How do I play with my baby?
It seems so simple, and yet when you bring out your baby’s assortment of toys, only for him to stare ahead with complete detachment, you have to wonder what you’re doing wrong.
There’s no doubt that when you become a parent, you begin to worry about things you never imagined yourself worrying about.
Am I playing with my baby the right way? Is there something more I should be doing? He hasn’t started sitting up, crawling, or walking–what am I doing wrong? My baby hates tummy time. What if he develops flat head syndrome?
Does this sound like you? Trust me, you’re not alone. I’m a mom of two and I still struggle. Once my girls hit their first birthday, and they started playing with toys and could communicate more actively, play time got easier for both of us. Before that point, I constantly googled baby play ideas, sure that I either wasn’t playing with them enough or the “right” way. I also visited the CDC’s developmental milestone pages way too regularly.
The BabyCenter Meeting Physical Milestones Through Play class shows you exactly what milestones your baby should be meeting, red flags you should be looking for, and provides fun, age-appropriate activities to help your baby meet them. In this review, I’ll share what the course goes over and a few of my favorite highlights from it.
If you’ve been feeling a little unconfident about your baby’s milestones and play time, I think you’re really going to like this class!
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Pros and Cons: BabyCenter Meeting Physical Milestones Through Play Class Review At-A-Glance
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- Taught by a pediatric occupational therapist
- Specific play strategies for babies newborn to 15-months
- Hands-on video tutorials featuring real (adorable) babies
- Age-appropriate toy recommendations
- Helpful printables and charts
- Professional production
- 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee
- Online course
- No lifetime access option
What is the BabyCenter Meeting Physical Milestones by Play
First of all, what is BabyCenter? When you google pretty much anything about your new baby, BabyCenter will likely be the first website to appear in your search results. They’re a network of professionals and parents dedicated to helping other parents.
They created this class to teach parents how to play intentionally with their babies to encourage milestone success. It’s taught by Pediatric Occupational Therapist and founder of Purposeful Play NYC, Michelle Tiflinsky.
For you, playtime is a bonding experience. For your baby, it’s an essential part of her development. Play time is when they practice the essential skills their little bodies are trying to master.
The BabyCenter Meeting Physical Milestones Through Play course doesn’t just teach fun activities to boost your baby’s development; it also educates and reassures anxious parents. Michelle gives parents guidelines for when to expect certain milestones, however, she also reassures parents that all babies develop differently. She also helps you decide when you should bring your concerns to your pediatrician.
The Meeting Milestones Through Play class is primarily a video course.
The course is divided by age range:
- 0-3 months
- 3-9 months
- 9-15 months
From there, you will about each important milestone in this age bracket. Michelle begins every lesson by teaching you about the milestone: why it’s important, how your baby is growing this skill, and any red flags you should be aware of. In the next video, she teaches fun activities to help your baby develop this skill. This is the bread and butter of the course for parents that, like me, are a little unsure of how to play with their kiddos! The tutorials are so helpful and easy!
There is a written portion of the course. This class throws a lot of information at you. Don’t worry, no one expects you to remember it all. You’ll find several helpful charts, lists, and printables to help you remember these new strategies.
A few of the topics included are:
- Toys: This course answers the age-old question every mom and dad asks themself: what toys should I buy for my baby?
- Milestone Timeline: This is a recurring theme throughout the course, but I love that Michelle teaches you what to expect and when, and also when you should be concerned.
- Tummy time: We’ll talk about why it’s so important, when to start, go over some fun activities to help your baby’s tummy time be successful (especially if he hates it).
- Pushing up and rolling over
- Crawling (the play ideas here were so good!!)
- Pulling up and cruising:
- Standing up unassisted
- Developmental delays
Who is This Class For?
Every parent, new or veteran.
I am a mom of two and I feel like I’ve learned so many good techniques. If my daughters taught me anything, it’s that every baby learns and develops differently. Because every baby is different, I think every parent would benefit from this course. When your firstborn started crawling at five months and your second can’t sit up independently at six, you start to worry and wonder ask yourself what you did wrong.
The BabyCenter Meeting Physical Milestones Through Play class acknowledges your baby as an individual and helps you find new, fun strategies for helping him overcome his little baby hurdles at his own pace.
Who Is This Class Not For?
Okay, I know I said every parent should buy this course, but there are a couple exceptions.
If you do not do well with online courses–that is, if you buy them and never watch them or, if you need hands-on interaction in order to learn–an in-person class might be a better bet for you.
If you’re already seeing severe developmental delays, this class will not provide a quick-fix. A visit with your pediatrician might be in order. They can refer you to an OT who can evaluate your little one and provide specific techniques tailored to his needs!
Highlights from BabyCenter Meeting Physical Milestones Through Play
Choosing my favorite highlights from this course was tough! Truly, I enjoyed it all. I thought the structure of the course was well thought-out, the information was easily digestible, and the play ideas were great!
Activities for Newborns
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt clueless about how to play with your newborn!
For a little bean that just sleeps, eats, and poops, you’d think the newborn phase would be a little easier. But, it’s actually really hard to figure out how to engage with your baby during the newborn phase. Like, what do you do with them?
That’s why I loved the section on newborns. It goes over tummy time and how your tiny baby perceives the world. I feel like it gave me a greater understanding of how to connect with a newborn and how to slow down to their pace.
You’ve probably heard that tummy time is crucial for their development as well as avoiding flat head syndrome. The problem is, many infants hate tummy time! Michelle delivers specific tummy time play activities that challenge your baby but also avoid the tears.
Helping Your Baby Walk/Pull to a Stand
I really appreciated this section. Walking is a huge milestone for your baby–and you. I think there’s also a lot of unneeded pressure behind this milestone. Sometimes it feels almost like a competition. I remember wondering, “How soon can I get my baby to walk? Oh shoot, my friend’s baby is walking while mine isn’t. What am I doing wrong?”
Do you know what I’m talking about?
I think the lessons on walking and pulling to a stand alleviates some of that pressure. It provides realistic expectations for your baby’s mobility, but also clear red flags so you can discern whether there is actually a problem or not.
I also love the fun activities Michelle teaches that encourage your baby’s walking skills (whether he is actually walking or just not quite there yet.) I would’ve never thought of many of these ideas, and yet they were so simple! For example, Michelle taught an activity where you simply take the cushions off your sofa, and encourage your baby to “walk” across the sofa. The baby in the video had a blast.
Every Day Play Activities
Speaking of activities…
I love that the BabyCenter Meeting Physical Milestones Through Play course offers quick and easy play ideas designed to increase your little one’s development.
These are simple activities that require little to no toys. Let’s take the side-lying activity, for example. It just requires a play mat, something interesting to capture your little one’s attention, and lots of cuddles. Not only does it help your baby learn the most important skill of rolling, but–since the reward is praise from mom and dad–it fosters a healthy attachment.
I would forget all of these adorable activities if not for the printables. The written material truly is the icing on the cake.
Is the BabyCenter Meeting Physical Milestones Through Play Worth It?
Well, I already said it: I think every parent should check out this course! It’s a tremendous resource for veteran and new parents alike. Sometimes, you have no idea what to expect with babies or how to play with them. I mean, you can read articles, but sometimes you feel more anxious when you see a skill your baby hasn’t mastered yet.
The BabyCenter Meeting Physical Milestones Through Play class will teaches you what to expect, how to help, and when to be legitimately concerned. It takes a lot of the stress out of the process!
Learning how to play with your baby is honestly an acquired skill. This course helps you get down on their level and slow down. Your baby may not pull himself up to a stand the first time you try these activities. That’s okay! This course helps you learn that every baby is different and will reach his milestones at different points.
You can buy the course ala carte at BabyCenter for $45 (although I always recommend that you check out their the BabyCenter site for any last-minute sales!) The best deal, however, is when you purchase the BabyCenter Ultimate Baby Prep Course. This bundle includes the Meeting Milestones class, The 3-Stage Baby Sleep Solution class (read my review on that here), and the Infant CPR and First Aid class at a discounted price. Check it out here!
Have any questions or comments? Let me know below!
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