Monday, September 12, 2016

Freedom to PLAY! Baby equipment, swings, preparing your baby registry, and MORE

As a first time mom I know the struggles when creating a baby registry and preparing for the arrival of your little one. I think as parents we want to have every gadget, toy, and swing available to entertain our new nugget. When my son was born I lived in a tiny 2-bedroom condo with a roommate that definitely didn't have enough room to host my boyfriend, let alone a newborn child. I'm so grateful for this living situation because it really forced me to THINK about what we would ACTUALLY NEED for our child. I spent tons of time asking other moms and researching the toys/swings/gadgets that would really be required to help make this whole parenting bit a little less stressful. What I found was astonishing and I'd love to encourage every mom & dad to hold off on cluttering the house with unnecessary toys and potentially harmful 'aids'.

Here is a great article written by a mom that shares my similar view: Set Me Free!

Jumpers and excer-saucers for extended periods of time have been found to confuse the developing child's neurology and have no proven benefits in advancing walking skills or neurological development. Chiropractors and Physical therapists have also come to agree that placing the child in an upright position before they are ready can be detrimental to their pelvis and spine...thus impacting their nervous system, altering their biomechanics, and causing issues that could be potentially dangerous longterm especially if they never are checked by a chiropractor!

* Due to the trauma (even natural childbirth!) of labor...both mom AND baby should be checked by a chiropractor as soon as possible. Can you imagine squeezing your noggin + body through a tiny tunnel???

Listen...a swing can be a great way to let your baby take a little snooze...strollers are necessary to get around, especially to go outside...and a carseat is absolutely required if you plan to leave your home. But please be mindful of how much time your baby is spending in these carriers. Worried about your child developing a flat head? Most people think that comes from children sleeping on their back at night. What pediatricians and researchers have actually found is that flat head tends to occur from being left in the daytime carriers for extended periods of time. So check yourself when you get frustrated that your child doesn't want to be in the stroller or car seat anymore. There's most likely a good reason for that. Moving nourishes the brain and promotes development. Let them move!

'Proofing' your house (by that I don't mean putting a lock on every single thing...I mean getting rid of anything that a child shouldn't be in to and creating a safe environment for them to explore) prior to your child coming and letting them roam around FREE is the best way to aid in their development. Hands down. Let them explore, let them adventure without confinement, and try to reduce the amount of time they spend in carriers/carseats/strollers.

Not to gloat that everything I do is absolute and perfect...but I applied this 'free movement' principal to my son's life/development and it's been so fun! He started crawling around 4 months of age and took his first steps a week before his 9 month birthday! I let him develop on his own and didn't push him or force his neurology to make these changes. He chose to do these things when his body felt it was the time and he was ready. And please don't think that because your child doesn't walk until they are 1 year that they are a failure or underdeveloped. EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT and will progress at different times. Their is a certain time frame when it does become a concern. If you are concerned, have questions, or don't know what the appropriate milestones are and when they should be met...please seek a pediatric chiropractor for help/advice.

Some recommendations and final words:
-A cluttered space is a cluttered mind...keep yourself sane by reducing all the STUFF
-Find Hand-me-downs and consignment shops for used items
-Include helpful things on your registry like a Meal List (friends/family can sign up for days to bring a meal). Try to list things that you will use for at least the first year of your child's life. Clothing and toys get used up and destroyed so quickly...find used for those items and you'll find yourself saving $$!
-Let your child BE! Let them be free. Set free the expectation that your child needs to hang out quietly in a stroller/swing for hours...movement is LIFE and they need to move in order to develop
-A pediatric chiropractor is the best person to see when it comes to your child hitting developmental milestones. They address the nervous system which is the main controller of development! Your medical pediatrician has you schedule monthly checkups to discuss things like the vaccination schedule...they can't really offer much if your child isn't meeting their milestones. And for flat head...the MD will give you a helmet. Something I need to do more research on but I'd much rather take my child to a chiropractor that can help manipulate the cranial bones rather than have my child wear a helmet. Just sayin'!! ;)

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