Give us a Call
Send us a Message

Helping Your Baby Sit Upright

Improve your baby's seated position

I am often asked, "How do I help my baby sit upright?" Once your baby has mastered tummy time and rolling, they can start sitting with support around 5-6 months of age and usually become independent with sitting by 7-8 months.  Here are a few different ways to help your baby learn how to sit:

  • Place their hands in front of them.  While sitting behind them, provide support with your hands at their waist or legs to assist with their balance.
  • Place a boppy pillow (like the photo to the right) behind your baby while they are in the sitting position for support and safety.
  • Place toys that are slightly taller than the floor in front of your baby.  This will enable your baby to sit more upright while playing.

Remember, while sitting is such an exciting independent skill, we don’t want to lose focus on the importance of tummy time.  Tummy time is what will lead to crawling, which is essential for future milestones.  Stay tuned for more information on how to help your baby crawl on our next post!  Contact us with any questions!

baby sit upright

Baby Rolling, The Next Step

Tummy Times Next Step

Now that you have set the groundwork with tummy time, we can introduce your baby to rolling! Babies start independently rolling anywhere between 3 and 6 months of age. Helping your baby to roll can assist them in developing their neck, shoulders, core and hip muscles for future skills. Guiding your baby by rolling back and forth to their belly can also provide them with needed rest breaks from tummy time.

Watch our video below for a quick tutorial on how to guide your baby through a rolling exercise. As you facilitate your baby through this exercise, remember that you want your baby doing as much as they can on their own for optimal strengthening and carry over. Also, make sure you help your baby roll over the left and right sides of their body to increase symmetry of movements. Reach out with any questions or comments. Remember to follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more tips. Now let’s get rolling!

Baby Development: Rolling

Welcome to the team Beth!

Total Pediatric Therapy supports the field of education by providing learning opportunities for future Pediatric Physical Therapists.

We want to welcome Beth Rudolph to our team.  Beth is a Doctor of Physical Therapy student at Northern Arizona University and is currently completing a 10 week clinical rotation with Katie Prenovost, PT, DPT as her clinical instructor.

Beth received her Bachelor’s degree from University of Arizona in Physiology and offers years of experience in the field of physical therapy, as a respite care provider, and as a swim instructor.  She hopes to work within the field of Pediatrics upon graduation and is dedicated to learning and expanding her skills within this area of specialty.  Total Pediatric Therapy is excited to guide her through this learning opportunity!

does my baby need a helmet

Does my baby need a helmet?

I often get asked, “Does my baby need a helmet?”.  Here’s some information on the why, how, and when we need to address an abnormal head shape!

A cranial remolding band or helmet (also known as a DOC Band from Cranial Technologies) can assist in re-shaping your baby’s head when flattening has occurred.

Flattening or an abnormal head shape can occur from either positioning while inutero or excessive time spent on the baby’s head after birth. Plagiocephaly, brachycephaly or scaphocephaly (all abnormal head shapes) can lead to developmental asymmetries, changes with vision, hearing impairments, feeding limitations and other alignment concerns. It’s important to understand that an abnormal head shape is NOT simply a cosmetic issue.

If you notice misshaping or flattening of your baby’s head, seek a skilled Pediatric Physical Therapy evaluation as soon as possible! Here at Total Pediatric Therapy, we can assist with repositioning in an attempt to avoid the use of a band or guide you through the process if one is necessary. Pediatric PT’s can also assist with improving strength and mobility of the baby’s neck, which is often related to head shape concerns.

Assessing the severity of your baby’s head shape and considering their age, helps to guide our treatment approaches.

Ideal treatment times to reshape a baby’s head are between 0-6 months of age, specifically 3-6 months for a helmet. During this time frame, the head grows rapidly and allows reshaping to occur most successfully! After 6 months of age, that growth slows significantly and treatment times are longer.

Earlier treatment leads to improved outcomes! Please reach out with questions or share your experience.  Contact us for an evaluation if you have concerns.

Tummy Time

Tummy time is a strengthening activity that begins with placing your baby on their stomach to play during wakeful times.  This activity puts babies in position to practice lifting their bodies and heads and to begin controlling their movements.

FAQ: What makes a Pediatric Physical Therapist different from another Physical Therapist?

Because a Pediatric Physical Therapist specializes in children, there are significant differences in the approach to care.  Children require specialized care, care a pediatric therapist is trained to deliver.  Most adults who work with Physical Therapists understand that their recovery is a process that may involve some discomfort and patience to achieve the desired outcome.  Children need different motivators to encourage a positive outcome.  Pediatric therapy involves fun and playful therapeutic interventions and activities to allow children to maximize their functional independence within their environment.  A skilled Pediatric Physical Therapist will also work with parents and guardians to help them assist their child through the recovery and encourage a positive environment for all parties involved.

FAQ: Can I bring my child into physical therapy or do I need to see my doctor first?

Most of the time, you can bring your child directly to therapy for evaluation if you have concerns for your child’s range of motion, strength, developmental milestones, neurological condition, balance/coordination deficits, or sports injury. We are more than happy to offer a consultation and verify your benefits.  Some insurance plans will require a physician’s prescription before authorizing reimbursement.  We can help you expedite this process so that your child’s medical care is not delayed.

Identifying Child Developmental Delays

Child developmental delays are not always easy to spot.

It is important to remember that each child is unique and may develop skills differently than their peers. However, there are some signs to look for if you’re concerned about your child’s gross motor skill development:

  • Your baby is not tolerating tummy time or has difficulty lifting his/her head
  • You notice your baby is developing a preference to use only one side of their body (for example: they only reach with one hand or only roll over one side)
  • Your baby has a preference to rotate his or her neck to one side and you may notice a flattening on one part of the skull
  • Your baby has difficulty progressing through typical gross motor skills such as reaching, rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, or transitioning in and out of positions
  • Your baby lacks interest in transitioning to different positions
  • Concerns for foot or ankle positioning once baby pulls to stand
  • Any excessive tripping or catching of toes while walking

A Pediatric Physical Therapist can evaluate your child’s range of motion, strength, alignment, tone, walking pattern and balance skills to determine if physical therapy sessions may be necessary to assist your child in reaching his or her functional potential.  It is essential to seek early therapeutic intervention for the best outcome. Don’t wait to see if things will improve, let an experienced Pediatric Physical Therapist help!