Low muscle tone or hypotonia in babies is a medical expression for low muscle tone. When your baby is diagnosed with low muscle tone that means that your baby muscles feel too soft and too relaxed.
Baby low muscle tone is a term that is easily and commonly misunderstood by parents and health professionals alike. It is not widely known but, doctors can diagnose the condition in the first few minutes after birth.
Low muscle tone is often used to explain the difficulties some babies experience performing day by day tasks such as: sitting erect with ease and comfort or have poor endurance, strength and mental stamina.
There is a difference between muscle tone and muscle strength. Muscle tone is the level of tension in your baby muscles as he resting. Muscle strength is the amount of force your baby’s muscle exert against any resistance.
low muscle tone diagnosis.
As we mentioned above doctors can diagnose the condition in the first few minutes of life, but hypotonia may not be diagnosed at birth in most cases. In most cases, you or your doctor will notice your baby condition in the first 2-3 months after birth.
If your baby has low muscle tone and he or she wasn’t diagnosed at birth it will surely be noticeable at the first months of your baby life and by 6 months of age.
Newborns and babies 0-3 months with hypotonia won’t have as strong arm and leg movements as other babies in the first months of life.
Once your family doctor figures out the cause of your baby low muscle tone, he or she will try to treat that condition no matter the reason of hypotonia.
When should I be worried? The signs of Hypotonia
First, you should not be worried. low muscle tone in babies is a well-known syndrome and a treatable one. You should pay attention to your baby and the signs of low muscle tone:
- When your baby may be late achieving major milestones.
- When your baby has poor head control.
- When your baby has trouble sitting erect.
- When your baby tends to sit with his back rounded.
- When your baby sits in the W position and does not like the cross-legged position.
- When your baby lacks core muscles strength and poor core stability.
- When your baby has delays in gross motor skills development.
- When your baby has delays in fine motor skills development.
low muscle tone treatment
Treatment for low muscle tone should be focused on your baby entire body. Your baby can have therapy to strengthen his muscles and improve his coordination as long as you work with him on his entire body and not only parts of the body.
With sensory stimulation, occupational therapy and physical therapy you can treat low muscle tone in a matter of a few months and even weeks.
Once a low muscle tone diagnosis has been made by your doctor, you should start treat the condition, as soon as possible and followed by supportive therapy for the hypotonia. Baby physical therapy can progress motor control and overall body strength.
It is a well-known fact that occupational therapy can help address activities of daily living. Occupational therapy for infants includes physical, mental and sensory stimulation activities.
Home Therapy Exercises for Low Muscle Tone
Tummy time. Tummy time works best so try it daily. Exercise with your baby tummy time technics and plays during his time in tummy time. Build you baby stamina and strength through play time.
Crawling surfaces. Depending on your baby age, exercising crawling on different surfaces can do wonders for your baby and the treatment of low muscle tone at home.
Ball therapy. With the help of a therapy ball, you can do exercises with your baby and work on his body balance and posture.
Ball or Toy. Play with your baby games on the floor, while sitting or standing with the object of reaching to a ball or a toy with his sight, with his hand etc.
low muscle tone in babies is a well-known syndrome and a treatable one so do not be worried. Your family doctor will diagnose low muscle tone and will surely explain all you need to know.
Remember that when treating low muscle tone and exercising at home the exercises should be on your baby entire body and not only on one place.
Newborns and babies with low muscle tone will need a variety of exercises to help them reach their full potential, and they will need the parents love, support and time to get over it.
We have all the information and exercises you need (by age group) on our courses page click here to find out more. We value your thoughts and comments below.