Signs of Cerebral Palsy or birth injury in the first few months of your baby’s life

Signs of cerebral palsy or birth injury may show up immediately following your child's birth, or not for several months. Generally speaking cerebral palsy usually becomes evident when the child reaches 6 ½ to 9 months of age and is starting to move his or her limbs.

In the first few months of life, an infant with brain damage may have some or all of these symptoms:

  • Jittery, uncoordinated movements, or asymmetrical movements;
  • Difficulty feeding, in particular, difficulty with sucking and swallowing fluids;
  • Irritability and abnormal high pitched cry;
  • A very exaggerated startle response to a loud noise or sudden movement;
  • Apnea (irregular breathing pattern, or periods when your baby stops breathing);
  • Seizures;
  • General lack of alertness or lethargy; and
  • Abnormal muscle tone (i.e. either very floppy or very stiff).

If you have any concerns about your baby's development, you should raise your concerns with your family physician or pediatrician.