Friday, January 11, 2013

PT & OT Essentials in our first year

Virginia started PT and OT in the hospital just about a year ago.  We were primarily focused on bottle feeding techniques at the time.  I wont talk about bottles here, because that journey warrants a whole post of its own ;) The other thing that we worked with PT on at the time was using infant massage as a way of helping Virginia.  Virginia seemed to have some emerging sensory issues and was always very sensitive to light, sound and touch.  I really believe that the infant massage that the PT taught me was helpful for Virginia.

This Lotion was our favorite to use for massage and general post bath moisturizing.
Upon coming home from the hospital we were immediately working on play techniques to help with her gross and fine motor development.  Below are our favorite items in chronological order from when we used them.

These links and this toy were good for grasping and visual tracking.

This mirror was used for tummy time very early on and still is a favorite today. It is big but not too big, stands up easily, shatterproof, easy to clean, and doesnt have that "fun house" effect that many infant mirrors have.

My mother is a pediatric PT and I have to say I was initially skeptical when she showed up at our house with the wingbo , but this prone swing really transformed tummy time for Virginia.  She lasted twice as long in the wingbo as opposed to tummy time on the  floor.  We used links, the stand up mirror, and suction cup toys with it to keep her entertained.  It also can be used off of the stand like a more traditional swing, although we haven't tried that yet.

We used this weighted stability ball  as an alternative for tummy time and eventually for core exercises.  The sand weight at the bottom gives it more support and control.

Typically I fall in favor of simple toys - board books, wooden blocks, stacking cups, small musical instruments.  Virginia loves these types of toys, but needed something a bit more motivating (lights and sounds) for some of the activities that she hated found more challenging ;)  These were the real motivators for her: musical garden , piano , and bongo drums .

As we struggled to find a sippy cup that worked the OT suggested using a honey bear container to teach her to drink from a straw.  Sure enough, a few days of working with the honey bear container and she was able to easily transition to a zoli cup.  I've linked to an actual honey bear training cup but we just emptied and sanitized a honey container that we had in the house and used a dunkin donuts straw.

We have a few new items that I anticipate that will be helpful with our  PT & OT in the coming year.

Any items or toys that you found helpful?  Any suggestions for us for the upcoming year?

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