I'm not just a PT, I'm also a parent!

I'm not just a PT, I'm also a parent!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Products I love -- Biddy Belly

I saw an article in Advance for Physical Therapy and Rehab Medicine that featured a terrific new product to help facilitate tummy time for infants.  I love the idea and wish that I had thought of it myself!

photo from http://www.biddybelly.com/

Why do I like the Biddy Belly so much?
  • It makes tummy time fun and we know that tummy time has many benefits, including developing the strength and motor control necessary for rolling/sitting/crawling and decreasing the risk of a child developing plagiocephaly (flat-head syndrome)
  • It encourages infants to push up using their hands, which increases strength in the shoulder girdle, upper extremities, neck, and trunk
  • Since it has side supports, it is safer than using a bolster or towel roll since baby can't roll or fall off quite so easily
  • The toy loops open so that the toys can be changed to whatever your baby is most interested in playing with.  For clinicians, this is great so that toys can either be cleaned, or you can use your patient's own toys every time to prevent the spread of germs with multiple users.
  • It's machine washable!
I will also have older infants assume an all-fours position perpendicular to the giraffe's neck so that the neck can give a bit of support at the trunk, but still allow them to bear their own weight.

You can also sit the Biddy Belly on its "bottom" to have infants practice reaching in sitting as they try to play with the dangling toys and the giraffe's crinkly nose and ears.  This helps them develop trunk control and balance.

You can order a Biddy Belly direct at http://www.biddybelly.com/ or click on the picture below to order from amazon.com

October is National Physical Therapy Month!

I'd like to take advantage of PT Month to spread the word about what exactly we do!

Physical Therapists are your trusted experts in restoring and improving motion, and we can improve your quality of life, helping you to keep healthy, fit, and active and avoid surgery and long-term use of prescription medications, in many cases.  We also help with injury prevention, ergonomics, motor development, wound care, cardiac rehabilitation, and more!

When it comes to health care, one size does not fit all. A PT's extensive education, clinical expertise, and "hands on" approach brings you unique, individualized care. When you are in the hands of a Physical Therapist, you will have a plan of care that is safe and appropriate and addresses your individual needs and pre-existing conditions.

Here are a few PT resources:
I also have a few books listed on this site as resources, both for family members and for PT's.

Physical Therapy - the science of healing, the art of caring!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cheap, Easy Ways to Work on Your Child's Gross Motor Development

Parents ask me all the time what they can do to help their child's gross motor development and the best answer I can give is to play!  If Mom or Dad acts like a therapist, trust me, your child will rebel!  Here are some fun, easy things that you can do with things you already have at home:

  • Use a board, curb, or low wall as a balance beam.
  • Play ball!
    • start with rolling and corraling a large ball while sitting
    • progress to tossing a small ball in standing
    • have your child extend his/her arms out in front to practice catching (start with a balloon or beach ball)
    • throw at a target
  • A piece of rope can be used as a balance beam, something to step over, or something to jump over
  • If you don't have stairs, have your child practice stepping up and down a curb or stool
  • Make obstacle courses that would make your child have to move over, under, around, and through things
  • Play Follow the Leader or Simon Says
  • Move to music
    • try fingerplay to songs like "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" or "Twinkle, Twinkle"
    • Perform actions that correspond with lyrics: march to "The Ants go Marching," skip to "Skip to My Lou," do the Hokey Pokey
    • Unstructured dancing is always fun and your child may surprise him or herself by doing something new like standing on one foot or jumping or spinning
  • Have your child bend down and pick things up from the ground then reach up to hand them to you or put them on a shelf or table.

*All activities should be performed with adult supervision.  If your child has difficulty, please help him or her -- safety is of utmost importance!*

Thursday, October 20, 2011


On October 16, my oldest son and I participated in the CHOC Walk together for the third time.  We are hoping to raise at least $1100 for Children’s Hospital of Orange County.   Proceeds from this event will support health care programs, education and research at CHOC Children's.

The reason we walk is twofold.  First, we walk to thank all the healthcare professionals at CHOC who have helped diagnose and treat my son Damien over the years.  Second, I walk to honor all the CHOC babies who I’ve worked with over the past 9 years:
·         A boy with Down syndrome who would ride the bus with his mom for over 2 hours just to get to therapy
·         A boy who contracted meningitis at 11 months old and is now blind and deaf
·         A boy born at 23 weeks who learned to walk just before his 3rd birthday
·         A girl with a chromosomal disorder who had her colostomy removed at CHOC last month
·         And many more precious children!
You can sponsor us at www.chocwalk.net/tanajimenez by October 28.
Thank you in advance for your support!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Signs Your Child May Have Developmental Delays

The following websites may be helpful to parents who may suspect that their child's motor skills aren't developing properly: 



Trust your instincts and talk to your child's pediatrician if you suspect a problem. In California, you can always refer yourself to the Regional Center and/or California Children's Services.