Ask the Expert: Dr. Shevaun Doyle Answers Your Questions About Pediatric Orthopedic Developmental Delays


It’s Prematurity Awareness Month. Dr. Shevaun Doyle, Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, answers your questions about pediatric orthopedic developmental delays.

Q1. When should a baby be able to sit up in a highchair? I’m concerned that my baby might be delayed.

Most children are able to sit up by six to eight months of age without support. With support, some babies can sit upright by four months.

Q2. My child was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. What are the treatment options?

The treatment options vary based on the age of the child. Most infants with hip dysplasia are treated with a soft Pavlik harness that keeps the hips flexed and abducted (legs spread apart). Slightly older infants may need a plastic brace that keeps the hips abducted. Patients older than six months may need a cast and sometimes surgery to align the hip joint.

Q3. We are traveling in the car for 12 hours or more over the holidays. Will this have any affect on the development of my infant’s spine?

It should not, but I advise taking breaks from driving to let your infant move around outside the boundaries of the car seat. Also consider switching the infant car seat to the opposite side of the car half way through the journey to encourage an equal amount of head rotation, so your infant doesn’t fix his or her head in one position.

Q4. My baby can’t seem to hold her head up in an infant carrier or during tummy time, as other children her age do. Should I be worried?

If your child is older than 4.5 months and was not premature, you should talk to your pediatrician.

Q5. The physical therapist says that my son can’t jump. What could this indicate and how can I help him?

Generally, by age three a child should be able to jump on both feet. A thorough musculoskeletal and neurological exam should be completed in order to rule out possible causes of motor weakness.

Dr. Shevaun Doyle specializes in general pediatric orthopedics, pediatric orthopedic trauma, pediatric and adolescent metabolic bone disease, and scoliosis.

Topics: Featured, Pediatrics
The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.


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  1. My daughters head is tilted to left and her chin is pointed to the right. My pediatrician had diagnosed her with Wry Neck. This is her 2nd episode in 3 weeks. What should I do?

  2. my granddaughter has dandy walker syndrome. she”s 1 year and 7 mos old and she can”t walk, talk and even crawl. She can”t even hold her head. Please recommend a chair so she can seat holding her head. Thank you.

    1. Hi Belle, thank you for your question. Dr. Doyle says that she would recommend a custom wheel chair with head and spine support. Of course, it is best to consult with your treating physician.