Book Review: BabyGym: Brain and Body Gym for Babies

Babygym shows parents and caregivers how to make every precious moment spent with baby really count. The first two years are brimful of opportunities for movements and play to ensure the optimal development of baby's brain and limbs, senses and reflexes, social and language skills, and feelings and thought processes. This engaging, easy-to-follow guide will enable you to make the most of those vital early-life experiences through brain and body gym.

Here South African Brain Gym expert Melodie de Jager applies the same simple yet powerful principles underlying her successful adult books, Brain Gym for All and Mind Dynamics, to the effective brain and bodily development of babies. Babygym is an investment in your child's future.

Melodie de Jager lives in Johannesburg and is a South African expert on Brain Gym®. She hosts regular corporate workshops and trains teachers and therapists full time. Melodie is often quoted in the media and is much in demand as guest speaker.


*Category: Non Fiction
*ISBN: 9780798143257
*Release Date: 02-02-2004
*Format: Soft cover, 96 pp
*Publisher: Human & Rousseau (Pty) Ltd

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Success Through Play™ comments:

You have the chart of milestones posted on the refrigerator and now you may be wondering what simple activities you can you introduce that will help your baby reach these milestones? We have found the perfect book for you-babygym: brain and body gym for babies by Melanie De Jager with the foreword by Rita Edwards, Faculty for Brain Gym International and Occupational Therapist. This one-of-a-kind book offers parents insight into a baby's development and suggests optimal activities and exercises to maximize physical, sensory, emotional, cognitive and social development of your baby during the first year of life. Don't let this thin book with less than 100 pages turn you off. It is jam packed with valuable information and outlines simple, fun ways to play with your baby that are developmentally appropriate and do not require expensive equipment/toys.

The modern age of television and computers has resulted in a generation of children growing up with limited opportunities to engage in active play, which is critical for normal development. Parents think that buying expensive high tech gadgets are the key to stimulating their baby's development, when in actual fact, many high tech products can do more harm than good. The American Academy of Pediatrics advocates that children under the age of 2 years should not be exposed to any screen time, including television, computers or video games. Consult with any competent pediatric occupational therapist or physical therapist/physiotherapist and they will tell you that the best way to optimize your baby's physical development is to ensure that your baby receives plenty of supervised tummy time when he/she is awake, coupled with free play on a mat, with simple toys available to encourage baby to exercise his muscles and build his foundational skills. "Containers" such as strollers, bouncers, car seats and other equipment are passive devices and do not promote active play in babies. They should be used for short periods of time only. Many parents tote their baby around the library, grocery store and the street in their car seat! Your baby should only be placed in his car seat when he is in the car! Instead, invest in a soft carrier for shopping trips and running errands which will allow mom and dad to have their hands free and allow baby to exercise his muscles!

The author stresses limiting the time that your baby is placed in a "container" and instead replacing it with plenty of floor time, where baby can move around freely and be actively involved in play. In addition, principles of "Sensory Integration" are drawn upon from Jean Ayres, which will teach parents how to stimulate the vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile system of the infant.

At the back of this book, you will find "Guidelines for Quick Reference". The author summarizes the sequence of development that your baby will follow from birth to 1 year of age, highlighting the importance and benefits of the crawling stage, which are often underrated. Parents will no doubt be referring to this guide to monitor their baby's development in conjunction with regular well baby visits. The author stresses that each baby develops on his/her time line and that there is a wide range in normal development.

Many new moms and dads who have not been around babies will typically have very little knowledge about how their baby will typically develop during the first year of life and in addition, may be at a loss for how to play with their baby to maximize their baby's development. This book will teach new parents about "development 101" and provide them with simple, easy-to-follow activities that they can do with their baby! Even experienced parents will marvel at this book and will be impressed with the suggested activities which are simple to do and pack a punch where development is concerned.

This book will make a FANTASTIC baby shower gift that will empower moms and dads and ensure that their baby's first year is fill with fun filled activities that will promote development!


Emm said...

This books wonderful and will make a very special baby gift. I hadn't heard of it until now. Thank you!

Jan said...

Thank you for this review. This book sounds just what I am looking for. I have not been around babies or kids and am looking for simple activities that don't require expensive equipment.