Floor Time Play Baby Class and Testimonials

Interested in attending this FREE weekly morning class, Wednesdays at 9:30am EST? 
(Emails go out Monday or Tuesday prior to class)
Feel free to email MaritaBlack@gmail.com with any questions.


I couldn’t be more thankful for Dr. Black hosting these floor time classes during the pandemic. As a new mom back in February I was struggling because my little one hated tummy time! Not only does Dr. Black provide sound insight on floor time she also provides a safe space for parents to ask questions and interact. Dr. Black’s Floor Time class has been a blessing during this time of social isolation.
-Jen and Kora (5 month old)

"My baby boy and I have really been enjoying Dr. Marita’s floor time class!!! We have learned a variety of ways to have fun while also maximizing his development through floor play! The class has been a great way to connect with other new moms during this pandemic, while also learning a lot! Dr. Marita is extremely knowledgeable, and she takes care in answering everyone’s questions and addressing individual concerns! "
-Liz F "mom of a 5 month old"

"Dr. Marita's classes have been a wonderful weekly time for me and my son to bond and for me to learn how I can make the most of our playtime. I've learned how to help my son develop the right muscles to help him strengthen his head control, and learn to roll. It is special time we look forward to each week!
-Laura C. "mom of a 6 month old"

"I loved the class you offered. I didn't know that it was important for baby's knees and feet to curl up toward the mouth...we've been doing the "kick" work you taught us and I see a difference in my daughter's exploration of her feet. Thank you!"
- Kristin "mom of a 13-week old"

"Dr. Marita creates a warm and supportive environment for new parents to learn. The floor play class teaches parents fun ways to maximize tummy time and floor play and make it enjoyable and enriching for baby. Each class, parents have an opportunity to ask questions and get non-judgmental advice from Dr. Marita as well as other parents. I definitely recommend this class to any new parent looking to bond with baby, connect with other new parents and learn new ways to enjoy floor play with your baby."
-Jen B. "mom of a 5 month old"

"Love these classes! Thank you so much for offering these during these unprecedented times!"
-K.B. "mom of a 4-month old"

Now Offering Craniosacral Therapy

I am now offering Craniosacral Therapy (CST) to adults and children over 9 years of age.
After seeing the dramatic affects of CST on my newborn daughter,  I knew I had to pursue training and learn CST.  I am excited to offer this amazing treatment to others.  I hope to focus on pre and postpartum mamas, as well as pediatrics but anyone can benefit from this very gentle therapy.

I can't explain CST any better than the Upledger Institute which helps to train practitioners to perform this alternative therapy.   Here is their definition and medical information:

CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system - comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.
By complementing the body's natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including:
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Motor-Coordination Impairments
  • Colic
  • Autism
  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Scoliosis
  • Infantile Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Emotional Difficulties
  • Stress and Tension-Related Problems
  • Fibromyalgia and other Connective-Tissue Disorders
  • Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
  • Neurovascular or Immune Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Post-Surgical Dysfunction

Email me at Marita.Black@gmail.com to book an in-home session.  

Why Would My Baby Need Physical Therapy?

Why would my baby or toddler need to be seen by a skilled Pediatric Physical Therapist?

1. "My baby has a flat head."
Babies heads are supposed to be nice and round.  If you notice flattening of your babies head, that may be a sign that they are not getting enough tummy time or that they have torticollis.  (see below)

2. "My baby is showing early signs of a hand preference."
Babies do not show hand preference until they are 14-16 months of age.  If your baby is showing early signs of favoring a hand or leg, this may be cause for a concern regarding your babies gross motor skills.  Asymmetric (not equal on both sides) movement patterns are a clinical clue for a motor disorder.

3. "My baby has something called 'Torticollis'."
Torticollis or "twisted neck" is when your baby has tight muscles in their neck, which cause your baby to hold their neck in an abnormal posture.  This posture makes it hard for the baby to fully turn their neck to both sides.  It also sets babies up for developing asymmetric movement patterns and performing motor skills with poor quality.

4. "My baby is not rolling or sitting on their own yet."
If you notice your baby is not rolling or sitting when they should be, it is worth having an evaluation by a skilled Pediatric Physical Therapist who can determine the cause or reason behind a motor delay.
This website which is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as the American Physical Therapy Association can help you understand when babies should be doing certain motor milestones.

5. "My baby is late with some gross motor skills."
See reason above.

6. "My baby is not walking yet."
Babies walk on average by 14 months of age.  Some babies are simply just "late walkers" and their is no concern.  Sometimes there is a reason for late walking and this can be addressed by a skilled Pediatric Physical Therapist.

7. "My baby prefers only looking towards one direction or keeps their head tilted one way."
If you notice this, your baby may have "Torticollis," see #3 above.

8. My baby gets upset when placed on their belly for tummy time.
Supervised Tummy time is so important for your baby and should be started immediately at birth.
Listen to my radio interview to learn the importance of tummy time!

9.  "I want to ensure that my baby is on the right track."
Pediatric Physical Therapists are experts in motor development and motor milestones.  They can help you determine that your baby is on the right track.  They can also give you activities to practice with your baby that ensure your baby stays on track!

10.  "My pediatrician says we should 'wait and see'."
This is heard way too many times from patients' parents.  They were told by their pediatrician that the child may just "grow out of it" and it can just be "watched."  Often times, it becomes too late for babies, because they form habits very quickly.  Several months wait can create a "lifetime" of problems for a child later on.
*Pediatricians are strongly respected as experts in the medical field pertaining to babies.
The interesting fact is that most Pediatricians receive only very limited information and education on typical and atypical development of the baby (on average involving less than 10 hours on education.)  Whereas this is the main focus of Pediatric Physical Therapists.  They receive many, many hours of training, yearly continuing education, and countless observations of typical and atypical gross motor skills.   Why wait when you can see a trained expert who can come up with an immediate plan that will- in the end- only help your baby?

Please don't hesitate to reach out to me at Marita.Black@gmail.com for help in supporting your little one!  I am available to perform consults in both the NYC area and NJ.

*Please reach out to your pediatrician for medical advice.  This post is not a substitute for discussion with your pediatrician.

Best Way to Do Tummy Time with Your Baby!

I can never hear (or talk) too much about tummy time!

Listen to my radio interview and learn about the best ways to do tummy time with your baby.

Also, you'll find out more information on "The Container Baby Syndrome" and how to prevent this!

Check out Retro Baby for a good resource on how to cut back on all the gear and promote your baby's development.

Infant Massage Classes in Jersey City

I'm grateful to be partnered with JC Barre Fitness Studio in Downtown Jersey City, where I teach Infant Massage Techniques to Moms, Dads, and other caregivers.

Infant Massage Series Tuesday, November 10, 2015 

All Classes start at 10:00am 
It's nice to start with Class 1, but due to everyone's busy schedule, feel free to join in at anytime.

Class 1 on Tuesday, November 10:  Learn Massage Strokes for Legs and Arms

Class 2 on Tuesday, November 17:  Learn Massage Strokes for Chest and Belly
(Help digestion!)

Class 3 on Tuesday, November 24:  Learn Massage Strokes for Back and Face

Three Class Package Introductory Rate: $120
Or take an individual class for $45

Email Marita.Black@gmail.com to sign up before Monday.
Massage oil and take home guides included.
Ask me about private in-home sessions (especially if these dates/times don't work for you.)

Read more about Infant Massage here.

China Work Mission

I just arrived home from my trade mission in China.  I cannot put words to the emotions I felt leaving the orphanage after spending 5 days teaching the therapy staff how to problem solve and become better clinicians.   It was an absolutely amazing experience, one that I will never forget.  Not only did our group leave the staff with lots of new ways to treat their patients, but what I took home from them, as well as the kids, is indescribable.  My heart and family has grown bigger.
Please go here, to read my guest blog post that I wrote for the Children of China Pediatric Foundation while in Chengdu.

Here's a picture of a little boy I worked with in the orphanage.  He was unable to walk correctly and I helped modify these forearm crutches to fit him.  We had to retrofit the crutches- the orthotists sawed off the handle and glued it back on to make them shorter.   The day before we had practiced using them, so he could walk better.  The following day, when I arrived at the orphanage, he was at the door, showing off his new walking "sticks".  It literally brought tears to my eyes.

If you'd like to donate to the medical missions in Chinese Orphanages, please go to
http://chinapediatrics.org/get-involved/donate/.  You will be supporting more people like me who donate their time to help the children who are in need of more than just love and hugs.  

Heading to China

I'm off to do some physical therapy volunteer work in Chengdu, China.  I'll be working at an orphanage, Chengdu Children's Welfare Institute, training the caregivers and therapists in an effort to improve their hands-on treatment for kids in need.  I'll be meeting children of all ages and I am very excited for the visit. 

Chengdu is the "Heavenly State," has a population of 15 million people, and is home to Giant Pandas.

My colleagues and I are planning a layover in Beijing where I plan to visit the Great Wall of China and learn Tai Chi from a master!

I've packed my bags, including this extra suitcase filled with teddy bears for the orphanage .  Hopefully I can close it!