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!
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!
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!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is time to feature another one of our little friends, and this month it is Willa!
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".
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!
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 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.
We had the pleasure of being the expert guest speaker at the new moms group meeting at Baby+Company in Cary, North Carolina this month. The moms were interested in learning more about their babies' motor development and the baby movement classes we offer. We love having the opportunity to talk with parents about their babies' motor development from the very beginning. We know that new parents have a lot to learn about life with baby. We want parents to feel comfortable and confident in providing their baby with opportunities to use their muscles in a variety of ways and progress through the developmental milestones. Thank you Baby+Co for providing us with this opportunity to connect with new moms and share our knowledge with them!
MOVE: Movement ~ Opportunity ~ Variety ~ Experience
During our baby’s first year of life we are constantly thinking about growth, development, and milestones. At Babies On The MOVE, we know that infant development can be a total unknown for new parents. Why is it really so important that our babies MOVE?
As parents, we want to encourage MOVEMENT in our babies. Helping your baby strengthen their muscles now will help them to learn to roll, sit, crawl, stand and walk in the coming months.
Babies have an innate drive to move. When we give them the OPPORTUNITY to spend time in different positions, we allow them to learn about their world from a new perspective.
For infants, VARIETY is the spice of life, just as it is for adults. Spending time on his back helps a baby to strengthen his muscles differently than he does when spending time on his tummy. Sitting up gives a new vantage point compared to being on your side, and standing opens a whole new world of possibilities for your infant.
Moving your infant through a variety of positions throughout the day not only keeps boredom at bay but it is also provides them with the EXPERIENCE they need to learn and master new skills.
Every developmental position provides your infant with opportunities to strengthen their muscles, get different sensory information, and see their world in a new way. Without all of these experiences, the path for motor development can be bumpy, with babies having difficulty mastering new skills. Our mommy and me motor development classes provide parents and babies with activities to encourage all infants to spend time in a variety of positions and strengthen their bodies for the future. So the next time you are playing with your baby, don’t forget to MOVE!
It's time to showcase another one of our adorable babies! This time, we want to highlight the journey of Jane Marie.
Jane was born at 34 weeks growth restricted. She was a tiny 4 pounds and stayed in the NICU for 3 weeks until she was able to go home. Her parents, Kenneth and Deanna, were prepared for her to develop at a slower rate than her peers and were told that there was a possibility that she would need Physical Therapy. They were proactive and signed up for our MINI MOVERS series of classes then continued on with MASTER MOVERS classes as she grew. At the first class, she did a great job with tummy time, but her parents were concerned that she was not able to roll from her tummy to her back yet. One month later, she was lifting her head to help with rolling and sitting well with support, but her parents were concerned that she was still not rolling and she was not sitting up by herself. Despite their concerns, they knew that Jane's determined spirit would help her get where she needed to be developmentally. Then, Jane had an explosion of growth and development where she learned how to roll over, sit by herself, and crawl! We were very impressed with how great Jane's motor skills looked! She was no longer moving along her own curve, she was a true MASTER MOVER! Jane was able to avoid needing Physical Therapy and is a thriving, active little MOVER!
We asked Deanna and Kenneth to share their experiences with Babies On The MOVE classes, and here's what they had to say:
"Becca and Rachel were so helpful in helping me feel secure in Jane's development and they assured me that I was doing the right things. I asked questions about how to encourage her to roll. I was taught how to help her sit up from a side position. Becca and Rachel assured me that we didn't need to purchase expensive equipment or toys, but that Jane was on her own time table. Babies On The MOVE helps us to know what to expect developmentally and gives Jane time to interact with others who are near her age."
"As a first-time father, I wanted to be informed and feel comfortable about my own parenting. I knew that Jane would develop fairly well, and the pediatrician was confident about Jane's growth also. Attending some of the MINI MOVER classes was a great way to become more informed, dispel myths, and socialize with Jane and other parents. Rachel and Becca were welcoming of having a father in the group, and never created confusion or left unanswered questions. I'm also very pleased that having the added consult helped Deanna and I sort through motor development without feeling overwhelmed or guilty. Jane has made appropriate progress, and seems very happy when she succeeds at practicing movement. I feel it was an overall great socialization for the family and good information to develop our parenting."
Thank you Deanna and Kenneth for sharing your experiences. We have a passion for helping parents confidently guide their children on the path of early movement success! We have enjoyed watching Jane blossom into the active little girl that she is and can't wait to see her taking her first steps!!
September brought the end of our summer series of classes at Babies On The MOVE. It's been kind of quiet around here this summer, and the small classes really gave the babies a chance to show off their personalities! It is fun to watch how the babies are motivated by seeing each other play and interact with the toys and how much they grow and change each month! We keep hearing from parents who found us when their child was in the MASTER MOVER range (7 months to new walkers), that they wish they would have known about us when their babies were younger. If you know someone with a young baby or someone who is expecting, feel free to share our information with them so they can start attending classes from early on! We love to meet new parents and help them feel confident about supporting their baby's motor development from the start!
We have had a busy month at Babies On The MOVE! The studio that we have been hosting classes at - Open Arts - underwent major renovation and now has two wonderful large studios that we can use to host classes. In MINI MOVERS class, we learned a trick to enjoying tummy time from one of our little friends - just sleep through it! Disclaimer: tummy time is not a recommended sleeping position, but his awesome mom doesn't mind if he takes a little nap on his tummy as long as she is there to keep an eye on him. MINI MOVERS also learned ideas to try if your baby doesn't want to put weight on their arms when they are on their tummy or if they don't want to put weight on their legs in standing. MASTER MOVERS was a big party with lots of fun babies and parents. The babies were all working on something different developmentally, but still had fun playing together! We can't wait to see what everyone is up to next month!
We at Babies On The MOVE decided that we need to showcase these beautiful babies that are attending our classes as they grow and develop into expert movers! We are delighted to introduce you all to Caleb, our first feature baby! Caleb and his mother, Erin, have been attending our classes since our very first class in March 2016 when he was almost 5 months old. At that first class, Erin shared with us that she did not have any experience with babies before becoming a mom. In our classes, we provide ideas, tips, and hands-on practice of ways to position and play with your baby to promote their motor development. Our goal is to increase parents' confidence with handling their baby in this way. After that first class, Erin and Caleb signed up for a 3-class series. On his first of three classes, Caleb was already starting to roll and move around on his tummy! At the second class, he was sitting and starting to get up on his hands and knees and pull himself up to standing! By the third class, he was crawling over things and cruising (taking steps holding on to furniture)! It never ceases to amaze me how fast babies grow and change! Here is a shot of Caleb on the move at one of our classes:
I asked Erin if she would be willing to share her experience with attending the Babies On The MOVE classes, and here is what she had to say:
"I was so excited to see in my local moms group that two physical therapists were offering a ‘Babies on the Move’ class. As a first time mom I had tons of questions about my babies mobility and fears that he wouldn’t hit milestones in development. Like most babies, my son hated tummy time. After going to the first class, I learned that there are different ways to incorporate tummy time besides the traditional laying your baby on a play mat and listening to them cry. I learned how important it is for a baby to build a strong core. I returned to the next class and my son was already starting to roll over. Rachel and Rebecca taught me how to help my son roll if he got stuck half way through. The next class my son was already starting to sit up so I learned how to place some of the larger toys I had that made noise on the floor so I could sit him in front of them and he could lean in and reach for things. I really think that this class changed things for my baby. He loved sitting and playing with his activity center and 2-3 weeks after this class he was literally on the move…he started to crawl. I feel like the 4 classes I attended put him ahead of the curve, at 9 months and 6 days he is standing and walking with very little assistance. I am so appreciative for everything I learned and highly recommend these classes."
Thank you so much for your kind words Erin! We absolutely love teaching these classes, and it is because of the amazing parents and their sweet little babies that we get to work with! Also big thanks for sharing more 'On the MOVE' pics of Caleb at home! We are so proud of you and your little mover!! Enjoy chasing him around ;)
Summer is in full swing and so are our Babies On The MOVE baby movement classes in Morrisville, North Carolina! Families are escaping the heat to get inside and learn about ways to play with their babies to help them build strength and progress to the next motor milestone. We love to do tummy time and teach parents ways to make it fun for everyone, but that's not the only thing you can do to help your little one build their muscles! All of the developmental positions are important for building your baby's foundation for future movement - lying on their back, lying on their tummy, lying on their side, sitting, and standing. Playing with your baby in all of these positions with the correct alignment will help them gain strength and master new skills.
We really enjoyed heading out to the Apex Community Park last month to join with Fit4Mom at a Stroller Strides class! We provided a free demonstration of our Babies On The MOVE baby movement classes to the class participants. It was a beautiful day at the park. We spread out some blankets in the shade, got the babies out of the strollers, and got down on the blankets to play! It's a great idea for parents to bring along a blanket on outings so you can get your baby out of their car seat or stroller and get them down on the ground to play and use their muscles! The babies were a range of ages, so participants were able to learn tricks for helping their little one progress to the next motor milestones from early tummy time experiences to standing and cruising! Thanks Fit4Mom for having us out to provide a free demonstration to your participants!
We had a great weekend of classes at Babies On The MOVE! The groups were smaller than usual this month, so all the babies got lots of personalized attention. Once again we were reminded of the wide variation that exists in normal baby development. It is so fun to see babies that are the same age choosing to move in different ways based on their personalities, exposures, and interests! Our classes this weekend also reminded me of the differences in the way a dad interacts with baby as compared to mom. Mom tends to be the safe spot, the home base. Dad helps show baby the world outside of mom. I love seeing dads interacting with their baby in a more adventurous way - upside down baby, airplane baby, and football carry are all great ways for dad to play with baby! Looking forward to seeing new friends and old at our classes in July!
Babies On The MOVE classes will be offered at Grow, The Family Boutique in Raleigh, NC this Saturday, May 21st. Join us for a MINI MOVERS class for babies age 0-6 months at 10:30 AM or a MASTER MOVERS class for babies from age 7 months up until they start taking their first steps at 11:30 AM.
Babies begin building strength from the day that they are born. Parents can help their babies master new skills and learn to enjoy movement from an early age. These classes will teach you how to position, carry, and play with your baby to encourage them to move and progress to the next milestone. The casual and comfortable environment encourages parent and child interaction while learning from expert physical therapists in a social setting. Classes are customized to the needs of the parents and the developmental stage of the infants attending.
Grow is located at 2885 Jones Franklin Road in Raleigh, NC. Contact Grow directly at 919-803-3521 to register for these events.
Thanks to all who came out for the MASTER MOVERS baby classes this weekend on Friday and Sunday in Morrisville, NC. We had a great time seeing old friends and meeting new ones! This class really highlights for me the wide range of typical development that happens from 7 months until babies start taking their first steps. It is truly amazing to see how much and how fast babies change! We offer the Babies On The MOVE classes monthly for this reason. The babies in the MASTER MOVERS classes this weekend were a prime example of the range of typical development. In one class, we had an almost 7 month old moving and grooving in tummy time while an 11 month old was taking some independent steps - oh how things can change in four short months!
Thanks to all who came out for our MINI MOVERS baby classes this weekend on Friday and Sunday in Morrisville, NC. We loved seeing some familiar faces as well as meeting lots of new ones. The babies in both classes were amazing this weekend! We focused on playing on their backs, playing on their sides, and helping them roll. Of course we also talked about the dreaded tummy time! I am pleased to say that everyone had a chance to play on their tummy happily, even if it was just for a little bit! It was really fun to see the new tricks that our friends who attended last month had learned. We had such a great time teaching the class, that we completely forgot to take pictures to post. Baby brain must be contagious! We look forward to seeing everyone next month!