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advice needed on 3.5 month development - possible Cerebral Palsy

(27 Posts)
triplespin Thu 21-Apr-16 07:08:21

I am extremely worried about DS who is 3.5 months now. He still has his head leg and head bobbles when in a sitting position. He also does not bear much weight on his legs. The birth was uneventful but Google suggests this may be a sign of CP.

Any mothers of DC with CP - do you recognise any of these signs?

I spoke to the GP and she told me to wait for the 8 month HV check! That is far too long. If I ask for a referral now, would it be to a developmental paed or neurologist paed?

loztredders Thu 21-Apr-16 07:26:24

I think it's a little too early to be worried just yet.
Does he get much tummy time? It really does help to build up those neck muscles and arm muscles.
I know a lot of babies hate it so it's not always that easy to give lots of tummy time but small intervals throughout the day could help if he doesn't do much tummy time at the minute.

I know a 3 month old who's head is still a little wobbly and as far as I'm aware no one's thought anything of it, included the parents and I certainly didn't think it unusual when I was holding him.

Lifeisontheup2 Thu 21-Apr-16 07:43:00

I had one whose head wasn't wobbling at that age and 2 who were like nodding dogs and totally uninterested in weight bearing. All are fine now, thankfully no google around then for me to think about worrying.

NarcyCow Thu 21-Apr-16 07:46:39

Take the GP's advice. He's very tiny, he's bound to be a bit wobbly. And there's no need for him to bear weight on his legs this early!

triplespin Thu 21-Apr-16 09:00:27

Thank you. I find myself just looking at milestones and then getting anxious about every little thing! I hope that is the case.

He of course hates tummy time but we have been doing a lot for the past week. He can sometimes raise his head to 45 degrees but other times he just wants to bury his head and suck on his fist. We are persevering with it though.

I will post an update in a months time.

mumsnit Thu 21-Apr-16 09:12:34

My DD has CP (we knew she probably would from birth) but actually didn't have any real signs of it at 3.5 months. It was when she wasn't sitting steadily at 9 months that the issues became more obvious.

I've known quite a few babies with head lag and certainly many who weren't weight bearing at 3.5 months and all fine. Keep going with the tummy time as its fab for their development at this stage - that's what a physio would likely recommend anyway!

triplespin Thu 21-Apr-16 09:43:20

Thank you mumsnit! How is your DD doing now? Seems like her CP is fairly mild?

That's good to know that a physio will not recommend anything new, so I don't need to spend on private help for now.

My HV will be coming next week for a weaning discussion and I can hopefully discuss my concerns with her.

With regard to tummy time, does propping up reduce its efficacy? My baby have few times rolled over when propped but when laid down flat just flops his head down.

He is not reaching out for toys as well. If I bring one within few inches of him then he will make an effort to grab.

minipie Thu 21-Apr-16 15:18:40

My DD has (very mild) CP and at 3.5 months she had good head control and loved to weight bear on her legs... it only became clear there was something not quite right when she was 2+.

Stop googling!! You will drive yourself mad. (I say this as someone who has spent far roo much time googling medical stuff herself...) Frankly, even if your DC did have a developmental issue, there isn't much that could be done at this point anyway other than the usual tummy time and lots of cuddles and love - and you're doing that already.

Propping on a tummy time pillow is fine, some babies prefer it some don't, it's still good tummy time with or without. DD preferred tummy time if I propped a mirror in front of her (so she had to look up to see it).

Not reaching out for toys at this age is also normal.

Hopefully your HV will put your mind at rest.

triplespin Thu 21-Apr-16 16:47:30

I saw a YouTube video with typical development of a 4 month old and I can't stop watching it because DS is not doing any of those things!!

Thanks minipie. I worry that it could be even more severe CP if we are being presented with issues so early on - unlike your DD.

Today DS has decided to even flop his head on the support pillow at tummy time. At the GP yesterday he raised his head v nicely on a flat surface and I think that is why she was dismissive of the head lag! Performing at the wrong time ....

VagueIdeas Thu 21-Apr-16 16:50:54

Gross motor skill development is such a wide spectrum. My DD didn't weight bear on her legs at all until she was over a year old. Your DS is only 14 weeks old smile

Considering you don't have any reason to believe your DS might have cerebral palsy, I wouldn't worry. And stop Googling!

VagueIdeas Thu 21-Apr-16 16:53:36

Forgot to mention - both of mine hated tummy time so I rarely bothered. Hasn't done them any harm.

You sound very anxious though, a bit obsessive even, and I understand that because I had postnatal anxiety and depression myself. Have you been feeling okay, mentally, since the birth?

bittapitta Thu 21-Apr-16 16:55:02

I don't think most 3.5 month olds reacj for toys yet? And they don't exactly "sit" yet either.. In the nicest possible way please stop googling and just enjoy your baby!

If you feel anxious like this about everything a lot, have you considered talking to your GP or HV about your own postnatal depression/anxiety? All the best OP.

triplespin Thu 21-Apr-16 20:00:19

I do get anxious in general but never thought to discuss with a GP. Thought this is just my nature!! But I will have a chat with my HV on Tuesday.

Thank you ladies.

VagueIdeas Thu 21-Apr-16 20:50:42


Anxiety is in my nature too, but when my first baby was born it was too much. So do talk to your HV.

Bails2014 Thu 21-Apr-16 21:08:51

My son (born at 33 weeks) refused to weight bear on his legs until after 12 months, possibly later. He's now 18 months (adjusted) /20 months (actual) and still not walking (not far off though) and the physiotherapist has no worries about his development. He didn't start pulling himself up until two months ago.

I certainly wouldn't be too concerned about a wobbly head and little weight bearing at 3.5 months. (Although in fairness I diagnosed my son with every condition under the sun by the time he was 12 months!)

lightgreenglass Thu 21-Apr-16 21:20:20

All babies are different - DS1 was bearing weight around 3.5 months and walking at 9. DS2 is 10 months and not bearing weight properly on his legs. It's such a wide spectrum. DS2 was a nodding dog for ages. You sound very anxious and convinced of CP, a chat with the HV sounds like a good plan.

triplespin Fri 22-Apr-16 10:09:25

It seems there is a wide range on development of gross motor skills. I hope that is the case for my DS and he catches up soon.

steppemum Fri 22-Apr-16 10:18:54

please don't compare your baby to all the youtube videos.

dd1 didn't weight bear at all.
At 7 months she started crawling commando style, only using her hands and arms. We were overseas in a place with no paediatric care, and I was worried she couldn't use her legs.
Then at 12 months she suddenly discovered pulling herself to standing and found her legs. She was walking at 14 months. She is now 11 years old and fine.

Really really, there is a range. He will get there in his own time.

putthePuffindown Fri 22-Apr-16 11:06:00

We're 1 month ahead of you age wise and dd still has a bit of the wobbles if that helps. She'll get there and we're seeing gradual (albeit slow) improvement - I hadn't even thought to worry about it.

For tummy time we've had a lot of success with one of us 'hugging' her by supporting her chest with palm of hand while the other jiggled toys and pulls faces at her. When solo, tummy time combined with skin to skin time and a cheeky wee lie down works well.

flowers for you, look after yourself.

triplespin Fri 22-Apr-16 16:36:35

That is reassuring. We are doing tummy time at every opportunity but as you say any improvement will be slow. Nothing in two days of course. Hopefully in a month's time he will be more stable so we can take out the Bumbo and get him the Jumperoo.

idontlikealdi Sat 23-Apr-16 14:38:11

You won't be able to put him in the jumperoo at 4mo!

triplespin Sat 23-Apr-16 14:59:21

Really? Everyone in Jan birth club is already using it as their babies have good head control. So I thought we needed to wait for that.

Quodlibet Sat 23-Apr-16 15:08:38

Wearing him in a good supportive sling (something like a Moby wrap) is meant to be good for developing core strength and head control, as they are upright and accompanying your body movements as oppose to (probably) lying flat in a pram.

Agree that it does sound a bit extreme to be worrying about CP though.

bittapitta Sat 23-Apr-16 15:20:41

Jumperoo isn't recommended until 6 months iirc.

Step away from forums, Babycentre, YouTube and enjoy your baby.

BrightandEarly Sun 24-Apr-16 08:56:34

If you are genuinely concerned (as I was about my DS at that age), it might be worth paying for a private children's physio.

We did, I found it very reassuring, and we were given some exercises that helped. Although DS was within the range of normal, his neck muscles on one side were tighter (from his position in the womb?) making it more difficult for him to lift his head. We did some gentle stretches as well as other exercises to stimulate him.

And fwiw, he hit any subsequent milestones fine and is now a boisterous two year old.

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