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[BABY NOT USING ARMS] I love your channel and am an OT as well (School based). I have a 12 week old that i have been doing Tummy Time with since day 1 but she is STILL not weight bearing through her arms unless I am working with her on the ball and set her up with her arms under her. Any suggestions on what I can do?!
Great job starting TT early!!! 4 months is the standard time when we expect to see baby starting to bear weight through forearms and then pressing into hands after that...often 5 months. If she's usually flying her hands off the floor at 12 weeks I'd put on your detective hat and see if she might be a little tactile defensive (avoidant of touch). But if she's just staying low, I'd keep positioning her arms in an ideal position for weightbearing and giving her motivation to press up to lift her head more. In my course Baby's Best Tummy Time: A No-Cry Guide for New Parents I give suggestions for older babies who aren't pressing up through arms yet - in case you continue to see this over the coming weeks.
MOTOR MILESTONES & DEVELOPMENT
[CRAWLING] My son is a belly crawler, occasionally rocks on his hands and knees and uses his toes and a knee to push himself forward. He is completely unhindered by legs or objects and will pull himself over or up onto as if he was crawling. My son is 10 months old and has gone to PT for pigeon-toed feet and Torticollis. He was just discharged because he has meeting his expected milestones. He was also a big baby and would really struggle with holding his head up after growth spurts. He also couldn't grab his feet until 7 months. We had to start stretching him to be able to do. We spent 6 months only doing tummy time and now i realize he may not have the lower body strength for crawling so I am trying to do mommy therapy with him to encourage toe touching. Any tips or tricks would be helpful.
I would certainly defer to the PT who knows him well but just from what you're describing I wonder if he might benefit from some core/belly strengthening play. You describe the extremity strength (arms/legs) to crawl over over objects and to belly crawl but you describe challenges in head control, flexion / abdominal contraction to reach toes and only brief hands and knees positioning for rocking. Some ways to play to promote core/ab strength for a kiddo his age are: sitting upright on a moving surface (like a slow moving exercise ball, a lap with alternating adult thighs lifting, a flat/platform swing or sitting on a lap on a porch swing), pull-to-sit and sit-to-back play (like baby sit-ups with hand holding assist), play in half-kneeling (one knee down and one foot down with knee bent) or tall kneeling, and rolling play.
[LOWERING FROM STANDING] My daughter is 10.5 months old, and I’m wondering how to encourage her to go from standing to getting back down. I’ve tried handing her something down low to see if she’ll bend down to get it, but she’ll either cry, ignore it and keep cruising, or fall back onto the floor.
So not squatting from a standing position and falling back onto the floor from standing - sounds like your little one might benefit from some leg strengthening play! Simple ways to play: sit to stand from your lap to a low surface to play and stand to sit back down with just a little help, play in half-kneel (one knee one the ground, other foot on the ground with knee bent) and pulling up to stand through half-kneel (roughly equal time/play/work on each side), standing on one leg to play at a surface (you lift the other foot by bending the knee), and mini-squats (place a toy at her thigh or knee level beside her so that she only has to micro-bend her knees to grab it). You can stabilize her hand on the surface to show her that it will help her to keep a hand on.
[BABY WANTS TO BE UPRIGHT] My son just turned 3 months today actually. He wants to sit up all the time or carried in an upright position. Is it ok to let him sit propped in the Boppy - he enjoys looking around? When he is in his swing he pulls his head forward trying to sit up. By the way he hates tummy time but will sit up.
I have a few resources that can help guide you here - in my free Happy Healthy Baby Gear Guide I describe horizontal milestones and vertical milestones and help parents determine where their baby is on the path from horizontal to vertical. This can help inform the type of baby gear, activities and positions you choose for your baby. I also would encourage you to take Baby’s Best Tummy Time: A No-Cry Guide for New Parents so that you can help teach your little one to feel okay belly-down (which is so important for the horizontal milestones of rolling and pivoting and crawling).
[PRAM] When you say baby gear are you talking about a pram too? My baby is a little over a week old and we really want to take him for frequent walks. I didn’t want to have him in a car seat for prolonged periods because I know that’s not ideal for his development so I bought a pram so he could move around more and lay in different positions.
Pram isn't a term we use in the US but I *think* it refers to a flat stroller (like a small crib/cot on wheels). We call that a bassinet here ;) and yes - that's a great option and doesn't count as a semi-reclined piece of gear / baby bucket / baby container.
[JOLLY JUMPER] My 5.5 is active, curious, spends most time on tummy. I am wondering what your opinion is on Jolly jumpers - I think my son would love one. He’s very “kicky”. I don’t have one yet but wondering if there are any contraindications for his physical development.
I discuss jumpers and developmental considerations of using them my free resource, The Happy Healthy Baby Gear Guide.
Head Shape / Plagiocephaly
[PORTION SIZES & POOP PROBLEMS] I love your Food Before One course. It has helped me a great deal with feeding my 9 month old. A question I had for you - do you regulate volume of feeding or give them as much as they want? And what do you do to help with changes in stool? Our daughter went from her easy to pass breastmilk stool to more formed harder to pass stool. Any advice?
So glad you enjoyed the course! I describe some general meal sizes for both the 6-9 month age range and the 10-12 month age range in Part 1, Lesson 4 of the course. Because the primary source of nutrition until 12 months should be breastmilk or formula, I do regulate volume if baby is an enthusiastic eater and intake of solids is impacting intake of breastmilk or formula. I would also continue to time solids after breastmilk or formula feedings until a year of age. More firm (and stinkier) stools are normal with introduction to solids but if passing stool has become uncomfortable make sure baby is getting some sips of water with solids and is getting plenty of fiber (fruits and veggies). A few foods known to constipate are bananas, applesauce, cereals/grains, yogurt and cheese. A few foods that can help soften stools are "the P's" - pears, plums, peas, peaches and prunes as well as the "B's" - broccoli, beans and bran. If constipation becomes an issue - speak to your child's doctor.
[TODDLER SLEEP CHALLENGES] Awhile back you had mentioned on your Instagram stories how you were advised to drop your son's nap so that he would sleep through the night and you were talking about doing the same thing with your middle daughter and allowing her to play independently in her room or sleep. I'm trying to figure out if this is what I need to do with my youngest who is almost 27 months old, even though I'm dreading it. Or maybe I just need to adjust when she takes a nap or how long she takes a nap??? She's just taking so long to fall asleep at night and wakes up in the middle of the night. You mentioned a sleep expert that had suggested dropping the nap for your son and daughter and I cannot for the life of me remember the person's name.
The first step we took with our littles at 2.5-3 yrs old was to start cutting nap short - 45-60 minutes…yes, wake a sleeping child :( - and to make sure it ended 5 hours before bedtime. That tweak definitely helped and bought us a few more months with an afternoon nap before we "dropped it" (it's always an option since my kiddos do quiet time in their rooms - they do/did occasionally crawl into bed for a catnap in the months after officially dropping the nap). The local sleep consultant we worked with was Meggan Hartman. I also have turned to Casey Mayo as a resource. Good luck!
[BABBLING] I have an almost 9 month old and was hoping to find out more info about babbling and speech. There’s a lot out there about general guidelines for speech development, but I’m curious to find out more specifics. My son babbles “dada” a lot and will say other letters like “b” but still hasn’t said anything with an “m” like mama. And even if he is babbling with a “b” he isn’t saying “ba ba” or “ball” it’s just jibberish. Is this a sign of a speech delay?
What you describe sounds like vocal play with consonants and it sounds great (this is expressive speech - what you baby says). At 9 months the aspect of speech that would raise red flags (other than generally not making sounds) are the foundations of receptive speech - what your baby understands - and socialization: turning toward sounds and name, making eye contact, engaging in some back and forth vocal play. As long as your 9 months old is engaging in vocal play with consonants I wouldn't stress about the specifics of which consonants and exactly how he's using them.
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