Four Ways to Help Baby Pull to Stand

Pulling to stand is a gross motor skill that should occur around 9 months of age, according to the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales. It’s an exciting and significant gross motor skill, as it helps baby build the strength and balance required for independent standing and walking! Try these 4 ways to promote this important gross motor skill:

  1.  Make the crib a safe place for pulling up:
  • Crib railings offer the perfect opportunity to learn to pull to stand.
  • In preparation for this skill, make sure you lower the crib mattress to the lowest setting to prevent falling or climbing out.crib baby

Photo courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr

2.  Pull up to a kneeling position:

  • Teaching baby how to pull to a kneeling position is a great way to progress towards pulling to stand!
  • When babies transition from sitting to standing, they often come to a kneeling position, then push up with one leg in half-kneeling (see photos).
  • To encourage the kneeling position, place a toy or other motivating object on an elevated surface, such as a couch cushion (removed from the couch and placed on the floor) or ottoman. Place baby’s hands on the surface encouraging them to reach for the toy and rise onto his knees.

He may need you to help him by lifting up through his hips into kneeling. Encourage baby to maintain this position as he interacts with toys. This will build the strength required to stand!pull to kneel

Baby kneeling at elevated surface: Photo courtesy of Rob via Flickrstand

Baby half kneeling, preparing to pull to stand: Photo courtesy of Kris & Fred via Flickr

3.  Arrange furniture for pulling up:

  • A great place to encourage pulling to stand is the sofa, because it cannot tip over on top of baby like a table or dresser can.
  • Place toys, food, or other motivating objects on the sofa. There are two ways you can promote pulling to stand:
  • Help baby place both hands on the sofa and both feet flat on the ground as you encourage him to pull up through his arms and push up through his feet.  Baby may need you to help him by lifting up through his trunk or hips. If you feel like your sofa is too tall for baby, remove a cushion to create a lower surface.
  • Help baby come to a kneeling position as described above. Progress by bending one leg into a half kneeling position, placing the foot flat on the floor, then help baby push through that leg to stand.

4.  Try using an activity table:

  • An activity table is a great way to encourage novice and experienced “standers” to continue practicing this skill.
    • For new standers who need a lot of support, be sure to place it against a sofa or in the corner of a room, so it does not slip forward.
    • Always supervise baby and be aware of the potential for the activity table to tip over.
  • These are great toys because of its many uses! You can remove all of the legs and use it as a tummy time toy or as a motivator to pull to kneeling or standing by placing it on higher surfaces. It’s also a great way to promote cruising/side-stepping, as baby will want to explore all 4 sides of the table!activity table

    Photo courtesy of Andrew Jacobs via Flickr

The Therapy S.P.O.T. – Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy

www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015
http://www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015

Our multidisciplinary therapy center was established in 2007, and is committed to providing quality therapy services in a fun, family and child centered environment. We provide pediatric speech, feeding, physical, and occupational therapy as well as adult speech and swallowing therapy.  Our therapists have unique and specialized skills and training, and we strive to pair our patients with the therapists who will best meet their specific needs.  You can learn more about our services at http://www.therapyspotstatesboro.com.  Questions or concerns?  Call us at (912) 681-7768 for a free consultation.

About the Author:

Abby McAvoy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, graduated Cum Laude from the University of Georgia in 2012, with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Behavior. In 2015, she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA. Abby is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and presented her capstone research at the APTA’s national Combined Sections Meeting in 2014. During a clinical rotation in an outpatient pediatric facility, she discovered a great passion for working with the pediatric population and decided to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy post graduation. Abby hopes to expand her skill set by obtaining specialized training in aquatic physical therapy, manual therapy, and the NDT treatment approach, in order to provide the most comprehensive physical therapy services possible to her patients at The Therapy SPOT. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and being outdoors with her dog.

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Free Fall Fun for Families

Fall Fun for the Whole Family

pumpkinphoto

Photo courtesy of Gigi H via Flickr

Fall is such a fun time of year for kids. The weather is beautiful, and the excitement of Halloween is contagious! Festivals, carnivals, and fairs provide an ideal (and fun!) opportunity to work on gross motor, fine motor, communication, and social skills.

  • Arts and crafts are a great way for kids to experience different textures and get a little messy with paint and glue.
    • This is especially beneficial for kids with mild sensory aversions.
  • Crafts are also a fun way to hone those fine motor skills.
  • Jumping houses, slides, obstacle courses, ball and ring tossing games, and bobbing for apples all foster gross motor development and social interactions with peers.

fall photo

Photo courtesy of Michel Biedermann via Flickr

  • Trick-or-Treating can be a great social experience for children and a fun way to practice speech and language skills! Practice saying trick or treat, hi, bye, and thank you prior to going trick or treating. Find another family to trick or treat with, and encourage appropriate play and social skills. After, you can have fun labeling types of candy, counting, and describing them! Is it crunchy? Sticky? Sweet? Sour?  Passing out candy and answering the door can be just as much fun for kids and also encourages appropriate social interactions as well as fun practice of speech and language skills.

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  • Experiencing a fall carnival, fair, or even a petting zoo can be the perfect opportunity to expand your child’s vocabulary and communication skills.
    • Serve as a narrator for your child by pointing out and naming objects, such as pumpkins, cotton candy, ghosts, and leaves.
    • It’s also the perfect chance to explore verbs and adjectives, such as “round and round”, “up and down”, “scary and spooky”, “fast and slow”, and “big and small.”

Below is a list of fall activities in our area that are perfect for kids! Be sure to check the local paper and community calendars for additional opportunities for fall fun!

  • Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair on October 19th-24th; Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds in Statesboro
  • Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair Parade @ 5pm on October 19th; Downtown Statesboro (FREE)
  • Teen Craft Night @ 5pm on October 20th; Statesboro Regional Library (FREE)
  • Greek Street Trick or Treat @ 6pm on October 21st; Olympic Blvd in Statesboro (FREE)
  • Halloween Hike at Oatland Island Wildlife Center @ 5pm on October 23rd & 24th; Oatland Island Wildlife Center in Savannah
  • Old Farm Day @ 10am on October 24th; Anderson’s General Store on Hwy 80 in Statesboro (FREE)
  • Statesboro First United Methodist Church Harvest Festival @ 5pm on October 25th; South Main Street in Statesboro (FREE)
  • Trick or Treat at Mill Creek Park @ 5pm on October 30th; Mill Creek Park Statesboro (FREE)
  • CrossRoads Community Church Fall Festival @ 7pm on October 30th; Hwy 80 in Statesboro (FREE)
  • Halloween Movie Event: It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown @ 10:30am on October 31st; Statesboro Regional Library (FREE)
  • Halloween Bazaar @ 3pm on October 31st; Jelinek Creative Spaces in Downtown Savannah
  • Annual International Festival @ 10am on November 14th; Mill Creek Park in Statesboro
  • Freeman Family Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is open through Nov. 1.  Visit http://www.andersonfreemanfarm.com/ for information regarding price and hours

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  • L & D Farm Fresh Produce has an adorable pumpkin patch.  It’s a great photo opportunity for your little ones! (FREE)

The Therapy S.P.O.T. – Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy

www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015
http://www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015

Our multidisciplinary therapy center was established in 2007, and is committed to providing quality therapy services in a fun, family and child centered environment. We provide pediatric speech, feeding, physical, and occupational therapy as well as adult speech and swallowing therapy.  Our therapists have unique and specialized skills and training, and we strive to pair our patients with the therapists who will best meet their specific needs.  You can learn more about our services at http://www.therapyspotstatesboro.com.  Questions or concerns?  Call us at (912) 681-7768 for a free consultation.

About the Author:

Abby McAvoy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, graduated Cum Laude from the University of Georgia in 2012, with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Behavior. In 2015, she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA. Abby is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and presented her capstone research at the APTA’s national Combined Sections Meeting in 2014. During a clinical rotation in an outpatient pediatric facility, she discovered a great passion for working with the pediatric population and decided to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy post graduation. Abby hopes to expand her skill set by obtaining specialized training in aquatic physical therapy, manual therapy, and the NDT treatment approach, in order to provide the most comprehensive physical therapy services possible to her patients at The Therapy SPOT. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and being outdoors with her dog.

Hmmmmm. Hypotonia. What exactly is that?

Hypotonia is a term used to describe decreased muscle tone.

  • Muscle tone? This is the amount of tension in a muscle at rest.
  • Relaxed muscles have a resting level of tension/resistance to passive movement.
  • Those with hypotonia have very little or no resting tension.
  • They usually feel floppy or squishy (great for snuggling!) and can be very flexible.

Children with hypotonia often present with developmental delays in areas of gross motor, fine motor, speech, and feeding skills.

  • It’s harder for children with low tone to turn their muscles on and off.
  • They also have less endurance than those with normal tone.
  • Low tone is not the same thing as weakness, but they often exist together.

Physical, occupational, and speech therapy can help!

  • Since it is harder for them to use their muscles, early intervention is important.
  • Therapists can help these children learn to efficiently activate and control their muscles in order to move, play, speak, and eat.
  • They also need help increasing their strength and endurance, so they can keep up with their peers.

cutebabyPhoto courtesy of Rain0975 via Flickr

Children with hypotonia often need more practice to learn skills than children with normal tone. What you do at home is just as important as their therapy sessions!

  • It is important to keep them active and playing throughout the day.
  • For babies with low tone, tummy time is one of the best exercises they can do!
  • For older children, active games and toys that require movement of both arms and legs are best. Riding bicycles or tricycles, swimming, climbing, and crawling through tunnels are great examples.

boyoutside

Photo courtesy of Randen Pederson via Flickr

Each child is different, and your child’s therapist can give you the best exercises and activities specific to your child!

About the Author:

Abby McAvoy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, graduated Cum Laude from the University of Georgia in 2012, with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Behavior. In 2015, she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA. Abby is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and presented her capstone research at the APTA’s national Combined Sections Meeting in 2014. During a clinical rotation in an outpatient pediatric facility, she discovered a great passion for working with the pediatric population and decided to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy post graduation. Abby hopes to expand her skill set by obtaining specialized training in aquatic physical therapy, manual therapy, and the NDT treatment approach, in order to provide the most comprehensive physical therapy services possible to her patients at The Therapy SPOT. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and being outdoors with her dog.

The Therapy S.P.O.T. – Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy

Our multidisciplinary therapy center was established in 2007, and is committed to providing quality therapy services in a fun, family and child centered environment. We provide pediatric speech, feeding, physical, and occupational therapy as well as adult speech and swallowing therapy.  Our therapists have unique and specialized skills and training, and we strive to pair our patients with the therapists who will best meet their specific needs.  You can learn more about our services at http://www.therapyspotstatesboro.com.  Questions or concerns?  Call us at (912) 681-7768 for a free consultation.

www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015
http://www.jasonhurstphotography.com ©Jason Hurst Photography 2014-2015