Colic and Torticollis - 3 Tips for Parents from a Pediatric Physical Therapist

What can pediatric physical therapy do to help your baby with colic, prevent torticollis, and find relief?

…Infants with colic often assume positions with flexed hips, lateral trunk shifts, clinched fists, and extended arms.  Some babies are unable to tolerate prone positions and are often placed in swings, bucket positions to promote head elevation for digestive needs.  Unfortunately, these positioning techniques may contribute to the development of Torticollis.

Read More
Smarter Solutions For Your Baby's Brain

The infant brain is plastic.  In the science world, "plastic" means that connections between nerves are changed and formed easily.  During these early months of life, the child’s brain needs to be exposed to specific movement skills that facilitate cognitive growth as well as specific cognitive skills that influence independent movement. Neuroscience and physical therapy have linked the impact of early movement, cognition, and brain development to influencing positive lifelong behaviors.  This connection directly translates to a child's success in school and in life. 

Read More
"Siri, Is it normal from my baby to…???”

This week I want to highlight the importance of knowing where your health information is coming from.  

How can technology be dangerous?

In the age of the internet, blogs, facebook, and instagram, parents and educators have so much information at their fingertips.  This ease of access to information is a double edge sword to healthcare professionals.

Read More
It's Like Riding a Bike

You know when you go to your child’s well check-up visit and have to fill out those questionnaires about what your child is or isn’t doing at this point in his life?  Sound familiar?  Good.  So, what’s the deal with the question about riding a bicycle?  

Most children are able to ride a tricycle by age 3 and ride a two-wheel bicycle by age 7.  This accomplishment is really exciting for both the child and parent!

Read More
Are Flat Feet Happy Feet?

My sister-in-law was a talented ballerina.  As with most sports, genetics plays a huge roll in sport success.  She was born with great lines including high arches in her feet making her point extra special.  

As children start bearing weight through their legs, the muscles, bones and nerves in their feet begin to change.  The arches in the feet form as the forces from the muscles and gravity shape the body.  It’s physics and it’s pretty cool how the pull of external forces impact our body’s structural development.  I could go on for pages about the dorky concepts of force and Wolff’s law, but I’ll spare you the details today.  Instead, let’s focus on the optics of feet; specifically, let’s focus on flat feet. (Flat feet is referred to as "pes planus" in the medical world)

Read More
The 3 Must-Have Toys That Should Make Your Black Friday Wish List...

It’s that time of year again and Black Friday is almost here!   Let’s get our holiday wish lists ready!  Here, you will find my favorite infant toys that enhance movement and development.  It’s rare that I actually endorse a specific toy.  However, over the past 10+ years working as a pediatric physical therapist and using a variety of toys for motivation and movement, I want to share 3 of my favorites that should be on your wish list this year.

Read More
In honor of World Prematurity Day...

In honor of World Prematurity Day, and #sciencefriday, I want to teach about a special part of our population that does not get much recognition: the Late Pre-term Infant.  

Did you know that the average pre-term births in the United States is 450,000 per year? Of  those, 75% are considered Late Pre-Term.1

A Late Pre-Term infant or “LPT” is defined as children born between 34 0/7 weeks and 36 6/7 weeks gestational age.1,2  Late pre-term infants are a highly at risk population for:

Read More
Free, Free Falling

Today, let’s focus on sitting balance.

Typically, 50% of infants sit independently by 6 months old.  Independent sitting allows the child freedom to reach and play with toys, improves the visual field in order to observe the environment for learning, and builds core muscles against gravity to prepare for crawling, standing and walking.

Read More
And I Would Walk 500 Miles...

Walking seems to always be on the forefront of a parent's mind during the first year of their child's life. This makes sense.  Walking is essential for cognitive, social, and muscular-skeletal development.  Walking is one of the most recognized motor milestones, and, it is so adorable watching those first steps!

Read More
Car Seats, Strollers, and Swings, Oh My!

Technology is fascinating.  I am so impressed with the ever-changing high-tech equipment that is out there. From car seats that easily click into strollers, to baby swings that oscillate using space technology (Man, that thing is cool!), it seems like parents are ahead of the game when it comes to finding the latest equipment to help support their babies.  Though this may seem like an article on what cool new baby devices you should add to your Christmas list, this is, instead, my call to action...

Read More
Torticollis...Say that 3 times fast! A quick FAQ

What's the Deal with Torticollis?

For such a strange medical term, this is one that is recognized pretty often in the parent/Mom/baby world. Here, I want to give you:

  • a simple definition of the condition
  • reasons why a physical therapist would treat this
  • things that a parent can look for that are associated with torticollis in infants
  • tips on prevention.
Read More
My baby hates Tummy Time. Now What?

The problem arises...

When I am getting background information on a baby, I typically ask the parent about Tummy Time.  How often they do it with their baby, how their baby handles being on their stomach, ect.  This information gives me as a physical therapist insight into the child’s ability to move in positions other than supine (on his back), into neck and shoulder muscle strength, and possible indications of medical problems including acid reflux that would require physician follow-up care.

Read More