Well, it's too late for that, now, isn't it? You're already worried, or you wouldn't be here. The question is, are you right to be worried, or is your spouse/mother-in-law/neighbor correct that you're worried about nothing? Give yourself a reality check with these charts, guides, and checkers, then follow your instincts to a waiting room or a wait-and-see.
Check those developmental milestones.
Your baby's not babbling like your siblings' kids. She's not toddling like the tots at the park. He's not responding like your other offspring did. Is your child developmentally delayed? Is he just slightly out-of-sync? Or is she surrounded by bionic super-babes whose freakish developmental prowess makes your perfectly normal princess look bad? Consult the developmental milestone guides on these sites to put yourself on the right track.
See how your child measures up.
Lagging behind in height or surging ahead in weight doesn't necessarily mean trouble -- humans come in all shapes and sizes, and that applies to small humans as well as grown ones. But if your child's growth hits the very low or high percentiles on growth charts like these, it's worth mentioning to your pediatrician ... and, if it's in conjunction with other developmental quirks, worrying about as well.
Look up any medical symptoms.
Maybe what you're noticing are not so much delays as oddities in your child's physical condition -- breathing differences, frequent urination, odd rashes, stomach problems. Anything out of the ordinary should be pointed out to your pediatrician, but you can also run those suspicious symptoms through online checkers or checklists to see what worrisome problems may apply, or maybe assure yourself that none do.
Research possible disabilities.
Doctors don't exactly love it when parents go poking around the internet and come to appointments armed with their already-made diagnoses. But if you've got the name of some disorder fluttering around your brain and fueling your nightmares, might as well learn more about it and see if it confirms or confounds your expectations. This Parenting Special Needs site has some good advice for researching disabilities and finding helpful resources.
Read up on the subject.
Burying yourself in books about a particular disability or special needs in general is a great way to educate and prepare yourself -- and to pass that tense time between making an appointment and seeing the doc. The Harried Parent's Book Club offers a treasurechest of book reviews to help you find the reading material you're looking for. Here are three ways to start your browsing.
Go with your gut.
Remember that you know your child best, better than any doctor or in-law or teacher or neighbor or sibling or self-appointed expert. If your instincts are telling you something's not right, no matter what anybody else says, get it checked out. Pursue the truth. You can often make a real difference for your child by starting therapies and treatments at the youngest possible age. "Wait and see" may sound good to some, but it's not a strategy made for worriers.