Set Me Free - Unrestricted Babies

Erin - posted on 09/14/2011 ( 74 moms have responded )

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** Read this today and thought it was something we haven't debated recently. Sorry, it's quite long.**



Many months after becoming a mom I realized a shocking truth: we don’t need to buy every contraption on display at the baby super store! I had fallen into the trap of believing I needed all the technology that was available. I naively assumed that these products must be in stores because they were helpful and necessary, and no one had advised me to do otherwise.



‘Luckily,’ I found hand-me-downs from family and friends, and so I was well-equipped with a bouncy seat, electric swing, and a couple of C-shaped pillows in which you can place the baby in a sitting position. If I had added walkers, jumpers and baby saucers, my gizmo inventory would have been complete.



Later I learned that the real requirements for a newborn are a crib, bassinet or co-sleeper, a car seat, carrier (and/or stroller), a changing table, and doorway gates — so that safe play areas can be created. Playpens make life with a young infant easier, especially if you can buy or borrow two, and have one outside also. The other stuff is not only a waste of money, but can even be detrimental to a baby’s development.



If a voice of reason could be heard through the din of marketing, consumerism and peer pressure, all of which prey upon a new parent’s self-doubt, it would say: “What did babies do before all this gadgetry existed? Did babies walk before there were walkers, jump before there were jumpers? Were children long ago deficient, unintelligent, physically awkward, slower and less capable? Were they less loved?”



Similarly, we can ask whether today’s high-technology for babies gives parents more free time. My sense is that they do not. In fact, when we place an infant in constrictive apparatuses or parent-controlled positions, we can create a habit of dependency that can later undermine our quest for free time. The baby who gets used to being situated by adults is inclined to continue to require adult attention, instead of developing the joyful habit of independent play.



An infant can move most freely when he is placed on his back. Some doctors suggest ‘tummy time’ for an infant as young as one or two months old. But infant expert Magda Gerber and her mentor, pediatrician Emmi Pikler, believed that infants should be trusted to ‘discover’ the tummy position when ready, without our assistance.



Here’s an experiment: lie on your belly and then lie on your back; compare the two positions with respect to comfort and mobility. Now imagine you have limited upper body and neck strength and can barely lift your head. Do you feel stuck? An infant placed on his back in a safe place can see all around him, stretch, arch his back, move his limbs freely, examine his hands and feet, even find his thumb and self-soothe. Our body functions best when we are free to move. I found evidence of this fact when I visited a friend and her son.



Cheryl’s four-month-old boy spent most of his waking hours in a bouncy seat, a seat that elevates his back to an almost vertical angle and secures the baby by a T-strap at the bottom of the chair. I used a bouncy seat with my first baby, too, and would never dream of mentioning possible ’downsides’ of using the seat to Cheryl. Even if she asked, I’d be hesitant to say something that might sound judgmental. Most of us are extremely sensitive to perceived criticism as new parents (now how would I know that?)



But when Cheryl shared her worries about her son’s constipation, I had to bite my tongue. I couldn’t stop thinking that if I was unnecessarily stuck in that seat all day, unable to stretch or move without feeling myself slip down the seat, I’d be ‘irregular’ too!



There are not only physical, but also possible emotional consequences when a baby is strapped into a seat or propped up. As infant expert Magda Gerber cautioned, “Every time we put an infant in a position she cannot change all by herself, we deprive her from moving freely. So she feels passive, helpless, and less confident.”



Doctors often advise parents to place an infant in a sitting position when he is six months old. However, just as a baby rolls when he is ready, a baby also finds his own ability to move from a horizontal position on the floor to sitting upright when he is able. When the child achieves this position naturally he can smoothly transition himself back into a horizontal position for mobilization when he wishes.



Doctor’s ‘checklists’ neglect to acknowledge the wide range of normal motor development, and often breed parental fear and doubt. Worry that our child will ‘fall behind’ is one of the reasons we all find it difficult to resist the temptation to place our baby in a sitting position or hold him up to stand. Another is that adults see the world from an upright position, and we perceive it as preferable to a horizontal view. Our child may seem to like it, especially when that is what he’s used to. (He might also like to devour a giant hot fudge sundae, but that doesn’t mean we’d give him one! )



Parenting is sometimes looking beyond the moment, the week, or even the month to establish healthy habits that serve our child best in the long term. Encouraging natural gross motor development is worth the effort.



If our infant is accustomed to us placing him in a sitting position, then he may become less willing to attempt his own positions independently. Rather than enjoying all he can do, he gets in the habit of expecting the parent to intercede. This was the dynamic I observed between Robert and Shelly.



Seven-month-old Robert cried while lying on the floor until his mother, Shelley, placed him in a sitting position. I had been trying unsuccessfully for weeks to encourage Shelly to allow Robert more time on his back. A few times, we’d seen him roll to his stomach and began to scoot forward. But, even though his mobility was completely hampered while sitting, he now wanted to do what he was used to doing, or perhaps he wanted to do what he thought his mother expected. Instead, he lost his balance, fell and cried again. Robert’s helplessness was reinforced by his mom’s well-meaning actions.



When our infants are free to develop motor abilities without artificial aid or the restriction of baby apparatuses, they progress independently and confidently in their own unique way. The biggest challenge for parents is also one of the biggest gifts we can bestow on a child: waiting for readiness.



“At RIE we believe that the infant should be able to move and explore freely, to choose and change his own body position, to come and go as he wants — within the safe and challenging environment we create.” – Magda Gerber,



http://www.janetlansbury.com/2009/09/set...



Thoughts?

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[deleted account]

Later I learned that the real requirements for a newborn are a crib, bassinet or co-sleeper, a car seat, carrier (and/or stroller), a changing table, and doorway gates



I think she's still got too much stuff, but to each their own.



My baby never had a crib (sleeps with me), changing table (top of his dresser is fine), or baby gates. He's free to roam our (child-proofed) flat.

Minnie - posted on 09/14/2011

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I used a mei tai until Adelaide was 12 months old. They're awesome. Nice high back for newborns, even, just roll the bottom up a bit and froggy the legs.

Ergos aren't great for babies under 6 months because they only cinch so tight and the back is low. But I love mine, it's just what I needed for a toddler who wanted to be up down up down up down- they strap on so easily, whereas I had to wrestle with 60 inch straps on the mei tai.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/14/2011

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Mobys are pretty much as cheap as fabric here. Well, that's because I need to ship my fabric. No store. Pretty lame. Although the moby d is more expensive because of the woven panel at the front. I imagine that would cost more and take more effort to put together on your own anyways. I bought it because I thought it was cute. yeah, second baby and already have the necessities = may as well buy something fun and new.

April - posted on 09/14/2011

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Here's what I had on my list as a waste of money: 1. bottles 2. bottle liners 3. nipples 4. pacifers 5. bottle warmer 6. bottle sterilizer 7. cribs 8. strollers 9. exersaucer 10. bouncy chair 11. bumbo chair 12. jarred baby food 13. rice cereal for baby 14. crib sheets/crib bumpers/mobile 15. formula

Sarah - posted on 09/14/2011

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I think overuse of baby equipment could probably hinder a child's progress, yes.

If a child is constantly in a bouncer or walker etc, then they're stuck in the same position day in day out which I would assume would hinder their abilities to move around in different ways.
Baby equipment used in moderation, I don't see a problem with.

Also, the "tummy time" thing, I'd never heard of it until I joined COM's, neither of my 2 had any tummy time.....and they turned out just fine! I don't really understand the obsession with it.

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Lady Heather - posted on 09/15/2011

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Yeah, Freja was 5lb 3oz when she was born so I just tucked her in my arm and did all my house work with the other arm. It was like carrying a little bag of potatoes, only squigglier.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/15/2011

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Wow my kids are both itty bitty. Abby's 6yrs old and only 50lbs or so now at 50 inches tall. She was 6lbs 8oz at birth and I had trouble getting her to eat (my brother would call her an ethiopian baby!) She didn't hit 30lbs until she was almost 3 and I swear she started eatting good around that age because she had a new baby sitter at 2 who would feed her Puerto Rican food.

Lilli was 5lbs 10oz at birth. She probably weighs about 15lbs now give or take at 6 months.

It wasn't too hard for me to carry either of them because I'm a care aide and I have to do a lot of lifting. Heck I used to ride Abby on my shoulders until she was just over 4 years old.

Sherri - posted on 09/15/2011

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Oh I wish Lisa all my kids were from 23-27lbs by 12mo's. So as soon as they could walk they walked everywhere or were in the stroller.



Plus my first two are so close in age they just went into a dbl stroller. Having two under the age of 1 1/2 is not easy.

Merry - posted on 09/15/2011

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Yeah Eric was 14 lbs at 2months, 18lbs at 3 months and 20lbs at 4 months. So he was carried alot but it was hard! I'm not in shape and I'm really small so it wasnt easy. But Fierna is a nice 15lbs at 4 months so I carry her easier now.

But I got out bit on the mei tai I wanted on eBay! Bummer. I was so excited. I need to find another one somewhere...

Minnie - posted on 09/15/2011

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Kate neither of my girls hit 20lb until 21-22 months. I can see how that would put a strain on your back! Adelaide's 28lb now and I still find that I can do a day of the Boston Museum of Science or something similar, but my muscles are probably quite used to it by now, and I admit that it's definitely not the breeze carrying her used to be.

Janice - posted on 09/15/2011

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I think moderation is key. My daughter definitly spent time in her swing and bumbo chair but layed on the couch and floor too. She sat on her own quite early at 4/4.5 months, yet she didnt crawl till 9 months. I also held my daughter a good amount too. She was breastfed till 17 mo. but that really didn't factor into her mobility. Now at 23 mo. she is a very independent toddler. She wants to do things for herself. Yet she is short like her parents and many motor skills that seem easy for other toddlers (like walking instead of climbing up/down stairs) are quite difficult. I agree that kids do not need to be stuck in bouncer chairs all the time but motor skills do vary based on multiple factors.

I definitely agree about bouncer seats though. I didnt bother getting one because when would she need it? I am considering getting one for #2 (due 12/3) because I might need a place for him to be away from his toddler sister while I do things like dishes.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/15/2011

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Abby was just a lot more independant than Lilli was at birth. Lilli never wanted to be put down and I always attributed it to breastfeeding more with her than I did with Abby. Maybe it's the age difference, but I don't remember holding her as much as I do with Lilli. Abby also had a lot more toys than Lilli did.

Abby was a very cuddly baby just like Lilli is. But Abby wouldn't cry all day if you didn't hold her like Lilli does. Abby also napped better and slept better than Lilli.

[deleted account]

Like Heather even though I didn't use a sling I carried/ held Ethan as much as he wanted me to, the only reason I hold Poppy more is because she demands it. The way I fed them doesn't increase/ decrease my holding time - Ethan was bottle fed (bm and formula) and poppy is bf.

[deleted account]

I love my baby sling I wish I'd have had one with Ethan, but it didn't matter if I just held him all the time (which I pretty much did) with poppy she needs the extra comfort (I couldn't even pee without her getting distraught) and I need arms for Ethan so it works great.

I needed my bottles, teats and steriliser as well, so they weren't a waste of money for me, Ethan wouldn't latch so my milk dried up and I pumped a lot at the start because poppy's jaundice made feeding her near impossible.

I am glad we didn't buy a high chair though that would be a waste because I hated it, we fed Ethan in his bumbo until he started tipping it to get out, then we put him in a booster a the table, I'll do the same with poppy.

I have to sort out ethan's toys it's his birthday soon so I need to sell some of the old stuff to make room for the new stuff!

Lady Heather - posted on 09/14/2011

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Why does breastfeeding mean you carry your younger one more? I carried my formula fed kid all the time! Not in a carrier though. I just held her because none of the carriers I had fit me.

I don't know if that makes a difference but she didn't crawl until 17 months. Man, I really hope impending baby moves a little sooner. Doesn't have to be early. Just more umm...normal.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/14/2011

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I'm trying out the baby k'tan with Lilli when we walk Abby to school. I don't think I have it correct because either she feels insecure or I feel insecure.

I lucked out with the baby stuff because my MIL knew people who didn't need things anymore. My excersaucer is from my DH's cousin, my swing (the babysitter back in NY found out she liked it) is from a co-worker of my MIL. We don't use a high chair.

Lilli's been carried a lot more than Abby was (possibly because she's been breast fed more than Abby was) and she's already sitting up unassisted and crawling.

Kate CP - posted on 09/14/2011

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I couldn't wear my babies that long because they just hurt my back so much. With Sam I was seriously overweight already and it just hurt too much. With Paul I lost the weight but now I have huge knockers and he's gigantic, too. He's 7 months and over 20 pounds and nearly 28 inches long. I know he's not HUGE by most standards but he's bigger than I'm used to. :P

Anyhoodle, couldn't wear my kids for long 'cause it threw out my back. :P

Anna - posted on 09/14/2011

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I had the same experience as you did with the carriers Lisa. I probably started the Ergo around 8 months though. The Moby and the Mei Tai were great at first but putting an older baby in and out and in again was really tedious. I made the mistake of taking the mei tai on an airplane once, thinking it would at least be easier then the Moby, but that was just impossible to deal with in such a small space. There's one instance where I think my preference is for the ring sling.

I guess just writing this post made me realize I probably went overkill on carriers lol. Most were gifts or borrowed thankfully.

Minnie - posted on 09/14/2011

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I don't have an issue with the restriction. I follow a pretty primal lifestyle and hunter-gatherer cultures are my model. Their babies end up crawling really early, and it's believed because their core muscles are strengthened from being carried upright all the time. Adelaide was definitely an exemplary result of that.



I just don't like all of the baby gear paraphanalia out there. Have no use for it. Don't care if anyone else uses it.

Merry - posted on 09/14/2011

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I was thinking that too Kelly! Fierna only tolerates the sling if she's sleepy or if I face her out and am walking so she doesn't get bored. But she's not using much muscles in there! She's much more active in the exersaucer then the sling.....

[deleted account]

In terms of the sling thing, though, isn't the baby just as confined/restricted in a sling as it is in a stroller or in a seat on the floor?
Not criticizing, I used both a wearer and a stroller with J--I just never considered one better than the other, just convenient for different things.

[deleted account]

I could not have lived with out the bottle paraphernalia on April's list of things that are a waste of $$. Like many mothers in the US, I had to return to work after only 12 weeks. Thus, I had to pump, so J got most of his milk in a bottle. I still bfed when I could, but my supply would have plummeted, and he would have starved if we hadn't had bottles to feed him while we were apart. Oddly, I didn't think of those as "equipment" in the terms of the article, but I guess they are....

Erin - posted on 09/14/2011

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I loved my Bjorn. Because I'm Australian and had a summer baby, I got the breathable one (it's red and grey/white.. do they market them over there too?). It definitely kept both of us cool, never hurt my back or shoulders, and my daughter loved it. I don't think I could have used a Moby in that heat.

Elfrieda - posted on 09/14/2011

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I really didn't like the Ergo until my son was old enough to kind of hold himself, if you know what I mean. It really hurt my back. Instead of being a 23 lb sack of potatoes at 9 months, he's now a 30 lb clinging monkey at 21 months, and WAY easier to carry.



I had a pocket sling which was wonderful for the infant colicky days (we called it the Magic Sling, too bad it cut off my circulation), but I've heard such good things about the Moby Wrap that I think I'll get it for the next baby.

Merry - posted on 09/14/2011

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I hated the Bjorn style one I have, it kills my shoulders! But my moby puts the weight on my lower back which is much nicer. Even carried my 30lb 2nd old in this moby for 30 min or so on a hike last week! Next on my list is a mei tai....

Becky - posted on 09/14/2011

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That's how I feel with my 3rd too, Heather. Since we're having a 3rd boy, we pretty much have everything we could ever possibly need. Except my diaper bag was falling apart. So I splurged and bought myself a Ju-Ju-Be. :)



I bought my Ergo second-hand, except it had never been used because the people I bought it from felt the same way about the Bjorn vs. the Ergo - hated the Ergo, loved the Bjorn. I guess maybe it just depends on your body type or something. I couldn't wear the bjorn for more than 20 minutes before my shoulders were just killing me! But there are a few Bjorn models too, maybe I just had a bad model. I tried a Snuggly that someone lent me first, but I couldn't get it tight enough on my shoulders and it felt like it was either going to fall off me or the baby was going to fall out. At any rate, I certainly don't regret getting the Ergo.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/14/2011

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That's funny. I put a Bjorn on once and it was fabulous for me. Wish I'd bought one instead of the Ergo because those just fall off of me. My husband likes it though, so not a total waste. This time I got myself a moby d. Hopefully I'll like it as much as I think I will. It doesn't fall off anyways.

Becky - posted on 09/14/2011

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Yeah, I'm not sure I've seen African women (in the areas where I have lived) doing carries with both twins. I can't remember any. But the ones I knew who had twins had older children as well, so their older children would wear one of the babies, typically. It is amazing what they can do with a baby on their backs!

And that was another thing that was a total waste of money - the baby Bjorn! Killed my shoulders! My Ergo, on the other hand, very worth the money! I rarely wore Cole because I didn't need to, I could just carry him, and I didn't have a good carrier. Wore Zach more, but not all the time. This baby, I expect I will wear quite a bit, having 2 other children aged 4 and 2. Especially when we're out somewhere where we're walking for long periods of time because I don't expect Cole would be able to do, say, a whole day at the zoo or amusement park without needing a break in the stroller, and I won't be getting a triple stroller!

Minnie - posted on 09/14/2011

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There are carries you can do with twins, but two children on you -does- become a hassle. In more traditional societies there are a plethora of aunties, grandparents, friends, etc. to strap the other twin onto them.

The problem in our society is that we don't have that extended-family in our immediate surroundings environment. So for many people, all-day babywearing can indeed become difficult.

Becky - posted on 09/14/2011

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'[I'm sure we could live and raise our children without a lot of that stuff, but as long as parents don't rely on it to raise their children, I'm certainly not critical of parents who love all the gadgets. We have a fair bit ourselves - a swing, a jumperoo, highchair and boosters, a play mat, and a vibrating rocker. That vibrating rocker was a wonder when they were having difficulty taking a poo. Pop them in it, turn on the vibrations, and out came the poo! lol I used the swing for naps when they were little, and for when they got overstimulated and just needed some time to chill out for a bit. And they both loved the jumperoo. But I have heard too much of that can be bad for their hip development, so I was really conscious to limit their time in it to half an hour or so a day. They both got a lot of time being held and carried and on the floor. And they were both sitting by 5 months, crawling and pulling up to stand by 8 (the youngest at 7) and walked at 12 1/2 and 15 months. So I really don't feel it hindered their development at all. But of course, if a parent only has their baby in containers all day, or forces them into contraptions or activities they hate, that is going to be bad for their physical and emotional development! I don't really agree with her on the not putting them in a sitting or standing position either. My oldest could weight bear on his legs from a few weeks old, and as soon as he could support his own neck, he loved standing and bouncing on our legs! So I really don't see how letting him do that was harmful to him.

As for things we could've lived without - the pack and play. Although we do use it for travel, I have never used it for a playpen, ever. I tried to use the basinette part as a bed for our oldest when he was a newborn, but he hated it, so we coslept until he was willing to sleep in the crib. I did actually use it for a week or so with our youngest, as a second bed on the main floor, so I didn't have to walk up and down the stairs to put him in his bed. I think that really sped up my recovery. Then we got a basinette and I just carried the basket from that around instead. We might have to use the play pen part with this baby though - if I leave him on the floor, he's likely to either be tackled or buried in toys! And yes, most of the overabundance of toys we have were a waste of money. They would rather play with the contents of my kitchen and pantry!

[deleted account]

I had a bunch of stuff that was a waste. Especially the baby shower items.
Johnson's baby soap scented lotions, baby powder, rash cream...stuff like that.
most of her toys are a waste of money. All she wants to play with is her art supplies and musical instruments. The only toy she likes is her little stroller and baby doll.
I only really used her crib, high chair, bouncy chair and her play pen (for about a month then she hated it).
I had tons of stuff that i gave away that i didn't even use.
Baby tub, seat for the tub, bumbo chair or whatever its called, baby rocker, bassinet, swing bouncer, walker, bottles and bottle accessories, umbrella stroller, baby carrier(she wouldn't use the snuggies until 15 months, she ended up using a wrap i made instead, it was the only thing i could get her in.

Sherri - posted on 09/14/2011

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Sorry but I needed every bit of my baby stuff. Crib, swing bouncer, car seat, stroller, jolly jumper, walker, high chair, pack n play, bassinet, small bassinet for when we are outside to protect from sun and bugs.



@April so funny couldn't have lived without any of that stuff except bottle warmer, bottle sterilizer and bumbo chair the rest on your list was an absolute 100% must!!!



We don't bed share so they were in their cribs from day 1 for naps and bedtime.



We don't wear our babies (hated it) but we needed safe places for them at all times. Since I have other kids, multiple daycare kids as well, hard wood floors, dog & cats. So when I was busy with other kids, chores etc. They needed to be up and safe. So they were never just on the floor they would have been trampled. So they were in bouncer, swing, jolly jumper or walker.



No it never delayed them or hindered them in anyway, that is a bunch of hogwash. All of them were all very early walkers (except my oldest)

Lady Heather - posted on 09/14/2011

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I like this and I don't like this.

I don't like it that some babies are just kept in gadgets all day. I have the gadgets, but I use them for making dinner and not much else. Gates don't keep cats out and I have no doors to my kitchen so I prefer baby to be off the floor for that period of time. So yeah, gadgets are not all the time things, but the play a small role in my house and will continue to do so.

I'm glad somebody is supportive of no tummy time because I didn't do it with Freja. She screamed and screamed so I just gave up on it. And she's fine. But at the same time, this whole idea that babies will move and sit up when they want - it's true. But if I had never sat Freja up with assistance, she wouldn't have ever sat up until 14 months old. She only learned to move in her own way before then because I sat her up. She could not pull up into sitting. Can you imagine a kid over a year old who is still just lying flat on her back? What would that have done to development in other areas? I think some kids do need a little assistance. Now that doesn't mean sticking her in a walker or something. But I helped her getting into sitting position and early on I would put a little pillow behind her.

[deleted account]

I bought a simple pocket sling before my son was born, but I didn't figure out how to properly wear it until he was close to 6 months old. :P



I would just try every once in a while to put him in it, and he seemed so cramped and uncomfortable that I gave up for months. I thought maybe the sizing was off.



Then I figured out I was putting it on backwards or something like that (it's hard to explain), and the "pocket" part was twisted funny.



*headpalm*

Merry - posted on 09/14/2011

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Hats off to you Lisa, I fully planned on baby wearing all day but I just get too worn out! Besides, I love sitting her in a seat and folding my laundry while chatting to her, holding her all the time I can't really play! But I am excited to get my mei tai so I can put her on my back and get stuff done while she's wanting to be held.

What to those cultures do when twins happen?

[deleted account]

I don't really think it's odd and it doesn't bother me at all that YOU did it. I just know that I couldn't have. ;)

Minnie - posted on 09/14/2011

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Not saying that they were, of course :).

People just find it odd that I wore Adelaide all the time. I just say it's how we do it the world over. I wonder why it's so odd in our culture?

[deleted account]

No way could I have carried any of my kids all day long. I had a carrier for my son (no point in even TRYING to have one/two w/ the girls) and tried it a couple of times... I couldn't stand it. ;) Oh well... they weren't harmed any by me not carrying them everywhere. ;)

Minnie - posted on 09/14/2011

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Lisa, did you really and honestly wear Adelaide all day? Didn't you ever need to put her down to hold Evelyn?



If African/Asian/South American mommas can do it we can too.



There's a high back carry for newborns- then you have your front free. I can't say I ever had a problem hugging Evelyn even with a baby on my front.



I've never had a problem cooking or cleaning. Swing baby to your back, tie them on and go about your business.



http://www.flickr.com/groups/ethnicbabyc...

Anna - posted on 09/14/2011

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I think it's nice to have one place to put my baby. But I would think that for the most part, one should be enough. We used a bouncer, it's small, portable, and inexpensive. We borrowed things like swing, exersaucer, etc. but they spent a lot of time in the garage because they just take up so much room.
I have a ton of baby carriers that I don't use and 2 that I do, Moby Wrap for small babies and Ergo for big ones. And I guess my husband likes our metal frame one for hiking. So maybe carriers are where I splurge a little bit money wise, even though I would only consider myself a light to moderate baby wearer.

I don't entirely disagree with the article, everything can be bad in extremes. I can't say that any one thing would be useless, just that having one of everything would a bit redundant. And people should mostly hold their babies.

As far as the floor time thing, I just do what keeps them happy.

Merry - posted on 09/14/2011

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April the bouncy chair was my life saver! It may not be a necessity for every baby but for some babies it's as good as gold! Just as some babies need their swing, but mine never cared for it.
Erics pacifier wasn't a waste of money because it was free at the hospital! Lol he only used it three months anyways.
High chair isn't a necessity but it's pretty awsome to have! Strapped in all safe with a tray just the right size, I can eat in somewhat peace without worrying about Eric :)

[deleted account]

Yep. They actually taught themselves how to do a cartwheel at 5 from seeing it on a cartoon. Sam was found climbing from the rocking chair to the jalousies (sp?) in her room at a year and a half.... and from my dad's tree to his roof just before 3!

Like I said... I'm SOOOO glad that Caleb isn't quite the climber they were/are cuz I don't have my ex around to 'rescue' him.

April - posted on 09/14/2011

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Teresa: sounds like your girls had a natural ability for gymnastics from the start? they were very strong as infants!

April - posted on 09/14/2011

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oooh! thanks teresa! you reminded me of another item i found useless in my life with a baby : high chair! he refused to sit in one ever.

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With the girls, other than car seats and cribs, we had one playpen, one bouncy seat, one swing, and one walker. The playpen wasn't used much, mainly as a bed when needed. They took turns in the bouncy seat and swing. The walker was used from 5-9 months.... until they started climbing in and out of it on their own. None of those things hindered their development any. They were sitting for short periods of time before 6 months, army crawling at 7, regular crawling by 8, took first steps at 10.5 months, and climbed EVERYTHING.

My son had a bouncy seat, swing, and bumbo. He HAD to be propped up to sleep or he was in pain and spent the first 5 months of his life sleeping upright on me while I was propped upright in my bed. I forget when he was sitting, but he army crawled at 5 months, regular crawled at 6 months, and took first step at 9 months. Thankfully he's never been QUITE as much of a climber as his sisters, but he DOES climb.

Oh, we had high chairs for the girls and my son has a booster seat that is strapped to a rolling office chair. ;)

April - posted on 09/14/2011

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a while ago i posted on facebook a list of things for baby that were a waste of money! this article is very similar! i do think some of the items actually hinder a baby's development, yes. one of the items i dislike most is the bumbo chair. 3 month olds look ridiculous sitting up because they're not really supposed to be (most aren't, but I met a 4 month old that could sit up on her own!. My feeling is that if it looks silly or doesn't seem natural, it's probably not good for baby. When I say that, I am talking about the individual child. The 4 month only I met wouldn't have looked silly in a bumbo chair, but my son at 4 months would have looked crazy uncomfortable!

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I didn't want most of this stuff because we live in a small flat and I hate clutter, especially brightly-colored ugly-ass plastic baby clutter, but I doubt any of these things are that harmful in moderation. But they don't do what the marketing claims, either.



I can imagine that some babies' lives are like circuit training at the gym: crib, bouncy chair, car seat, swing, bumbo, exesaucer, playmat, jumperoo, and back around again. It doesn't seem ideal for development.





This article seems to say that babies should be on their back all day to play but isn't this what's causing babies to have flat heads?




Laura, when babies have floor time, they naturally turn their head to look at things and interact with their parents, and then when they're ready, they start to roll by themselves and eventually lie on their tummies. But carseats and bouncy chairs can be unnaturally restricting. That's the theory I've heard, anyway: that "tummy time" is unnecessary if a baby has a lot of floor time.

Rosie - posted on 09/14/2011

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i agree that alot of the things we buy are unnecessary. but things that we do buy-like the bouncy seat or other things-aren't harmful if kept in them for short periods of time. either is sitting....sounds like someone who doesn't know what the fuck moderation means.

Elfrieda - posted on 09/14/2011

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My baby didn't scream if he was sitting, unlike the terribly offensive positions of face down (so angry!) and face up (so bored!), so I propped him up with pillows and he learned to sit pretty early, at 4 or 5 months. He was much happier once he learned how to sit on his own, and didn't bother crawling until months later. I didn't realize it was "a thing" not to prop them up, either.

Merry - posted on 09/14/2011

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I never thought it was bad to help a baby sit or stand, both my babies preferred to be standing! From birth on they both loved standing and could hold their whole weight from two weeks or so on. Sitting, not so much a favorite for them but its a natural position to be in so I can't see the harm in helping them........

Vicki - posted on 09/14/2011

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I bought several slings, a carseat, side-car cot, clothes and nappies. That was it! I was minimalist Mum, but I was going with the theory that if I felt we needed a gizmo we'd go and buy them then, rather than buy everything first and find them wasted. I was given a hand-me-down rocker and change table. Both got used, the rocker only for short periods like when I needed to shower or poo.

At some point I bought a jolly jumper but only used it a few times. I got a 2nd hand hammock for naps when he was about 2 months and a stroller at 6 months. Just now at 2 years I've picked up an all terrain type pram as we've moved to where the paths are rocky and the umbrella stroller wasn't cutting it.

I agree the with 'too much stuff' theory of the article but not sure babies are meant to spend all their times on their backs. My son did spend time lying on his back, but mostly he was in a sling (no toddler to chase, it was easy for me!), sometimes in the rocker. Once he could roll he loved being on his tummy. I never propped him or encouraged him to sit (didn't realise it was a thing to do). He didn't sit until he could crawl and get himself in and out of the position. I once tried to put him into a friend's bumbo but his thighs were too fat! We were in an apartment then and didn't have the room for lots of baby stuff.

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We live in a tiny house, so I didn't have room for a bunch of stuff. That was fine with me because we embrace a somewhat minimalist way of living, so I didn't want all the stuff anyway.

We had the changing pad that could be stored in the closet, no table, I just put it on the floor or the bed when in use then stowed it away again. The swing proved to be a lifesaver once he developed reflux and sinus issues. We used a booster seat with a high back in place of a full sized highchair (I thought all of them were ugly), and he played on the floor on a blanket. No need for a fancy mat. And we had a cradle, stroller, and car seats. That was it :)

I didn't really think about them hindering his development, but I could tell they would not help his development, so I didn't find them necessary. My decision not to buy most of it was based more on space constraints and appearance of my home than anything. I like a nice, uncluttered, calm environment. That's where I can be at my best--a room full of bright colors and loud clutter would have only left me more stressed than I already was as a new mother, so I avoided it. The things I did buy came in subtle, neutral colors, and if they didn't, I had them covered. I could afford to customize my things because I didn't buy a thousand different things.

Ashley - posted on 09/14/2011

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My kids had a swing, bouncer chair, jumperoo, play mat and bumbo chair (didnt have the bumbo for my oldest) but they loved them all. Definately not a waste of money for my two. They used the swing so much that the motor burnt out in it. Lasted us 2 years. Our bouncer chair i had to throw out because they both used it so much that one side was lower to the ground than the other lol. My oldest was sick for 2 months so the bouncer chair was our saviour! He sometimes slept in it during the day and at night. It was the only thing to calm him down. The jumperoo they both absolutely loved. My youngest fell asleep in it a few times he loved it so much. Bumbo chair he loved as well. I bought the tray to go with it so i'd feed him in it or just sit him in it while i was cooking dinner with some toys. Definately not a waste of money. We also had a basinett..my oldest didnt use it as he was in the hospital and too big for it when he came out and my youngest only used it for a couple of weeks as he was a big baby and didnt fit in it anymore. The obvious things like a car seat and stroller needed those. Crib as well. It didnt hinder any of their development in anything. My youngest didnt walk until about 15 months but he was just slower at walking. He could get around by crawling and that was fine with him. I'd definately buy it all again if i had to

Kate CP - posted on 09/14/2011

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Things I use consistently with my babies:
Crib/bassinet
Play Pen
Stroller
Car seat (duh)
Bouncy chair (bouncer)
High chair

Things I bought or received that I never used:
Swing
Play Mat
Mini Crib
Bumbo
Exersaucer-thingy

Honestly I believe letting kids explore their environment and discover things safely is the best way to grow and learn. When my son is ready to walk he'll walk on his own without the aid of one of those rolling-saucer-walker-thingies. I don't like the jumpers because it seems like a lot of pressure on the groin area. And lots of kids toys are just...annoying. :P

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