Why you should think twice before using walkers, jolly jumpers and bumbo seats with your child
It is such an exciting time when your child begins to stand and you want to encourage them to walk as soon as possible. Using walkers to encourage children to walk for longer periods of time can be detrimental to their development.
If a toddler stands and walks themselves along a coffee table, that is OK because they are doing what they are capable of by using their own balance and coordination to do so. A child that has been given a walker or being led by holding onto someone’s hands above their head is encouraging them to walk too far and too early on their developing hips.
It is much better for a toddler to go through their natural development at their own pace. Give them plenty of time to be on the floor learning to crawl, roll and sit first. Often parents think these devices will help their child to develop quicker, when in actual fact they may actually slow their development down.
Jolly jumpers along with walkers can encourage toddlers to begin walking on their tip toes which can not only cause very tight calf muscles and affect walking down the track but it may also impact their neurological development.
The bumbo seat is a seat designed for babies who cannot sit up yet. It has a high back, sides and front with spaces for their legs. When a baby naturally learns to sit on their own (usually around 6-9 months) they will sit for short periods at a time. As they become more stable and have more control sitting (around 9-12 months) they will be able to turn their body to reach toys etc. When a child is placed in a bumbo seat before they are able to sit on their own, this can interfere with the natural progression of their skills. When a child is in the bumbo seat there is no active movement as the child is passively placed in and locked into position. There is no muscle activation or joint movement, with no natural weight bearing occurring.
A child when pushing up on their tummy and sitting by using their arms to prop them up are improving their brain development naturally. This allows them to weight bear across their joints and provide proprioceptive input. By placing a child in an unnatural posture without access to sensory input (touch and movement) that they require for development, we are really interfering with the natural progression of development.
The absolute best thing you can do for your child is to allow them to progress through their development naturally and at their own pace. Create a stimulating environment for them by lying different types of toys or play equipment which make different sounds and have different textures and colours. Spend the time playing with your little one and interacting with them. This time will be gone so fast and you will never get it back!
We are offering new clients a special offer- Initial chiropractic examination, consultation and neurological testing, as well as the Report of Findings for just $49 (normally $180).
If you, or you would like your little one to receive this special offer, follow this link:
Dr Deanne Esposito (Chiropractor)