In This Issue:
  • Summer Camp Wrap-up
  • 10 Things to Do Before School
  • Bedtime Routines 
  • Strategies to Help for Transitions 
  • Babies in Containers  

August 2017

154 South Livingston Ave., Suite 204,  Livingston, NJ, 07039 


   1. Review your child's IEP or 504 Plan

   2. Scout out the School - arrange for a walk  through with your child to locate classroom,  lunchroom, gym, bathrooms and nurse's  office.

   3. Organize School Systems TOGETHER  - color code folders, label items, locker  organizers, etc.
   4. Create a Home Staging Area - an area to  store backpacks, lunch bags, sneakers,  sports equipment.
   5. Stock up on School Supplies.
   6. Plan your Child's after-school activities to  ensure you are not over programming them.
   7.Schedule therapies, tutors, homework  helpers.
   8. Make a Calendar with your Child.
   9. Review your Child's Medication.
   10.Set Learning Goals TOGETHER.


Container Baby Syndrome is a real thing.
Baby containers give caregivers a break - and we all need a break once in a while. Between car seats (when used outside of a car), strollers, bumbo seats, bouncy swings and vibrating seats, options are nearly endless. The obvious benefit is the convenience, but overuse can have a negative effect on your infant's development.  

From the time they are born, babies need the space and freedom to move around and use their natural reflexes. These reflexes not only help your baby to survive the first months of life outside the womb, but with the right environment, they help get your baby moving.

Encouraged by the Back to Sleep Initiative in 1994, parents were urged to put their babies on their backs to sleep to reduce SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). When paired with hours of waking time in containers, this kind of prolonged immobilization over time can lead to flat head syndrome, delayed milestones, weakened muscles and decreased coordination.
To counteract the effects of sleeping on their backs, tummy time is essential. Tummy time (when babies are put on their stomachs and supervised by an adult) has many advantages including taking pressure off of the head, allowing freedom of movement and exploration, building arm muscles and more.
If your baby spends too much time in a container, they may express unhappiness by crying during tummy time - this position requires them to exert more energy. Work and play in the tummy position strengthens muscles and fosters the development of movements and coordination.  
PT's recommend supervised tummy time several times a day. We also encourage caregivers to keep babies out of containers as much as possible.
So you may be asking yourself "what about the device called  The Bumbo ?" Even though the baby is not on their backs in this device, the seat forces a sitting position before the child may be developmentally ready to sit. This decreases their opportunity to develop the muscle strength necessary for crawling and creeping. 
Remember, babies are born to move and develop along a specific sequence of physical milestones. Each stage provides them with the necessary foundation for the next level of development. Providing your baby with the opportunity to develop naturally means putting them down on the floor and giving them your attention. While it's important to give yourself (as caregiver) a break once in a while, it's also critical to provide babies with enough tummy time to counteract all the time spent on their backs. To find out more about Container Bay Syndrome, visit the 

Bedtime Routine for Success 

Parents can already picture those first mornings of the school year: the challenge of dragging cranky kids out of their beds after two months of mellow summer mornings. Each year, many of us say we'll do it differently. We will work with biology: dimming the lights and pulling down the curtains.  We will remember the power of a good bedtime routine. But the spontaneity of summer, extra hours of daylight, and warm summer breezes beckon us to ditch routines and enjoy late family nights.  
Lack of sleep can affect kids ability to learn, focus, and ability to handle emotions. Research suggests that children need 10-12 solid hours of sleep; teens need at least 9 hours. A regular bedtime routine triggers a child's natural urge to sleep. Even if you don't kick back into an early bedtime routine until the night before school begins, make this the year you prioritize sleep for your whole family! And once you've chosen a bedtime, agree to unplug one hour earlier!
Here are some tips for getting kids back to a sensible bedtime:
  • Optimally, begin adjusting bedtime at least two weeks before school.
  • Adjust bedtime gradually, in 15 minute increments each day.
  • For younger kids, the most effective routine includes a warm bath and reading a book.  Skip TV and rough housing which have a stimulating effect.
  • For older children, have a sit down meeting to discuss the importance of being well rested.
  • Plan a bedtime routine together, make a story book or sequence chart using pictures and/or words.

Strategies to Help Children With Transitions
by Amy Ladetsky, OT

Plan ahead: go over the schedule of activities for that day the night beforehand and again that morning.  For younger children, you can show them a visual picture schedule or cards of the activities.


Use verbal cues that your child can understand.  Younger children don't understand abstract time frames like 5 or 10 minutes.  Use more concrete references like, "three more times down the slide". Then help your child count, reminding them how many times are left after each turn.  


Establish and maintain regular schedules and routines at home. When children know what to expect and can anticipate upcoming transitions, they can maintain a sense of organization and order leading to smoother transitions.


Provide comfort objects.  A child can feel more secure with transitions if he or she can take his or her favorite blanket or stuffed animal with him.


Spin the transition positively.  Some parents refer to the break in routine as an adventure.  The adventure might be a trip to the grocery store where he can push the shopping cart.  


Use humor!  Humor can be magical for transforming a cranky child into a laughing one.  Try a silly comment ("You don't want to get into the car?  How about we let your baby sister drive?  Think she could get us to Grandma's house faster?").  Or you can tickle her by saying, "Maybe the tickle monster has to put your jacket on for you?". 


Be honest and detailed about what lies ahead.  Prepare your child for doctor visits and other potentially unpleasant situations rather than hoping for the best and springing it on him at the last minute.  When you can, familiarize a young child with the situation, such as going on an airplane or going to the dentist.


Use a timer! Time is a really abstract concept, so translating it into something visual will help signal that a transition is coming up.


Allow for adequate time for children to engage in their preferred activities without interruption.


Make up your own transition ritual appropriate for the child's age or occasion.  It could include packing up, washing hands, having a drink, singing a song such as, "Go home, go home, now is when we go-o-o home".


Bribe them with something they were going to get anyway. For example, "When we go home, you can play with your favorite trucks" or "It is time for an ice cream break or a lollipop."



We've had a great Camp this summer !

Our therapeutic camp, held in August, was a huge success. Special thanks to OTs, Grace Malone, Mary Ann Loreng and Marjie Hansen and our PT, Shoshana Newman for running the camp. We could not have done it without the help of our incredibly creative and enthusiast student volunteers, Kim, Julie, Summer, and Brooke.
Themes this year including Beach Day , Dinosaurs, Circus and lots more, helped the sensory rich activities have a wonderful focus. There were songs, sensory, fine and gross motor activities, creative crafts and snacks but most of all, there were lots of smiles and laughter. Some of the many highlights are pictured here. We look forward to future camps during school vacation weeks. 

 We love hearing from you!
 Please let us know if you are interested in joining our Camp over December Break. 
Call (973) 535-5010 


DIY Naturally Sweetened Gummy Bears

You can make gummy bears in almost any flavor, using different combinations of freshly squeezed juices or pureed fruits. 

NOTE: Do not use pineapple - it contains enzymes that break down gelatin so it will not set properly. 
Feel free to adjust ingredients and sweetness to your liking.

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey 
  • 3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
  • gummy bear silicone mold
  • ⅔ cup pureed strawberries (make sure they're thawed if using frozen)
  • ⅓ cup filtered water 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey 
  • 3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
  • gummy bear silicone mold. 


Combine all ingredients except gelatin in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir with a whisk.

2. Gradually whisk gelatin into the mixture, stirring constantly. (Avoid dumping gelatin into pan all at once, which will cause big globs of gelatin to remain in finished product.)

3. Continue heating over medium-low heat until all ingredients are well combined and gelatin is completely melted. (The mixture will change from a grainy, jelly-like consistency to a more glassy, smooth consistency when gelatin is all melted.)

4. Place gummy bear mold on a cookie sheet (which makes it easier to move without spilling once filled). Pour mixture into silicone mold and place in freezer for about 20-30 minutes.

5. Pop gummy bears out of mold and store in an airtight container. They will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks. 



Ages: 8 yrs old and up

A fun and adorable fidget toy. Here are some key features: 


Endless Fun: Children can squeeze the bean out over and over again when they are stressed or bored. 

Funny Design: The pea in the middle of the pod has a very cute facial expression.



Family Friendly: Appropriate for older children and adults. Eco-friendly material has no bad effect on body. 


Available now in our office 
for $5 each


The Night Before Kindergarten
   Age: Pre-school- Gr. 3   

A lovely book by Natasha Wing. It's the first day of school! Join the kids as they prepare for kindergarten, packing school supplies, posing for pictures, and the hardest part of all--saying goodbye to Mom and Dad. But maybe not so hard once they discover just how much fun kindergarten really is!

Colorful illustrations by Julie Durrell illuminate this uplifting takeoff on the classic Christmas poem.

Available in paperback for $4.74 


Sleepy Little Yoga
  Ages: 1-4 yrs.

A relaxing yoga sequence for toddlers

Here is a soothing sequence of nine simple yoga poses perfect for helping young children to wind down before nap or bedtime. Toddlers will love
moving along with Yoga Baby in poses that mimic nighttime animals-from bats and owls to tired bunnies and sleepy bees. This interactive picture book also includes useful information for parents and educators, and photographic
demonstrations of each pose.

        Bright, colorful, and             accessible, 
Sleepy Little Yoga is a great way for little ones to enjoy the benefits of yoga.

Available for $11.68 from


The Amazing Wubble Ball
  Age: 6 yrs and up   

Frank Landi (of NSI International-inventor of the Wubble Ball) recalls..
"o ne day, while blowing giant bubbles in front of our house, one of my kids said "I hate when my bubbles pop! I wish I could play with them!" 

After three years and thousands of man hours of research & development, he came up with the amazing Wubble bubble ball.  
It looks like a bubble...and moves like a bubble-but won't pop like a bubble! You can kick it, whack it, throw it, bounce it-and even sit on it! The Wubble floats, wobbles, dribbles, spins, smashes-and makes really WACKY SOUNDS!!! 

So what makes the Wubble bubble ball so special? It's made from top-secret super-thermo-stretch-tacular stuff that makes it squishy, squashy, super soft and lightweight and allows it to be inflated to a gigantic THREE FEET TALL. Use the battery-operated air pump (included) to inflate your Wubble bubble ball in just minutes.

Available at local stores or for $22.99 

Parenting Potentials Workshop Series

"No More Food Fights"
Tips and Strategies for Happy, Healthy Family Eating

presented by:
Allison Topilow, MS, RD, CEDRD, CDN
Tuesday, October 17  at 6:45 PM

Space is limited. 
Free and open to the public.
Call (973) 535.5010