Five Reasons to Inform Yourself About Your Baby Gear

Five Reasons to Inform Yourself About Your Baby Gear

Five Reasons to Inform Yourself About Your Baby Gear

 

It’s is very tempting to buy the latest and greatest baby gear that may allow your baby to sit or stand ahead of schedule- not to mention buy a few minutes to load the dishwasher. Let’s be honest, it’s pretty cute to watch them bounce around and laugh their heads off in the Jolly Jumper. The problem is that often the body is not physically able to do these things and so, there are some things to consider:

 

Choose tummy time to encourage the use and development of the muscles in the neck and upper body and eventually core and legs to support the skill base used to crawl and build these pathways in the brain.

 

Brain and Motor Skills Development

Encouraging crawling allows for gross motor skill development and also helps baby to integrate the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Baby gear that encourages standing or sitting prematurely may cause some babies to skip over this important phase altogether. Instead, choose tummy time to encourage the use and development of the muscles in the neck and upper body and eventually core and legs to support the skill base used to crawl and build these pathways in the brain. Read more on exercausers here.

 

Using the right carrier can be very safe, but be sure to look for maximal support through the hips and keep baby facing in to minimize strain on hips and low back.

 

Maintaining Baby’s Hip Health

Some baby carriers as well as other gear (i.e. Jolly Jumpers), although popular, are not always designed or used in such a manner as to support the normal position and healthy development of the hip joint. Using the right carrier can be very safe, but be sure to look for maximal support through the hips and keep baby facing in to minimize strain on hips and low back.

 

Watch for flat spots as they may be a sign of another problem and avoid prolonged time in car seats, strollers, lying on back, etc.

 

 

Cranial Shape

Since babies are spending more time on their backs, in car seats and in strollers, babies today are more likely to develop flat spots. A flat spot on one side of the head may indicate something more complex, such as inability of infant to turn head easily, which can affect nursing, sleeping and other everyday functions. Watch for flat spots as they may be a sign of another problem and avoid prolonged time in car seats, strollers, lying on back, etc. Read more on safe sleep for babies.

 

Tummy time will encourage the curve in the neck to develop, crawling and sitting on his own will build his lumbar curve, but don’t rush him.

 

Spinal and Skeletal Development

Using equipment to aid your child in standing, walking, sitting, etc. before their spine and skeletal system are ready to support them can affect spinal and skeletal development. Instead, watch your baby’s natural ability and allow him to move to the next stage on his own. Tummy time will encourage the curve in the neck to develop, crawling and sitting on his own will build his lumbar curve, but don’t rush him. These take time to develop and healthy spinal development is a foundation that will stay with him for life. It’s worth the wait!

 

Limiting stress on the spine and encouraging normal movement will foster healthy lifelong nervous system development.

 

Nervous System Development

Since the spinal cord is contained within the spine itself, any type of gear that puts stress and pressure on the spine and cranium will carry a risk or neurological compromise. Limiting stress on the spine and encouraging normal movement will foster healthy lifelong nervous system development.

 

Jennifer Wise, BHSc, DC

About Jennifer Wise, BHSc, DC

Jennifer is a family chiropractor and co-owner of Thrive Natural Family Health. Her experience and additional training lies predominantly in the fields of pregnancy and pediatric care as well as cranial adjusting.

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