Reaching milestones may predict school success

Study suggests delay in baby motor skills can be linked to later learning problems - but don't worry if your baby's not crawling yet


Babies who fail to meet their milestones, such as crawling and picking up small objects, are more likely to have learning and behavioural problems at the age of five, suggests a new study.


Researchers from London University’s Institute of Education analysed the development of nearly 15,000 UK children taking part in the Millennium Cohort Study.

“We found that delay in gross and fine motor development in a child’s first year, which affects one in 10 children, was significantly associated with delayed cognitive development at age five,” concluded the scientists.

However, before new mums start panicking and desperately pushing their babies to crawl before the nine month milestone, it’s vital to remember that all babies reach their milestones at different times. We reported this week on an amazing baby who’s started walking at just 6 months – but this doesn’t mean he’s a baby Einstein.

Some babies simply take longer to start crawling or walking than others, but they catch up and there are no ill effects on their later school life.

Still, in other cases, the problems can point to a developmental delay that may need specialised help.


If you are worried about your baby’s development, don’t stress but talk to your health visitor or GP.

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