Ever wonder when is a good time to bring your child in for physiotherapy? Most parents think that babies and toddlers aren’t good candidates for physiotherapy- let babies be babies and they will learn eventually right? Not entirely true- there are specific conditions and preventative education that can be provided by pediatric physiotherapists to help your child reach their full potential.
What is a Pediatric Physiotherapist?
Pediatric physiotherapists help children achieve their optimal physical development through movement, education and positioning strategies. They have specialist knowledge in gross motor development and conditions that can affect babies and growing children as early as 1 day old if not addressed early.
Why would my BABY need physiotherapy?
Here is a list of common conditions, both orthopedic and developmental, that pediatric physiotherapy can help with:
- Torticollis (tight neck muscles leading to one sided head preference
- Plagiocephaly (flat headedness due to preferred positioning)
- Positions to help your baby not hate tummy time (** VERY IMPORTANT to prevent the previous two)
- Gross motor development screen (especially for babies born premature to ensure they are developing along their gross motor trajectory)
- Helping achieve delayed gross motor milestones with education on strategies and positions
- Education on baby equipment for safe and effective use (exercauser, bumbos, jolly jumpers, etc)
- Congenital conditions related to birth: brachial plexus injury from instrument use at birth (forceps, vaccum), cerebral palsy, down syndrome, hydrocephalus, etc
REMEMBER- pediatric physiotherapists are not here to judge parenting styles or how “successful” your baby is. We are here to help new parents learn and grow with their babies; to provide knowledge and resources to ensure kids reach their full potential. No one child develops the same, nor do we expect that is a linear pattern of development for every child. We can, however, be an aid in supporting parents to help answer all their questions, provide reassurance and education, and their biggest cheerleaders that they are doing a great job for their babies!
If you have a new baby in your life and aren’t sure if they would benefit from physiotherapy, feel free to reach out to us at Rebuild Fitness and Physiotherapy and our pediatric physiotherapist, Emilee Gagnier, can help guide you in this decision.