How to get 5 month old off of laps and other questions. — The Bump
Special Needs

How to get 5 month old off of laps and other questions.

My 5 month old DS is visually impaired (bilateral chorioretinal coloboma w/optic nerve involvement) and we are having a really hard time in getting him to want to do anything besides being held and sleeping in the Rock & Play or swing.  I know that he really needs more tummy time and more play time in general, but he starts crying immediately when laying him on the floor.  We have tried a tummy mat with contrasting colors/prop-up pillow, play gym, light up toys, textures, contrast books, etc, but he just won't have any of it.  The past week he has started standing/jumping in the jumperoo for 5-10 minutes at a time, so that has been a huge step in the right direction, but I was wondering if any of you have any additional suggestions?

Also, he has an EI teacher, vision teacher, and PT that will start working with him in the next month, but they talked about coming only 1-2 times/month.  They said they can come more if we would like them to.  Up until now, he was only behind in a few categories, but he has started to fall further and further behind since he does not want to explore and does not have the balance/hand-eye coordination that other babies his age have.  Taking off from work is not an issue, as my schedule can be quite flexible, so how often would you reccommend for his sessions?  TIA! 

 

K, born 05/06/10 B, born with a few surprises 07/20/11  

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Re: How to get 5 month old off of laps and other questions.

  • A LOT of babies hate tummy time, not just those with special needs.  Have you tried laying on your back and putting him on your chest, tummy to tummy.  The close face to face interaction would be good for him.  Maybe even guide his hands around your face while he's in that position.  That was how we had to start with DS, he screamed bloody murder on the floor.  ETA:  while singing. For us we had to find a song DS loved (this old man) and sing it while doing anything until he felt confident to do it himself.

    Have you thought about a stationary exersaucer?  He may just feel uncomfortable, off balance without having the visual input while upright in a jumperoo, they don't offer much support and move alot even if the child only does small motions. 

    Does he have a highchair?  We would put DS in his highchair as a starting poing for getting him to sit and play and put toys on the tray.  I would sit close and play with them in front of him, tickle his nose with it, reach his hands out.  Once he started prompting the play I sat back. I slowly increased the distance/amount of time I would walk away for and now he'll sit in his high chair and play for quite a while.

    I found for DS that he needed a lot of physical support to feel comfortable to use his hands to explore.  He was so unsure of his body and where he was in physical space that he wouldn't move or put his hands out. 

    To my boys:  I will love you for you Not for what you have done or what you will become I will love you for you I will give you the love The love that you never knew
  • Thanks for the suggestions!  We haven't tried the tummy to tummy time since he was pretty little, so that is definitely something we can attempt again.  We have tried the exersaucer, and he has not been a fan thus far, but we will keep on trying.  I haven't been using the tray on his highchair yet-just have it tilted back with no tray for when I need to set him down for a minute, so I can try that also.  Maybe having his toys laid out in front of him on the tray will spark some interest.  He just doesn't seem interested in playing with/mouthing much of anything right now besides his hands:(

    I also forgot to mention that our vision teacher is supposed to be bringing him a "little room," and she is hoping he will do better with that.

    Thanks again!  I will keep you updated on any progress, and I am sure I will have more questions!

    K, born 05/06/10 B, born with a few surprises 07/20/11  

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  • image heedy07:

    Thanks for the suggestions!  We haven't tried the tummy to tummy time since he was pretty little, so that is definitely something we can attempt again.  We have tried the exersaucer, and he has not been a fan thus far, but we will keep on trying.  I haven't been using the tray on his highchair yet-just have it tilted back with no tray for when I need to set him down for a minute, so I can try that also.  Maybe having his toys laid out in front of him on the tray will spark some interest.  He just doesn't seem interested in playing with/mouthing much of anything right now besides his hands:(

    I also forgot to mention that our vision teacher is supposed to be bringing him a "little room," and she is hoping he will do better with that.

    Thanks again!  I will keep you updated on any progress, and I am sure I will have more questions!

    http://colofisch.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-heart-overflows.html

    if you scroll through this post you can see a good example of a vision room.

    To my boys:  I will love you for you Not for what you have done or what you will become I will love you for you I will give you the love The love that you never knew
  • My DS doesnt have vison problems, but a 2.5 year old in our ECFE classes (birth to 5 parent child classes offered through school districts in MN) is completely blind.  She has a really hard time with separating from a trusted caregiver- she basically wants to be held all the time.  Her dad (SAHD) thinks it is bc she gets scared since she cant see what/who is coming at her in a busy place like a school classroom.

    I also agree with a PP who said most 5 months old hate TT and want to be on their mommy's lap all the time.  Both my kids were pretty much constantly in my lap or in a sling, with brief playtimes on the floor.  Even if she is holding/exploring toys or food in your lap, it still counts!  Try giving her big pieces of food like a whole, peeled carrot, for her to explore.  As long as she doesn't have enough teeth to bite chunks off yet, she wont choke. 

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