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Optimal Development for Your Baby

We all want the best for our children. Proper baby handling can help a child develop optimally and avoid health issues in the future. Dr. Fowler is certified in Pediatric Developmental  Neurology through his studies in Prague and Toronto, so he can help with assessment and treatment of your baby to promote optimal development. 


Physiological development is based on emotional needs, such as wanting to reach for an object, turn over, crawl, walk, etc. Newborns depend on their parents to position them for the best development. They should be on their back, stomach, left and right side equal amounts of time while awake. Side-Lying teaches body awareness and keeps their hands in the field of vision. It also prevents the baby from getting a flat head. Belly time promotes the strengthening of the neck and core muscles, (babies often cry while on their belly because they are frustrated, but this helps with development). 


Newborns respond well to touch and being in a calm environment. They respond well to light as well, they will usually turn their head toward the light.  This is helpful if they have predilection, (holding their head rotated to one side).  This has to be medically differentiated from torticollis. Their mobile should be placed above the belly at a reachable distance. The baby’s first 8 weeks they should be swaddled (wrapped in a blanket), if they have tight muscles or are excitable. When the baby is in a crib, change the direction its head faces so your son or daughter will be motivated to turn their head to both sides.  When lifting your baby always support their head. When your child is swaddled, lift the baby by turning the boy or girl towards you. When your baby is less than 3 months old, you want to control your baby’s head position. Do not lift the baby up by the chest. Avoid vertical positioning of the baby; when carrying your baby they should be tilted back or on their side. Minimize the amount of time your baby spends in a car seat. Make sure the car seat has good support. In the stroller, make sure the baby has good support as well. The sensorimotor stimulation while moving is good for the baby. When the baby is old enough for baby food, feed them from the midline, so they do not have to crane their neck. 


NEVER PLACE YOUR BABY IN A POSITION THAT THEY CAN NOT ACHIEVE ON THEIR OWN. 





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