Infants & Toddlers
Physiotherapy is for babies and toddlers too! Kids Physio Group’s physiotherapists are experts in infant motor development and offer specialized services just for babies and toddlers. For many infant conditions, physiotherapy management is very effective – especially when started early. See below for our services and some conditions that may warrant a visit to Kids Physio for your infant.
Infant Physiotherapy Assessment
During an infant assessment, your physiotherapist will do a thorough screening of your infant’s development including motor milestones, range of motion, one-sided preferences, reflexes, and more! These 1:1 appointments can be booked if you are noticing concerns with your infant’s development, or for proactive motor milestone check-ups. It can be tricky to identify if your infant is on-track, and our experts can happily answer any questions and provide activities to work on at home to support your baby’s development.
Infant Feeding Assessment
Feeding is an infant’s very first motor milestone. When tightness or asymmetries are present, the infant may have a more challenging time with effective feeding. A specialized physiotherapist will assess your infant’s latch, tongue mobility (to rule out tongue tie), and general motor development. Physiotherapy exercises and positioning can help improve your infant’s feeding and allow for a more successful, comfortable experience for both the parent and baby.
Torticollis (or “wry-neck”), is a condition when an infant’s neck muscles become tight on one side and cause them to favor certain positions with their head. This may appear as a preference to turn or tilt their head into preferred positions. This condition can occur due to positioning in the womb, minor injury during birth, or from preferred position after birth. Torticollis improves very well with physiotherapy intervention, especially when caught early. If you are noticing your infant displaying any of the following signs, we recommend booking an Infant Assessment as soon as possible.
- preference to turn their head to one side when sleeping or playing
- tilted head position when upright
- head flattening on one side
- preferring to play with one hand
- rolling only in one direction
Treatment may include positioning, strengthening exercises, stretches, and specific play positions.
Head Shape Management
Infants are born with very soft skulls which are easily misshapen by pressure during sleep and other activities on their back. Head shape can also be affected by the birth process or by neck tightness (torticollis), both of which may cause the baby to prefer to lay on certain areas of their head. Flattening may occur on one side of the head (plagiocephaly) or the entire back of the head (brachycephaly). Plagiocephaly and brachycephaly are also associated with motor milestone delays and your physiotherapist will perform a full assessment of head shape and development.
Head shape is best addressed while the infant is young and the skull is soft. We recommend having an assessment as soon as flattening is noticed. Treatment may include positioning, exercises to address preferred position, motor milestone support, and potentially a referral to an orthotist when needed.
Tummy Time Challenges
Tummy time is recommended to be a regular part of your infant’s routine from day one. By being placed on their tummy, infants are able to strengthen their necks and backside of their body, learn to put weight through their arms, and MORE! This position is fundamental in motor development and struggling with tummy time can result in delayed skills.
However, this important skill is hard work for infants. If your infant is struggling with tummy time or does not enjoy this position, physiotherapy can help! Your physiotherapist can help provide modifications, play ideas, and screen for underlying weakness that may be making tummy time more difficult.
Delayed Motor Milestones
Although babies all develop at their own pace, some infants benefit from extra support in achieving their motor milestones. If your infant is falling behind their peers or is becoming frustrated while stuck on a skill, we are here to help!
Our play-based intervention will allow your baby or toddler to learn to explore their environment while learning new skills.
Infants with Medical Concerns
Our team is well versed in providing physiotherapy to infants with a wide range of medical or developmental concerns. We are keen to collaborate with many healthcare professionals to ensure your infant is supported.
- Low tone
- History of prematurity
- Cerebral palsy (suspected or confirmed)
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21)
- and more!
Physiotherapy can be a helpful resource for any infant or toddler with physical goals and we are excited to be part of their motor development journey!