As you know, our aim is to support and enhance the healthy development of young children.
Our first product was the Easy Grip Crawl Suit™ which was developed to help babies achieve the cross crawl vital for cognitive development. The cross crawl helps to develop muscles, co-ordination, vision and so much more. It is the most important milestone and our Easy Grip Crawl Suit™ gives babies the confidence they need to get crawling as it has our unique gripper bugs strategically placed on the knees and feet to provide traction on slippery modern floors.
The Crawl Suit has won awards for safety as by providing traction for babies it also stops slipping and those little bumps and bruises.
Today there are a lot more challenges facing baby than there was even just a few years ago, modern living can make it more difficult for baby to reach vital milestones and to make matters worse there are now products available that actually can have a negative effect on baby development.
We have been shocked to see a number of products available and below we have listed 5 to avoid.
Parents today are very keen to see their babies walking- valuing it much more than crawling- counting the days until their little one will take their first steps and hoping to catch this moment on camera.
For this reason they buy walkers to help encourage this movement and to strengthen muscles in the legs. It has been proven however that this is not the case- walkers do not help babies learn how to walk, they can actually delay development. Studies have shown that those babies that use walkers to help them learn, may actually walk a month later than those who have not.
The reason for this is because baby walkers allow babies to move around before they are ready, their legs are hanging, putting extra strain on their hips and spine. Babys legs are usually in a bowed shape which can affect how they walk when they eventually learn how to do so. Walkers are detrimental to normal baby development, their movement is restricted and they are discouraged from undertaking the important task of crawling. Crawling is when they learn how their body works and builds the muscles in their neck, back and legs- allowing them to then undertake the task of walking.
The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that walkers are not used as they can discourage your child from walking and because they can also be dangerous. Canada banned walkers in 2004 and if you are found in possession of a walker in Canada for your baby you can even be fined up to $100,000.
- Bouncers- Baby Door Swings
For many of the same reasons as walkers, bouncers can also delay the development of your baby. Being in a baby bouncer means that babies are spending less time developing floor mobility such as sitting and crawling which allows them to develop their muscles as well as spatial awareness and confidence.
Bouncers do not offer much support for babies, they are left hanging by their crotch, putting stress on their pelvis and spine. If baby spends too long in them it is thought to put un-natural and excessive strain on their back.
Bouncers are also bad for baby’s social development as interaction with their environment and others is limited.
We are not saying that they should not be used at all but that the time baby spends in these should be limited and supervised.
- Baby Chair
Baby chairs are a very controversial product due to how dangerous it can be for baby. There have been numerous reports of babies taking a tumble and getting seriously injured.
As well as being dangerous they can also seriously delay baby development as many babies are placed in the chair before they are ready. Motor skills can be inhibited when babies are placed in a chair before they are developmentally ready to sit and support the weight of their upper body.
When placed in a baby chair their movement is restricted – they are held in an un-natural position and their legs tend to dangle. This is bad for spinal and leg development.
- Touch Screens
Recent research has shown that more and more children are starting school with an under developed pincer grip (pointer finger and the thumb) with some even starting school unable to hold a pencil properly. Some research has indicated that this could be due to the increased popularity of touch screen products. Children are not encouraged to use their fingers and develop their fine motor skills as they just swipe a screen gently.
There have even been products introduced that are aimed at babies and infants, this increased popularity and the amount of time babies are spending in front of a screen can also have an effect on their social development as well.
We are not saying that babies should not have any access to touch screen products as it can of course be beneficial to learn this at a young age (with some parental involvement/engagement) but it is better if this time is restricted.
- Teething products
All mums would do anything for our teething baby to help get them through this ordeal- buying any product that promises to sooth the pain. However there are some teething products out there that can negatively affect your baby’s development. When choosing a teether make sure to avoid anything that restricts baby’s movements. Forcing their little soft bones into a particular shape restricts fine motor development and natural movement.