5 Modern Items That Hamper A Baby’s Proper Development Allowing babies to develop without artificial props are best for their growth

Modern life is filled with many conveniences and we mistakenly assume that they must be good for us. But that is usually not the case. There are numerous things we believe are good for our baby’s development as is purported by snarky advertisers. Nonetheless, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  They brainwash parents into believing that their product is not just necessary but also beneficial for a child.

The first 3 years of a child’s life are the foundation of their future growth – both psychologically and physically.  Along with food and protection, babies need an attuned caregiver for optimal right brain development.

However, there are quite a few things they do not need that most parents are still not aware of.

5 Modern Things That Hamper A Child’s Proper Development
Walking barefoot is best for a child it helps develop proprioception

Below are some items that seem helpful in the short term (soothing a child) but can be detrimental to a child’s proper development:

1) Pacifiers

Pacifiers lead to poor craniofacial growth, malocclusion, speech impairments, and also affect your child’s posture. Why?

Because using a pacifier for prolonged periods could result in ‘pacifier teeth‘ where the front teeth grow outwards. Secondly, they could develop a tongue thrust – when the tongue protrudes between the front teeth during speech and swallowing.

As a child’s mouth begins to develop, it will grow around anything that is consistently held inside.  Pacifiers totally mess up the resting position of the tongue which should normally rest on the upper palate. That seemingly innocuous change can cause numerous problems like mouth breathing, swallowing issues, and speech difficulties.

So, if you need to use a pacifier to soothe your baby, use it sparingly. Nothing is more soothing than holding your child in your arms and softly talking to her, Your baby will be a baby for a very short time. Give them your total presence when they need it, Your baby needs you not a rubber pacifier.

2) Walkers

Walkers do not help your child. In fact, they are detrimental to their development.

Why? Because it cuts short the crucial crawling stage.

Crawling is an important period in a child’s development. Crawling helps develop our bodies for upright activities by building the muscles of our shoulders and hips. It develops synchronicity and fluidity of movement along with core strength.

Furthermore, crawling develops the corpus callosum the connection between the right and left hemispheres. This connection is vital for learning to read, write, and think.

When you put a child in a walker you cut short this critical brain developmental phase. Moreover, putting a child in a walker before they are ready puts unnecessary strain on their underdeveloped legs, hips, and spine.

Besides walkers have proved to be highly dangerous causing numerous accidents.

3) Bouncers- Baby Door Swings

Bouncers – baby door swings are stationery walkers and are useless except acting as a straightjacket. It’s really cruel to stifle a curious child by keeping her in such a contraption.

Keeping a child upright in one place before they are ready to damages their growing bodies. Babies need to move, explore. They really need to exercise all their muscles. Movement is vital for a developing baby it exercises their muscle, develops spatial awareness, and makes them confident.

Keeping your child in a baby bouncer means that your baby is spending less time developing mobility such as sitting and crawling.  Furthermore, bouncers do not adequately support a baby’s body. Keeping her hanging by her crotch puts stress on her pelvis and spine.

Bouncers hinder a baby’s social and intellectual development as interaction with their environment and others are severely restricted.

What’s worse, gradually, over time a child becomes programmed to be inactive and lazy. This not affects their metabolic rate, their body burns less energy, which is stored in the body as fat.  No wonder obesity has become such an epidemic.

4) High chairs – Special Baby Chairs

Making a child sit before it is ready, interferes with proper musculoskeletal development.  Their underdeveloped pelvic and spinal muscles are forced to support the weight of their upper body.

When babies sit unsupported, they engage their core and pelvic floor muscles while learning how to balance. While, in a seat, babies don’t have to engage as many muscles or pay as much attention to their balance.

This artificially propping up could lead to later problems. Unfortunately, most of us don’t connect later postural and gait issues to special baby chairs.

Your baby does not need fancy baby chairs to help them sit. They will sit when they are ready. If you need to feed them use a chair only at feeding time. During the normal times let them be free to sit on the floor as and how they wish.

5) Shoes

No need to buy pricey baby shoes when a child is learning to walk. It is best for them to be barefoot as far as possible.

First, when a baby is learning to walk they need to actually feel the floor with their bare feet. This helps develop their sense of proprioception – the body’s ability to sense itself.   Receptors in the body (skin, muscles, joints) connect with the brain through the nervous system. Thus even without sight, a person knows her body’s position and movement. The skin of the sole of the foot provides data to the brain so that motor areas can stabilize and move the body.

Additionally, walking barefoot can help develop muscles and ligaments in the foot, and strengthen the foot’s arch.

For babies who are learning to move and, especially, to walk, wearing shoes can affect which muscles they use to do it. It can also interfere with their cerebral development.

According to podo-pediatric, Tracy Byrne,  “Toddlers keep their heads up more when they are walking barefoot. The feedback they get from the ground means there is less need to look down, which is what puts them off balance and causes them to fall down”.

Have no doubt, that shoes can affect your baby’s posture, Going barefoot contributes to good posture and balance.

Hence, if you do need shoes for your child go for ones with more flexible soles that allow adequate room for movement.

A baby learns to move and sit naturally when she is ready

Don’t Rush Development – Let Your Baby Blossom

A baby is a creation in progress. You cannot rush their growth and development. All a parent can do is patiently hold space, gently encourage those tiny baby milestones, and allow a child to slowly blossom.

Those first few years are so crucial for their physical and psychological development. Do try to push them to do things before they are ready.  Rushing through important stages impairs the foundation of future development.

Be present and available but give them room to roll, sit, crawl, stand, walk, and run at their own pace without undue interference. Babies, don’t artificial props in fact they hinder them. They learn to use their bodies best when there are no objects that interfere with their developmental process. The most important prop you give is an attentive and attuned caregiver – that’s you.

Image Source: Pexels 

Further Reading:

Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman 

How Babies Think: The Science of Childhood by Alison Gopnik

The Happiest Baby on the BlockHarvey Karp 

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