Occupational therapy for self-feeding is just one of the many pediatric services we provide at Therapy Care in Batavia. If your child is having trouble feeding himself or herself, we will work alongside you as the parent(s) to help your child develop this important self-care skill!

What is Self-Feeding?

Self-feeding is exactly what it sounds like: Feeding oneself. If a child is experiencing developmental delays or having trouble with many of the skills we think of as “hand-eye coordination,” occupational therapy may be needed to help them learn to self-feed.

Kids generally start self-feeding as early as 5 months, by being able to be spoon-fed some cereal by mom or dad. They should be able to hold a bottle by 6 months of age and should be handling a fork or spoon on their own (with supervision) by the time they’re 24 months of age. There are additional self-feeding milestones that you can ask your pediatrician about. Keep in mind that these milestones are all averages, and it doesn’t necessarily mean a child needs occupational therapy if they’re a little “late” developing any of these skills.

If your child is failing to meet certain self-feeding milestones, be sure to mention it to your pediatrician.

Occupational Therapy for Self-Feeding

Occupational therapy that we provide for children with self-feeding issues includes development of the following skills:

  • Oral motor skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Gross motor skills
  • Visual skills
  • Cognitive skills
  • Sensory processing skills

There is no “one size fits all” process in occupational therapy. The course of treatment and development can vary widely depending on the reasons why a child is having trouble self-feeding. For example, the course of treatment might be very different if the self-feeding difficulties are caused by an eyesight problem, versus a sensory processing issue.

Common Symptoms in Kids

The most common symptoms of a self-feeding issue in a child is a lack of consistently hitting the milestone markers for their age. If they have difficulty bringing a spoon to their own mouth without help at 12 months, it’s no cause to be upset. If they still can’t manage a spoon by the time they’re 15 to 18 months of age, it’s time to talk to your pediatrician.

We want to stress that if your child is having trouble meeting the self-feeding markers, it’s not a cause for alarm. But it is an issue that you should take seriously by bringing it up to your pediatrician. The earlier you intervene in a problem with motor skills development, the better the outcome will likely be.

Ready to Get Started

Every child is different, so the course of occupational therapy that we work on with you and your child will vary based on any pediatric diagnosis and your child’s developmental skills. Your participation as a parent will be a vital part of the process as we work together to build up your child’s self-feeding skills!

Call our Batavia office today at Therapy Care to schedule a pediatric consultation.

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    Few things are worse than having constant pain in your neck, back, or joints in the morning. Even the easiest things, such as get out of bed or putting on your shoes, can be difficult for those struggling with morning aches and pains.

    Did you know you can improve the function of these parts of your body in the morning with the aid of a physical therapist? Physical therapists can provide you with exercises and stretches to alleviate pain and discomfort. They also help recover the normal range of movement and reduce pain and inflammation.

    To learn more about how a physical therapist can help you achieve the positive start you’re looking for in the morning, keep reading! If you’re dealing with aches and pains, contact Therapy Care to schedule a consultation ASAP.

    The importance of stretching

    Stretching is an important part of one’s daily routine, whether you’re exercising or not. Modern-day life involves a lot of sitting down, from our jobs to our hobbies. Over time, this can lead to tightness and shortening of muscles in areas of the body like the hip flexors, shoulders, chest, and ankles.

    Stretching increases your blood circulation. Muscles require sufficient oxygen and nutrients in order to perform well. Stretching ramps up blood flow and transports oxygen and nutrients.

    Performing daily stretches also heightens your energy levels due to the increased circulation it brings. Learning to stretch properly will lead you to a more active lifestyle. In fact, according to results of a new systematic review, moderate-grade evidence seems to support strengthening and stretching exercises to help ease chronic neck pain.

    Top 3 stretches to feel better in the morning

    Stretching isn’t only for warming up or cooling down when you’re working out at the gym. The purpose of stretching is to get your body feeling limbered up and flexible. If you go about your whole day feeling stiff, of course you’re going to feel achy and awful when you wake up!

    By committing to a few simple morning stretches each day, you can help to keep your body feeling limber and reduce pain in between your regular physical therapy appointments. Some of the best stretches to use early in your day include:

    Low Back Stretch

    Are you dealing with recurring low back pain in the mornings? Then this simple physical therapy stretch can provide you with a great deal of relief.

    Start by laying down on your back, bending your knees, and keeping your feet flat on the floor.

    Use both hands to pull up one knee towards your chest, while keeping the other foot flat on the floor.

    Next, bring your active leg back to the starting position and repeat the stretch with the opposite leg. Keeping the other foot flat on the floor. Lastly, bring both knees to your chest at once. Hold each position for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat stretch at least 3 times.

    Child’s Pose

    If you suffer from arthritis in the knees or low back pain, this is a great stretch to complete before beginning your day.

    Child’s pose is a very popular move in yoga routines. It is a great stretch for connective tissue and joint pain as well!

    Start the pose by kneeling in bed, then sitting back so that your bottom is resting comfortably on your heels. Next, gently bend your body forward until your head touches the mattress.

    It can be helpful to then stretch your arms out and fold them in front of your face for additional support. Once you’ve eased into the position, you can then reach your arms out forward to help open the connective tissues in your neck, shoulders, and back area.

    Hold the pose for at least 2 minutes and repeat if necessary.

    The Inchworm

    The Inchworm is another physical therapy stretch that is great for relieving joint pain and improving circulation in the mornings.

    Start by standing with your abs engaged. Slowly roll down, bending at the knee if necessary, and touch the floor. Walk your hands forward, until you are in the push-up position. Then walk your feet forward, inch-by-inch, until you reach the back of your hands. Slowly roll your body back up into a standing position. Repeat the stretch at least 5 times, with your core engaged each time.

    Physical therapy can change the way you look at mornings…

    If you struggle with aches and pain every morning, there’s no doubt you aren’t enjoying the beginnings of your days. You deserve to wake up feeling good and refreshed. If you’re dealing with pain, you should speak with our physical therapist sooner rather than later about creating a personalized treatment plan. There’s no reason to start your day off in pain and suffering through feelings of discomfort!

    Are you interested in learning more about the many benefits of physical therapy for pain management? Contact Therapy Care for more information and be sure to schedule an initial consultation with our friendly and experienced physical therapist today.