Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Babies and Infants

Author: Circle of Care

Occupational therapy for babies is a vital part of early childhood development. It provides infants and young children with the skills they need to help them reach their developmental milestones in early childhood. Occupational therapy focuses on helping babies and toddlers develop skills in the areas of fine motor, gross motor, cognitive, and play.

What is Occupational Therapy for Babies?

Occupational therapy for babies helps to develop fine motor skills in child development, sensory processing, and self-regulation. The therapist works with the child in a play-based format, providing activities that are tailored to meet their individual needs. Pediatric occupational therapy can also help babies become more independent in their daily functioning, as well as increase their growth and engagement in meaningful occupational tasks such as feeding and even social interactions.

Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Babies

Occupational therapy for infants and babies can provide many benefits. It can help to encourage fine and gross motor skill development, increase sensory processing, stimulate self-regulation in emotions, and promote social engagement.

Enhance Physical Skills

Babies who receive occupational therapy benefit from activities that help them develop the fundamental physical skills needed for everyday tasks. These activities allow therapists to identify challenges and opportunities related to fine and gross motor development, such as strength, coordination, balance, and range of motion.

Improve Sensory Processing

Through occupational therapy, babies learn how to respond appropriately to sensory input in their environment. This helps them better understand cues from their body and surroundings. As a result, occupational therapy can help babies with sensory processing difficulties more easily transition between different activity levels and become more engaged with the world around them.

Increase Self-Regulation

For babies with difficulty self-regulating their emotions or behaviors, occupational therapy is an excellent way to improve their ability to pause and respond to situations. Through occupational therapy, babies learn how to express their emotions appropriately and how to control their behavior in order to stay focused on activities.

Promote Social Engagement

Occupational therapy for babies can help them become better socializers by helping them engage with other people and objects in a safe and meaningful way. By working together with an occupational therapist, babies can practice interacting through play-based activities that help them learn the skills needed for forming relationships.

Early occupational therapy intervention can result in a 33% improvement in fine motor skills in infants.
Source: Journal of Occupational Therapy in Early Childhood

What to Expect During Occupational Therapy for Babies and Infants

Occupational therapy sessions are tailored to the individual needs of your baby. The occupational therapist will use play and activities that focus on helping your baby develop skills related to your concerns and developmental milestones. Each session can last between 30 minutes to an hour and may occur multiple times a week depending on the individual needs of your child.

During the appointment,  the occupational therapist will observe and interact with your baby, as well as provide activities that stimulate the development of physical, sensory, emotional, and social skills. The occupational therapist may also give you suggestions or activities to use at home that help further your baby’s progress between sessions.

Why Begin Early Intervention OT for Infants and Babies?

Babies can begin occupational therapy at any point within the first year of life. Early occupational therapy helps infants and babies develop skills and reach milestones faster, as well as assists with early intervention if your baby has any developmental delays. With occupational therapy, your baby can have the best opportunity to reach their full potential.

Occupational Therapy at Circle of Care

At Circle of Care, occupational therapy services are tailored to meet the individual needs of your baby. Our occupational therapists use play-based activities that encourage fine and gross motor skill development, sensory processing, self-regulation in emotions, and social engagement. We understand the importance of working closely with parents and caregivers to ensure our services are providing the best possible care for your baby’s growing needs. Contact Circle of Care today to get started.



Learn More About Our Pediatric Therapy Services at Circle of Care