Supporting your child's development

There are several common concerns and questions that we receive from parents/carers. Please see below some suggestions to help support your child’s development.

These are generalised suggestions and advice and may not work for every child. If you have further concerns, please seek advice from relevant healthcare professionals.

My baby doesn’t like tummy time

Tummy time is crucial in your baby’s development. While it can be difficult to encourage something that may make your baby upset initially, different tactics and persistence will help to make them more comfortable.

Tummy time can start from even a few days old. Have baby lay on your chest when they are more alert. It is normal for you baby to lift their head to look at you or look at a toy. This can be progressed to lying on the floor as they get older. You may want to use a rolled-up blanket or towel to support their chest when starting to transition to lying on the floor.

This should be completed as much as possible when baby is awake, but for at least 30 minutes per day.

My baby isn’t sitting independently

Babies who prefer playing on their back for long periods or who have not completed much tummy time may sit later than others. This is because tummy time builds strength in the muscles that help to keep us upright when sitting.

My child isn’t crawling

Children crawl as a way of moving from place to place. Lots of babies find other ways of doing this, like bottom shuffling and rolling. This can be worrying for parents and carers and can be a difficult habit to break. While it is not harmful for your baby to move like this, it can delay walking and it is important they develop to ability to crawl to improve strength in their shoulder and hip muscles. Crawling also helps to prepare for other activities such as kneeling, pulling to stand and eventually walking.

Bottom shuffling leaflet: Babies who bottom shuffle | Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (

My child isn’t walking

Most children will be walking by the time they reach 2 years old. Some children will have been walking for several months prior to this while others may still need a hand to hold or furniture to grab.

Should I use a baby walker or a jumperoo?

Sit-in baby walkers and jumperoo’s are not recommended for use to support children in learning to walk and/or stand. Push-along style walkers are ok and can be a useful tool in improving your child’s confidence and strength on their feet.

Please see the leaflet below if you would like more information about the recommendations about this equipment from the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (APCP).

APCP leaflet: Parent Leaflet - Babywalkers - are they necessary? | Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (

Why does my child move this way?

Tiptoe Walking

Tiptoe walking can be a normal part of early development as your child learns to balance and walk independently. While most children will grow out of this, some may continue to walk on their toes. There may be several reasons for this. Please see below leaflet for information and advice regarding tiptoe walking. If you continue to have concerns about this, please speak with a healthcare professional who may consider a referral to the relevant service.


When they first begin to walk, most children walk with their feet and legs turned inwards. This is a completely normal variant and is very common in young children. It may affect one or both legs. This can be normal and 90% of children grow out of this without treatment. If this problem persists or your child has pain, please seek advice from healthcare professionals.

APCP leaflet: Parent Leaflet - Intoeing Gait | Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (

Flat Feet

Parent Leaflet - Flat Feet in Young Children | Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (


When your child learns to sit, you might find they sit like this:

Picture of w-sitting

We call this ‘W-Sitting’, because of the shape made by the legs. While this is fairly common, this position can cause problems later on including:

  • Poor posture
  • Reduced core/trunk strength
  • Stress on joints
  • Hip problems as an adult
  • In-toeing when walking
  • Delay in development

Encouraging your child to sit with legs crossed, straight out in front or in ‘mermaid’ position (both legs to one side) will help to combat these issues.

As a patient

As a patient, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Patient Advice and Liaison service  Contact the Trust