ADHD in Babies

Toddler crawling - close-up
We do not know much about ADHD in babies. This is because there is no specific test for ADHD at any age. We do know that:

  • Parents of children with ADHD often say that their child was "hard to manage" as a baby.
  • Babies who are irritable or who have trouble sleeping or feeding will not necessarily develop ADHD. However, they may have problems with their emotions or behaviour later on.
  • Some complications during birth can predispose children to ADHD.
  • Babies with minor neurological problems, such as problems with fine motor skills, are more likely to develop ADHD.
  • Fathers with ADHD are more likely to have babies with cognitive problems, but we do not know if the babies will grow up to have ADHD.
  • Mothers who smoke during pregnancy have a higher risk of children with ADHD.

Peter Chaban, MA, MEd

Rosemary Tannock, PhD