Founder, Mother, & Occupational Therapist
Brittany Cheng MS, OTR/L
After giving birth to my daughter, Rylan, in January 2020, my life quickly turned upside down. As I entered the world of motherhood during a global pandemic, nothing could prepare me for what was to come- not even my 10 years experience in working with children. At the time, I was employed as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist in the school setting. My maternity leave ended in March, right when the pandemic shut everything down. I decided to extend my time off to protect my family from exposure...unpaid and unsure of when it would be safe to go back to work. While I was off, I joined a Mommy & Me class and found a community of mamas I could depend on during these wild times as a new parent.
Helping each other through sleepless nights, developmental leaps, and even blowouts, I came to realize that my knowledge as a pediatric occupational therapist helped to ease some of the concerns we were all having. It was then that I decided that I wanted to share my knowledge and experiences with other parents like us.
But then came the bottle refusals... I worked in pediatrics and did feeding therapy with school-aged children, but I couldn't call myself an infant or toddler specialist and I certainly wasn't a bottle expert. Because I love to learn and was determined to feed my baby a bottle, I jumped straight into educating myself further about infant feeding. It wasn't until I was taking yet another continuing education course that I discovered what "tongue tie" or Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) were. It all started to make sense.
From there, I continued to take every course, mentorship opportunity, and collaborative case I could to strengthen my skillset to support my daughter and families struggling like mine did. Then in March 2022, my son Cooper was born. I told myself I wouldn't "get all therapist" on him and would stay out of his mouth at least for the first 24 hours but I knew immediately when he cried on my chest that he had TOTs as well. Fortunately, this time I was prepared and ready! Helping Cooper through his feeding challenges has given me a newfound perspective as a mom & therapist. I truly empathize with all parents struggling with feeding because I was one of those parents too.
Over the course of my career, I’ve noticed that many parents seek to understand what they can do to help their children’s feeding and development, but are overwhelmed by the vast amount of information thrown at them after a simple web search. During a period of isolation and unimaginable obstacles as a new parent, these questions oftentimes spiral into “mommy guilt.” “Am I doing enough?” “Will my child be okay?" "What am I doing wrong?" "Is it my fault?"
In addition, when trying to find parent-support services for feeding and development that go beyond medical necessity, I found a lack in programs that serve to proactively educate and empower new parents. I quickly came to realize that I had the opportunity to combine my love for being a mom and my passion for all things “OT” to create a valuable resource for new parents. And so began my journey to create Wayz To Play, Inc. in January 2020.
Having a community of other parents to lean on and knowledge about infant and toddler development have been paramount to feeling reassured that I’m doing everything I can to help my children grow into the happy and beautiful people they are becoming. With a newfound confidence, I take Rylan & Cooper on far away adventures through the jungle and oceans, using playtime as a means of nourishing their minds and little bellies. In a time of uncertainty as a parent, the one thing I am certain of is the value in having people to lean on and the power of play.
My goal with Wayz To Play, Inc. is to make sure every parent has a supportive community and is left feeling empowered in parenthood. I want to support parents like myself who have ever wondered if they are doing “enough.” Despite any challenges you might be facing as new parents, we hope to reassure you that you can set your children up for success with a little love, patience, and play. We’re so excited that you’ve discovered Wayz To Play, Inc. and would be thrilled if we could be a part of your parenting journey.