Child Life and Therapeutic Recreation Infant Playroom
Even though we call it a playroom, the work we do here is important. This is where babies learn developmental skills through play activities with the help of Child Life and Therapeutic Recreation Specialists. Your baby will have specific developmental goals, which are tracked and updated as your baby meets those goals.
In the playroom, your baby will be exposed to different types of stimulation to experience the world around them. It’s okay if your baby sleeps or is fussy—it’s still beneficial to get out of their room and have a change of environment.
The playroom is equipped with diapers, clean clothing, and all necessary medical equipment your baby might need. During this time, you are welcome to stay in the playroom with your baby or take a break instead.
Playroom staff are clinical professionals. Certified Child Life Therapists and Certified Recreation Therapists have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in their specialty and have successfully completed a national certification exam.
Infant massage is a great way for you to bond with your child during these difficult times in hospital care. It’s a loving way to communicate with your baby and to build trust and confidence for both baby and caregiver. If you are interested in infant massage instruction or have any further questions, please contact the Child Life and Therapeutic Recreation Staff at 410-578-5307.
A Certified Educator of Infant Massage is on site and available to teach you how to massage your baby. They’ll provide a step-by-step guide and demonstrate the techniques.
Child Life and Therapeutic Recreation Volunteers
Volunteers at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital provide a variety of services ranging from hosting a hospitality cart, providing clerical support to staff and providing comfort, companionship and play for your child.
If you see a volunteer in a teal smock with a hospital badge, that is one of our Child Life and Therapeutic Recreation volunteers. These volunteers receive special training and are under the supervision of the Child Life and Therapeutic Recreation Staff.
All volunteers are at last 18 years old, passed a criminal background check, passed a drug screen, received a flu shot and have been tested for tuberculosis. If you have any questions or concerns about volunteers, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator; Angie Wenman at 410-578-5067.
During your child’s stay here at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, a rehabilitation team may be working with you and your child. That team may consist of three disciplines, physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and/or speech therapy (SLP). Together with Child Life, this team will work with you and your child to address his/her developmental skills.
Each discipline concentrates on a different aspect of your child’s development with some overlap. Every child develops at their own pace so all treatment will be customized specifically to them. Here are some examples of those skills:
PT (Gross Motor skills) focus on movements that include large muscles groups that contribute to head control in sitting or during belly time to crawling and standing
OT (Fine Motor/Visual Perceptual Motor skills) focus on movements that involve the hand and hand-eye coordination such as tracking objects and faces with their eyes to reaching, grasping, toy manipulation between hands and isolated finger pointing
SLP (Speech/Language skills) focus on pre-language sounds which include attending to voices and sounds, beginning to recognize common words to making sounds and responding to hi and bye
*Oral Motor/Feeding skills addressed by both OT and SLP disciplines providing individual interventions to maximize oral feeding skills
We encourage breastfeeding and understand the challenges in breastfeeding while your child is in the hospital. We have onsite dieticians, therapists and nurses who can assist you with questions and offer supportive solutions for both you and your baby.
Here are some resources for moms providing breast milk or breastfeeding:
- Lactation Rooms: We have two comfortable lactation rooms by the parent lounge equipped with a breast pump. If you prefer to pump at bedside, that can be accommodated too. Check out a pump from the “parking lot” on the unit.
- The Warm Team: Lactation counselors, staff dietitians and oral motor therapists are available daily to provide education and support on lactation and breastfeeding.
- Complimentary Meal Service: Moms who are providing breast milk are offered their choice of a complimentary lunch or dinner. Ask your nurse to call the diet office for menus.
- Breast Pumps: Sign up for the MWPH breast pump loaner program or talk to your case manager about obtaining a pump from your insurance provider.
- How do babies transition to breast from tube feeds? Ask to see “Riley’s Story,” a video series on the bedside computers.
- Education Resources: Bedside education is available at every bedside computer. There are also handouts and crib cards available at bedside to provide lactation and breastfeeding information and instruction.
Car Seat Assistance
Please bring in an appropriate car seat one week prior to your baby’s discharge. Some infants require a car seat test to ensure they can tolerate the positioning.
Child Passenger Safety Technicians can assist you in making your baby’s ride home as safe and comfortable as possible. They can answer all of your car seat questions, show you how to correctly secure you child in their seat and provide assistance with installation into your vehicle.
To schedule an appointment for installation, please call 410-578-5307 and leave a message. Car seat installations will be done by appointment only.