This past May my husband and I welcomed our first born, Benjamin, into our family. We absolutely love this happy boy! During my maternity leave I learned so much about his personality, likes, and dislikes. Unfortunately, one of his dislikes happened to be tummy time! We struggled most days to get our 30 minutes in but we were able to do it through a lot of creativity.
As many of you early intervention speech-language pathologists know, tummy time is critical for infants to develop head control/strength, form proper head shape, and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Since Benjamin was not a fan of tummy time, naturally as a new mom, I was terrified that his head wouldn’t form correctly, that he wouldn’t crawl, and of course of SIDS. So we pushed through some tearful events of tummy time.
Eventually, we were able to find our own groove with tummy time. We used so many techniques to improve the experience of tummy time. We used mirrors, rattles, high contrast books, etc. However, it wasn’t until the use of a toy that my brother-in-law and sister-in-law loaned us, as well as my knowledge of language, that tummy time became less of a burden and more of a fun experience for our family.
The Bright Beats 3-in-1 Bright Pods are made by Fisher-Price. You can find the link to the product here. The Fisher-Price website described the three major ways a baby can grow and play with these bright pods:
“1: Tummy Time – Fosters core development, visual & auditory stimulation with glowing lights and basic musical tones
2: Sit & Jam– Sitting babies bat each pod to hear more music and add drum beats
3: Crawl & Chase – Encourages baby to crawl from one pod to another as music builds, helping to exercise gross motor skills!”
Now, I am not being paid by fisher-price. These opinions are completely my own. I just have to say that I think fisher-price is selling itself way short on what this toy can really stimulate! Yes I agree with all of the above. BUT…this toy in “therapist” terms can also help develop:
1. Cause and effect at different levels. Depending on the setting, the baby can touch the light in order to make the music continue or the baby can touch the pod and make the pod light up.
2. Sound localization. Since the music alternates between the pods, this gives the opportunity for the baby to start to localize sound.
3. Language development. I love using sign support speech with my son. Whenever the music stops I will simultaneously sign and verbalize “Oh no! The music stopped. Do we want more music? We do? Okay...Go!”
Personally, I think this toy is great for the typically developing child as well as a child with developmental disabilities. I would however be cautious with using this toy with a child with seizure disorder due to the flashing lights. At only a cost of $25, I think that this toy is a must have!