Podcast Episode #78

How do I know if my baby is reaching milestones: Amy McNamara from KidsPT

In this podcast episode with Amy McNamara, paediatric physiotherapist from KidsPT, we discuss all things baby and newborn development.

A few of the topics we discuss include:

  • What are baby milestones?
  • What are the stages of baby and child development?
  • Does a baby’s flat head correct itself?
  • When should I be concerned about my baby’s flat head?
  • Baby flat head – when to worry?
  • When should I start tummy time with my baby?
  • How long should you do tummy time for a baby / newborn?
  • How much tummy time does a baby need?
  • Preventing flat heads for babies who sleep on their backs
  • Do babies grow out of plagiocephaly?

Amy discusses at what age (and if) a baby should use a bouncer, and baby products available, must haves (and don’t needs) baby items, as well as sleeping bags for babies hip dysplasia.

I trust you will find this episode super valuable!

Episode Links

Register for my FREE Pregnancy Workshop here.

https://kidspt.com.au/collections/products

  • Activity cards for parents, teachers and therapists to help motivate and develop children’s gross motor skills, strength, balance, coordination, motor planning, body awareness and flexibility.

Website: https://www.fitnestmama.com/

Instagram: @fitnestmama

Amy McNamara’s KidsPT Instagram: @kidsptvic

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How do I know if my baby is reaching milestones?

Transcription

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that this transcription was completed with computer voice recognition software. Quite often unanticipated grammatical, syntax, homophones, and other interpretive errors are inadvertently transcribed by the computer software. Please disregard these errors. Please excuse any errors that have escaped final proofreading.

INTRODUCTION

If you are pregnant or you’ve recently had a baby, this podcast is for you. I am your host Kath Baquie. A physiotherapist working in women’s health and mum of three based in Melbourne, Australia. Join me as we dive into all things pelvic floor and core as well as talking to different industry experts, helping you to have a healthy pregnancy, confident childbirth and strong postnatal recovery. Hit subscribe, you’re listening to the FitNest Mama Podcast. To attend to my free pregnancy mini pelvic floor and core masterclass, head to fitnestmama.com/free.

KATH BAQUIE

Well, hello there. Welcome to another episode of the FitNest Mama Podcast. So I am super excited to be chatting with Amy McNamara in today’s episode, Amy is the owner of KidsPT. So it’s a paediatric physio clinic. And this is an episode that is jam packed full of really valuable information. So if you’re pregnant, or you’ve had your baby, this episode is for you.

Read More

So we will be chatting about baby milestones and the stages of baby and child development. We talk about flathead, when should we be concerned if a baby has a flat head? How do we help protect and prevent the flat head from occurring? We talk about tummy time. When should your baby start tummy time? How long should they do tummy time for? We discuss what equipment is needed. So Amy talks about I guess the must haves but also the don’t needs when it comes to baby items. There’s so many baby items out there on the market. And she talks through what she doesn’t think is necessary in terms of baby development and motor development. And she talks about her must haves too. So I trust you are going to get a lot of value out of listening to this episode.

Before we dive in, I do invite you to join us inside FitNest Mama. So there is a free trial available. If you have found you’re not exercising as much as you’d like to during pregnancy or post pregnancy. Perhaps you’re busy or you’ve lost the motivation exercise, or you’re not sure how to best be looking after your body. Or perhaps you’ve got pelvic girdle pain or abdominal muscle separation and you’re not sure about the best exercises for you. Or you’d like to get back into running after birth and you want the best Kickstarter possible, then FitNest Mama is for you. So join us for these convenient short, easy workouts that you can do at home. Simply head to fitnestmama.com and the link is in the show notes.

Right. Let’s get into this episode.

So Amy, thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today. It is lovely to chat all things baby milestones, baby movement, and everything else related to paediatric physio. So thank you.

AMY MCNAMARA

Thank you for having me.

KATH BAQUIE

So can we start off like your paediatric physio? What is it you do and what brought you, I actually don’t know this story, like why did you What drew you into a paediatric physiotherapy?

AMY MCNAMARA

Yes, so I am a physio and a mum of two little kids. I always had a passion for children. I was a sports coach growing up and just always loved kids and love sport. And I always probably thought I would get into the sport side of physio, going through UNI realized that really actually wasn’t my passion. And actually dealing more with a longer term patient or a client became my passion. And I’d done a little bit of volunteering for some kids camps and those sorts of things throughout UNI, and found myself in a job in paediatrics and thought, Look, I’m not sure I want to pigeonhole myself straightaway. We’ll do it and see what happens. And never left. I just found that I loved working with kids and with parents and teachers and all sorts of things. And that ended up being where I’ve led my career over the last like 16-17 years, whatever it might be.

So yes, it just I just love working with children and always have so that led me into it have kids with all abilities. The majority and a lot of the work I do is in kids homes or at school and they generally have a developmental delay or a disability, but also and probably more for people that might be listening to your podcast, Kath, is kids, new parents, so younger children, babies, toddlers, parents that have a little concern that may not end up needing much ongoing support, but just need either through a health professional that they’ve said it might just be good to touch base with a paediatric physio, or a parent that just has something in their gut that tells them something’s not quite right. I just love another opinion. That’s kind of me. So I developed I was I worked for a big organization. Now I’ve got my own little business with physios and PTs, KidsPT, where we go visit kids in their homes.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant. So let’s dive into a little bit of what you just talked about. Because a lot of women who are listening today, they might think, Oh, I’ve never really heard of a paediatric physio. So what are some common reasons? So let’s chat because I know we could be talking all day about kids. So let’s just talk about that zero to 12-month stage. What are some common concerns that new parents might have?

AMY MCNAMARA

Yeah, so a lot of the families that might pick up the phone and call me have either been encouraged to do so maybe from their maternal child health nurse, or GP or a paediatrician or wherever it might be. And if that’s the case, it’s probably because one of those health professionals have noticed something. So it might be that a common one is a baby’s got a really flat head as a flat spot on their head, where health professional or even just a parent might go, I know this isn’t quite right, one sides really flatter than the other, I feel like it’s something I should get some more information about. The other one might be maternal child health, when they check your newborn baby, you may or may not notice, but they, when they take their nappy off, they’ll have a good look, turn them over upside down and have a look at their bottom creases. So sometimes it might be they’re just checking the hips and they want someone else either they might send you off to get an x ray or an ultrasound. Or they might just want you to get a review from a physio about your baby’s hips or head shape are generally the two main things. Sometimes if it’s a parent, just not sure they’ve got a gut feeling that’s not quite right. It might be the kids not hitting the same. Milestones are not rolling as quickly as either a sibling did, or someone in mother’s group or wherever it might be. They just want some extra tips about what they should be doing.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Okay. So it’s great to know that you don’t necessarily have to have big issues with your baby, you could even just come and see a paediatric physio, just to talk about some self-management strategies at home. Nothing too serious, just a little bit of education. And that’s all you might need. Would you agree with that?

AMY MCNAMARA

Definitely. And certainly lots of my friends and siblings and all those sorts of things, when they’ve got a new baby like, tummy time. Like that’s generally the one question most people probably wouldn’t just pick up the phone about ideas about how to get tummy time happening. But when I’m chatting to friends, certainly not in a professional sense, but when they’re not paying for my services, they’re just trying to pick my brain. It’s like, how do I get tummy time happening? And that’s the question most of the time.

KATH BAQUIE

Well, let’s dive into that. So I’d love to ask you about what you’re talking about flathead, because I know, personally in mother’s group, there was always a baby and mother’s group that had this issue. So I know, I assume it’s really common. And tummy time. That probably we could talk for hours, just probably about those two. But let’s start with those two. So let’s say you notice your baby has a flat head. And perhaps you’ve talked to your maternal child health nurse and you booked in to see a physio. What are some, talk us through that. What are some, what would you assess? And what are some potential management options? Keep in mind that, as always, this podcast is general information only. And please do consult your health care provider if you’ve got any specific questions or concerns. So take it away, Amy?

AMY MCNAMARA

Absolutely, yes, if you do have concerns, go see someone that’s definitely the thing. Probably for parents listening, you might even not have looked at your child’s head. So one way you can do it is if you sit them sort of in front of you, if they’ve got enough head control, look from the top of their head down and see if it’s kind of like a nice round circle. You might be like, oh my goodness, I had no idea. There was a really, really flat spot. I was born with babies with lots of hair. And so it was really obvious their little flat spots because it generally got a bit bald, the side that they were leaning on more. So is the first of all, just have a look at your baby’s head on all angles and be like, oh, yeah, one sides definitely flatter than the other. Lots of kids have it. It’s been a more recent development flight heads in kids because back in the day, when there was no SIDS awareness, most babies slept on their tummy. So we had very few babies before my time with flat heads because parents will generally put their babies to sleep on their stomach and so they didn’t spend hours and hours a day on a particular side. That clearly is a no go zone. We no longer put our babies on our tummies, which is a great thing, amazing awareness. But it’s created a problem that was never historically a problem. And that’s what heads you can imagine. So all babies when to get through the birth canal, the four plates of their skull are soft. So when a baby spends a lot of time in one position, it’s just what happens before they’re fontanelles warm. And that’s what a maternal child health feels in that flat spot of their head that things move around a little bit.

So when you talked about tummy time, we’ll definitely get to that in but it kind of is a bit of both, what we need to do is see your baby in lots of different positions. So not always spending time when they’re lying on their back to sleep in the same spot as well. So we just want to make sure we’re varying baby’s position. So one of the biggest things that you can do is look at your baby. And if you always lead them the same way facing the same direction in their play in their court, they’re really likely to have a flat spot through no fault of their own and no fault of your own, because you didn’t understand that you needed to swap sides. So things like looking at the position you put your baby in, in the court, if you always have them the same way, they’re probably often going to turn towards the door or towards if they’re in the same room as you where you are, because they’re looking for food or looking for comfort from you. So just put them either turn the whole cord around the other way, or put them at the other end of the bed of the cost, each time they sleep. So alternate each side, or at least for the night sleep when they’re spending a lot of time there. Same thing, we’re all creatures of habit, we always carry a baby on the same arm, you probably notice now as a parent. So when you’re carrying your baby on your right arm, they’re probably often looking out to the world in front of them. So they will always turn that way to look. If you swipe the other side, they’re then going to start turning the other way.

KATH BAQUIE

And I love that also for helping with head and neck pain and discomfort and for yourself as well to the alternate arms. So it’s not always on one side of the body. So perfect. Win win.

AMY MCNAMARA

Exactly, right. Yeah, and so the flat spot, so we’re talking about in your baby could be it’s called plagiocephaly. But what can happen is sometimes if we’ve got a flat bit of a spot, a baby will always turn to that spot to sleep. And some kids can end up getting tight neck muscles as well. So it’s kind of the chicken and the egg. Do they originally have tight neck muscles because of the position they were in in utero. And then therefore, they always want to lie on that side, or is it the flat spot that’s maybe created a tight neck, not all babies will have both. But we do want to get it early, it’s much easier to correct early. If we don’t and baby, then gets a really flat spot and a really tight neck. Some kids end up having a helmet for a certain period of time too, we can correct that. Obviously, when babies are really young, their skulls are really soft. As they get older, it gets firmer that all of the joints start forming. So it gets harder to change things when down the track.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, so you’ve given some great tips about moving their sleep environment around. And that’s great as well, if you don’t have lots of blankets, and you’re using the sleeping bags, super easy to pop them, you know from one side of the cot to the other. You’ve talked about changing arms when you’re holding the baby Are there any other strategies to help if you have noticed your baby’s got a slightly flattened side?

AMY MCNAMARA

Yes, so also looking at where you put your baby to have some play on the floor. So same if you’re in the kitchen, and you’ve put that baby down in a nice, soft, comfy spot. Just keep changing the position that you put the baby under there play arch or whatever it might be. So they keep looking to you the other way. The other thing is the beautiful tummy time. So we want to be getting from day one. As soon as your baby comes out and you feel like you’re ready to give it a go. Tummy time is safe for your baby to be doing. And it’s a beautiful time to get baby off their back onto their tummy. It could might even be on their side, if being on their tummy is a little bit daunting to begin with, or they’re not in a great mood, you might pop them on their side, just changing the position not being flat, looking up at the ceiling or wherever it might be.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. I love that. And the tummy time that’s not necessarily like correct me if I’m wrong, but not it’s not just on the floor, you could do tummy time on your lap, or even considered on your shoulder is that considered tummy time?

AMY MCNAMARA

Definitely. Definitely. So when we talk about tummy time, it can be so varied and in the early days, you’re not putting your newborn baby on a play mat on a cold floor. Expecting them to be happy there, that’s definitely not going to be the case the heads they’ve got no neck control, they’re going to be straight down on the ground, finding that really not overly fun. So the golden tip is always keep it short and sweet at the beginning and often. But it probably the most natural position for most parent mums or dads or grandparents or anyone is on their chest. So if you literally just lie back a little bit on your couch or on a bed, have baby on an incline so that their head and chest is way higher than their hips that will definitely help make everyone a bit more comfortable. And that’s beautiful tummy time. It can be across your lap. So it might be after you’ve had a feed ideally, if baby is not to vomiting or reflux isn’t a big issue or give it a bit of a weight after breastfeed or bottle feed. Then put baby onto your lap and they might have a play there. I have one of those soft Ottomans in our couch. That was my favourite time and location to do tummy time so we would often have a feed and once everyone was a bit more tummies was settled and we already would have a change of our nappy or whatever it might be. I would sit down on the floor and put baby on the Ottoman In a really soft, beautiful, and I will be right there inches away from her face, doing a bit of tummy time. So the other one might be, which often was for me as well as on the change table. So after we’d had a feed and we were doing a change, I was always there. Obviously, safety is very important. And we do tummy time with nappy off. So before I put the nappy on beautiful chance to maybe have a sensory experience, get a bottom in the air, sometimes there were accidents, but it’s on a change mat that’s easy to wash. And we’d have a bit of a chat, we might read a story or whatever it might be have a sing of a song and do a bit of tummy time.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, gorgeous. Love that. Okay, so some great tip server, if your baby has got slightly flattened head. So what I the message I’m receiving is just lots of different positions, or lots of different movements, almost like positions, isn’t it to get your baby in to get them get the weight off their head. So that’s brilliant. So let’s talk now, I know you mentioned earlier common questions around the flat head and also tummy time. And we have talked a lot about tummy time. Was there anything else you wanted to mention about tummy time?

AMY MCNAMARA

Yeah, I just would maybe say to everyone take the pressure off. I’m a paediatric physio and I totally dropped the ball with my first child. She was premie, she’d spent some time in a special care nursery, we came home, I was expressing I was trying to breastfeed, it was the first time I’d ever not had sleep like it was really hard. And I remember going, oh my goodness, I’m totally not doing enough tummy time. And I’m a pediatric physio like, we totally get it there is so much overwhelming stuff going on. Try earlier rather than later. If your baby is you feeling like your baby’s not loving tummy time, the older they get, the harder it is to implement it. So really try your best and it can be 30 seconds to begin with. Don’t put too much pressure. Don’t do it when you’re trying to get dinner done. And you’re set yourselves up for success. So do a little and often try and get it into your routine. If it’s literally you’ve done a bath in the afternoon, and you still haven’t got time, any time done at all, just be that be a trigger.

Great. We’re doing bath time, baby’s now dry and warm. I’m just going to do two minutes a bit now. And then you can go to bed feeling good at night, because yes, yesterday at least got some tummy time, and tomorrow will be better. So definitely try and take the pressure off the tummy time, you can get it across the board, it can be over your shoulder that’s classified as tummy time, I created a whole heap of cards for my business. So for toddler’s sort of activity, fine and gross motor cards, but I also put all of my ideas out of my brain onto these cards that you can purchase. But it’s around different ways and ideas and quick and easy short things to get things happening instantly throughout the day. And if it becomes part of your routine, it makes life much much easier. You don’t have to add it to your To Do lists of busy mums.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing. We will grab the link for those cards and pop them in the show notes for any mums who we’re interested in hearing or reading more about it. Okay, let’s talk about milestones. So, let’s say you’re a mum and you’ve noticed in mother’s group that all the other babies are rolling or sitting or standing and your baby isn’t? What would you suggest them?

AMY MCNAMARA

Yes. So firstly, try really hard not to compare. I know it’s hard. And we all do it and “Oh that baby’s eating solids, quicker than mine, and they’re progressing.” Whatever it might be, we always look at different other kids or even your own children, if it’s your second or third child. It’s hard to not to compare.

KATH BAQUIE

And I have to say, as the kids get older, I get perpetually something I’m trying to, for example, if you hear that your kid’s friends are doing extracurricular activities, like “Oh, maybe my daughter would enjoy that.” So it’s a never ending, but it’s a work in progress.

AMY MCNAMARA

It never ends. But the hard thing for especially first time parents, but any parent really whatever first, second, third and fourth babies. It’s all consuming. You think oh my goodness, this is happening. And my baby’s not doing this. And is this something wrong? Or is it just normal? We don’t really know. So try really, really hard not to compare to social media to mothers groups, to what Nana or grandma or whoever is telling you. There is huge variation in milestones, absolutely huge. And while the majority of some of the things we’ll talk about happened in the first 12 months, and it feels like oh, if you’re not doing it by four months, it’s so important and critical. There are absolutely huge variations in all things. So that’s the first thing. But if you are noticing that everyone in the mothers group or wherever you are, your baby’s not achieving those things. From my point of view, what we want to see happening are babies progressing. So you’re like “No, but last week we’re doing better than what we were last week.” and whatever it might be, that’s great. Most of the time, it’s when your baby moves differently or it’s really slow, that it’s definitely worth flagging it and seeing what’s going on. But as I said, there are huge variations. For example, rolling can happen anywhere roughly from around four to nine months. And that’s typical.

KATH BAQUIE

Such a big variation.

AMY MCNAMARA

Huge. So of course, if your baby is not rolling, and then nine months old, you’re going to be a bit worried. And that’s okay. It’s definitely worth having a conversation or having a chat to maternal child health or whatever it might be. But that’s all within the typical developing range.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing.

AMY MCNAMARA

Yeah. So across the board, that’s the way it is. Same thing with crawling. Crawling is such a strange one. Kids actually don’t need to crawl some you’ll hear lots of kids parents saying my child never crawled. That’s okay. As a physio it’s a lovely movement pattern. It’s we like seeing babies crawl. But there’s so many ways of crawling and all of those, whether it’s commando crawling, or I didn’t, I have one child that had this weird little farmhouse leg ups are sort of crawling, yep, bum shuffling, all those sorts of things. It’s still crawling. So there are huge variations and do your very, very best not to compare, if you get, as I would say, to all parents listening, if there’s something in your gut, that’s like, I just feel something’s not right. Definitely check it out, it’s absolutely worth having a low finding out a bit more information. There is lots of brilliant people out there. Social media, there’s a couple of other physios that I know of from social media and books that are brilliant, that provide lots of really good ideas around if this is the range. That’s great. But here are little ways that you can nudge them along give different ideas about how to progress their skills.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. And this is huge, I guess we could speak for an hour or two on ways to help your baby progress. Is that necessary? Like when would you say it’s important to help your baby with a milestone?

AMY MCNAMARA

So the way I work is, I would probably have been seen by other people, “Oh, Amy’s working on her kid’s milestones.” but I was just playing with my kids. So it’s really, really, really important to play with your babies. And that’s to communicate with them and to help them move and to help them learn and all those sorts of things. And part of that is their gross motor skills and their milestones. So, yeah, it’s really important not just to leave your baby in one position. And that’s it. That being said, if you do, they probably will still develop in the perfectly typical pattern as every other child. So but it is really important to have variation. Similar to what I was thinking about with tummy time, it’s really important to try and do to get symmetry with your child. So symmetry means where both sides of the body are doing a similar thing. So if they’re always facing one way, we know that’s likely now to cause a flat spot. If a child always sits in a certain position, we want to try and vary that because we need to vary sitting in order to move into crawling, and all those sorts of things. Babies will amazingly, and often with my second, I spend far less time playing with them, because I had two kids to juggle when I’m sure, Kath, even more so for you. It just happens and amazingly happens. But if you are feeling like oh, we’ve been in this sort of area, get down there and play with them. As I said, you’ll get a link to my cards, you can absolutely have a look at different ways to progress. Where I would say is the best thing to do is not have equipment is to encourage a beautiful carpet that your baby can move around in. But in the early days, there’ll be spending lots of time on their tummy that all of a sudden starts swimming, like pivoting around on their tummy, then all of a sudden they’ll start rolling. That’s a perfect position that also your couch is the perfect position for a child to learn how to pull to stand, and start cruising and then walking. So definitely less is more with the equipment. But more is more of just spending time on the floor, getting a great toy, it might be a mirror to encourage your baby to move that little bit more motivate them just to move that little bit more with that really fun toy that they don’t even think they’re working hard on their milestones.

KATH BAQUIE

I love that. Some great tips. So that is a perfect segue into equipments. Because there’s a lot of equipment out there. And I’d love to hear your thoughts.

AMY MCNAMARA

There is a lot of equipment and I feel like especially if you’re pregnant or you’re having a new baby that’s so exciting. It’s the exciting going out and buying all of these bright and beautiful and amazing wooden and all these sorts of things toys. And my thing is always less is more. Babies need very little equipment. They need you. They need somewhere safe and warm to sleep. And in those early days. That’s it. We often will get paediatric physios will often say anything that is a container is not recommended. A container is something you put your baby in. So if your baby can, as they develop, get themselves to that equipment like a little trolley that eventually they’ll pull themselves up onto that waited at the front that don’t fall over and then they can learn how to walk forwards, great they can get you’re not putting them in it. That container is something we don’t recommend. So there’s certain chairs on the market. There are certain jumpers on the market, where you harness a baby into and you might be thinking you’re strengthening them, you are strengthening some muscles. But sadly, they’re not the muscles we want to be learning how to walk. There’s lots of activity centres that you can put your baby into. And then they can toggle along on their feet They’re often got a slung seat. And that’s not how we learn how to stand. That’s how we learned how to tippy toe, which is the opposite to what we want. We want flat feet on the ground, with weight through them. And if that means your baby takes a bit longer to get that happening, that’s great. They just need a bit longer. We don’t want fast speeding through the milestones. We don’t want to take off. Yes, we’ve crawled now with fast, fast, fast. Oh, my goodness, because then you’ll have 10 month olds that walk in oh my goodness, we don’t want that. No, we want. We want slow and steady progress and really strong babies. And a lot of those equipment, items, the containers are actually doing reverse. And while they’re bright and fun. And I’ve been a mum that don’t get me wrong. I’ve put my baby in a couple to give me a couple of minutes of just respite because I needed to get something done. No worries. I understand. We’ve all been there. But it’s short. And it’s not every day.

KATH BAQUIE

Out of interest. So I’ve known about this for a while but I’ve never heard it put in that way so container versus you know, something you might stand up against. So that’s a really great definition, but out of interest is a bouncer considered a container?

AMY MCNAMARA

When you say bouncer What do you mean?

KATH BAQUIE

So you know, when they’re like, I used to put my baby in a bouncer while I had a shower. So the what’s it called? Like the reclined? Yeah. Seat? Or, you know what I mean?

AMY MCNAMARA

Yes, yeah. Fancy ones that like go around the room, like vibrate around?

KATH BAQUIE

Just like they’re lying down, but they’re slightly reclined.

AMY MCNAMARA

Yeah, look, that’s okay. Like, in those early days, that’s just a different sort of lying position for a baby that safe and you can carry them into the shower with you, I use one too. But again, that’s not we’re not going to develop any skills being in there. We don’t want to stay in there for a very long time. Because we’re putting baby in a really see curve, same thing as your car seats, and all those capsules and things like that. You don’t want baby in that really strong see curve of their spine for a prolonged period of time. So if we’re lying, we’re lying flat on a nice firm cot mattress and all those sorts of things they’re okay. Again, short and sweet. Not hours. You have you shower, enjoy the shower. That’s absolutely fine.

KATH BAQUIE

Oh, my gosh.

AMY MCNAMARA

But yeah, all those sorts of things. But I think a lot of the equipment, parents think, Oh, my baby’s not standing. They’re not pulling to stand. So I’m going to pop them in one of those jumpers, because that’s going to strengthen up their leg muscles to make them better standers.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah.

AMY MCNAMARA

It does not, it teaches them to bounce, we want standing.

KATH BAQUIE

So what you’re saying, and correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re pretty much saying these bits of equipment can be fine for short periods. And you know, if you need five minutes while you make dinner, or for a bit of entertainment, or whatever, but they shouldn’t be used as a way for long periods of time, or as a way to get your baby moving more.

AMY MCNAMARA

My recommendation would be don’t purchase them in the first place. Sorry but it’s true. Certainly some of them would be a definite like, just please save your money and put them towards something else. Put that money towards something else. There’s a few beautiful items I love. Like if I can buy if I can tell a new mum or a new parent that I love toys. So an arch so where you can put babies. So there’s all sorts of ones in the market, really bright ones that have a little bit of padding. And there’s a lovely arch that you can attach things to. And there’s toys, those are beautiful because it’s not a container, your baby can eventually roll in and out of that if they want to themselves. And that is beautiful for encourage reaching and vision tracking, all those sorts of things. And there’s lots of fun for babies and you can put bright light up music, whatever it might be attached to that those are beautiful. Mirrors little you can get gorgeous little kids mirrors that are on like a triangle that you can encourage for tummy time when your baby doesn’t have anything to look at looking at the ground is really boring. But they look at themselves and all of a sudden they’ve got a buddy there. They don’t even know it’s there. Maybe it’s so cool. There’s another little kid doing tummy time with them. They’re a beautiful gift. It’s such a gorgeous little toy, little rattles and music, things all those things are absolutely fantastic. The other thing that so many babies end up learning how to pull to stand and walk out is a like a playpen. So some people who have animals will put the children inside the playpen and the animals let them roam, do the opposite put the dog or the cat or wherever in the playpen and let the child move around the whole house. But those like vertical bars are often great things to learn how to pull up on might be their cot when they first start learning to pull something different places for them to reach different heights and those sorts of things sometimes help progress a child and a couch is just really over need.

KATH BAQUIE

Perfect love that. Thanks Amy.

AMY MCNAMARA

No worries.

KATH BAQUIE

Because I’m just having a little chuckle because it was my mum that bought the bouncer, you know, that C shaped curve, and my mum was in love with it. But I do have to say that was the only piece of equipment I do have. But I just find it useful for the shower. And while I was chopping vegetables, so then my baby got to sit up on the bench with me, we got to chat while I was chopping the vegetables. But that was only for the first baby because by the time it was the third baby, the older siblings would be pulling them out of the bounces that was no longer a safe place anyway.

AMY MCNAMARA

That’s right. And, of course, and we will all have those things. And if you are a parent that’s like oh my goodness I do about all the time, I feel terrible. If I’m doing the wrong thing by my baby, it’s not the case, just try and modify it, just try and do it not for a long period of time for short periods and counterbalanced with a different position. If you’ve done that, then let’s do some tummy time afterwards to get that nice, different position. I’ve done it as well. Like don’t beat yourself up about it. That’s absolutely fine. Just yet little and short and yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Great advice. Thank you, Amy. So to finish off with, do you have any final words of wisdom for new mums or pregnant mums or new mums that might be listening today.

AMY MCNAMARA

The only other thing I will mention sorry, the other thing that I sort of briefly said spoke about was hips. So it’s just definitely something we need to be really mindful of our babies’ hips. Most items that we purchase now are really great at protecting hips. So all of those sleeping bags, you might may or may not notice that they have widening at the hips to allow baby to sleep in sort of that frog leg position. Many years ago, they were sort of straight sleeping bags, and we had lots of children that were developing developmental dysplasia of the hips. So that’s where what we want the perfect position for babies that from kind of position with an out to the side. And that helps the ball and socket joint form really nicely. As I mentioned maternal child health, we’ll look at the creases in your children’s bottoms. And if they’re not symmetrical, they might get you to do an x ray or an ultrasound or see a physio. My kids both had different hip creases, their hips were absolutely fine. My daughter was also breech. So that’s another thing to add to a possibility a red flag, they call it for hips, if you carry your baby, so in any baby carriers now most again on the market a pretty great, we need to have baby’s hips out at the front position never together. And ideally, their bottom, their knees are higher than their hips. So that really from position basically. So that’s something that’s really important to make sure you’re aware of with your babies. There’s a whole heap of information about that if you are a bit concerned or you want to find out more information about that. I also just wanted to mention a couple of people that I follow that they are physios and they are great out there for different advice. They’re real. They’re mums, as well. They get how hard and busy it is. And that just you just need a tiny little snippet of information to add into your crazy busy lives. Alanna, whose surname is Gardini out of Queensland. She’s got a beautiful book called “My Strong Little Body”. It’s an e book because she also has a great online social media pages which you’ll have to look her up. And also @nicole_kidsphysio, she’s a physio out of Perth, also brilliant. So just little snippets, I wasn’t a big reader of books. When I was having a baby. I didn’t sit down and scour through books, which is why I created my cards, which are a quick and easy thing to see. But those two are really fantastic as well.

KATH BAQUIE

Amazing. Thank you. And I’ll put all those links in the show notes as well.

AMY MCNAMARA

Beautiful.

KATH BAQUIE

So, any final words of wisdom, Amy?

AMY MCNAMARA

I don’t think so. Just trust yourselves. Yeah. In your gut, you feel something’s wrong. Reach out to me or another paediatric physio, whoever it might be your maternal child health nurse or someone else that is trusted, and has good ideas, check out some social media of people that know don’t try and compare to other kids in the group. And I’m sure you are all doing an amazing job. If you’re listening to podcasts like this, you are three quarters of the way there you are informing yourselves and that’s great and your babies will be the benefit of that. I guess just finally, we want kids to move well, we don’t want them to move quickly through the milestones. So just keep trying to change both sides using different arms, getting a bit of tummy time each day, and you’ll have it covered.

KATH BAQUIE

Brilliant. Thank you so much, Amy, I do really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to come and chat to us all about baby milestones, baby equipment for us to be talked about so much. So thank you.

AMY MCNAMARA

You guys play. Mostly just play and play in different positions outside inside nappy off is the best thing to do.

KATH BAQUIE

There we go. We’ll end on that note. Thank you, Amy. Chat you soon.

AMY MCNAMARA

Bye.

KATH BAQUIE

And before I sign off, remember my team and I will be putting together the show notes for this episode with all the links including how to connect with Amy at fitnestmama.com/podcast and don’t forget to send Amy and myself a DM on Instagram. We would love to hear from you. Have a fabulous day everyone and I look forward to you joining me next week for another episode of the FitNest Mama Podcast.

Thanks so much for listening to the FitNest Mama Podcast. Brought to you by my free pregnancy mini pelvic floor and core masterclass which you will find at fitnestmama.com/free. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. And come and say hi, DM me on Instagram. I would love to hear from you. It said FitNest Mama. Until next time. Remember, a healthy pregnancy, confident birth and strong after birth recovery is something that you deserve. Remember, our disclaimer, materials and contents in this podcast are intended as general information only and shouldn’t substitute medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. I’ll see you soon!

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