It is understandable that all parents want the best for their newborn babies. Just walk into any large baby store and you are inundated with devices that are proposed to be “beneficial to the development of your baby”.
Well not all, and generally very few, devices are beneficial at all!
There is a recent baby seating device on the market that many parents are buying. It has been designed as a seat that takes a young baby and keeps them in an upright seated position. You can just sit the baby in there and it “holds them up”. Well, herein lies the problem.
A baby is not meant to be sat until it can sit itself! Yes, that’s right. They are meant to be able to coordinate movement patterns from their tummy position, up to their side, and then pushing up to sitting. Until this time, it is best not to seat a baby for any extended period (classic “bottom shuffling” often results). This allows their deep tummy muscles (core muscles) to develop strength, coordination and the connection to their brain.
If this occurs at the right time, which is generally around the 8th month, it is likely that they will maintain good tone in these muscles – even into adulthood. This helps tremendously in the prevention of back pain, as many adults that we see have very poor core muscles and struggle with being able to activate these, even after exercise and training (yoga, pilates, etc). We also know that seating a baby too early is a major cause of “bottom or bum shuffling”!
So, help your baby into the future and allow them to develop the muscles correctly. Allow them the freedom to learn to sit themselves, give them plenty of tummy time and don’t prop them up before their time. Avoid using jolly jumpers, baby walkers and even upright child carriers. They have not yet developed the correct musculature and ligament strength to take these stresses. For those few short months when they are eating solids and unable to sit themselves, I would suggest only the shortest time in a highchair, and certainly wouldn’t use any device that held them in that position, because the temptation is to leave them there for much longer than necessary.
Learn more about what Shirley Rd Chiropractic has to say about the physical development of your baby.