This is a great resource and should be shared with all parents with babies. I love their documents, pictures, video clips, research, and advice.
Pathways Awareness is an organization in Chicago dedicated to increasing knowledge about the gift of early detection and the benefit of early therapy for infants and children with early motor delays. As an Occupational Therapist, I share this belief and value early detection and Early Intervention for children to prevent problems from escalating and affecting a chlid’s future learning and development.
According to Pathways Awareness, research shows that one in 40 babies is diagnosed with early motor delays and 400,000 babies a year are at risk of developmental delays. ‘Early motor delay’ can refer to conditions ranging from low muscle tone to Cerebral palsy. Some ‘early motor delays’ are present at birth and others develop or become worse over time. On a positive note, most of these children respond well and catch up quickly when provided early therapy and strategies involving Tummy Time while the baby is awake.
Pathways Awareness has a section on their website called ‘Tummy Time Central.’ It includes details to questions such as: How much Tummy Time does a child need? When to do Tummy Time? And when to be concerned a child is struggling with Tummy Time?
The main points were:
1) Tummy Time helps:
-strengthen neck, shoulders, back, stomach, buttocks, and hand muscles.
-develop eye-hand coordination
-shape arches of the hand for reaching, grasping, and object manipulation
-develop motivation, problem-solving, body and spatial awareness
2) Incorporate Tummy Time into your daily routine such as while carrying the baby, during feeding, or following diaper (nappy) and clothing changes. See their handout called ‘Five Essential Tummy Time Moves’ which contains great images. The site also has video clips of what tummy time should look like and when to be concerned regarding early motor delays.
3) Change the direction your baby lies on their back while sleeping in their crib to build strength and prevent early motor delays.
4) If concerned regarding a child’s development, seek advice from a healthcare provider, Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist who specializes in infants. If they give you a wait-and-see approach, don’t hesitate to get a second opinion or to self-refer to a trained therapist.
**Please share this valuable information with parents, grandparents, friends, nursery and daycare providers, and others.