This blog is not about safety recalls but instead about a warning about overusing baby equipment such as swings, bouncers, car seats, strollers, etc. These days there are so many contraptions available, including those that enable parents to move their infant to and from car to stroller without any actual physical contact. While this makes life easier for harried parents, what is this doing to our babies?
Overuse of baby equipment has been associated with a number of physical and emotional consequences including;
*Slower physical development—babies need freedom to learn to move their bodies and explore their worlds! This includes lots of “tummy time” when awake since babies should be put to sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS
*Head & neck problems- young infants can develop neck problems (torticollis) and babies who spend more than 4 hours a day in hard equipment (like car seats & swings) develop flat spots on their skulls (positional plagiocephaly)
*Lack of physical contact & touch- research shows that infants crave and need touch with caregivers to develop securely. In order to securely emotionally attach, babies and toddlers must be held, rocked, and caressed. Try using a sling, front or back carrier to provide body contact.
*Parenting tips: Parents love baby equipment because it provides a much needed break and soothes fussy infants. Believe me, I used many contraptions to keep my twin babies happy and preserve my sanity too. The key is to use baby equipment sparingly, allow your infant to spend most of his time free to move and cuddle. Most important is to be responsive when your baby needs YOU.
*More information and tips at: http://www.attachmentparenting.org/faq/html/touchfaq.php