You are pregnant, congratulations on your newest family addition! After the joy and excitement, come those overwhelming feelings that can accompany preparing for baby. Information overload can easily creep in on all the things you should buy for little one, and we know you want the best! This is to provide you some must haves for your baby registry from a developmental perspective, and maybe save you some $$ by telling you the items you can skip. We want to help set up your little for movement success from day one! Comment with your favorite go to that made your life better with a newborn in the house!
- High Contrast Toys: Black and white toys or red and black toys are excellent to help a baby begin to work on tracking and hone those visual skills
- A great floor mat: A bright activity mat paired with a small mirror and toys creates the perfect environment to begin working on rolling, tummy time, and arm strength
- A subscription to Lovevery: We have loved everything we have seen from Lovevery! They send you a box for each baby stage with toys and tips. This is a great way to help new parents promote age appropriate skills
- Otteroo Water Rings: These can help make bath time fun while facilitating strength, balance, and critical skills. Check out one of our favorite Pedi PTs Blog about them here!
- Boppy: The Boppy is excellent support for tummy time and later supported sitting
- Noggin Nest: Now with back to sleep we are seeing more plagiocephaly (Flat spots on the head). Help prevent those changes with the noggin nest, made by boppy! This is not crash tested so do not use while driving and baby should still sleep with nothing in the crib. This is great to be used when in the stroller on family walks, while brunching with friends, or anytime baby is supervised and on his/her back!
- Pack and Play or items to create a gated play corner. We all know you need something safe to put your little in while cooking/cleaning ect. These are such a better option than other devices (bumbo, jumper).
Before reading on to the “Don’t’s,” a small note on devices: While floor is best, we know that many parents like to have an option for their baby to be in while at the dinner table/showering ect. If you have a device you like, that is okay but moderation is key! Try not to spend more than 10 minutes at a time in any device (Bumbo, jumper, swing ect). The more time baby is on the floor, the more opportunities they have to develop age appropriate skills! Keep in mind, many devices may help a child who has delays such as in Down Syndrome or Genetic Disorders. If this is the case for you, we recommend working closely with a pediatric Physical Therapist to help decide how to best support your child.
- The Rock and Play: I know your best friend told you it saved their life. Many of our plagiocephaly (flat head) and torticollis (tight neck muscles) patients slept in the rock and play. Sleeping on their back in basinet or crib is best both for development and head shape. When your baby gets used to sleeping inclined, transitions to flat on their back in crib once they outgrow the rock and play (or have to nap flat at daycare) can be full of tears because baby is not used to that position! The exception is if your baby ends up with reflux, then you can work with your physical therapist or pediatrician on best sleeping and positioning tips.
- The Bumbo: The bumbo places on baby in an immature sitting position, placing them more “slumped” and losing the opportunity to work on critical postural control muscles. It also takes away the ability to practice their transitions such as going from sitting to lying down or sitting to/from crawling position. All devices places your child in a static position, but life is dynamic we need to learn how to move in and out of all positions!
- Jumpers/Walkers: Physical Therapists have been fighting walkers for decades. Jumpers and walkers place a child in standing/walking position before they are developmentally ready. These take away opportunities to work on skills such as crawling. Every skill is a stepping-stone and builds strength for the next stage. Taking away opportunities to practice floor and tummy time can lead to coordination delay as your child ages. Additionally, many say walkers and jumpers can lead to toe walking. Not to mention the safety risk. Now, pediatricians agree as highlighted in this CNN Article and this NPR article
If you have any questions about development in your newborn, remember Early Intervention is the Best Intervention! Feel Free to Contact Compleo (254-892-4957) or your local Pediatric Physical Therapist for a screen and guidance on how to promote development.
About the Author:
Kelsey Baas, PT, DPT received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at UT Southwestern. She loves working with babies and children of all ages. After spending 4.5 years working at Texas Children’s Hospital she opened Compleo Physical Therapy & Wellness. Diagnoses she treats include: Torticollis/plagiocephaly, developmental delay, scoliosis, and pediatric chronic pain.In her free time she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and dog.