Okay, so I am a big fan of tummy time and I know that people may find it challenging to do with their kiddos so we as therapists are always on the lookout for new ideas to make it easier on parents. One of our PT’s saw the Lamaze Spin and Explore at a kiddo’s home and told us about it so we decided to get it and try it out with a few of our kids who are having challenges with tummy time. We were only able to get pictures for one of the kiddos but the two therapists who are using it both say that it has been helpful.
Here are some of the reasons they like it:
- It allows the kiddos to begin pushing up on extended arms without having to lift all the weight of their head and trunk initially
- Allows the child to begin to practice rotating or pivoting in prone without the added friction and weight of their body on the floor
- Encourages independent exploration for kids who need a little extra help
- Because the kiddo is elevated above the toy they are able to get some success with playing with toys on their stomach
- Encourages head and neck extension, which leads into trunk extension, because there is nothing to rest their head on
- Encourages gluteal activation with extension because the legs ‘hang’ off the end
Some of the things to be careful of:
- While it allows the child to begin pivoting they are not getting the full benefit of activating their obliques and bringing their trunk into it
- Doesn’t allow as much practice weight shifting
- Child should not be left unattended because they are elevated off the floor slightly
While I am sure there are other things to be careful of, a great way to get the benefit of both is to use the Spin and Explore and then follow up with the child on their tummy on the floor with a toy they really enjoy. Have them start to practice pivoting slightly to the left or right for whatever holds their attention and motivation the most. I think that if you can balance the use of the Spin and Explore so that they are achieving success while building strength and endurance, with the follow up of ‘live’ tummy time on the floor then the draw backs won’t be as apparent.
Has anyone else had success with this tool?