Every mama who has ever come to me with a gut feeling, hunch, curiosity, or even a hint of wondering about her baby’s movements or motor milestones has been right.
Moms are often silenced, perhaps by pediatricians, family members, or your own doubts: “you’re worrying too much” or “just wait, he’ll grow out of it” or “some babies do that, it’s fine.”
Mama, listen to your gut feelings, no matter what anyone says. With all due respect to their own experience, those answers are usually incorrect.
- Thank goodness you’re “worrying too much,” since you’re the one who’s picking up on something!
- Babies don’t “grow out of it”—they grow into Don’t wait, those patterns are being formed now, not once they grow out of it.
- I am trained and certified in first year reflexes and motor patterns. Yes, there are some things “some babies just do”—but this list is actually pretty short.
Many parents have initial instincts, but decide to wait, then come to me once the question or problem has become unmistakable. Once a pattern has become this obvious, it has already taken hold in baby’s body and become habit—the roots of the issue have been long established. While it’s never “too late,” generally the earlier we can address it, the better.
This is not meant to be a fear or guilt trip. It’s information you need to make informed choices, as well as affirmation for those of you feeling pressured to second-guess yourself.
If your query is curiosity or ‘honest question’
Thank you for asking, there’s no way you can already know everything about motor development. Let’s get your question answered!
If you’re wondering…
- if something your baby is doing is supposed to look like that
- how to track baby’s development
- how to support development from the beginning and set him/her up for success
- if there’s anything you can do to ensure crawling
- or your baby was born with ___ (a particular situation) and you wonder how that might affect development
We can work with all this! The time is now. The earlier the better.
If your query is a gut feeling that something’s not right or an obvious issue
If you have a gut feeling but don’t know how to articulate it, that’s just fine, I will be able to see what you mean. If you didn’t notice before or you’re just now deciding to reach out, it’s okay!
There are an infinite number of reasons why babies end up moving a certain way. Generally, the sooner we work with it, the better. Yet also, when the time is right, the time is right, whenever that happens to be.
Please reach out, and we’ll meet your baby where she is. There’s no forcing, but there are ways you’ll be able to help her access the movements her body-brain is looking for.
If you’re not sure
Ask me! I will tell you if I truly see no concern. I’ll tell you if I think you should seek bodywork instead of, or in addition to, my work. I will also tell you if there’s no concern but that I can still show you the handling tips to support development, and then you can decide.
Why not take the doctor’s word for it?
Most pediatricians are not trained in reflexes and motor patterns. Our traditional western medical approach tends to focus on pathology, not wellness. This means they see it once the issue has become big enough for them to notice.
For example, some medical professionals say hands-and-knees crawling isn’t necessary. I believe they’re coming from an observation that babies who crawl still end up walking. That may be true, but it’s to the detriment of optimal body and brain development.
The truth is, we can see and address movement concerns in babies long before it becomes ‘pathology.’ It is not my intention to bash pediatricians or western medicine. There are plenty of reasons we need them too. I don’t know why they feel they can speak with authority on something they’re not fully trained in. This doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t go to a pediatrician or other medical professional. It means be informed as you gather wisdom from different sources you resonate with.
Go ahead and reach out!
When we address issues early, it’s easier to fold solutions into daily handling and interacting. Don’t wait until there’s an obvious issue. Those of us who are trained in first year development can see what’s happening months before it shows up as an obvious challenge.
If you’re just now reading this but have waited, that’s okay too! It will just take some more deliberate action, just like with any other health pattern.
Babies do change quickly. But in the case of body movement, little oddities you notice don’t tend to just disappear. They might submerge, but they usually re-emerge in some way later if not addressed.
Here are some examples of reasons to reach out:
- Tummy time is not enjoyable
- Skipping milestones, delay
- Baby arches a lot
- Doesn’t use both arms/legs
- Sits but doesn’t roll
- Doesn’t want to cuddle
- Prefers to be held up in standing
- Scoots on bottom or crawls with a foot
- Difficult birth
- Any other gut feelings or questions
Don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re not “fixing” anything—because your child is not broken. It’s not about therapizing your child or committing to doing exercises with your baby. Rather, it’s providing your child with the opportunity to move, be healthy, be safe, and express himself at his full capacity, as well as reducing potential problems that can emerge down the road.
This work is respectful and unintrusive. There’s a lot you can do, mama, right now, through play and relationship. I’ll show you what to look for and how to support your child.