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Why would I use a Development Consult for my baby or toddler?

Feel confident in what you're doing to support your child's growth and development - both emotionally and physically.

Getting support for your child or your parenting should not be so complicated.

Unfortunately, it is kinda the world we’re in - complicating parenting AND it can be so challenging (and intimidating) to navigate!

I get it, you’re thinking “I think I could use a little support with X,Y or Z for my child but I don’t think it’s so bad they need OT” or “My pediatrician says it’s fine but it’s still not sitting well in my gut, I’d like another opinion” THIS is what this is here for!

Parents deserve to know what creates a solid foundation for their baby to grow and thrive but there is so much information out there making it confusing. And it’s a lot to sift through, or read, or know what to trust! Also, a lot of times parent’s are looking for help or guidance for the exact stage they’re in but that can be time consuming to find.

Development Consult

A Development Consult is a check in and collaboration between the child’s expert (mama, dad, or caregiver) and me, a pediatric occupational therapist.

It is a time to learn more tools and resources to support your child’s growing brain and body for the stage they’re currently in. It can be used to check in about any concerns or hiccups or generally ask questions about development. The consults are aimed at supporting the youngest of children(babies and toddlers) but can also be beneficial for older children. Usually, by the time your child is past toddler years, they will likely need more specific OT.

A Development Consult is not direct OT services. If I suspect that direct OT services could be of benefit to your child, I will let you know and refer accordingly.

The purpose

To proactively support babies and toddlers to have the best start to life, boost parents’ confidence, AND for this support to be easily accessible for parents. It’s also here to eliminate the “wait and see” method, encourage you to trust your intuition when it comes to raising your child, and gain tools early on.

We know the brain has plasticity and grows an intense amount in the first three years of life. We also know that earlier services are beneficial for a number of reasons - some of which include the plasticity of the brain, less engrained neural pathways or compensatory strategies and therefore faster progress, truly laying the foundation for the brain and body to build off of for all other skills they will learn. Overall, even for small things, the earlier you can support your child, the better. But it’s hard to decipher what “needs support” and what’s just normal growing and learning. Again, that’s what this is for.

Babies are smart. If something is challenging or off, they will find a way to compensate. But over time, these compensatory strategies can cause problems and definitely make the child take the harder route in all they do, leaving less resources for learning, emotional coping, and more. So, let’s lay the foundation now to not make everyday life tasks extra effort and energy for them.

It’s here to eliminate the “wait and see” method, encourage you to trust your intuition when it comes to raising your child, and gain tools early on.

The wait and see method is not ideal

The wait and see method goes like this: You go to a professional (usually the pediatrician) and express a concern about your child. They tell you, “Hmm yes, let’s just wait and see. Sometimes kids grow out of these things.”

I don’t support this, while it COULD be true and it also could not be. And now you’ve wasted time where you could be supporting your baby differently. The wait and see method might alleviate some of your anxiety BUT if your motherly intuition, or your gut, keeps bringing it up, it might be worth exploring more.

And exploring more will give you information, tools, or resources to do something earlier. And we know, the earlier we support children, the better for all involved.

I encourage you to trust your gut, trust yourself. Pursue it.

Traditional options if you want support

Right now in our society you have the following choices if you’re concerned about your child’s development or behavior:

  • Do nothing

  • Tell your pediatrician and maybe get a referral but, unless your concerns are significant, you’ll probably be told they’ll grow out of it, or to “wait and see”

  • Go see an occupational therapist (or speech therapist or physical therapist)

  • Apply for Birth to Three Services (which often require a significant problem in order to qualify for these state services)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big advocate for getting services. OT is a great starting place for so many concerns. An evaluation is just information, not necessarily a commitment to therapy (and not a diagnosis if you’re seeking OT, they cannot diagnose). But it’s a lot to get an evaluation, especially if you’re on the fence about “how bad” what’s going on for your child is. Getting evaluated often requires you looking into insurance coverage, dealing with wait lists, potentially spending a lot of money, etc.

The Development Consult is a great starting place, especially if you’re unsure if services or ongoing therapy is even needed.

Examples of why you might use this service

You might book a consultation for any of the following reasons:

  • You are feeling nervous, uneasy, or lacking confidence with the daily activities you are providing for your child

  • Tummy time is challenging

  • You often wonder, “Is my baby normal?”

  • You’re starting to wonder about their milestone timing - should my baby be doing X yet?

  • You are noticing asymmetry in their movements (i.e. only rolling one way, only using one hand, etc)

  • Your baby seems disinterested in moving to the next milestone

  • You’re feeling nervous about starting solids or food in general

  • You’ve started feeding foods but your baby doesn’t seem interested or you’re generally just nervous about it all

  • You’re wondering, “Do all toddlers act like this?”

  • You’re thinking, “My toddler is having a consistently hard time with eating, dressing, diaper changes, sleep, managing emotions, is this normal?”

  • You want to know how do I stop using the screen as a crutch

  • You would love a boost in confidence

  • You’re getting bored home with your baby all day or wondering if there is more you “should be” doing

How it works

  1. Sign up here

  2. You purchase 12 minutes. That is 12 minutes of your messaging time - you can type, talk, or send a video message. You start by telling me why you’ve signed up/what your greatest concerns are (then the timer stops).

  3. I message you back, which does not take away from your 12 minutes.

  4. And we keep collaborating from there.

  5. After your 12 minutes, we can be done or you can purchase more time!

It’s amazing!

Easily accessible for busy parents when you have your hands full! No scheduling needed. Use your phone or computer. Message me at any time that works for you! Because, yes, I have boundaries with my phone and do not sleep with it in my room either. So a 4am feeding comes around and you remember you have a question, send it over! I will get back to you during my working hours :)

Supporting your child doesn't need to be so complicated

A Development Consult is here for you to feel supported, you to have tools, you to be heard.

And you and your child to thrive.

No more ignoring your gut, no more wait and see.

Confidence and support for you at your convenience !



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