Saturday, December 6, 2008

Developmental Post #23

I've decided to call this post - How to do developmental therapy while lying on the couch.

You know when you've had one of those days at work (or you're just plain tired) and you get home and there your preemie is - waiting to play with you. Or if you stay home with your preemie, you may want to relax on the couch for a couple of minutes but your preemie wants to play. Guess what? You can play with your preemie, provide some great developmental therapy and still be laying on the couch. Win-Win. Here are some ways to do that:

1) Tummy time - lay your preemie down on your chest and spend some quality one on one time checking each other out. He/she works on his/her head control and neck muscles and you can give your feet some well deserved rest.

2) Cause and effect - have your preemie sit on your stomach (or pull your knees up and have your preemie lean back (depending on gross motor skills) and play Peek A Boo. Use your hands or a blanket.

3) Stimulation/Speech - Bounce your preemie up and down while he/she sits on your stomach. If he/she is old enough, start bouncing and then stop. Before you start bouncing again, say Ready, Set and then pause before saying go. Wait for your preemie to either say go or indicate in some way that he/she wants you to bounce.

4) Mirror play - Place a mirror near your face and let your preemie look at him/herself in the mirror. Encourage your preemie to smile at the baby in the mirror or if he/she is older, have him/her point out various body parts.

5) Sing Songs - have your preemie sit or lay on you and sing some songs. Anything will do. Your preemie will enjoy the entertainment

6) Books - grab a book and read something to your preemie. Encourage him/her to turn the pages, point to various pictures and touch the pages.

7) Body parts - point out body parts on your preemie and yourself. Try and get him/her to do the same.

8) Nap time - Sometimes the best developmental therapy is a good old fashioned nap. So cuddle up with your little one and enjoy some much deserved shut eye.

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