We have survived another week in the SPICA. Five down, SEVEN to go. This week was a little easier than last week. Our “schedule” is back to a more normal pace. We’re sleeping a little bit better. And, best of all, I did not have to take anyone to the doctor during Week 5!
I’m so happy to be connecting with quite a few other Hip-Baby parents. I hope I can provide some encouragement and practical tips on my blog. This week, I’m addressing entertainment. I know I was quite worried about how to entertain Sara after she was casted. I’ve found those worries to be mostly unfounded, though, as the weeks unfold.
How to Entertain a Toddler in a Spica Cast
In a nutshell, I’ve found that entertaining my spica baby is pretty much the same as entertaining any toddler. She just can’t walk anymore. So, instead of her getting what she wants, we have to get things for her. Here are some of Sara’s favorite activities that she can do in a spica cast:
1. BOOKS! Read lots of books (and choke the cat) in her bean bag chair.
(Also throwing the books all over the floor is always a fun game!) She also has fun with coloring books and crayons.
2. The wooden activity cube has been a huge hit since she’s figured out how to sit in her cast.
3. SPICA TABLE! From her Spica Table, she can eat, play with puzzles, read books, throw crayons overboard. If you’re handy and would like to make your own spica table, Trent over at Tattered Angels has plans he’ll email you! You can find Trent at the DDH Facebook page or at his blog. If you aren’t handy, lots of people have spica tables to give away if you’re lucky enough to live in the right area. I see posts all the time for them on the hip-baby yahoo group. Or, you can buy them already made at Ivy~Rose Spica Chairs.
4. MUSIC! Playing the piano and other musical instruments has also been a huge hit. Great friends of ours sent Sara the Melissa & Doug Band in a Box which she loves. Turning on the radio, listening to music, and dancing is also a lot of fun for her.
5. GET OUT! It’s easy to hole up inside, but getting out of the house is really important for us. Taking walks has been a great distraction when she’s been fed up with everything else. It’s getting quite cold in Eastern Iowa so we have to bundle up well – but it’s doable. Sara fits in two of my strollers: my double jogger (which only fits her and her cast right now so big sissy has to ride her bike) and the umbrella stroller. I have to put pillows against the back of the strollers and make the straps as big as they go, but she fits!
She also fits in my Beco Carrier. It takes a little effort to get her in and out since she won’t bend, and she’s super duper heavy, but the carrier has been great for trips to the store and other outside activities where the strollers won’t roll.
6. BOXES have been super! She can get in them, color on them, use them for peek-a-boo, and push them around now that she’s army crawling.
7. Finally, desperate times call for desperate measures. When all else fails, electronic devices have been a saving grace. Sara loves to play on the computer, the iPad, real cell phones, old real phones, and watch a small amount of TV. I try to use these things sparingly, but sometimes we all need a break. These Youtube music videos by casperbabypants have really been fun for Sara.
She still throws some fits, but overall, she’s very happy. She is 18 months, after all. 18 month olds throw fits, right? As long as we anticipate her needs and get her what she wants, we all have fun.
We have our first follow-up doctor appointment on Dec 14 and Sara’s cast is supposed to be cut down at that time. I’m curious how things will change with her “new” cast.
If you are a parent facing a spica cast and have a particular question or a veteran spica parent with a great tip, please email me! I’d love to help answer your questions or hear your tips! You can read the rest of our hip dysplasia journey here.