Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stepping up

Emma has a huge desire to get moving.  She also loves to stand.  So, getting her in a gait trainer has been in the forefront of my mind for over a year now.  It was last November that Emma first tried out a gait trainer during her PT session.  I did a post on it here.  

Since that time I've been working to get a gait trainer for Emma in our house.  There is a lot of talk about gait trainers in the CPMoms group that I am on and the KidWalk by Prime Engineering came highly recommended.  So, in addition to the Rifton Pacer that we tested during PT I wanted to have Emma test the KidWalk.  It took months to get a demo KidWalk to test and while we were waiting we kept putting Emma in the Rifton Pacer and she kept not walking in it.  When we finally were able to test out the KidWalk for Emma she took some steps!  I was soooo excited for her.  The rep. even lent us the KidWalk to take home for Mother's Day weekend this year and you can see a picture of that here.  By the time we returned the demo we knew that was the right equipment for Emma.  We've been working on getting Emma her own KidWalk ever since and I'm extremely *hopeful* that we will have one before Christmas.  Pretty please, Santa Insurance Man.  

In the meantime, we were gifted a Pony walker from a local family whose daughter outgrew the Pony a while ago.  We've put Emma in in quite a few times (you can see a couple of photos here), mostly when we are outdoors, and she stands well in it but hasn't really tried walking in it.  Then, in mid-September one of Emma's friends received a new gait trainer and lent us her Rifton Pacer to use while we are waiting for the KidWalk to get approved and arrive.  We have been putting Emma in the Pacer a bit since the wheels are a bit easier to get moving than on the Pony walker we have and she amazed us last week by taking her first few steps.  Below is a short video of the first two steps, but in total that afternoon she walked about 2 feet!  All on her own!  The next day she walked from the hallway all the way into the bathroom until she ran into her potty seat that was leaning against the bathtub - a total of around 3 or 4 feet!  

Notice how Emma "listens" to me to move her foot forward and then her other foot forward.  Following directions on motor skills requires a lot of things to come together for Emma and she can't always make her body do what we ask her to do.  So, I love the video for both the steps and the following directions.  My girl continues to amaze and inspire me!

In addition to taking these steps, Emma has been sleeping differently the last month or two.  She has always been a belly sleeper with her arms at her sides and very little movement through the night - unless you count when she wakes up crying and gets moved into our bed (ha!).  Lately she has been all.over.the.place in her crib.  She rolls from side to side, scoots to the top, turns her body 180 degrees, gets caught between the slats, moves her covers all over and generally causes quite a commotion in there.  It's WONDERFUL!  But at the same time it's been horrible in the sleeping situation as it's causing her to bump her head or get her foot caught or get cold - all of which usually ends up with her (and us!) waking up several times during the night.  I know we need to find a different sleeping situation for her rather than her crib but we don't have anything figured out on that just yet.  We'd love to go to a full mattress to give her more room but the girls share a room right now and there just isn't enough room.  Maybe when we move.....whenever that happens!  If anyone has any ideas on good bed options please leave me a comment.  I really would love some input.

It seems like quite a bit is starting to come together for Emma's independent movement right now.  I'm so excited for her accomplishments and hope they continue.  I have seen Emma accomplish something amazing only to make me wait months to see it happen again - I hope that is not the case this time!  

Oh, and FYI - In my next post I'll give an update on Emma's crawling.  I know some people might find the information on the crawler Emma is using, so check back soon for all the info. on it.

3 Comments from readers:

Anonymous said...

How proud is she, too cute! We are needing a different bed situation too. Cody's tall and quickly outgrowing the crib. He doesn't move much in his sleep yet so were good for now. When we do get one I would really like this one, hopefully we can get it funded somehow. I like how the head can be raised like a hospital bed and theres no cracks between the matress and bed. Yet it doesn't look too medical. http://www.sleepsafebed.com/Products/index.htm

Otherwise we'll probably go with a daybed of some sort so he will still have sides incase he does decide to start rolling.

I am anxious to hear about the crawler. I asked our PT about one for Cody and she feared it would encourage movement with body extension AND if he's going to use his extension that we should do it upright in a gait trainer. I'm still interested in the crawler though. Seems like it would encourage weight bearing in his arms and would definately work on his head control....

Laura G

Ellen Seidman said...

Hi! THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!! I am so glad I came here to tell you that you won one of those ID bracelets. All that movement is such great progress. Max had a gait trainer and a Pony, too, and wow, he was all over the place in that Pony. We also used to let him use it outside, and all the neighborhood kids wanted to try it. They thought he was the coolest.

Kristina, email me your email so I can send to the bracelet ID people! lovethatmax[at]gmail.com

Tara Bennett said...

So I've been trying to decide - crawler or KidWalk for Chloe's Christmas present..... maybe both?!?! I love how happy Emma is to be mobile. And the squeal she makes in this video is IDENTICAL to Chloe's squeal! These girls are soul sisters, I'm telling you!