6 Months: Pivot Prone

“My 6-month old daughter rocks on her belly and moves her arms all around.  It looks like she is swimming on land!  What is going on while she is playing like that?”

This swimming motion, common during the development of 5-6 month olds, is also known as pivot prone.   The first time you might see something like this would be during a Landau reaction.  The Landau reaction emerges at approximately 3 months as a reflex/postural reaction, allowing the baby to extend against gravity while held at the stomach.  However, by 5-6 months of age, the baby has developed the strength and flexibility to play with it in a variety of ways while on the floor.  These new sensations and movement keep interest in the activity.  You might see a few seconds of swimming motion followed by a push into the floor or rocking back and forth.  In these actions, the baby is strengthening their postural control system to balance flexion and extension.  The difference in this stage is that the gluteals are becoming active and the hips are fully elongated.  With practice the thighs begin to come off the ground through the action of the gluteals.  During pivot prone, there is eccentric action of the abdominals as the baby extends so there is also controlled motion through the range.

During pivot prone play, the baby is strengthening and discovering:

Continue reading “6 Months: Pivot Prone”

Recreation for Children With Disabilities in Sonoma County

Have you ever wanted to try out a whole selection of adapted trikes?  Try a new swimming experience? Enroll in a summer camp?

Participation is defined as anything that involves friends, family, future, fitness, fun, or function.  There are many local activities that promote play,  new friends, and new interests for children and young adults with disabilities.  However,  these opportunities are not always easy to find.  Most suggestions on this list are based in Sonoma County, California.  Some are further away, but could be a fun destination or a special side trip if you are in the mood for adventure!  Additional suggestions are welcome.

Continue reading “Recreation for Children With Disabilities in Sonoma County”

Nice Weight Through Your Heels, Little One

“Is my baby standing OK?  It seems like he is up on his toes, and toe walking runs in my family”.

The answer to this question, of course, depends on how old the baby is and how long he or she has been on their feet.  I teach in an infant mobility class every week and have the amazing opportunity to watch children pull to stand at the big drum in the middle of the room.  How they love to pound on that drum!   I love their joy and their success.  However, as the class physical therapist, I’m also looking closely at how they are standing.  Are they up on their tip toes and leaning into the drum, or are they standing with their hips a little behind their firmly planted feet?   Continue reading “Nice Weight Through Your Heels, Little One”

What Makes a Good Quality Squat?

The couch creaks and slides every time she sits down.  “I have no control once I start to bend my legs!”, she says.  

Controlled squatting allows babies to get down to the mattress after pulling to stand in their crib.  It allows children to sit down in a chair with control.  It is the ready position,  allowing a low basketball dribble or ease while moving wet clothes from the washing machine into the dryer.    If we don’t have the required alignment, strength and endurance,  falls and crashes start to happen.  Squat with good alignment and build the strength and endurance to squat and recover over and over again in daily life. Continue reading “What Makes a Good Quality Squat?”