Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tummy Time!

I've been meaning to post this for a while, but I needed Frank to be home to take the picture. I finally figured out how to do tummy time with Olivia! Whoo hoo! As anyone close to me or reading this blog will tell you, this has been really tough for us with Olivia in the spica cast. I tried many different positions and "props," but she had such a tough time with all of it. Her neck muscles just couldn't comfortably support her head in many of the trials. It only took me about 9 weeks, about a thousand tries, and the stinkin' cast comes off on Wednesday, but I did it! Hopefully this information will help someone else. And, to be truthful, we've already seen a difference in her behavior with only about a week and a half of doing this. Initially, she fatigued after a minute or two, but tonight she stayed upright for a good 5+ minutes. I try to do this about 3 times per day for a good 5 minutes; this depends on her temperament because I don't make her continue if she's crying. As my behavior analyst coworkers know, if we end before she starts crying, she'll associate the time with fun not tears.

We use my exercise ball (which is sitting out because I use it all the time... ha. ha.); it works well because it sinks a bit, molding around her, and doesn't push her legs into the cast (her feet/legs dangle a little). I have to put it in a "corner" -- between the wall and the end table -- so that the ball doesn't roll away from me. Because I can't hold up any toys while she's on the ball, I sing to her. This actually also reinforces her looking at me (which gets a smile or "good job" from me for further reinforcement). She's doing great with this -- much happier and is even starting to push up on her arms. The pictures are a little fuzzy, but you get the idea. PS. If you have a cat as playful as our Monty, be on the lookout for paws tapping at little feet.

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