What is an Infant Motor Milestone Assessment?

Understanding Your baby’s development.

We are so glad you asked. It can be confusing for new parents to understand exactly where their child’s development is currently at. Luckily, we can help break it down into understandable milestones and processes, eliminating the guesswork and give you a greater understanding of your child’s health and motor skill development.

What are Motor Milestones?

Infant motor milestones are a specific skill that we expect babies to reach around a certain age range. Often times parents will be aware of the major milestones such as rolling, crawling and walking, but not know the ones in between. I find parents have lots of questions about what they should be expecting to see next, what ways they can help their babies achieve various milestones and what toys are appropriate for their baby’s specific age.

What does a physio assessment look at?

In these sessions, I observe how the baby moves and assess where they are for their age. From here I educate the parents on where their baby is compared to other babies of the same age. If the baby is behind in any gross motor skills I describe what they should be doing and specific tips to help them achieve this. If the baby is on track, we discuss what to expect next and different ideas of how to facilitate devolvement of that particular skill. We practice the movements and exercises together to ensure the parents are comfortable with doing them at home.

Another area covered in the infant motor milestone session is positioning for their baby.

Many of the babies I see will spend majority of the time on their back, a portion on their tummy, a bit of time in a seat of some sort and then being held by family members. There are different ways to hold babies, pick babies up and different ways for them to be on the floor which all assist in their development. This is information that parents are usually happy learning about and implement into their daily routine immediately!

What parents say…

I hear time and time again how being a new parent is overwhelming and it’s difficult to know what information from the internet is correct. Families love coming in to learn about where their baby is at from a physical stand point and learn strategies to help them reach their next milestones. They appreciate the one on one time spent with them and the safe environment to ask questions about their baby. Often times, moms will say, “I wish I knew about this sooner!”

What about baby toys?

On top of the gross motor skills, I often get asked about what sorts of toys are worth purchasing and which toys provide the most benefit for their baby’s development. I find that it’s not so much about the toy but about the different ways they can use the item. As a pediatric physiotherapist, I can identify several different purposes and benefits of an average toy. If families already have certain toys or equipment I will give them different strategies on how to use it to gain a specific developmental milestone. If they are looking to purchase new toys then I give suggestions on ones that are good for development at their baby’s specific age. Parents find this beneficial because they don’t want to spend money on a toy that will be used for a short period of time or one that that doesn’t promote different areas of development. Space is a large issue for many families as well, and they do not want to fill their space with unnecessary toys or equipment.

Stay Tuned!

Infant motor milestone assessments are just one reason why kids or babies come to physiotherapy! Stay tuned for more information on why kids come to physiotherapy. I will be releasing more blog posts on different reasons of why kids come to physiotherapy!

           

 

 

Photo by li tzuni