4 Steps To Get Your Baby Rolling

As a pediatric physical therapist, I am often asked “how can I get my child to walk,” “how can I get my child to crawl,” and other such questions. I like to use the same principles that would motivate me, or other adults I know.baby rolling

A) Encourage an older child to perform something that is beneficial but difficult by letting her know the alternative is something that is (while still beneficial) either more difficult or outright unpleasant.

B) Observe what the child likes (like a specific toy, not like oxygen) and then remove that item a small distance away from her, and return the object (remember toy, NOT oxygen) when she performs the task that you would like him to perform.

Encouraging A Baby To Roll:

Rolling. I would like to use the words supine (lying on one’s back) and prone (lying on one’s tummy). You can toss these words out at your next pediatrician appointment and impress the doctor. (I think most pediatricians have a deal where you get an extra lollipop if you correctly use medical jargon in a sentence.) Rolling
from back to side typically occurs at about 3 months, with rolling from tummy to back (prone to supine) and from back to tummy (supine to prone) at 4 and 5 months respectively.

4 Steps To Encourage A Baby To Roll:

  1. Break it down. Play with your infant while she is on her tummy, play with her while she is on her back, and play with her while she is laying on her side to make sure she is comfortable in each position.
  2. How can I get my child comfortable laying on her side?  You can place your infant on her side with both arms in front of her and then stabilize her at her hips. Use a toy that she can hold and chew and shake. By supporting at her hips, you promote stabilization through her core.
  3. Work the transitions. Let’s use rolling supine to prone over her right side (see above for definitions) as our example. Using a toy that she can reach for and is interested in reaching for (refer to tip “B” above as needed)…
    1. Brush the toy against her left hand to encourage her to reach with that hand and move the toy so she begins to reach to the right, across her body.
    2. With your hand on her left hip, gently bend her hips to 90 degrees and slowly and gently roll her towards her right.
    3. Move very slowly and allow the child to lead the movement.
  4. Repetition is the key. Repetition is the key. Repetition is the key.  I don’t believe I need to expound upon this point further.

Rolling is a wonderful early milestone for your child. It is one of the first locomotor movements she may learn. If your child is not initiating rolling on her own by the age of 6 months, ask your pediatrician for a referral for a gross motor evaluation by a pediatric physical therapist.

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How To Teach Your Preschooler To Cut With Scissors

Snip snip snip! Cutting is a skill that may take a good amount of time for a child to perfect. Cutting requires many components including: fine motor precision, bilateral skills, visual motor skills, grasping, problem solving, and attention to detail. Cutting can also be intimidating for parents to teach, as safety can be a definite concern! Here are some simple tips in order to work towards increased success with cutting:girl using scissors

Teach Your Child To Use Scissors:

  • Find an appropriate work station.  Seat your child at a table, with his feet flat on the floor, and with minimal distractions, so that he will be able to best attend to the activity at hand
  • Make sure your child is using his dominant hand to manipulate the scissors, and his non-dominant hand to hold the paper. If your child has not yet chosen his hand dominance, present the scissors at midline (the center of the body) so that your child can independently choose which hand to use. **Note: often times scissors are made more comfortably for right hand use.
  • Help your child to set-up his scissors correctly from the get go. This will prevent your child from developing a habit of holding his scissors incorrectly/inefficiently, and will lead to greater accuracy and confidence in the end. The thumb should be in the smaller of the two holes and the pointer and long fingers should be inside the larger hole. The ring finger and pinky can be tucked into the palm. **Note: make sure the thumb is facing up towards the ceiling, rather than turned towards the paper.
  • Patience is a virtue with cutting activities. A child should first start by simply snipping the paper, followed by cutting across the entire sheet of paper. After these skills are perfected the child can begin to practice cutting on both straight and curved/wavy lines, and cutting out large circles and squares. Lastly your child will work towards cutting out smaller circles and squares, and more complex shapes.
  • Remind your child to turn their paper rather than turning the directionality of their scissors. Your child’s scissors should ALWAYS be facing forward, cutting away from their body.
  • If your preschooler continues to struggle, try loop scissors or self-opening (spring loaded) scissors to help increase both of your confidence!

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10 Ways to Help Your Toddler Acclimate to a New Caregiver

Many toddlers receive care from a caregiver other than their parent at some point, whether this is a grandparent, family friend, babysitter, nanny, therapist, or other professional caregiver. Some children go to daycare, while others receive care in their home. Each situation can be difficult for the toddler and her parent. These tips will give you the tools necessary to deal with the separation, and help your toddler and new caregiver get it right from the start.

10 Ways To Help Your Child Adjust To A New Caregiver:

  1. Separation begins long before the actual event. Make yourself familiar with the childcare setting and routine in advance. A few days before starting childcare, talk to your toddler about what she will do while she is there, the caregivers, and other mom and babysitterchildren that will be part of the child care experience.
  2. Introduce your child to the caregiver and new setting before child care actually begins.
  3. Discuss with the caregiver your child’s preferences, strengths, vulnerabilities, your values and your approach to discipline. It’s also a good idea to share special events and recent milestones with the caregiver, which can later be discussed and will enhance the relationship between the caregiver and child.
  4. Build strong communication with the caregiver that will lead to a solid partnership on behalf of the child.
  5. Give your child something from home or that reminds her of you to take with her to child care. Transition objects provide the toddler with a tangible, concrete representation of the parent and home. This could be a photo or letter from you, a toy, or something that is meaningful within the family.
  6. If at all possible, start with a brief separation and progressively increase the time apart from your toddler as she adjusts to the new setting.
  7. Arrive at childcare with enough time so that you can stay for a while as your toddler settles in. Dropping off and leaving right away can be unsettling and upsetting. On the other hand, parents who have trouble leaving can be persuaded by the child’s pleas to “stay a little longer.” Doing so, particularly when the parent really needs to leave, can be confusing to the child because of the contrast between what the parent says and does. Staying longer is appropriate if it is planned and when the time is spent talking about the separation or helping the child transition to the caregiver, to a peer, or to a fun activity.
  8. Talk about the feelings of separation and the pleasures of being together with your child. Separation anxiety is normal and intensifies between 12 and 18 months of age. Acknowledging these feelings directly and sympathetically is the best way to cope with them. Calmly assure the toddler that she will be well cared for and will have a good time. Stress that you will return. Plan what you will do when you are together again.
  9. Be prepared to encounter signs of ambivalence or stress from your toddler after the reunion. This may also be accompanied by clinging or refusal to let the parent out of sight. Recognize your child’s fear of separation in unusual forms such as night awakenings, toileting accidents, tantrums, or low threshold of frustration. Awareness that such responses may occur can help reduce the parents’ stress and promote a calm and sympathetic response to the child.
  10. Play games that build mastery of separation experiences, such as hide-and-seek, peek-a-boo, and hiding/recovering objects. These playful games strengthen the child’s sense of object permanence (the knowledge that people and things continue to exist when they are out of sight).Direct experiences with reunion after separation promotes the toddlers’ developing ability to understand that even though their parent is not physically present, they will return.

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Signs Your Child Is Ready For The Potty

In today’s webisode a Board Certified Behavior Analyst Gives us the signs to look for when beginning potty training with a child!  To read a blog on the 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Potty Training, click here.

In This Video You Will Learn:

  • The signs to look for if your child is ready for potty training
  • What directions your child should be able to follow in order to use the potty
  • Why the length of your child’s attention span matters

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide
audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and
innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.Robyn: Hello, and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I’m your host,
Robyn Ackerman, and today I’m standing here with Katie Sadowski,
a behavioral analyst. Katie, can you tell our viewers how to
know when your child is ready for potty training?Katie: Yes. For your child to be ready for potty training, you want to
look for certain signs. One sign that you want to notice is that
your child is showing a desire and want. There is an interest
that your child is showing in regards to being potty trained.
They’re now starting to stay clean, stay dry, and they’re
excited about it, and they’re happy. They also are wanting to
wear big kids’ underpants. Another thing that you’ll see is that
they’re taking an interest in what you’re doing when you’re
going to the bathroom and asking questions about what are you
doing or why are you doing that.

Some other things that are helpful when potty training are
looking at the fact, “Can your child follow simple directions?”
When you’re using the bathroom, there are a lot of one-step
directions that we have to complete. You go in, you turn on the
light, you close the door, you have to pull down your pants,
your underwear. So there are a lot of different things that your
child needs to be able to do.

Another thing is just making sure that your child can sit and
actually engage in an activity for a certain amount of time. If
they’re very quick to get frustrated or agitated, that will make
it hard in the potty training process.

Some other things that are good to notice is that your child is
staying clean or dry for a longer amount of time. Being able to
hold their bladder for longer, also shows that they’re getting
ready and that they’re capable of doing it. Some other things
that are helpful are that your child can easily pull up and pull
down their underpants as well as pants.

You want to make sure that your child is capable of walking or
running to the bathroom. When you’re potty training, it’s not
always, “There’s the bathroom.” You might be a little bit away,
so your child has to be able to get there in time.

Those are some things that you should definitely be looking for
and being aware of.

Robyn: All right. Thank you so much, Katie.

Katie: Thank you.

Robyn: And thank you to our viewers, and remember keep on blossoming.

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of
mind to your family with the best in educational programming. To
subscribe to our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit
our website at LearnMore.me. That’s LearnMore.me.

Parent Self-Care: How to care for YOU while you care for your child

Some parents feel guilty if they purposefully take time away from their kids to pursue their own interests. On the other hand, turning yourself down from these opportunities may mean you have less and less to give of yourself to your kids. Mothers who make time to pursue relaxing activities and/or favorite hobbies not only feel happier day to day, but their kids feel it too! It has a calming effect on your children and also provides you with more energy to tend to daily tasks. You need time to re-energize from the world’s hardest but most rewarding job! Here are some pointers for getting started. Please add a comment below if you have your own great idea to add!

How To Care For Yourself When You Have Children:happy parents

  • Seek out hobbies that “feed your soul”
  • Revisit your old childhood hobbies and passions
  • Wake up earlier or go to bed later than your family for alone time
  • Take bubble baths or extra long showers
  • Trade massages with your partner (or go professional)
  • Take long walks (alone or with a companion)
  • Call at least one friend per week
  • Organize “Moms only” nights with friends
  • Date night with your partner
  • Eat healthy and exercise
  • Write in a journal
  • Practice meditation and mindfulness

*Kvols, K.J. (1998). Redirecting children’s behavior. Seattle, Washington: Parenting Press, Inc. a

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North Shore Pediatric Therapy, Inc. (NSPT) intends for responses to the blogs to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; all content and answers to questions should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).  Questions submitted to this blog are not guaranteed to receive responses.  No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by NSPT  to people submitting questions.  Always consult with your health professional first before initiating or changing any aspect of your treatment regimen.

3 At home Exercises For Torticollis | Pediatric Therapy Tv

Here our Pediatric Physical Therapist gives viewers 3 examples of exercises that parents can perform at home with their child who has torticollis.  For more blogs by experts on Torticollis, click here

In This Video You Will Learn:

  • 3 great exercises a parent can do at home with their child who has Torticollis
  • A great alternative to Tummy Time
  • How to get your child to actively move around
  • How to perform an easy pull to sit exercise and why that helps

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide
audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and
innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now, your host, here’s
Robyn.

Robyn: Hello and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I am your host,
Robyn Ackerman, and today I am sitting here with Jesse Coffelt,
who is a pediatric physical therapist. Jesse, can you please let
us know three exercises that we can do with a baby who has been
diagnosed with torticollis?

Jesse: Absolutely. There are three great exercises, and obviously
tummy time is going to be hugely important for these kiddos.
This is a great carry I like to do with babies, where my hand is
supporting the baby’s chest here. It can be comfortable. You can
carry the child here. You can put your hand on her, and she’s
always got to lift up her head to be looking around. So she’s
getting that tummy time equivalent.

Another one that’s really good is you can hold the baby up like
this. Again, you can be engaging with your child, and you can
kind of just be tipping her side to side, looking at her, really
getting her to actively move around.

The third one, if I could just place the doll right here, it’s
like a pull-to-sit exercise. What you’re doing is you’re going
to grasp the child by her hands and just gently and slowly lift
her up. What you’re looking for is making sure that she is
lifting her neck up and she’s actively engaging her abdominals.
You can come up here to sitting, and then slowly take her back
down to laying on the ground. The slower you move, the more
she’s got to actively work and strengthen those muscles.

Robyn: All right, great. Thank you so much, Jesse, and thank you to
our viewers. And remember, keep on blossoming.

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of
mind to your family with the best in educational programming. To
subscribe to our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit
our website at LearnMore.me. That’s LearnMore.me.

6 Tips on How Not to Say No to Your Child

Nobody likes hearing the word “no,” and that is especially true for children. With the word “no” can come tantrums, upset, and anger. It usually results in a power struggle and battle that no one really wants to have. Below are 6 tips that can help you avoid using the dreaded “no” word eliminating any battles that might follow, as well as, helping keep the peace between your child and you.

 6 Alternatives to Saying “No”:

1. Offer Choices. Instead of just telling your child “no,” give them choices to pick from. If your child asks to have cake for a snack and you would prefer he have something healthy, tell him that for snack he can either have carrots or an apple. mother saying no to childIf he is not happy with those choices, let him know that he can either pick or you will choose for him. If he still has not made a choice, go ahead and pick one for him. Give your child the snack and ignore any tantrums or talk about not being happy with the snack.

2. Give an Explanation. If the answer is “no”, do not just say “no,” but supply an explanation for why we cannot do that or why it might not be a good idea. For example, if your child wants to watch a scary movie you can let them know that the movie may cause nightmares and is not appropriate for them, but they can pick a different movie to watch. Or if your child wants to play a game that is not at their age level, explain the reason they cannot play that now is because they are not old enough yet, but in a few years will be. Have them choose a different game to play.

3. Think Before You Talk. Rather than immediately blurting out “no,” think before you respond. Figure out why that is the answer and let your child know why what he/she wants/requests cannot happen at that time.

4. Offer it Later. There are times that your child might ask for something but unfortunately they cannot have it. For example, if your child asks for ice cream for breakfast, the appropriate response would be “no.” However, instead tell your child that we need to have something else for breakfast (provide choices: cereal, pancakes, eggs, etc.,) but after lunch we can have some ice cream.

5. Keep Track of Wants. If you have a child who is constantly asking for toys or other items, remind them of different holidays that may be approaching. Encourage your child to ask for those things for their birthday, Christmas, or other special occasions. This way you are not saying they can never have that, but helping them create a want/wish list.

6. Make a Deal. Provide opportunities for your child to earn the items they want. If you are in the store and your child asks for something, instead of saying “no,” make a deal with them. Tell your child that she can get the Barbie Doll if she helps load and empty the dishwasher for a week or your son can get the Nerf toy he wants if he keeps his room clean. Use these situations to help increase your child’s responsibility around the house or with schoolwork.

In the beginning, it might be hard to catch yourself from just blurting out “No!”.  However, keeping these helpful tips in mind will aid in deescalating potential problems that usually occur from that response. And remember practice makes perfect!

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Supporting Your Child To Make Friends | Pediatric Therapy Tv

In today’s webisode, our  Marriage and Family Counselor gives us some wonderful take away tips on what to do when your child tells you he/she has no friends.

In This Video You Will Learn:

  • When and how to listen to your child’s social problems
  • How to respond to your child
  • What questions to ask your child
  • Suggestions and tips to help your child be more social

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide
audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and
innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.

Robyn: Hello and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I’m your host, Robyn
Ackerman, and today I’m standing with marriage and family
counselor Beth Chung. Beth, can you tell us how to help children
make friends?

Beth: Sure. I think this is a really important question and one that I get
asked pretty often. In our previous segment of Pediatric TV, Dr.
Stasi was really talking about tailoring the treatment of
helping your child make friends to each child’s individual
strengths and growth areas and needs. Today I’ll just touch on
some general strategies, but I’d really encourage parents to
keep that tidbit in mind.

One really important strategy, I think, which is often
overlooked, is to really listen to your child. I think a lot of
times parents realize that their child is struggling when he or
she comes to their parents and says, “Mom, dad, I have no
friends. No one wants to hang out with me.” It can feel really
tempting for parents to say, “No, that’s not true. I’m sure you
have tons of friends,” or, “Who cares what other kids think?”
It’s a way to reassure their child, but really it can minimize
your child’s concerns and prevent them from coming to you in the
future.

Something that I would suggest is something as simple as, “That
must be really hard,” or, “I bet it feels really tough when
you’re picked last in gym. I can understand why you might feel
like you have no friends,” even if you may feel differently,
because as soon as your child feels heard and accepted, you can
move on to some problem solving. This is a really great way to
help your child to feel more empowered.

Asking open-ended questions such as, “One possible reason is
that you don’t have friends, which is why you’re alone on the
playground. What else could it mean?” Coming up with suggestions
such as, “Well, you’re new in school and the kids might have
some other friends, and they might be shy to ask you to play,”
or, “Maybe they don’t know that you want to play with them,” are
some good suggestions to offer.

Another really good open-ended question is, “How can you show
that you want to be friends?” Coming up with a list of concrete
skills, such as asking to join in a game, asking someone to play
a game with them, saying hello, or complimenting are strategies
that your children can practice at home. You can make it fun and
role play with your kids. If you’re driving to the playground,
you can say, “All right, Carrie. Today we’re going to go to the
playground and if you see two girls playing house together, how
can you ask them to play? What are two things you can do?” This
can really help your child to feel empowered.

Those are some strategies that I’d suggest. But again, it’s
really important to reach out to the school, the teachers, the
principal, the social worker, as Dr. Stasi mentioned in our
previous segment, to really tailor this to each child’s unique
needs and growth areas.

Robyn: Thank you so much, Beth, and thank you to our viewers. And
remember, keep on blossoming.

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of
mind to your family with the best in educational programming. To
subscribe to our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit
our website at LearnMore.me. That’s LearnMore.me.

How To Tie A Shoe Part 2 | Pediatric Therapy Tv

IN TODAY’S WEBISODE, A PEDIATRIC OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST SHOWS US THE  SECOND PART IN TEACHING CHILDREN “HOW TO TIE THEIR SHOES”.   CLICK HERE TO READ A BLOG WITH HOW TO STEPS ON SHOE TYING:

Click here to watch part 1 of the How To Teach Shoe Tying Video

In This Video You Will Learn:

  • The step by step guide of teaching a child How To Tie a Shoe

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide
audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and
innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.

Robyn: Hello and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I’m your host, Robyn
Ackerman. In today’s segment, Marissa Edwards, pediatric
occupational therapist, will be showing us how to teach tying a
shoe. Marissa?

Marissa: Hi. This is part two of “Teaching Your Child How To Tie Their
Shoes.” The story that I use is “The Pirate Story” and I’m going
to go through that story with you right now. You can also find
this on the ADVANCE for Occupational Therapists website.

We start with the laces separated and we say, ‘X marks the
spot’. Then we have to put the key inside the treasure chest,
and we have to hurry up and lock it tight because the pirates
are coming. Then we find an island because we need to bury our
treasure.

We find an island, and we have to walk around the island to make
sure there are no pirates on the island. Then we take our shovel
– there are no pirates, by the way – we take our shovel, we dig
into the island, and then we have to bury it really, really
deep. And that’s it.

Robyn: Thank you, Marissa, and thank you to our viewers. And remember,
keep on blossoming.

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of
mind to your family with the best in educational programming. To
subscribe to our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit
our website at LearnMore.me. That’s LearnMore.me.

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