Potential Signs of Cerebral Palsy in 7-8-Month-Olds

Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis, Child Development

brown teddy bear holding sign that reads 7-8 in orange type

Most children in the United States are not diagnosed with cerebral palsy until they are 2 years of age, on average. However, many children show signs of this condition at a much earlier age. Early diagnosis often leads to better outcomes as children can enter early intervention programs sooner. Take a closer look at some of the potential signs of cerebral palsy in babies who are 7 to 8 months old.

Poor Motor Skills in 7- to 8-Month-Olds

Most babies start exercising their motor skills at around 7 to 8 months of age. The following motor skill developmental delays may be signs of cerebral palsy in 7-month-old and 8-month-old babies:

  • Not rolling over in either direction
  • Not crawling or attempting to move each way, such as scooting or army crawling
  • Not pulling their body up into a standing position
  • Not bearing weight on feet when supported in a standing position
  • Having muscles that are too tight or too loose when held or supported in a standing position
  • Needs support to sit up straight
  • Resists sitting with legs extended straight
  • Difficulty keeping head upright when picked up
  • Reaches for things with only one dominant hand, rather than using both hands, and keeping the less dominant hand in a fist
  • Difficulty bringing hands together, such as when trying to clap
  • Difficulty moving objects from one hand to another
  • Difficulty lifting hands to their mouth
  • Difficulty picking up things with their thumb and index finger
  • Not putting toys or other objects in their mouth
  • Uses the tongue to push soft food out of their mouth rather than eating normally or spitting out unpalatable food
  • Gags or regularly chokes when feeding
  • Not pointing at things that they see or want
  • Not mimicking the gestures of others, such as clapping or waving
  • Has the asymmetrical tonic reflex, which causes a baby to extend the leg on the side it turns its head and contract the opposite leg, and it persists
  • Has the Palmer grasp reflex, which causes a baby to involuntarily grab hold of something in their palm, and it persists
  • Has the Moro reflex, which causes a baby to spread their arms out, then bring them into their body when they feel unsupported or unsafe, and it persists

Poor Verbal Skills in 7- to 8-Month-Olds

At 7 and 8 months of age, most babies are testing their vocal cords and attempting to mimic the sounds they hear. Most babies at this age tie together different vowels in an attempt to form words. Because of cerebral palsy, 7- and 8-month-old babies may be much quieter than their peers. The following verbal behaviors may indicate a 7- or 8-month-old has cerebral palsy:

  • Not saying simple words, such as “mama” or “dada”
  • Not babbling
  • Not trying to imitate words other people say

Lack of Response in 7- to 8-Month-Olds

Most babies between 7 and 8 months of age are very alert and excited about the world around them. They are like little sponges, keen to soak up the world around them and interact with the people they love. However, brain injuries and development problems that cause cerebral palsy can stifle these instincts.

A 7- or 8-month-old baby with cerebral palsy may not respond to common sounds, sights, and words as babies without the condition do. For example, you may notice the following behaviors in babies with cerebral palsy:

  • Seeming uninterested or unexcited by doorbells, their dogs barking, or the voice of a parent returning home
  • Not looking up when someone says their name
  • Not looking when someone points something out, such as a plane in the sky or an animal at the zoo
  • Not stopping actions or hesitating when someone says the word “no” to them
  • Not recognizing the faces of people they commonly see, such as their parents, siblings, and grandparents
  • Not watching the path of a falling object
  • Not looking for hidden objects, such as toys put behind a parent’s back or under a blanket
  • Not engaging in simple games, like clapping games or peek-a-boo

Unusual Social Behaviors in 7- to 8-Month-Olds

At around 7 to 8 months old, most babies start behaving in typical ways. They learn to favor the familiar and avoid new things or people. The following unusual behaviors can indicate that your baby has cerebral palsy:

  • Never showing fear or distrust of strangers
  • Not showing any real preference about which toys they will play with
  • Appearing standoffish and detached from familiar people

All babies develop at different rates, but when you notice the potential signs of cerebral palsy, you should not delay. Investigating them further could mean the difference between an early or delayed diagnosis. Getting a positive cerebral palsy diagnosis can be challenging, but help is at hand. If you think it’s possible that your child has cerebral palsy that was caused by medical malpractice, contact The Cerebral Palsy Family Lawyers at Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC to learn more about how we can help you determine if you have a case for compensation.



Claire Surles, RN
Reviewed by:
Claire Surles, RN
Registered Nurse

Claire comes to JJS after a 10-year career as a labor and delivery nurse. She dedicated her hospital efforts to advocating for families, providing the safest birthing environment possible as Newborn Admission Nurse at UMMC St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland. Her passion for helping those who experienced losses at any stage of gestation led to her appointment as Coordinator of the hospital’s ROOTS perinatal loss program. READ FULL BIO

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