By: Emily Elling
Yesterday baby Paul had his first physical therapy session to work on and improve his gross motor skills. He’s ten months old today, and according to our pediatrician and a physical therapist evaluation, he’s mildly delayed when it comes to sitting up, pulling up, and crawling.
And even though he’s just absolutely perfect in my eyes, we’re moving ahead and have penciled in physically therapy twice a month. So what are we hoping to get out of these sessions? Basically, to learn different exercises and activities to encourage active play.
You see, he’s a very content baby. So content in fact, that he’s perfectly happy to just sit on the floor without attempting to crawl or move around.
This week, we were taught three new exercises to work on:
1. One to encourage sitting up on his own. Instead of me putting baby Paul down on his rump every time I set him down to play, I now put him down on his belly (which he does not like very much), and then through a series of movements, help him roll over into upright sitting position.
2. One to encourage core strength. Paul has a very mild case of Diastasis Recti, which is a very common abdominal malformation found in babies, and in time will hopefully correct itself. But because of this condition, his core is weaker than most children his age. But because of Diastasis Recti, we’re working on strengthening his little belly with modified “baby sit-ups”.
3. One to encourage mobility. Simple stuff like putting a toy just out of his reach, so he has to stretch off his bottom to grab it. His current favorite toy that he always wants to play with is this little BAMBI Thumper pal, which makes clicking and rattling noises when handled.
I will admit, many of the tips we’ve been given thus far by the physical therapist sound like “no-brainer” activities. But because my other three kids crawled by 6 months, and even walked by 11 months (which I now know is early), I think I’ve taken for granted simple milestones such as sitting up independently and learning to crawl by the first year.
So we’re in uncharted baby terrirory. But baby Paul is a trooper, and he’s super fun to play with so I don’t mind working with him on this minor mobility issues.