I be concerned if my baby is not walking at 18 months?

 

The guideline indicates that babies should walk between 12 and 18 months. If a baby is showing no interest in mobility and attempting to stand and walk there is generally an underlying reason.