How to Promote Your Baby’s Development & Save Money at the Same Time

When a new baby comes, the house often becomes overrun with supplies and over the first year things for baby seem to multiply and take over!  All of these things for baby can be expensive.  What if you could save money AND best promote your child’s development?!

Young bbaby-cute-child-lying-40724abies spend their days cycling between eat, sleep and poop. Between bottles or nursing, diaper blow outs and diaper changes and precious nap time, there isn’t a ton of play time. There are small intervals throughout the day that get longer as the baby gets older and begins sleeping less, feeding less often, and becoming more alert and mobile.

During those happy alert times there are many options to entertain baby: bouncers, exercausers, jumpers, swings, etc.

What is the best option for baby’s development? What is the best way for the explore their new exciting world?

My advice is to keep it simple. There is no need to spend so much money on various pieces of baby equipment.

The best place for a baby to explore is on a blanket or a play mat. Provide opportunities to look at different things and touch different textures. Instead of rotating between baby equipment, try rotating toys instead.

Concerned about safety with pets or older siblings? Look into a play yard or an old fashioned play pen (larger than the modern pack n play).

Babies learn how to use their eyes, ears, mouths and hands by actively turning their heads in response to sights and sounds. They learn how to control their bodies to move to something they want with practice and experience.  This needs to happen out of a semi-reclined position, that babies often spend a lot of time in, between car seats, swings and bouncers.

Many people will say that their kids are happier when upright in exercausers or jumperoos. There is no denying that many babies enjoy it and for 15 minutes a day while you take a quick shower or need to get something done in the house, that’s ok. I simply recommend limiting use, not banning these baby devices if it makes a difference for the parent.

Allow your baby to move their bodies in the ways they are ready. They grow so quickly and will be up and running before you know it. Until then, let them explore and learn how to control their bodies against gravity one step at a time. This will maximize your child’s development from sensory processing to gross motor abilities, and in the end could even save you some money!

 

IMG_2874

My Child Keeps Falling Out of His Chair!

A quick and dirty test to rule out a commonly missed cause and how to fix it.

Many parents and teachers complain of children with developmental, learning, and coordination challenges falling out of their chairs. They will see this during class instruction and during homework time. Read more

kidptred

Muscular Dystrophy and The Role of Physical Therapist

Most children who come to physical therapy require strengthening to be a core component to their rehabilitation.  It is critically important for both therapists and families to understand the difference in the rehabilitation approach for children with muscular dystrophy. Read more

741

Bad Behavior or a Cracked Windshield?

Last night my daughters were watching their favorite show, Doc McStuffins. If you haven’t seen it, its an adorable show about a little girl who is a doctor for toys. Its filled with funny little diagnoses that go in the Big Book of Boo Boos and fun little songs filled with life lessons on caring for yourself and others. Read more

A Focus on Strength

A Focus on Strength or Strengths?

Physical therapists are trained to identify all of the things that are atypical, limited, restricted, weak, ineffective and abnormal.  Once all of these problems are identified we develop a plan to knock down all of the things that are wrong.  Our goal? To help someone accomplish something new or to regain a lost skill. Read more

Asphalt children running caution marking

Autism and School Safety

With the death of Avonte, a young boy with autism gone missing last week for a while in Queens and a local 3 year-old with autism locally who was left on a school bus for 6 hours, it made me reconsider the safety of the students at the schools I have worked. The schools put many safeguards in place, but how do we a related service providers piggyback on those safeguards? Read more

KidPT
, ,

Movement Magic of Tree Fu Tom

A new interactive tv show on Sprout called Tree Fu Tom has made its way over the pond from the UK. It is aimed at children ages 3-7 and my 4 year old has been asking to watch it again and again.

The show is about a boy named Tom who shrinks and turns into a cartoon to enter the world of his garden. Tom and his friends encounter challenges and have to problem solve solutions. This is where the magic comes in. Read more

cute baby

Between the Milestones of the 1st Year

As a mom of two girls and a PT for kids I often get asked about milestones and whether a parent should be concerned. There are many clues to whether a parent should be concerned that go beyond looking at a chart that tells you when a child typically will develop a skill. Read more

Happy Birthday

Happy 20th Birthday Anthony!

Anthony DeVergillo is a young man who writes a blog called “The Optimist’s Guide to Life”, “spreading optimism one smile at a time”. On his blog he talks about optimism and living with disability. Anthony has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and his writings will inspire, teach and guide you to reflect on your own life experience. While his blog is filled with incredible poetry, music and guest posts, the following are a “greatest hits” of posts that I believe will be helpful the readers of this blog. Read more

Baby Merlin Magic Sleep Suit

Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit

Most posts on this blog are related to children with special needs. However, I would like to share a great product invented by a fellow pediatric physical therapist called Magic Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit. Above you can watch a demonstration of an adorable little baby trying it on.

I recently bought one for my 4 month old to help with our transition to the crib and out of the swaddle. It is a big puffy suit with open hands and feet. Its heavy and stiff enough to stop those startles that open wake up baby, but flexible enough for baby to suck on his fingers or wiggle around to self soothe. Read more