Dr. Shannon on “Best toys for 18- to-24-month-olds” Baby Center

Our founder, Shannon Davis, was recently featured in an article titled, “Best toys for 18-to-24-month-olds” for Baby Center.


Check out her excerpt below and her insight on what toys she thinks are most appropriate for development and entertainment!


Your 18- to 24-month-old is an amazing creature. Newly mobile, incredibly inquisitive, and increasingly independent, your toddler lives in a magical world where reality and fantasy intermingle, and pretend play takes on a new luster.

At the same time, your child is building other skills: “Gross motor skills will evolve: jumping and running,” says Shannon Davis, a San Diego-based physical therapist who specializes in developmental disabilities. “Fine motor skills will be refined: Turning pages in a book, scribbling, and twisting door knobs. Living skills will develop: Self-feeding with utensils, helping with dressing, and putting on shoes.” Davis advises toys that are “multisensory, entertaining, and facilitate learning.”

Below you can find helpful information on what to look for when buying toys for your 18-to-24-month-old:

You may notice, for instance, that your 18- to 24-month-old rarely sits still. Instead, they’re running, hopping, and trying to climb everything in sight. Toys that are dedicated to large muscle development are ideal. Look for toys that allow children to climb, bounce, ride, push, and pull. “Whole body movements support motor planning and coordinating the right and left sides. Foam building blocks (sofa cushions), hula hoop, bouncy ball, and balance bikes are great options,” says Davis.


Dr. Shannon PT Speaking Sessions

Dr. Shannon PT had a lot to say during 2018! This year, get ready to continue learning about important topics such as child development, the right selections in baby gear, child motor and sensory skills, the importance of play, and take-home tips. If you are heading to any of these shows in 2019, make sure to check out Dr. Shannon PT’s speaking session!

  • KidCon Orange County – August 16 & 17, 2019
  • MommyCon San Diego – November 9, 2019

And more to be added soon!


The Importance of Baby Mobility

Check out our new blog post featured in the Best of Bump Club Expert Advice section!

Click on the link to read and share!



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Say no to W sitting

Nurture your baby’s growth and development this holiday season. Encourage them to sit with criss crossed legs or side sit while playing on the floor with all their new toys! A baby often develops a tendency to W sit early on due to crawling and kneeling with the knees positioned outside of the hips. Prolonged W sitting leads to changes in the hip, knee and ankle joints. A baby who continues to W sit as a toddler can have delayed or impaired walking, poor posture and balance. Have a child who likes to W sit? No problem! Encourage them to sit in other positions. At first it might challenging if your child’s hips have loss their flexibility. But continued practice sitting in other positions will allow your child’s body to adapt.

Comparison of Walking Devices

My baby is standing and ready to walk.  There are so many choices, which one should I choose?

Let us take a look:

Seated walkers and exercisers.  For these options you are able to lift your baby and place them in a seat that is surrounded by an outer frame.  This way your baby can move from full standing to partially standing (the body weight is distributed between the seat and their legs.)  If your baby is walking then they get some more movement throughout their legs and trunk.  Watch carefully, your baby’s natural movement for walking is being limited by the seat and overall frame of the toy.  These options also provide lots of bells and whistles to help keep your baby entertained while they are contained in this type of toy.  Research has also shown that prolonged use of a sling seat walker/exerciser may also lead to hip dysplasia (abnormal formation of the hip joint) and dysfunction can lead to delayed motor development.

Seated jumpers.  This option is typically hung in a doorway/frame or a handle bar that is physical held by an individual.  A sling seat is affixed to straps that hang down from the overhead structure.   Seated jumpers seem like a great way to allow your baby to be contained and exercise by jumping up and down.  However, most babies’ legs are not ready for the additional force that is applied to the legs when jumping.  Research has shown excessive stress on the bones can cause little breaks know as stress fractures.   This is why in nature we learn to walk and progress to jumping.  Not jump before we walk!

Pushed wheeled walkers.  These fun toys work well once a child is independently walking.  All babies love to push things.  However, if a baby is not independently walking a push wheeled walker is difficult to access and control.  A baby learning to walk needs help with their stability and balance.  A baby learning to walk with a push wheeled walker has a tendency to move too fast and begins to loose their balance.  In an attempt to stabilize their body a baby will hold onto the grip bar for balance.  However, the increased holding/pushing of the grab bar tends to make the wheeled walker move faster forward causing the baby to fall.

Little Balance Box.  A fresh new approach to assisting a baby develops their balance and walking skills.  The little balance box was inspired by babies leaning to walk as they pushed chairs and moved furniture.  A baby wants to be able to freely move and explore their environment.   The little balance box was designed with the baby in mind.  No seat to restrict their whole body movement.  No crazy lights and sounds.  The entertainment comes from being able to move, interact and learn about their environment.  No rolling wheels.  Springs in the feet ensure the little balance box stays with your baby.   A baby learning to walk will lean more on the top surface of the little balance box.  The increased pressure on the top causes the springs to compress increasing the contact between the feet and the floor.  The increased contact creates a braking/slowing mechanism.  This unique feature works with your baby.  As your baby becomes more stable and proficient with walking they lean less on the top surface.  Therefore, creating less contact between the feet and floor.  The springs in the feet also allow the little balance box to be used safely on carpet, tile and wood floors.

Which walker/exerciser is the best choice for your baby?


Shannon Davis PT, DPT

Toe Walking vs Heel to Toe Walking

Toe walking is a common occurrence in toddlers.  As the baby grows and develops, their walking technique should normalize.  A normal walking pattern includes the heel strike as a step is taken.  Then, as the toddler places their foot flat their body weight transitions over their foot.  The final stage occurs as the heel begins to lift off the ground and the toddler’s weight is transitioned into the toes for push off.  Taking a step requires a harmony of balance, strength and coordination.

It is important to be mindful of these foot dynamics as your child is developing and learning to walk.  Seated walkers create an increased tendency for toe walking and decreased opportunity to practice normal heel to toe walking.   The little balance box facilitates a natural heel to toe walking pattern by allowing the baby to move freely.

Shannon Davis PT, DPT

Container Baby or Safe Baby? Do you know the difference?

As a mother and physical therapist I loved having options for my babies to use while I was running around the house trying to get things done.  I often relayed on baby gear to keep my baby in place.  However, I quickly realized I was actually hindering my baby’s development and growth.  When a baby is strapped in or on something they are limited in their abilities to practice their motor skills.  Yes, the arms and legs are moving around.  But whole body coordinated movements are not occurring.

A “container baby” surrounded by baby gear appears safe.  However, a baby restricted multiple times a day and/or for prolonged periods of time has limited opportunity to practice their coordinated whole body movements.   The decreased practice opportunities can lead to delays in growth and development.  Therefore, a “safe baby” is a baby who has developed the strength, endurance and coordination to scoot, crawl and walk safely in their environment.

Shannon Davis PT, DPT

Recap of the Best of Bump Club and Beyond Expo in Chicago!

The little balance box had a great time in Chicago this past weekend. We got to show expectant and new mommies the features and benefits of the first no-wheeled baby walker on the market! Their feedback was great! Many moms and dads purchased their little balance box on the spot, while others added us to their baby registries! We also had the opportunity to meet with the Baby Guy NYC for the 3rd time!

Take a look at the pictures!

Photographed by Thomas | © 2016 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com

Photographed by Thomas | © 2016 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com

Photographed by Thomas | © 2016 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com

Photographed by Thomas | © 2016 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com

Photographed by Thomas | © 2016 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com

Photographed by Thomas | © 2016 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com

Photographed by Thomas | © 2016 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com

Photographed by Thomas | © 2016 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com

Photographed by Thomas | © 2016 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com

Photographed by Thomas | © 2016 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com

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