#BabyBrain: Rocking and Rolling

Rocking and rolling exercises for babies

The balance system is located deep within the inner ear. A well-developed balance systemforms the basis for healthy brain and body connections.   Stimulation of this system is needed in order for baby to be able to cope successfully with gravity. Activities that cause this stimulation are essential for the inhibition of primitive reflexes and development of balance. They will impact on development of posture, movement, and a sense of position in space, motion, depth and self. Rocking and rolling movements can contribute to the development of balance.   Studies show that infants given regular vestibular stimulation in the first few months of life show accelerated development in motor skills as a result of increased sensory stimulation.

  • Cradle the baby in a cellular blanket with a person holding either end of the blanket. Now sway very gently and slowly from side to side. The slower the better. This slow movement will get the fluid in the inner ear moving which will in turn activate and stimulate the balance system. You may even find that he/she is soothed and calmed and may even fall asleep during this.
  • Put your baby in a seated position holding them securely under their arms. Rock him/her from side to side, gently and slowly and make sure not to go more than a 45 degree angle. This will help to develop the muscles in the neck and shoulders while causing the fluid in the inner ear to move and stimulate the balance system.
  • A variation on this is while in the same position as above rock your baby forward and backwards. Very gently and slowly and not more than a 45 degree angle. You may need to adjust your grip slightly to support baby at the front and back. Be mindful of supporting their head, the aim is to get them to support their own head but if they cannot do this then you will need to, until they can.
  • A floor time rock & roll session  when your baby is lying on his/her back will also provide good stimulation for the balance system and will provide some movements that help to inhibit primitive reflexes. Hold the baby’s hands and gently rock him/her from side to side, the head will turn accordingly.   Do not turn them more than 45 degrees.
  • As your baby gets bigger and older introduce plenty of rough and tumble play, not just for the boys. It gives so much stimulation to the brain and plays a huge role in building your baby’s brain.

Ollwyn Moran is a trained Neurological Developmental Therapist and the founder of Creeper Crawlers, a revolutionary children’s clothing brand best known for its Easy Grip Crawl Suit. Made from 100% cotton and free of harsh chemical dyes, the patent-pending and award-winning Easy Grip Crawl Suit provides developmental benefits for babies ages 6-24 months. Learn more about Creeper Crawlers here

Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition

The-Ireland-Funds_2013-Business-Plan-Comp_1010

Back in January 2013, I entered The Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition. I managed to make it through the selection and preliminary pitching rounds to get into the finals.

Six top teams were representing colleges from throughout Ireland. The finals were held in The Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) and the panel of judges was made up of top American Irish businessmen and women, business mentors and investors.

I was the last team to pitch on the day. I was so nervous and to make matters worse, my computer decided to be as unco-operative as it could possibly be. It wouldn’t connect to the projector. I decided to do a re-start on it. It then wouldn’t re-start. Then finally I got it re-started but wouldn’t run Keynote. So I had to convert the file to Powerpoint and Alleluia it finally jumped into action. I was so muddled and mortified at that stage, but thankfully it didn’t take too long for the Adrenalin to kick in and I went into overdrive.

After my pitch the judges adjourned for some refreshments and deliberated on the outcome.

When the judges returned they called out the names in reverse order and when there was only two names left (one being mine) I nearly slipped off the seat. I think I actually did slip off it when they called second place and I realised that my name still hadn’t been called out.

I won! OMG! I won!!!

This blog post is part of a series of firsthand accounts by Ollwyn Moran documenting the beginnings of Creeper Crawlers. Creeper Crawlers is a revolutionary children’s clothing brand best known for its Easy Grip Crawl Suit. Made from 100% cotton and free of harsh chemical dyes, the patent-pending and award-winning Easy Grip Crawl Suit provides developmental benefits for babies ages 6-12 months. Learn more about Creeper Crawlers here

 

Pregnancy & Baby Fair

pregnancy-and-baby-fair

This week saw Creeper Crawlers attend the Pregnancy and Baby Fair in the RDS. Again this was another first for me. I had never exhibited at a fair before. I enlisted the help of my mum for the two days and a couple of friends popped by for a little visit too. Which was lovely, apart from being so busy that I didn’t have time to chat with them!

The reaction from all the parents and parents to be was spectacular. It was SO positive and encouraging. And so many had seen the suits feature on Xpose too.

We were so busy that we actually sold out of all the stock that we had, which was phenomenal.

Needless to say though, mum and I were exhausted after the two days. We were glad to get everything dismantled and packed up and get back home, where we put up our feet and had a huge cup of our favourite green tea.

This blog post is part of a series of firsthand accounts by Ollwyn Moran documenting the beginnings of Creeper Crawlers. Creeper Crawlers is a revolutionary children’s clothing brand best known for its Easy Grip Crawl Suit. Made from 100% cotton and free of harsh chemical dyes, the patent-pending and award-winning Easy Grip Crawl Suit provides developmental benefits for babies ages 6-12 months. Learn more about Creeper Crawlers here

Xpose Feature

xpose

In March 2013, I got a surprising call from TV3. They wanted to find out if I would like to have our Easy Grip Crawl Suits featured on TV3’s Xpose that week.

Of course I jumped at the chance. I LOVE that show.

We filmed in the lovely Fitzpatricks Hotel in Kiliney.

I managed to arrange to get two of the babies from the photo-shoot that I just had. And what a wonderful job they did modeling our crawl suits. They were on the tiles in the foyer of the hotel and absolutely enjoyed every minute of being allowed to crawl around on the floor in the hotel.

I was then interviewed by the gorgeous Lisa Cannon. She was so nice. When I met her first she was very chatty and bubbly. I mentioned to her that I was very nervous and she immediately put me at ease. She explained what the format of the interview would be like and how they would shoot it.. So that I was very comfortable and much more relaxed when it actually came time to film my piece.

Two days later, Creeper Crawlers was featured on Xpose in their Innovation Nation segment. It was very exciting.

The result of the segment was overwhelming. I thought my Facebook and Twitter pages were going to explode. And I genuinely thought my website was going to crash. We had a huge amount of orders come in through the website. I had to get the family on board to help me pack all the orders and ship them off to babies around Ireland and Australia and many countries in between.

It was a great experience.

In case you missed the feature, you can check it out now here:

This blog post is part of a series of firsthand accounts by Ollwyn Moran documenting the beginnings of Creeper Crawlers. Creeper Crawlers is a revolutionary children’s clothing brand best known for its Easy Grip Crawl Suit. Made from 100% cotton and free of harsh chemical dyes, the patent-pending and award-winning Easy Grip Crawl Suit provides developmental benefits for babies ages 6-12 months. Learn more about Creeper Crawlers here

#BabyBrain: Massage

5 ways to promote crawling2d

The sense of touch begins to develop in-utero. So mum, all those patting and swirling movements you draw on your pregnant tummy is going to benefit your baby’s brain. When you drink that glass of ice-cold water and feel your little one move around vigorously, you are building their brain through developing their sense of touch and feeling.

The sense of touch, although not fully developed at birth, it is one of the most advanced abilities at birth. They can feel at birth a lot better than they can see, hear, or even taste. Early experiences  of being touched and touching are incredibly important.   It develops motor skills and an understanding of the physical world. It also contributes to good health and emotional well-being for the future.

Early touch experiences play a hugely important role in the overall quality of brain development. Baby massage gives the brain so much sensory information which helps to develop an awareness of body parts (body-mapping). This is important because at birth the baby does not know what parts belong to them. The have come from a warm fluid filled environment to a world with gravity where everything is a completely new experience.

  • Start as soon as possible after birth
  • Do it rhythmically and slowly. The brain is getting so much sensory input from this that it needs time to absorb this information.
  • Follow your instincts
  • Sing and smile while massaging
  • Have baby naked and lying in a warm room on a warm towel/blanket, after bath time is usually a perfect time
  • If using a lotion or oil, warm it in your hands before rubbing on baby’s skin
  • Use circular clockwise movements – start on the stomach and move gradually out to the limbs, tell your little one the names of the parts of their body that you are touching – this really helps with left and right and body awareness
  • Be gentle and support the head when turning baby over.
  • From two months of age onwards you can vary the materials massage and introduce tapping with the fingers, vary intensity and strokes etc.

Ollwyn Moran is a trained Neurological Developmental Therapist and the founder of Creeper Crawlers, a revolutionary children’s clothing brand best known for its Easy Grip Crawl Suit. Made from 100% cotton and free of harsh chemical dyes, the patent-pending and award-winning Easy Grip Crawl Suit provides developmental benefits for babies ages 6-24 months. Learn more about Creeper Crawlers here

Meeting with Mothercare

mothercare

Following on from the high that was the awards, I was incredibly lucky to get a meeting with Mothercare Ireland.

I went out to meet with two lovely women from Mothercare in their HQ in Dublin. I was SO nervous. I really hadn’t a clue what to expect.
Walking up the stairs to their office, my heart was pounding so loud and I had another attack of the ‘jelly-legs!’

But all that worry was for nothing. The ladies were so lovely. I was at ease within minutes.

The meeting whizzed by.

Later in the week, I went to the BabyMax Wings of Love Ball. It was held in Fitzpatricks Hotel in Kiliney.

An incredibly glamorous event. Lots of celebs were there too. My friend Alison came along with me…girls night out.

We had a blast. Fab food, great music and entertainment and dancing until the wee hours!

A brilliant end to a great week.

In early 2013, I heard from Mothercare that they wanted to become stockists of the Easy Grip Crawl Suit. EEK! Complete excitement. The first delivery was delivered to stores in February!

This blog post is part of a series of firsthand accounts by Ollwyn Moran documenting the beginnings of Creeper Crawlers. Creeper Crawlers is a revolutionary children’s clothing brand best known for its Easy Grip Crawl Suit. Made from 100% cotton and free of harsh chemical dyes, the patent-pending and award-winning Easy Grip Crawl Suit provides developmental benefits for babies ages 6-12 months. Learn more about Creeper Crawlers here

#BabyBrain: Feeding

5 ways to promote crawling2f

What Can You Do to Help Build Your Baby’s Brain?

In this next section I am going to give some age appropriate movements that you can do with your little one in order to help inhibit some of the primitive reflexes and allow for your child to pass through those milestones sequentially. The key with building your baby’s brain is: HAVE PATIENCE –  DO NOT RUSH IT. Try not to compare your child’s development to a friend or family member’s child.

I am a firm believer in getting back to basics when it comes to parenting, or as I call it ‘Retro-Parenting’, less gadgets and more natural movement.

Become that ‘MacGyver Mom’ – use what you have in your house, do not go spending big money on products that have no function or in fact might inhibit your child’s progress. Examples of this are the walkers & door bouncers – they are actually banned in New York and Canada. Early or prolonged use of these actually inhibits the crawling stage and contributes to learning difficulties.

Feeding

While breast feeding is nature’s plan, both you and I know that this does not always work out for various reasons so if you are bottle feeding your baby you should use both your left hand and right hand for holding the bottle and swap the baby’s position to suit this. During breast feeding the baby is changed from the left breast to the right breast and this allows for a lot of sensory stimulation for him/her.    It also allows the baby to grab at clothing etc. with their free hand. This stimulates the corresponding parts in the brain and that is why it is important when bottle feeding to mimic nature and allow for stimulation of both sides of the brain too. This is quick and easy to do and really benefits the brain.

Omega oils are essential for development of the brain and should be included in baby’s diet. There are many varieties available on the market, you need to look for one that is age appropriate and has the purest form of the oils (www.shieldhealth.ie).

Ollwyn Moran is a trained Neurological Developmental Therapist and the founder of Creeper Crawlers, a revolutionary children’s clothing brand best known for its Easy Grip Crawl Suit. Made from 100% cotton and free of harsh chemical dyes, the patent-pending and award-winning Easy Grip Crawl Suit provides developmental benefits for babies ages 6-24 months. Learn more about Creeper Crawlers here