The hearing loss world was incredibly new to me and my husband and I was just trying to catch my breath. Early intervention therapists do a great job of coming to the home and providing great strategies, tips for parents, and resources. However, I still found myself wondering if what I was doing at home was effective and enough. I can imagine that I am not alone in those feelings.
Thankfully, Phonak and Advanced Bionics have taken their amazing music-based early intervention resource and made it accessible to everybody in an easy-to-use app called BabyBeats™. The program is based on a researched approach to helping children develop communication and listening skills through music activities.
In fact, I first heard of BabyBeats in Sayge’s baby group that we attend at an auditory and verbal school called, Child’s Voice. Her therapist, Wendy Deters, introduced us to the program and demonstrated how to use it. All the children in the group really had a fun time. The concept was simple, match movements with the music. Using movements like rocking and tickling. However, just using BabyBeats once every other week for 10-15 minutes simply did not feel enough.
As a result, I was left wishing I could not just do more at home with my children, but feel confident about what I was doing at home.
However, I no longer have to feel that way. BabyBeats is now at my finger-tips all the time as an app on my phone. I can use it in times that work for our family and much more often. Plus, I can feel confident that the activities that I am doing with Sayge are effective with a lot of research behind the program.
The organization of the app is simple. The app breaks down the activities into either baby or toddler activities depending on the age of your child. There are four main activities: movement and music, explore instruments, explore animals, and explore transportation. A parent guide and videos are helpful to learn how to effectively use the program.
Sayge and I are taking the next few weeks to dive in head first into BabyBeats at home. For the first week, we focused on the first section – movement and music. When you click on the movement and music activity it opens to a screen that provides video examples for either babies or toddlers. Developmentally, Sayge falls in-between the age groups, so I watched both and tried to mix the two to find a way that would connect best for Sayge.
One of the challenges I found at first was that I wanted to be more structured in how I used this app. I had this great vision of having our “BabyBeats time” each day. However, when I was more rigid in our structure, I noticed Sayge didn’t respond as well. Once I let go and used the app in a more relaxed way and flowed with Sayge’s pace, she began to respond much better. We used the app in many settings such as our basement. We have a swing in our basement that Sayge absolutely loves. This was a great way for me to use the “rocking” segment with her.
After using the app for just a couple of weeks, we found the experience was extremely connecting and fun. Watching us, you might not realize how much rich language, communication, and listening skills were being addressed and worked on. We laughed, hugged and played. We are excited to dive deeper into the second section – explore instruments and see how Sayge continues to respond, learn, and grow.
You can download BabyBeats right away!
BabyBeats™ is the newest early intervention app by Phonak and Advanced Bionics. It is currently available for download on IOS and Android in the US, Canada, UK, and Switzerland. For more information CLICK HERE.
Let us know what you think of BabyBeats™ in the comments!