The moment we’re into the ‘safe’ stage of our pregnancy, the baby shopping begins. We buy clothing, bedding, nappies, toys and books.
We also invest a fortune in paraphernalia that claims to help our child developmentally, to help them sleep, or to be content out of our arms.
I’m talking here about bouncers, rockers, bumbo chairs, jolly jumpers and walkers… I could go on but I’m sure you get the picture already.
I was certainly no exception in my first pregnancy. I got sucked in big time by product marketing which made me feel that my baby needed a specific item. Or that I needed it so that I would have a moment to cook dinner with both hands.
Take a look at this product description for a ‘Bright Stars bounce around’ and you’ll soon see what I mean:
The seat rotates 360 degrees so baby can reach every one of the 12+ interactive toys and fun characters. The seat also features adjustable height positions so it can grow with baby. This unique bounce pad cushions little feet and keeps them from touching cold, hard floors. The activities include bead chasers, ball poppers, a sunshine baby safe mirror, a flexible palm tree with crinkly leaves and lots more to keep the baby girl happy and entertained on her own.
After reading this it almost sounds neglectful not to buy it, doesn’t it?
That’s why so many homes have one. And it’s also why so many children still have poor postural control.
Sure, containers may make life easier for us as parents in the short term. Yet in the long term, our unhealthy phenomenon with putting youngsters ‘in’ things is leading to more and more children with underdeveloped brains. Why you ask? Because movement quite literally wires the brain.
Imagine the range of movement and tactile (touch) stimulation an infant receives through floor time on their back and tummy, wriggling, squirming and eventually rolling. Now compare that with a baby in a capsule, car seat, pram, Bumbo chair, bouncer, rocker or walker. It just doesn’t compare, does it?
So what does all of this mean for expectant parents? Keep things simple. Don’t buy unnecessary paraphernalia for your baby. You’ll save money, create less clutter and optimise your baby’s development all in one by prioritising floor time. Use car seats and prams when safety warrants it but remove your child as soon as you’ve reached your destination.
And always remember that in the first few months of life, a baby’s favourite place is in your arms-rightfully so.
What containers would you do without if you had your time over?