New Thinking on Infant Development

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

New Thinking on Infant Development

By Anita Sethi, Ph.d.

The following information sheds new light on some recent research with infant development; it gives details about each of the following topic areas below.  Go to,0 to read the article!

Emotional Growth
Old thinking: It’s important to talk to your baby in the first few months.

New thinking: It’s not just what you say now, but how you say it.

Complex Thoughts:

Old thinking: Children don’t start to have complex thoughts until the preschool years.

New thinking: High-level comprehension may begin as early as 3 months.
Gender Differences

Old thinking: Boys and girls are similar at birth; their differences emerge as they grow.

New thinking: Although social forces play a role, boys and girls seem to be hardwired differently.

Object Permanence

Old thinking: The awareness that something exists even when it’s out of sight shows up at 8 months.

New thinking: Babies can comprehend object permanence much earlier.


Old thinking: Young babies are only able to recognize the voices of close family members.

New thinking: At 3 months, your baby can start to match a wide range of voices with faces

Memory and Recall

Old thinking: If your baby doesn’t perform a trick (like clapping), he’s forgotten how to do it.

New thinking: Babies know more than they reveal.

Skill Building
Old thinking: Mastering a skill takes a long time.

New thinking: It can take a really long time.

But what if my baby doesn’t like being on his tummy??

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

Roxanne Small, PT on her blog at explains:
So you are on your way to being a well-informed, awesome parent. You know that tummy time is essential for your baby. You know it can help prevent a misshapen head, improve motor skills and improve body awareness. But somehow your baby didn’t get the message…he screams every time you try tummy time. Who knew parenting could be this tough so soon?
Every baby can learn to enjoy tummy time! Every baby! Here are some suggestions:
• Be totally convinced as the parent that this is critical for your baby!
• The surface you place your baby on is important. Very young babies do not like very hard surfaces. Also babies like slippery surfaces on which to move, similar to in the womb. I have found putting down a blanket on the floor under a mat or heavy ply clear plastic vinyl (sold at fabric stores) works great! Many babies love this to be a slippery activity and will tolerate it better if you put some grape seed oil under his abdomen and arms and legs.
• Often times babies that do not tolerate being on their tummy are “turned-on” visually and do not relate well to skin sensations. When you turn your baby onto his stomach he can’t see as much visually and the front side of the body has many more sensory receptors than the backside. Start with some dim lighting and some gentle skin massage on their abdomen, arms and legs (the parts that will be touching the floor).
• Lie next to your baby on the floor. Gently roll him to his side so he can see you. Stop there for a moment and spend time gently touching and talking to him.
• Slowly roll him on his tummy and stay in his visual field while you sing or talk to him.
• Make it a successful tummy time by keeping the session short at first…increasing time as he tolerates. Toys are not important when your baby is on his tummy. This is a time for him to learn about his own body…looking at his hand or feeling his arms and legs move over the surface. When baby is closer to 6 months of age toys become more important as baby will be able to crawl to get to them.
• A benchmark is by four months of age a baby should be spending 1-½ hours per day on his tummy. Certainly not all at once, but shorter times spread through out the day.
• Babies that are having reflux issues will tolerate their tummy time better if it does not occur soon after their feeding. Also lying on the left side usually is more comfortable for babies with reflux. So spending some time on the left side before going onto tummy can be helpful.
• Be diligent! Practice this several times per day and don’t give up! Every baby can like being on his tummy! The rewards in development are great!
I am asked often if it counts for tummy time if baby lies on the parent’s chest. Certainly this is a great place to start, but it is important to sensory and motor development that baby becomes comfortable with tummy time on the floor.
Best wishes to each of you on this very important journey of parenting!

Infants Are Fed Solid Food Too Soon, C.D.C. Finds

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments

Infants Are Fed Solid Food Too Soon, C.D.C. Finds
Published: March 25, 2013
Despite growing warnings from pediatricians about feeding newborns anything other than breast milk or formula, many mothers appear to be introducing solid food well before their babies’ bodies can handle it, says a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

In a national survey of 1,334 mothers, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent said they gave their baby solid food before they were 4 months old, with 9 percent starting as early as 4 weeks. Doctors now recommend waiting until a baby is at least 6 months old.

For at least 20 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics had advised against feeding babies solid food before they turned at least 4 months old. Last year, encouraged by growing evidence of the health benefits of breast milk, the group raised that age, saying babies should be fed nothing but breast milk for six months. When breast milk is not an option, formula is an acceptable alternative, the group says.

But the survey suggests that mothers are not aware of the recommendations or find them difficult to follow. Popular reasons for giving solid food to babies before 4 months included “my baby is old enough,” “my baby seemed hungry,” “I wanted my baby to sleep longer at night” and — most alarming to researchers — “a doctor or health care professional said my baby should begin eating solid food.”

“Clearly we need better dissemination of the recommendations on solid food introduction,” said Kelley Scanlon, an epidemiologist with the C.D.C. and an author of the study. “Health care providers need to provide clear and accurate guidance, and then provide support to help parents carry out those recommended practices.”
The study suggested that economics were a factor in the decision to introduce solid food, with poorer women who saw formula as too expensive more likely to feed solids too soon. Women who were feeding their children exclusively formula or a mix of formula and breast milk were not only more likely to introduce solid food early, but to say their doctors gave them the go-ahead.

“It makes me want to know more about the other advice that those parents were getting on infant feeding,” Dr. Scanlon said.

Further, the women in the survey who turned to solid food early were more likely to be young, less educated and unmarried. They also had lower levels of income or education, and were more likely to participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
While many pediatricians are sympathetic to the difficulties parents face feeding their child nothing but breast milk or formula for six months, they say little good can come from feeding solid food to a child before he or she is physically ready.

“When a baby is ready to start eating food, he will put his hands in his mouth, and you will see him actually making chewing motions,” said Dr. T J Gold, a pediatrician with Tribeca Pediatrics in Brooklyn. “At 2, 3 months, they can’t even hold their heads up well, and they can’t sit,” making it difficult, if not dangerous, to put solid food in their mouths.

They also have yet to develop the proper gut bacteria that allow them to process solid food safely, potentially leading to gastroenteritis and diarrhea, Dr. Gold said. The early introduction of solid foods has also been linked to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, eczema and celiac disease.
One reason parents turn to solid food early is the persistence of myths about solid food helping babies sleep through the night or put on weight.

“That big fat bottle at the end of the night isn’t why your baby is sleeping — it’s a skill you acquire,” Dr. Gold said. “And if you think giving your child more calories is going to help him gain weight, but it gives him more diarrhea, then he’s not actually absorbing as much.”

But even parents who are aware of the guidelines can have trouble following them, particularly if they are struggling to buy enough formula to feed a rapidly growing child. “The formula gets really expensive, especially in the 4-to-6-month window,” Dr. Gold said. “And if you have more than one child and you’re already preparing food for the whole family, it’s much easier to just start sweeping things off your plate.”

Pediatricians can help parents delay solid food by helping them better understand their baby’s signals, Dr. Scanlon said. “When the baby is fussy, they need to help them understand that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re hungry and need solid foods,” she said.

Parents should also know the signs that their child is ready for solid food, like sitting up, being able to take food off a fork and not closing the mouth when food is offered, Dr. Scanlon said.
A version of this article appeared in print on March 25, 2013, on page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: Infants Fed Solid Food Too Soon, C.D.C. Finds.

Pacifiers, Do They Spell Trouble?

Posted by | Little Sprouts | No Comments


These days it is common to see children well over the age of one with a pacifier, or commonly called ‘binky,’ plugged into their mouths going about their daily routine of playing. It is also common to see children who are sucking their thumbs well past the toddler years. There is nothing wrong with utilizing the pacifier or having an infant suck their thumb unless they are overused. They help calm infants, encourage lip rounding and develop non-nutritive suckle at birth.

Normal Development
• When children are infants, they use an infantile ‘suckle’ pattern to be able to eat from a nipple for early nutrition. As the infants mature, the ‘suckling pattern’ is replaced by the more mature ‘sucking pattern.’ The difference is that in a suckle pattern, the infant has an in/out movement of the tongue and the fatty sucking pads are used for stabilization.

• The suckle/swallow reflex is normally present from birth to 9 months. Between the age of 4 and 6 months, the suckle is used in anticipation of the spoon during feeding. From 7 to 9 months, there is a mixture of tongue movements in/out and up/down.

• The true suck from this maturational pattern is found between 10 and 12 months of age. At that time the child develops the mature patterns that work to develop a normal swallow, where there is stabilization of the lips and jaw and the tongue retracts rather than moving forward.

Trouble Spots
Without eliminating the pacifier or thumb/digit sucking, there is an increased probability that a tongue thrust will develop. Tongue thrust will prevent the teeth from meeting properly, impact the child’s ability to bite and chew food efficiently, contribute to jaw joint problems and grinding of the teeth, in addition to poor articulation of sounds. Orthodontics can reposition the teeth, but without correcting the tongue thrust/muscle imbalance, the child may have orthodontic relapse where the teeth move after the braces are removed.

A helpful rule of thumb is if you no longer need to suck for nutrition, you no longer need a pacifier or thumb. If the child can talk, they don’t need a pacifier. Parents should educate themselves on the potential problems with dentition, oral musculature and speech production. Speech-Language Pathologists and orthodontists should be consulted if parents have concerns.

Written by Shelly Carr, M. S., CCC-SLP, Advanced Therapy Solutions, LLC, Gilbert, Arizona

Enroll Your Child Now! LEARN MORE