Helping babies sit up with support, stand with support and even walk with support is a popular idea. Parents feel the need for this instinctually as the child tries to move in various positions. For example, when a baby is held upright at shoulder and parent is seated, they will bounce up on their feet. Babies love bouncing and parents replicate the position thinking baby is happy. However, let’s look at why it’s really not helpful for development.

 

The brain has very few connections when the baby is born. As the child moves and interacts with people and objects, these connections grow and strengthen. In the first years, how the child moves in their environment is crucial to this learning and forming connections.

 

How can we parents then help our kids?

 

BY PROVIDING WITH THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT AND TIME TO PRACTICE SKILLS ON THEIR OWN.  

 

Right environment: 

Using equipment like bouncers, swings, bumbo seats and walkers is encouraging the baby move in wrong patterns or not move at all. The best thing for learning is leaving the baby on the floor to figure out how to move from lying on floor to standing.  Strength in their bodies only improves when the child moves their own body up from the floor.  Just like only thinking about going to the gym or having someone else help lift weights will not help your body.?

 

Practice time: 

Helping babies with our hands doesn’t allow them to feel their bodies properly during movements, especially experiencing falling. Learning about how not to fall and how to recover balance is not the same when an adult is holding the child in sitting or standing. The best thing to do is allow the baby to move in and out of different positions, fall, and experiment with movements on their own pace. If you are concerned about your child not meeting milestones, please seek a consult with us to figure out why.

 

Strength and coordination required for movements only comes from moving without help. Body awareness needed to perform gentle, refined tasks like crafts, writing, coloring only comes from having good strength and coordination. Thinking/problem solving skills needed to learning higher concepts like maths, reading comes from a strong foundation of movements and body awareness.  All these dependent skills may be poor in later years if the babies are not allowed freedom of learning in the beginning.  Bottom line? Don’t help your baby sit up or stand or walk.

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  • Neelam Yadav
    December 14, 2016 at 8:42 am

    This is very helpful. Thanks :) Please help me understand if what I am doing is wrong. When I take my one yr old daughter out […] Read MoreThis is very helpful. Thanks :) Please help me understand if what I am doing is wrong. When I take my one yr old daughter out in the lawn, she insists on putting her down on the grass and then she walks holding my finger. Even when I leave her all by herself, she does the same thing. How can I not help her in order to try her own ways. Thanks. Read Less

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