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Title: The Truth About Tummy Time: A Parent's Guide to SIDS, the Back to Sleep Program, Car Seats and MoreAuthor: Stephanie J. Pruitt, PT, CKTP Publisher: Author House; Number of pages: 79 Reviewed by: Barbara Ziegler CPO, FAAOP
Stephanie Pruitt, a pediatric physical therapist, has written an informative and practical primer for parents of newborns that can also be used by pediatricians, pediatric therapists, and craniofacial teams. It covers developmental milestones for the first year of life, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the Back to Sleep Program, the rising incidence of torticollis and plagiocephaly, and practical advice to help parents keep their infant safe while encouraging development and avoiding behaviors that may slow progress or lead to deformational plagiocephaly.
Pruitt opens by outlining normal development milestones for infants and the importance of motion in an unrestricted environment in achieving these milestones. She covers the role of reflexes in instigating movement in the early months of life. The author also focuses on "tummy time" and unconfined motions that optimize the physical patterns of movement.
The author reviews the current research and theories on the causes of SIDS and discusses screening tests that can find the health issues that increase the risk of death for an infant. She highlights the difference between accidental suffocation and SIDS and how the safe sleeping environment recommended in the Back to Sleep Program reduces infant mortality.
The last three chapters cover the increase in diagnosis of torticollis, plagiocephaly, and developmental delays in infant populations. Each diagnosis is described and illustrated, making it easy for parents to understand. Pruitt outlines the common causes of plagiocephaly and provides practical advice for its prevention and intervention. She lays out the warning signs for gross motor, fine motor, hearing, vision, and vestibular developmental delays and explains how confinement plays a role in the onset of these delays.
In summary: The Truth About Tummy Time is a well-written book. While it is longer than most individuals can read in a single sitting, the comprehensiveness and importance of the material make it worth the time. Ideally, every expectant parent would read this book over the course of their pregnancy as Pruitt's practical advice becomes a "how to" manual to optimize an infant's development. The author presents complex medical information in a manner that parents can understand. She removes the fear parents have of tummy time and helps them comprehend an infant's need for unconfined movement. For members of the craniofacial team, the book is an excellent resource worthy of space on your bookshelf.