There is an ongoing debate to whether or not the use of a supportive device or chair is potentially harmful to your child’s development. One thing we can be certain of is that to early is never a good thing. It’s very important to make sure that your baby is capable of holding their head up on their own before attempting to prop them up or allow them to sit in a supportive chair. Always make sure to consult with your child’s pediatrician if you have any questions. I am a strong believer in allowing a baby to develop as naturally as possible. Giving them the independence to develop their sitting skills without any help from a device can yield some benefits not commonly thought of. Here are five benefits to unsupported sitting development for your baby.
1) Core Development
When your child is being allowed to make the attempt to sit up without being supported they are forced to fight gravity, a natural resistance that will strengthen your child’s abdominal, back, and neck muscles. Many believe that simply placing your child in a supportive chair or propping them in a corner delays the development of their core muscle group simply because they are not being forced to use them.
Like anything we do in life, practice is the only way to get better at something. If you go to a circus and watch a tight rope walker, you just sit there thinking of how many countless hours of practice they must put in to learn that level of balance. It takes practice for a baby to achieve the slightest amount of balance as they develop. Allowing your baby to sit there wobbling left and right to try and keep from falling teaches them how to keep their balance. When they are supported, it lessens their ability to interact with their sense of balance.
As we started experimenting with our child sitting up independently we learned something unexpected. We expected that she would sit there for a few seconds at first and then flop over and we would pick her up and let her try again, of course we had her on a protective sitting mat any time she was practicing sitting. What took us by surprise was how quickly she began putting her arms out to stop herself from falling! She had made the mental connection that falling was bad and she had a way to prevent it, something that would not have happened strapped in to a chair.
One of the benefits to letting your baby have some freedom when learning how to sit up is that they learn what their little bodies are physically capable of. Once they start to sit up they will also begin to let themselves down and learn to roll from their back and onto their tummy. Allowing your child to wander safely and move freely is a great way to help them develop not only faster, but correctly.
Allowing your child to develop at their own pace without forcing them to sit up too early is a great way to avoid any question that sitting devices have a negative effect on your child’s posture. Many medical professionals believe that supportive chairs or even propping your baby in a corner is actually teaching babies incorrect postural alignment that can potentially cause problems in your child’s development.
Empower your Child early
I think most would agree that they would like their child to grow up to be independent and self-sufficient. In my opinion it’s never too early to start. We have had great success with our little one as she has moved through the various stages of development. I would encourage moms and dads to experiment with letting your baby move freely and learn on their own wherever possible. As they are learning to sit up, don’t be afraid to let them fall, it is the most effective way for them to learn. With that being said, make sure your baby is in a safe environment. Make sure they are on a padded blanket or a sitting mat designed for your child’s independent development.
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