Holiday Gift Ideas for Baby

With the holidays coming up, we know many families are thinking about what kind of gifts to give to their babies.  We created this holiday gift idea list to help parents (and grandparents!) choose items that are fun and also help promote their development!

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1. Baby play mat or activity gym

We love this woodland themed play mat by Skip Hop for its sheer adorableness, but there are lots of other great play mats out there too!  They provide a great place for baby to play on her back, tummy, side, and sitting up.  The hanging toys encourage her to reach up and may provide great sensory feedback like a rattle, chime, crinkle, or light to reward her for reaching them.  Some models come with a tummy time pillow that can be used under her chest to make tummy time easier.  The surface of the mat may have fun textures, mirrors, and flaps for baby to explore too!  

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2. Play table with removable legs

A play table, like the one pictured by Leapfrog, is a toy that will grow with your baby.  The legs can be removed to help your baby reach the toys before he can stand. When your little one is sitting up, you can add two legs to provide an angled surface to sit and play at. Once he's getting up on his feet, you can add the other legs back on to encourage him to pull up to play.

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3. Links

They seem like a simple toy at first, but they are incredibly versatile!  The small size makes it easy for baby to grip from an early age.  The various textures are great for exploring with her hands and mouth.  They can be linked together to make a rattle or to hang other toys from.

 
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4. Stacking and nesting toys

Another seemingly simple yet versatile toy that baby will love.  The pieces may be grabbed with one hand or two and encourage him to learn about grasp, release, and in-hand manipulation.  Baby will love exploring these toys first by taking them apart, and eventually learning how to put them together, practicing hand-eye coordination.  

 

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5. Pop up toy

A pop up toy is a great choice for a toy to help baby learn about cause and effect.  When she performs the function of pushing, pulling, or twisting a lever, she is rewarded with a fun figure popping up.  Learning to master the different levers develops baby's fine motor skills as well as her problem solving skills.

6. Shape sorter

Little ones will love having a container of easy to grip shapes to dump out, grab, and mouth. As he progresses, he will learn how to put the shapes into the bucket.  Container play is great for baby's fine motor and cognitive development.  I always get excited because once they can put toys in, it means that they can help clean up!!  The added challenge of putting the shapes in the correct slots means that this is a toy that will grow with baby, as he problem solves, learns to recognize shapes and colors, and can match and categorize the blocks.

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7. Musical instruments

Babies love music!  Using the instruments will help her with her motor skills and balance in sitting and standing, even more so when she starts to bounce or sway to the beat.  Music is also great for baby's language and cognitive development.   

 
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8. Balls

Get your baby balls in various sizes and textures to challenge his ability to grab them, using one or two hands, and to explore the various textures.  Early on, balls are great for grabbing, holding, and releasing.  As he progresses, he will enjoy rolling, throwing, and kicking them. 

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9. Ride on toy

Your older baby will love to go for a ride around the room on a ride on toy, which is great at challenging her balance and stimulating her vestibular system.  As she gets bigger and stronger, she will be able to propel it herself which will increase her leg and core strength.

 

10. Activity

A wonderful gift for your little one is an activity or experience such as a parent-baby class that you can do together.  Babies On The MOVE classes provide a fun learning opportunity for parents and their babies, and the things that you learn will benefit your baby long after you attend class. You can also check out other local classes including Kindermusik at KinderVillage Music, and Songs for Seeds for more fun experiences with your baby!

Should I use a Bumbo seat to help my baby learn to sit up?

As physical therapists working with infants, we spend lots of time talking to parents about ways to help their infants develop their strength, balance, coordination, and motor skills. One of the questions that we often hear is whether parents should use a Bumbo seat to help an infant learn to sit up. When we think about it, it is no wonder why parents ask this question so often. Step into your local baby store, read a parent’s page on facebook, or chat with friends with young babies and you are likely to hear some reference to the bumbo seat. There are few seats out there quite like the bumbo in it’s shape and design, and the marketing for it is widespread and effective. Images of infants in the bumbo show babies happily sitting up and sometimes even playing in these seats.

Unfortunately, when we look at the design of the Bumbo seat, there are some features of the seat that make this a less than perfect choice for helping your baby learn to sit. To illustrate this, it is important to understand that a baby learns to sit up by using the muscles on the back (extensors) and the front (flexors) of his body together. When a baby is learning to sit up, her bottom (pelvis) should be the farthest thing back, and her shoulders should be in front of her hips. This position places the pelvis in a slight anterior tilt, with the trunk flexed forward over the legs. You can picture this as your baby folded over and eating his toes if you are not helping to support his trunk. As he becomes stronger, your baby will begin to use his back and hip extensors to move into a more upright position and stay up in sitting.

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When a child is positioned in the bumbo seat, the rounded bottom and back of the chair places her pelvis in a posterior tilt with her bottom tucked under her, limiting the ability of the trunk and hip extensors to be active. Adding to this position, the front of the seat is elevated under the legs, making it tip them back even more. This positioning of the pelvis is a large part of the reason that infants look slumped over when sitting in the Bumbo. Without having the space or positioning to lean forward, you baby is not encouraged to turn on her extensor muscles and stay in a more upright position. When the body is in this rounded and slumped position, the head moves too far forward over her trunk, leading to additional problems with your baby’s posture.

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Aside from the major concerns about a baby’s posture in the Bumbo seat, it is also important to think back to your baby’s primary motor goal during his first year: learning to move. Each month, we think about our baby achieving new motor milestones. All of these skills build on each other and within each one of them, your baby is doing thousands of repetitions of trial and error before she masters a new skill. If we simply place her in a seat that confines her movement and holds her in a position, it is much more difficult to fine tune how to handle her body in order to master the skill independently. If your child needs to be in a seat like the Bumbo in order to be upright, he likely does not have the strength, coordination, or balance that he requires to be able to sit independently. To help him progress with his motor skills, your baby would likely benefit a great deal more from play time that encourages him to strengthen his muscles and allows him to freely explore his environment. Tummy time, back play on the floor, rolling, and even supported sitting with you, in ideal alignment, can be extremely beneficial to helping your baby master sitting on his own.

Like adults, babies need to move and change position frequently. Once they can sit, infants rarely spend prolonged periods of time sitting still without actively reaching, shifting their weight from side to side, moving to their tummy or back to get a toy, or otherwise wiggling and shimmying around. As they do this, they are learning about their environment and developing the processing of the vestibular system. This system helps tell the brain where a person is in space and gives information about how the person is moving. Spending long periods of time contained in any device, including the Bumbo seat, can limit your baby’s opportunities to provide this important sensory information to the brain and help develop this sensory system.

As you look towards helping your baby master sitting up on his own, remember that a strong foundation for movement comes from developing strong muscles, balance, and coordination and exposure to a variety of positions. Spend time playing with your baby on her back and belly, help her play on her side and learn to roll, and offer her the experience of sitting and standing up in good alignment. With a strong foundation, you will be excited to see how your baby can learn to sit on his own and will be on the way to his next milestone.

 

 

Feature Baby: Charlie

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This month, we are featuring our adorable friend Charlie! We first met Charlie and his parents, Ray and Ashley, in December 2016 when Charlie had just turned three months old. Charlie was a show off from the start, enjoying being on his tummy from that first Mini Movers class. They signed up for a Mini Movers series, and over the next three months, we watched Charlie progress in his rolling and sitting. Charlie was also a big 'talker' and always made sure that he was heard in class! :) 

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Charlie moved up to the Master Movers class in May, and came with a whole new set of tricks!  He was crawling on his belly, pulling up to stand, and playing in standing. Over the new few Master Movers classes, Charlie perfected his squatting, standing with his feet flat, cruising between surfaces, and standing without support. He came to class in August ready to show off his newest feat - walking independently!  Charlie was so proud of himself and we were all so proud of him too!! He was also happy to show off his amazing throwing skills, which will hopefully serve him well in his future baseball career ;) It was such a pleasure having Charlie and his parents in our classes and having the opportunity to help them ensure that he had a strong foundation of motor development in the first year!

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We’ve had so much fun at Babies on the MOVE (Charlie’s “Workout Class” as we call it)! Through both Mini Movers and Master Movers, it’s been great getting tips on helping Charlie learn his next new skill. As he’s gone from rolling over to sitting to crawling to almost-walking, we’ve loved learning about all of the little steps between the major milestones that babies learn and practice in order to move on to the next big one (e.g. standing on his tip-toes means strengthening those calf muscles for walking!). Being able to recognize those little things that he was working on made playtime that much more fun at home. As first-time parents, we had no idea about all of the little progressions that would eventually build up to him taking his first steps. Having Becca and Rachel point out what Charlie was trying to do, and give us tips on how we could help him, has allowed us to contribute to his development in ways we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. Thank you!
— Ray and Ashley Sweeney

Motor Development: Basics and Beyond Series @ Baby + Co

The Motor Development: Basics and Beyond Series of classes is returning to Baby + Co in Cary, NC for September - November 2017!  Whether your infant needs help learning to enjoy tummy time or find his way to hands and knees for crawling, these skill specific classes offer a variety of ways to help your baby master motor development.   

9/29/17: CRAWLING (1:30 - 2:30 PM)

10/13/17: TUMMY TIME (1:30 - 2:30 PM)

10/27/17: SITTING & ROLLING (1:30 - 2:30 PM)

11/10/17: STANDING & WALKING (1:30 - 2:30 PM)


Each class reviews typical infant development and provides hands on teaching with opportunities for parent practice. The casual and comfortable environment encourages parent and child interaction while learning from expert pediatric physical therapists in a social setting. 


Pre-registration is required: www.babiesonthemoverdu.com/register

Feature Baby: Asher

Time to feature another one of the adorable babies we have met in classes, and this time it is Asher!  We first met Asher and his awesome mom, Ali, at the Baby + Co new mom's group.  They started attending Babies On The MOVE classes when Asher was 4.5 months old, with the Mini Movers series.  Unlike some babies, Asher has been a fan of tummy time from early on.  He progressed quickly to crawling, and switched over to the Master Movers class when he was 6.5 months old.  All that tummy time he did early on, in combination with his strong curiosity and desire to explore, built the foundation to be an early crawler!  In classes, Asher was never one to sit on the sidelines.  He loved to check everything out and get into the mix with all the other babies!  After a few more Master Movers classes, Asher was pulling up, cruising, and starting to stand without holding on!  We were excited to hear, but not a bit surprised, that this little adventurer was walking well before his first birthday!  This month we wish a Happy Birthday to Asher and good luck to Ali in keeping up with this adorable & active baby on the move!!!

I love Babies on the Move! I have been going since my son was 4.5 months old and have learned a bunch about how to help my son progress in a healthy way, felt well supported in challenges and enjoyed meeting other moms, dads and babies :) It’s definitely worth attending at least once!
— Ali, mom of Asher

WHEN DO BABIES ROLL OVER, AND WHICH WAY WILL THEY GO?

The answer is…IT DEPENDS.

Rolling is usually the first time that your little one will be able to change his position all by himself. Some parents notice that their babies seem to roll over when they are only a month or two old. Generally, this rolling is the result of a reflex that babies have when they are born. In this instance, if a baby’s head is turned when she is on her back, her body will turn in order to keep the head and body lined up. In other instances, babies may be wiggling and kicking so much on their back or belly that they roll themselves over without meaning to. Once they are a few months old, we see this “accidental” rolling less often because of the changes in baby’s body proportions and the way they move their weight when they are on their back or belly.

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Some babies will roll as early as 3-4 months, while others will wait until they are 5-6 months old.  When your baby will roll depends on how strong his back and belly muscles are, his motivation to move and explore his environment, and how well he likes being on his back or belly. The first few times he rolls, it may be accidental and your baby may be startled and upset by the movement. While startling, these early experiences will also help your baby start to learn about how he can move his body himself.  In the past, babies seemed to learn to roll from their belly to back before they rolled to their tummy. Nowadays, it seems to be much more variable! Babies who love tummy time may be more likely to roll to their tummy from their back, while babies who are unhappy on their tummy may wiggle and twist until they figure out how to get off their belly. The more time your baby spends flat on her back on a firm surface and working on tummy time, the stronger her back and tummy muscles will be and the easier it will be for her to master the new skill of rolling.

By 6-7 months, we expect that babies are able to roll from their back to belly as well as belly to back. As with all movement, it is also important that we see baby rolling to both the right and left sides. When babies first learn a new skill, they will usually practice it over and over and over again. This is their way of fine tuning their movement and learning to make it the most efficient. During this time, it is not unusual to see a baby who tends to move in one preferred direction. Just be sure that within a few weeks of learning that new skill, you also see them working on the other direction. If your baby is struggling a bit, it is a great idea for you to help them practice so that they can master this movement. Whether your baby is rolling at 4 months or 6, remember that this is her first experience with changing her position all on her own, and it’s an exciting new skill to celebrate!

Feature Baby: Rose

It is our pleasure to feature another one of our adorable friends, Rose!  We first met Rose and her parents Katie and Bradley in Master Movers class when she was six months old.  She was sitting and learning how to pivot on her tummy at the time. The next month, they signed up for the Master Movers three-month series.  Over the series, Rose learned how to get up on her hands and knees, crawl, and pull up to stand!  Her nanny, Elizabeth, also joined in the classes some times to learn the same things her parents were learning about how to play with Rose to encourage her motor development.  They signed up for the next three-month series, and during that series, she went from taking a couple steps to taking off walking everywhere!  It has been such a delight to have Rose and her family in classes!  She is truly a special little girl with such a sweet and joyful spirit.  In her last class with us, she brought toys to the other babies and gave them hugs & kisses - such a sweetie!  We will miss having you in classes and wish your parents the best of luck in chasing you around now that you are really On The MOVE!  

I’m so happy that I found Babies on the Move via a Mommy Facebook group. Being a new mom in a new city I was searching for a class that would be fun for Rose, educational for me, and provide an opportunity for socializing. Babies on the Move fit that bill perfectly. Becca and Rachel are very informative, welcoming, calm, cool, and collected. We always walked away from each class with 2-3 tips on how to help Rose develop her skills. It was reassuring knowing that we were right on track and it eased our minds if anything concerning came up Becca and Rachel were right there to support us. We encourage all parents to consider taking advantage of their expertise and provide some fun for their little ones.
— Katie, Rose's mother

FREE trial Kindermusik Class at Babies On The MOVE on June 9, 2017

We are very excited to tell you that Susan from Kindervillage Music Studio will be with us at Open Arts dance studio in Morrisville, NC on June 9, 2017 at 12:00 noon to provide a FREE trial Kindermusik class to parents and babies who have attended our classes.  We will have our monthly Mini Movers and Master Movers classes in the studio that morning, and following class the free trial Kindermusik class will start at noon.  

The Kindervillage music studio's website states,  "Kindermusik is a classroom learning experience. We teach children music so they can become better learners. It's not about making little Mozarts. It's about developing skills in the whole child - ages newborn to 7 years - cognitive, physical, social, emotional, language and musical. For more than 25 years, we have believed music is the best conductor for learning."

We invite all parents and children who are currently attending our classes or who have attended our classes in the past to attend this FREE trial class! 

Babies On The MOVE at Kidzu Children's Museum

We are looking forward to talking with parents at the Busy Baby Bees caregiver coffee chat at Kidzu Children's Museum on Tuesday, May 9th at 9:30 AM!  Parents will learn about: The Pros and Cons of Infant Positioning Equipment to Help your Child Gain Strength.  The people who market infant equipment are great at making you think that you need so many things to help your baby develop.  As professionals who are experts in infant motor development, we are here to provide families with knowledge to empower them! See you there!

Motor Development: Basics and Beyond Series @ Baby + Co.

We are excited to announce that we are offering a new series of classes at Baby + Co in Cary, NC in May and June 2017!  Whether your infant needs help learning to enjoy tummy time or find his way to hands and knees for crawling, these skill specific classes offer a variety of ways to help your baby master motor development.   

5/23/17: TUMMY TIME (9:00 - 10:00 AM)
5/30/17: SITTING (1:30 - 2:30 PM)
6/13/17: CRAWLING (3:30 - 4:30 PM)
6/27/17: STANDING/WALKING (3:30 - 4:30 PM)

Each class reviews typical infant development and provides hands on teaching with opportunities for parent practice. The casual and comfortable environment encourages parent and child interaction while learning from expert pediatric physical therapists in a social setting. 


Pre-registration is required: www.babiesonthemoverdu.com/register

Feature Baby: Dottie

We are very excited to announce the next feature baby, Dottie!  

Dottie and her mom Sarah started coming to Babies On The MOVE Mini Movers classes in July 2016, when she was three months old.  Sarah works really close to Open Arts Studio in Morrisville where our monthly classes are held and is able to bring Dottie to work with her, so our classes were super-convenient for them to come almost every month!  Here are some early tummy time pics that show how determined this little one was to move from early on!

They switched over to Master Movers classes in November when Dottie was turning 7 months old, could sit well by herself, and was ready for a new challenge!  While attending Master Movers classes, Dottie learned how to move out of sitting by going over each side, get on to hands and knees, creep, pull up to stand, squat to pick up toys, and walk holding on to furniture!  In March 2017, at 11 months old, she came to class and showed off her cool new trick --- Taking steps all by herself!!!  We are excited for their family on this next chapter in their lives and thank them for sharing the first year with us!  We look forward to having them stop by the studio every so often to see what she's up to along the way!

As first time parents, we wanted to start our child off on the right foot (GROAN). We weren’t quite sure how to encourage Dottie to move correctly. We questioned if we were picking her up, positioning her, and playing with her in ways that ensured that we were helping, not harming. Becca and Rachel were really great at identifying milestones and suggesting methods to help Dottie flourish.
— Sarah, Dottie's mother

Importance of Movement and Infant/Toddler Equipment to Promote Development

We had a great group at our recent FREE class on the Importance of Movement and Infant/Toddler Equipment to Promote Development at KinderVillage Music Studio in Cary this week!  We spoke about the importance of movement in motor development and provided great information on play equipment that helps to promote your little one's development, as well as those things that might interfere with development.  It was such a wonderful, interactive group with lots of questions about their specific needs that we were able to answer for them.  We were so impressed with the staff of KinderVillage, and their interest in learning how they can help promote motor development more in their music and movement classes!  Thanks to KinderVillage music studio for hosting us!

Babies On The MOVE at Baby + Co

We visited with the new mom's group at Baby + Co again this week.  We love having the opportunity to share our knowledge on infant development with new parents, so they can feel confident in providing their tiny babies with opportunities to promote movement and motor development.  Early movement helps form the foundation for their baby's motor skills and achievement of developmental milestones.  Thanks to Baby + Co for providing us with the opportunity to come talk to the new moms!

Feature Baby: Sydney

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This month we are featuring our adorable little friend Sydney!  We first met Sydney in September when she was almost four months old.  At that point, she was comfortable doing some tummy time, but we showed her parents Danielle and Matt ways to make it a little easier by getting her weight back off her chest a bit.  We also showed them how to help her roll over and support her in sitting with good alignment.  After their first Babies On The MOVE class, they signed up for a three-month series of classes.  At her next class, we could see how much stronger Sydney was getting!  She was doing really well on her tummy, propping on her arms and lifting them up off the floor.  Not only could she lift her head really well on her tummy, but she was also lifting it really well when she was lying on her sides and when she was lying on her back!  Her parents held her in sitting with great alignment, just as they had learned in class.  At the class the following month, she was able to sit without them holding on to her, just being there for when she lost her balance!  We taught her parents things to encourage when she was on her tummy to help her work towards crawling.  In the last class of their three class series, Sydney was starting to move onto her tummy from sitting all by herself!  She had good balance when her parents held her supported in standing, using techniques we taught them to keep her from going up on her toes.  Sydney was also starting to move towards getting on her hands and knees by moving over the sides is sitting.  By the time we saw Sydney next, she was crawling all over and pulling up to standing on furniture!  We gave her parents ideas of things to help her be more stable on her feet and get her on her way to walking.  We can't believe this sweet little girl is going to be walking all over the place in the next few months!       

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Babies on the Move has been such a great experience for our family. Sydney is our first child and I’m sure as most first time parents we fly by the seat of our pants. Even with my ABA background and understanding of developmental milestones, I was in uncharted territory when it came to helping Sydney with her motor development. Rebecca and Rachel do such a great job, explaining and training the parents on how to help their children develop their mobility while having fun at the same time. Each month Sydney seemed to be emerging into the next motor milestone, and after going to class and working with Rebecca and Rachel she developed more confidence in her ability to meet those milestones. It was just incredible to see. They also helped my husband and I feel more confident and capable with our ability to help Sydney grow. We would recommend these classes to every parent, first time or veterans!
— Sydney's mom Danielle
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What to Do When Your Baby Hates Tummy Time

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you put your baby on their tummy to play during supervised awake time to strengthen their muscles. Tummy time helps your baby strengthen the muscles in their neck, shoulders, back, and hips that they use to achieve developmental milestones on time including rolling, crawling, sitting, standing, and walking. It can also help in the prevention of flat head syndrome. Back to sleep, tummy to play: sounds easy enough, but not all babies love doing tummy time. What can you do if your baby is not a fan?

1. Start Tummy Time early

If you are coming to this post for advice, we may already be a bit late, but it is important to know. Babies can, and should, do tummy time from day one. In fact, most babies do get tummy time on day one, by laying skin to skin on mom's chest right after birth. That's a great position for tummy time in the early days when your baby wants to be close. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to do tummy time with their baby from the first day home from the hospital. Babies who start tummy time from the first days of life are more likely to tolerate and enjoy being in the position. That being said, it's never too late to start!

2. Provide Many opportunities for tummy time throughout the day

In the beginning, it's not important to give your baby one long tummy time session every day. Tummy time should be done many times throughout the day, even if it's only for a minute at a time. All those minutes add up. Take advantage of using the things you are already doing to incorporate tummy time throughout the day: Time to burp? lay your baby on their tummy over your lap to pat out that burp. Need to carry baby to the next room with you? Carry baby in a tummy down carrying position. Changing baby's diaper or getting her dressed? Roll her over afterwards to get some tummy time in.  

3. Make Tummy Time interesting

Get down on your baby's level to see what he can see from that perspective. Put an interesting book or toy at his eye level so he has something fun to look at. If you are down on your baby's level, your face will be motivation for him to pick up his head. Sing songs and talk to your baby to make it fun. Use a baby mirror so baby can lift his head to see the most fun person of all - himself!

4. Make Tummy Time Easier

If your baby is having a hard time picking her head up when she is on her tummy, you can help make it easier by putting a small rolled up towel or blanket under her chest. You can also use tummy down carrying positions to help her practice lifting her head up and strengthen her muscles to make it easier when she is down on the floor on her tummy.

Tummy time should be a fun way to play with your baby and help them strengthen their muscles for the next milestones to come. With a little practice, babies learn to love being on their tummy to play!  

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Babies On The MOVE at KinderVillage Music Studio

Babies On The MOVE is excited to offer a FREE educational event at KinderVillage music studio in Cary, North Carolina.  Join us on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 for a 45 minute session to learn about the benefits of movement for your baby and equipment recommendations to promote your baby's motor development. The session is taught by Rachel and Rebecca who are board certified pediatric physical therapists and experts in infant movement. The class is geared for parents of children from birth to 24 months.

Registration is limited to 25 slots. Contact Susan at KinderVillage music studio to reserve your spot today: susan@kindervillage.com

Feature Baby: Willa

It is time to feature another one of our little friends, and this month it is Willa!

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Willa and her mother Hillary started attending Babies On The MOVE classes in July as a part of the summer series.  She was nearly nine months old when she started to attend classes.  Willa is an extremely observant little lady.  She enjoyed sitting and watching the other babies and parents, but she was not overly eager to move in that first class.  Some babies are movement motivated while others prefer to observe and take it all in.  During that first three-month series, Willa started to move from sitting to her hands and knees!  In October, they started another three-month series of classes.  That first month, Willa had learned how to sit up from the floor by herself and pivot in a circle when she was sitting.  The next month she was crawling on her hands and knees and pulling up to stand!  This month she started standing for a few seconds without holding on to anything!  It has been so rewarding to watch her go from the baby who is happy to watch everyone else into the baby who wants to be a part of the action!  We have really enjoyed getting to know Willa and Hillary and are excited to have them join us for another series in the New Year!  Here is what Hillary had to say about attending BOTM classes:

"As a first time mother, what brought me to Babies On The MOVE was a desire to learn how to play with my child in a way that encouraged development of her gross motor skills, but was also a fun way to set a precedent for learning together. Willa started rolling over at 5 months and sitting up at 8 months, but by 9 months she still wasn't crawling while many of her peers were standing, or even walking. She was extremely observant, but didn't really seem very motivated to actively participate in play. At 9 months we attended our first BOTM session and Willa had a blast. She enjoyed interacting with her classmates which was wonderful to see, and I felt more at ease about Willa's development after talking to Becca, Rachel, and the other parents. By the end of the first series Willa was starting to crawl and was feeling much more confident in her movement, so we signed up for another series. They did an assessment and felt that Willa's hips seemed to need strengthening, so they recommended a pair of special shorts that would help. They absolutely did, and after wearing them for a few weeks Willa stood for the first time on her own. Willa still has a way to go before walking on her own, but she loves coming to class, continues to progress, and seems a little more brave after each session. We plan on signing up for another series as Willa continues to strengthen her skills. We are grateful to Becca and Rachel for their insight and warmth and for offering an environment for parents like myself to learn from experts in their field. It has a been a wonderful experience for our family".         

When will my baby crawl?

We frequently get this question from parents.  Often young babies of 2-3 months may be seen bringing their legs up under their body and kicking them out behind when on their tummy, and their parents wonder if they will be crawling forward soon.  In order to crawl on their hands and knees, babies need to master certain skills on their tummy first.  

A baby will be able to bear weight on her hands with her elbows straight on her tummy and shift her weight to one side to reach with the opposite arm.  She will also be able to shift her weight at her pelvis and lower body, bringing one of her hips up off the floor with the leg on that side bending up by her body.  Once she masters that, she will be able to pivot in a circle on her tummy to get to toys.  It is also the position that she will use to get on to her hands and knees from her tummy.    You may see your baby pushing herself backwards on her tummy in an attempt to crawl forward toward a toy or pushing up into a plank position from her tummy.  These are both signs that your baby is preparing herself for crawling.  Many babies will start crawling forward with their tummy down before they crawl up on their hands and knees.  Once she is up on her hands and knees, your baby will play with rocking in this position.  At first, the rocking may not be very controlled, and she may may fall.  With practice, she will be able to control these weight shifts better, and they will progress from simple back and forth rocking to more advanced side to side and diagonal rocking.  She will be able to reach for toys from the hands and knees position.  She will be able to get into the hands and knees position from her tummy and from sitting.  Once she has mastered all of these things, she will be ready to take off crawling on her hands and knees!  

   

Stability Versus Mobility

During this month’s BOTM classes, we had a great opportunity to see kiddos moving along with their motor skills (pun intended). As babies grow, they develop strength in their muscles and begin to explore new developmental positions. When they are learning a new skill, babies are simply focused on staying up – or having the stability to be in that position. For the newborn, this may mean that they lay on their back with their legs curled up and arms tucked in to their body, or even flat on the surface which can support them. As they get older and stronger, your baby starts to reach his arms out and kick his legs, playing with new-found mobility. When he begins to sit, he may keep his legs wide apart, giving him a larger base of support which makes him more stable in a sitting position. He may also keep his arms out to the sides to help him balance. While this position with his arms and legs out makes him more stable, it limits his ability to play and move out of this position. As your baby gets stronger, more confident, and has more practice in this new position, he starts to bring his legs closer together, use his hands to reach for toys both near and far, and allows himself to move his body in different directions. This transition from stability to mobility is important, and we see it happen in each position that a baby masters. For some babies, this step between stability and mobility can be tricky. It may be that he doesn't feel comfortable with the idea of moving, or is just unsure of how to get there. Some babies keep their legs out wide even after they have been practicing sitting for a while. They may need extra encouragement or help keeping their legs closer together to make moving over them easier. Once your baby learns that she can move from her sitting position, she starts to explore getting from sitting onto her tummy or even her hands and knees. As she gets onto hands and knees or up on her feet for standing, the process of moving from stability to mobility starts again. With each new position that your baby explores, she will first work to master the ability to just be in that position.  Once she masters staying in the position, she is on to moving while in the position, and eventually on to the next position!

October Babies On The MOVE Baby Classes

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October brought the beginning of a new series of classes at Babies On The MOVE.  In our Master Mover classes, we talked about standing and getting into standing.  It brought us to the conversation about shoe recommendations for little feet.  We recommended babies be barefoot at home and talked about the type of shoes that are best for new walkers when they are outside. The Mini Mover classes brought lots of new little babes.  We talked about what's important about playing on your back and side, as well as how to make tummy time more fun!  There was an impressive showing of dads at the Sunday classes!  We frequently have more of a mommy & me showing to class, but dads are of course always welcome and encouraged to come too (or instead)! Looking forward to our November classes which are right around the corner.