DeveloBaby Preferred Side

Online Physical Therapy exercise program for babies with a preferred side, banana shape or plagiocephaly. The program includes side-specific, easy to follow exercises explained in text and shown on video with real babies. The exercises can be used from newborn and until your baby can roll independently from back to tummy.

  • Prioritized, simple exercises
  • Designed for busy families
  • Illustrated with pictures & videos
  • Instant & perpetual access
  • Secure payment with QuickPay

29.00 USD

(inclusive of all taxes, VAT and fees)

Program description

Developed by Danish pediatric physical therapist Maria Schultz Appelt, this program is for babies who have a preferred side, a banana shape, plagiocephaly and/or are asymmetrical in their motor development. The program can be used from newborn and until the baby can independently roll from back to tummy. All exercises have been developed according to current professional standards and best practices and are thoroughly described in text and shown on videos with real babies. All text, images and videos are adapted to the selected preferred side (right or left), so make sure to choose the correct program version (see frequently asked questions).

If you have any questions about the program or are unsure about anything, please send me a message (perhaps including a short video of your baby) via my Instagram @develobaby or email at maria@develobaby.com.

Note: if your baby has symmetrical flat head, I recommend that you consider the program DeveloBaby Back Dominance.

What is a Preferred Side?

A preferred side means that the baby prefers to use one side of the body more, both for motor and sensory tasks. This means that the muscles on the preferred side are easier for the brain to activate and the baby’s sensory life is stronger on that side.

Once a preferred side is established, it will gradually become stronger if the other side continues to not be used. This happens quickly because a baby will always go to where there is least resistance. They will not choose to turn the head to the left if there’s less resistance to the right and if smell, sound light etc is easier to process to the right. It’s a simple “use it or lose it” situation!

The treatment for a preferred side is to strengthen the muscles and senses to the difficult side. This is done over time through daily exercises, all of which you find in this program.

shop preferred side faq1

What is a banana shape?

Many babies tilt their head to one side and sometimes also bend their whole body that way. They have what I call “Banana shape”. Some people also call it a C shape or a one-sided fixed lateral flexion. The side on which the body is shorter determines the baby’s banana shape direction, left or right. There is an entire section in this program with the relevant exercises for treating Banana shape.

shop preferred side faq2

What is plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly is an asymmetrical flattening of the back of the head, which is a very common side effect of preferred side. This is (obviously) because the baby lies with the head mostly to one side. The degree to which the skull is flattened varies from baby to baby. Some babies have larger fontanelles (soft spots) and therefore a more malleable skull, while others can have a significant preferred side but not become flat.

If a baby has a preferred side and thus gets more pressure on one side of the skull, it is important to take measures to prevent plagiocephaly. The program also includes exercises and advice both on how to prevent and treat plagiocephaly.

shop preferred side faq3

Ofte stillede spørgsmål til DeveloBaby Preferred Side

Treatment for a preferred side consists of strengthening the baby’s muscles and sensory skills to the difficult side. This is done through daily exercises over time. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for a preferred side. It is simply not possible to increase muscle strength and sensory awareness with passive treatments alone or with just a couple of hours effort. The exercises need to be done over time (from a week to a few months, depending on the severity).

Before buying the program, make sure you know which side, your baby prefers to look to. This is what determines which side you should buy. Always look from your baby’s perspective when assessing whether your baby’s preferred side is right or left. If your baby prefers to sleep with their head to:

  • their right side, then your baby’s preferred side is right and you should choose right when purchasing the program.
  • their left side, then your baby’s preferred side is left and you should choose left when purchasing the program.

If your baby does not have a preferred side to look to but only has a so-called Banana shape, where the body is bent to one side, you can choose either of the preferred side programs. In both programs you will find two sections for banana shape – one for the right side and one for the left. In the beginning of each of these two sections, you will see a video that shows babies with the particular banana shape of the section.

No, the exercises are general strengthening exercises, but it is important that you order the correct version of the program. If you do exercises every day for the side that is already the strongest, you will obviously make the problem worse. Ask me if you have read the info here and are still not sure which side to choose.

Because I know that many people find it overwhelming to do the exercises in their daily lives, I have organized the exercises in order of priority. The most important exercises are at the top. With targeted exercises that you do as part of all the little things you do with your baby during the day anyway, you can usually break the preferred side pretty quickly and get your baby back on track.

The program is about strength and sensory training that will reteach your baby to use the non-preferred side. The exercises are based on evidence and best practice in the Danish Health care system which is one of the best in the world. However, there are some babies who will need individualized adjustments in addition to the exercise program. This is usually the case if the preferred side is particularly pronounced or if there are special circumstances surrounding the baby. However, strength training for the difficult side is always relevant and will work in the vast majority of cases.

If your baby has only a banana shape, it doesn’t matter if you purchase the Preferred Side program version right or left, as both versions of the program contain all the side-specific banana shape exercises.

The skull is malleable as long as the fontanelles are open. For some, they are almost closed by 7-8 months of age, while others still see a clear difference in skull shape with exercises and positioning by 1.5 years of age. It is very difficult to find statistics on this in studies, so there is a lot of different opinions out there. But the fact is that it varies. In my experience, it’s worth working on as long as you start treatment before the age of 9 months. The sooner you start, the more likely it is that the head shape will be completely corrected. As the pressure is removed from the flat side, the body will gradually return to its starting point. But it won’t happen in a day or a week. It takes time.

Unfortunately, it’s a common myth that the shape of the head will eventually correct itself and become round without exercises and positioning. This is only true if there is no longer a preferred side. If there is still a preferred side, the head will in fact NOT correct itself. Therefore, you must work with the preferred side exercises in conjunction with the positioning advice to be successful.

Yes, there is a section in the program with specific exercises and measures if your baby has plagiocephaly.


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Disclaimer

All content on DeveloBaby.com is based on recognized professional standards in Denmark, and you can expect them to be in line with the advice you receive in the public health system. If you find that your child has pronounced sleep or motor challenges, or that there is a lack of effect from the general exercises, I recommend that you make an appointment with me, either in person or online, so that I can customize the program for your child. If your child is unwell, please always contact your health care provider or physician. Read full disclaimer…