5 Signs Your Baby May Need Pediatric Speech Therapy

pediatric speech therapy cover photo of sleeping newborn wrapped in white

One of the primary concerns of new parents is whether or not their little one is developing properly in regard to their language development. If your baby has difficulty with communication, he or she may need a speech therapist to help with this. However, pediatric speech therapy targets a lot more than just vocalizations. They also assist with feeding and swallowing dysfunction. Let’s talk more about it!

5 Signs Your Child Could Benefit from Pediatric Speech Therapy

pediatric speech therapy blog photo of smiling, sleeping newborn wrapping in blue in a basket

1. Your child has a lack of gesturing.

Gestures are important for communication, and infants who don’t gesture often in their first year are at a higher risk for later developmental issues. If your newborn or infant doesn’t gesture often, it could be a sign that they’re having trouble processing what you’re saying to them or communicating in other ways.

2. Your infant is not babbling between 4 to 7 months

It’s not uncommon for infants to start speaking in their first few months of life, and by speaking I mean “babbling”. You’ll notice vocalizations that may seem random but overtime you’ll find different vocalizations have their own meaning. If your baby isn’t babbling between 4 and 7 months, he/she may need pediatric speech therapy.

3. Your child has difficulty swallowing.

The muscles in your baby’s mouth or throat can be the reason for this condition. It could also be due to an underlying medical condition like a cleft palate or tongue tie. A speech therapist can help your child learn how to swallow more easily, which will help them eat more efficiently and avoid choking on food.

4. Your child has a hard time with feeding.

If your child is experiencing a hard time with feeding, the reason might be a problem with the muscles in their mouth or throat, as well as a problem with their ability to move their lips or tongue properly while eating. Pediatric speech therapy can help them learn how to move their lips and tongue more effectively when they’re eating, which will make it easier for them to chew and swallow their food.

5. Your child has a hard time moving their lips or their tongue.

A child with this problem may have trouble moving the tip of their tongue to produce sounds. The tongue is the most important muscle in speech production. If your child has trouble moving their tongue, it may be a sign that he needs to see a speech therapist. The problem could be related to speech or language development, or it could be a muscle development problem, both of which a speech therapist can assist with!

sleeping newborn in purple with purple bow photo for pediatric speech therapy blog

Final Thoughts on Your Child Needing Pediatric Speech Therapy

As a parent or guardian, it can be hard to tell if a child needs speech therapy during their earliest stages. When the time comes and you realize your baby’s speech or even feeding skills need more help than you can give at home with the techniques outlined above, then it is time to consider setting up an appointment with a licensed pediatric speech therapist for your little one. They will pave the way for communication between you and your child!

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