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6 month old baby lacks head control
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6 month old baby lacks head control

I have a 6 month old nephew who is healthy, happy and alert. However, he still seems to lack control of his head - his movements when he wants to turn and look at something is very jerky and he can't hold it up well at all.  He also is not making much attempt to stand or push up on legs when you hold him. We are wondering if this could be because his mother is "on the go" alot and so he spends a great deal of time in his car seat.  His mother is hard to approach about anything that might be "possibly wrong" with her children so we are hesitant to say anything to her.  Please tell me if this is something to worry about or not.  At first I thought his lack of head control might be because he is a chubby baby and has what I call a "Charlie Brown" head! Any advice would be helpful.
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Dear Cathy,

It's important when looking at developmental markers to be careful - after all, such markers are averages, and many children do not conform to them precisely at all. In addition, development in the different areas often proceeds in a somewhat uneven fashion - i.e., a child might be advanced in some areas and slower in others.

Having said that, one would expect a child of six months to have achieved greater control over posture and muscle control than your nephew is displaying. In fact, by several months of age a child has ususally developed the sort of control over neck muscles that you are referring to.

Now, is this a cause for worry? I certainly can't say that. But it is reason to bring it to the attention of the pediatrician, because development in that particular area is considerably slower than one would expect.

Relative to the matter of time in the car seat, that is probably not instrumental at all. In fact, one could assert that such a position might even promote the kind of development you're discussing, in a way that laying in a crib, for example, might not. This does not sound like a development that is the fault of your nephew's mother. But it bears discussion with the pediatrician.
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