This is how you recognize a developmental delay in your child

Your child can’t roll at one year old or he can’t talk at three years old: these are characteristics of a developmental delay in your child. This can occur in motor, cognitive, social-emotional or speech and language areas.

A developmental delay can manifest itself in different ways, which is why it cannot be recognized in the same way in every child. Sometimes such a backlog does not come to light until later. All you can do is keep a close eye on it.

Signs of a developmental delay

Please note, the signals and characteristics can vary greatly per child.

1. Move

When babies are about nine months old, they begin to pull themselves up and sit on their own. Between ten and fourteen months he will probably also take his first steps. If he has not done this by eighteen months, you can discuss this at the consultation office.

2. Babble

Babies start using words around their first year. Some are a little earlier, others a little later, but if your child hasn’t said any words by two years old, this could indicate a delay.

3. Social-emotional

A child with a social-emotional developmental delay usually smiles later than six weeks. After that you can recognize this by a difficult interaction with other children.

4. Food and drink

A delay can also manifest itself through problems with eating and drinking. This can be: no or little sucking reflex or suction. If your child is older, this can manifest itself in difficulty chewing and swallowing.

5. Two things at once

Understanding what others are saying is more difficult for children with developmental delays. If you tell him two things to do, it’s much harder to understand.

6. See and hear

Your child may suffer from:

  • A lazy eye
  • Looking cross-eyed
  • A strength deviation
  • Hearing impairment
  • Deafness
  • Other organs can also deviate, such as the heart and lungs.

7. Sleep

Difficulty falling asleep or waking up several times during the night can be a signal. Also waking up very early or sleeping in for a very long time, so they don’t have many ‘active’ hours in the day.

8. Behavior

More dependent towards the parents, fear of strange people or situations and keeping fixed habits can be characteristics. Attention problems, difficulty sitting still and lack of concentration can also occur.

9. Potty trained

A child with developmental delay is potty trained later during the day. ‘Normally’, children are potty trained between the ages of two and three and at night between the ages of three and four.

10. Appearance

In some children you can see a developmental delay in appearance. For example, children may have low-set ears.


If you suspect that your child has a developmental delay, you can contact various parties. You can go to the consultation office, the general practitioner or the children’s physiotherapist. He can eventually also go to an ophthalmologist, pediatric neurologist or speech therapist. They will help you with information, advice and exercises.

Babies born during corona may have a developmental delay

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