Baby Doesn’t Reach Out To Be Picked Up

Baby doesn’t reach out to be picked up!


At a young age, babies go through important developmental milestones that serve as early signs of potential developmental issues.

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental delay that can be diagnosed early if parents and doctors are alert to warning signs. One of these signs is a lack of eye contact, a behavior that most babies exhibit by the age of 2-4 months.

However, autistic babies may not show the same interest in familiar things or following signs as other babies their same age.

While it’s completely normal for babies to reach developmental milestones at their own pace, exhibiting signs of developmental delay should be a warning sign for parents to bring up with their child’s doctor. I

n this article, we will explore the important milestones for babies, including grasping objects and motor skills, and what to do if your little one is not reaching these milestones or exhibiting repetitive actions.

We will also discuss early signs, diagnosis and intervention, and when to consider consulting with a speech pathologist or other specialists.

When Should My Baby start Reaching out to be Picked up?

Most babies start reaching out to be picked up between 6 to 8 months of age, although some may start as early as 3 to 4 months. It’s an important milestone in their development, as it shows that they are starting to understand cause and effect, and are becoming more confident in their motor skills.

If your baby hasn’t started reaching out to be picked up yet, it’s not necessarily a cause for concern, as babies develop at their own pace. to understand this, we will expand on the three factors that help babies reach this milestone below

Physical Development

Physical development in young children is an important aspect of their growth and can be observed through developmental milestones, such as reaching for and grasping objects, crawling, and eventually walking.

Parents and caregivers should be aware of these milestones and look for early signs of developmental issues, such as delays in motor skills, repetitive actions, and lack of eye contact.

For children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), early diagnosis and intervention are crucial. Many children with ASD exhibit signs from a very young age, such as a lack of eye contact, delayed speech, and repetitive motions.

While every baby develops at their own pace, most babies reach important milestones around the same age.

Alert babies may start reaching for familiar things and grasping objects around 2-5 months old.

Most babies start sitting up on their own, crawling, and even saying their own name. by 4 to 13 months of age . By 9-17 months, they may start walking, playing with toys, and responding to their environment.

If a child is exhibiting signs of a developmental issue, parents should talk to their child’s doctor or a speech pathologist to develop a treatment plan.

With early intervention, many children can overcome developmental delays and go on to lead completely normal lives. It is important for parents to remember that every child is different, and some may need a bit more time to reach certain milestones.

Emotional Development

Emotional development in young children is an essential aspect of their overall growth and well-being. Early signs of emotional development can be observed in babies as young as 0-2 years old, and developmental milestones continue to be achieved up until the age of 4-13 years old. However, some children may exhibit developmental delays, which can be a warning sign of autism spectrum disorder.

Diagnosing autism in young children, even in autistic babies, is possible with early intervention and an observant eye. One of the key indicators of autism is a lack of eye contact, which is often not seen in children of the same age. Most children are alert babies, and their attention is drawn to familiar things and following signs.

Grasping objects and developing motor skills are important milestones that babies start reaching their own pace. Binocular vision ( ( the ability to use both eyes together to perceive depth and see in three dimensions) ) helps babies from birth to adulthood to achieve developmental milestones. Most babies will have mastered Reaching and grasping between 4-6 months of age using binocular vision


Interacting with babies, playing with toys, and responding to their little ones can help parents to bring out their child’s emotional development and aid in hand-eye coordination which is an important part of reaching out.

It’s important to note that children may take a bit more time than others to achieve developmental milestones, and parents shouldn’t worry if their child is not exhibiting signs of emotional development at the same pace as other babies their age.

Cognitive Development

Cognitive development is the process by which a child develops their ability to think, reason, and understand the world around them. This process starts at a very young age, typically from birth, and continues throughout childhood and into adulthood.

During the ages of 0-2, babies exhibit early signs of cognitive development by grasping objects, reaching for familiar things, and following signs. At this age, most babies are alert and responsive, enjoying interacting with their parents and playing with toys. They also start to recognize their own name and smile in response to their parents.

Between the ages of 0-5, young children reach important developmental milestones such as forming words, walking, and grasping objects with more control. At this age, it is normal for babies to exhibit repetitive actions and motions, but it is important for parents to be aware of any warning signs or developmental delays.

This can include a lack of eye contact, not reaching developmental milestones at the same pace as other children, or exhibiting signs of autism spectrum disorder.

Diagnosing autism in babies and young children can be challenging, but it is important to seek early diagnosis and intervention. Many children with autism can be diagnosed early, even before the age of 2, through the observation of their behavior and interaction with others. Babies with autism may exhibit a lack of eye contact, not respond to their names, or not play with toys in the same way as other babies.

If parents are worried about their child’s cognitive development or notice any developmental issues, they should talk to their child’s doctor. An early diagnosis can lead to early intervention and a treatment plan to help the child reach their full potential.

Reasons, why Baby may not reach out to be picked up

Babies, may not reach out to be picked up for a variety of reasons. These could include developmental milestones and problems with their motor abilities, attention span, and social interactions,

Because they are still learning to control their emotions and concentrate their attention, very young newborns (between 0 and 2 months) might not reach out.

The presence of other children or newborns, the kinds of toys or items they choose, as well as their general alertness and attention level, are other elements that may influence a baby’s propensity to reach out.

Early indications of developmental delay can also impair a baby’s capacity to interact with its surroundings. It may be a red flag if a baby is not gripping things or answering to their own name by the age of six months.

How to encourage babies to reach out to be picked up

Reaching out to be picked up is an important developmental milestone that occurs during the early stages of infancy, usually between 0-5 months of age.

At this young age, babies exhibit early signs of communication and social interaction through their movements and gestures, including reaching out for attention and physical contact.

To encourage babies to reach out for attention and physical contact, parents can provide familiar toys and objects for the baby to grasp and play with, and pay attention to the baby’s body language and signs of interest.

Following the baby’s lead and responding to their actions can help build trust and encourage them to initiate social interaction and communication.

Playing with other babies and interacting with other children can also help young infants develop important social and motor skills, and parents should be mindful of providing opportunities for their little ones to enjoy interacting with their peers.

It is important to note that the majority of kids develop at their own pace, typically achieving developmental milestones including eye contact, holding items, and reaching for familiar objects.

Repetitive behaviors, a lack of reaction to their own name, and a delay in reaching developmental milestones, however, might be warning indications of developmental delay or other difficulties.

If parents observe any of these symptoms, they should let their child’s doctor know right away because an early diagnosis and intervention by a speech therapist or other specialist can assist create a treatment plan.

While some infants could take a little longer to accomplish their developmental milestones, parents should be on the lookout and not worry excessively because most infants behave in a perfectly normal manner.



Why is my baby not reaching out to be picked up?

Your child may not be reaching out to be picked up for a number of reasons.

Firstly it might be a result of their developmental stage, in which they are still learning to coordinate their motions and may not yet have acquired the ability to reach out.

Second, they might not want to be touched or lifted up because they are in pain or discomfort. Last but not least, they could not be in the mood to engage in physical touch at that particular time. In order to give your infant the right care and support, it’s crucial to watch their behavior and make an effort to understand their requirements and preferences.

At what age do babies reach for you to pick them up?

Babies typically start to reach for their caregivers or objects of interest between 3 to 4 months of age. At this age, they are developing the necessary motor skills and hand-eye coordination to reach and grasp objects.

As they continue to grow and develop, they may begin to reach specifically to their caregivers as a way of communicating their desire for physical contact and affection. However, every baby develops at their own pace, so it’s important to observe and respond to your baby’s individual needs and abilities.


Do autistic toddlers reach to be picked up?

Autistic toddlers may or may not reach to be picked up, as each child with autism is unique and has their own individual behaviors and preferences.

Some autistic toddlers may have difficulty with physical touch and may be less likely to reach out to be picked up. Others may crave physical contact but may express this in different ways, such as leaning into their caregivers or seeking comfort through other sensory experiences.

It’s important to observe and respond to your child’s individual needs and preferences, and to work with their healthcare provider to develop a personalized care plan.


What are the signs of developmental delays in infants?

Infant developmental delays can show a number of symptoms, which carers should be aware of. This could include failure to meet developmental goals, such as failing to sit up by six months or crawl by ten.

Other indications could be a lack of interest in social interaction, a refusal to acknowledge others by name or sound, and little to no babbling or speech.

Physical symptoms like limb stiffness or floppiness may also be present.

Any worries regarding developmental delays should be brought up with a healthcare professional, as early intervention and therapy can significantly affect a child’s long-term prospects.



This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.