A Minimalistic Evolutionary Model of Baby-Led Development
When infants spend time on their backs and on their stomachs, they benefit from the opportunity to move naturally—and that alone propels them to eventually crawl, sit, and walk. It is in this process of moving in reaction to the sensory input of being on the floor that catalyzes appropriate coordination of movement and muscular co-activation. Without each link, occurring in sequence, the chain of motor development becomes skewed and altered patterns are more likely to occur.1-3
Today, however, babies are less likely to inhabit the natural environments they once did prior to technological inventions designed to foster mobility. "Assistance" devices, such as walkers and baby seats, actually interfere with the natural process of motor development, and can hinder healthy physicality for life.
Our recommendations are guided by developmental kinesiology, existing research, and clinical observations. To date, research has focused primarily on the effects of walkers on infant motor development. Here, the principles of those findings are extrapolated to include other pieces of equipment and assistance that provide artificial support to infants’ limbs and spine. While we believe additional research is needed to bring more attention and understanding to this important issue, we want to give you tools right now to maximize your baby's physical development.
We at Building Your Baby From the Ground Up propose that a minimalistic evolutionary model is superior to any device, and that parents and caregivers can intervene in a beneficial rather than detrimental way by following our program and avoiding all devices or assistance that hinder or alter natural movement.
Unless a baby can get into a position or movement completely on their own–like sitting up or walking on two feet–they should not artificially experience this position through the aid of a device or assistance. If this happens, the child will receive sensory input from that device and their brains will begin to learn how to move and be in relation to that device instead of independently, with stability, coordination, and strength intact.
Our mission is to equip parents, caretakers, daycare providers, and clinicians with actionable steps for helping infants around the world to move and develop naturally.
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