Early Childhood Intervention: Building Blocks For Success

January 18, 2023 Children

Birth to age three is a key time of growth. The base is being set for all other learning for the rest of a person’s life. For some children, this learning is harder from the very start because of being born premature or with birth defects or other health problems. These children are sent to early childhood intervention (ECI) right away. For other families, it is not until their child begins to fall behind that they are referred for therapy.
What is early childhood intervention and why is it so important?
Early childhood intervention is a family centered therapy program that helps young children with a developmental delay or disability be the best they can be. All of the therapies are done in the child’s home or daycare.
All 50 states in the U.S. have early intervention services available free for any child who qualifies with a developmental delay or disability. The qualifications vary from state to state.
Children with These Issues May Qualify:
Children with These Issues May Qualify:
Developmental Milestones
As your infant grows, they will learn new skills called developmental milestones. Most children will reach each milestone at a set age. Here are some examples:

The developmental milestones are in the areas of gross motor, fine motor, communication, self-help, cognitive, social and emotional. Some children reach these easily while others have trouble in one or more areas.

When you take your child to well child check-ups, staff will ask you questions about what your child is doing at home. These questions help your doctor know if your child is reaching their developmental milestones. If they do not reach or begins to fall behind on these milestones, early intervention is often suggested. You can also call or email the local early intervention agency and ask that your child be assessed for services; WIC can also refer you.

Early childhood intervention has been shown to:
Helpful Advice
Don’t be afraid to get help. For many parents, having early intervention services in their home changed their child’s life and helped their entire family.

“You are never prepared for all of the needs of a special needs child. I loved having all of the advice from all the different specialized therapists. Parenting is sink or swim and they were my lifeguards right beside me.” McKenzie, mom of child who needed Services

Having a child with developmental delays and other special needs can be hard for families. Therapists can help guide both parents and children through the challenges they face.

“Your child’s success in life depends on what you do as a parent, and with early intervention, they were there to show us how to help our son,” Caitlyn, mom of child who needed Services

Early childhood intervention gives families the building blocks to show parents how to help their children succeed.

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: