Car Seats, Strollers, and Swings, Oh My!

Baby car seat

Baby car seat

Technology is fascinating.  I am so impressed with the ever-changing high-tech equipment that is out there. From car seats that easily click into strollers, to baby swings that oscillate using space technology (Man, that thing is cool!), it seems like parents are ahead of the game when it comes to finding the latest equipment to help support their babies.  Though this may seem like an article on what cool new baby devices you should add to your Christmas list, this is, instead, my call to action...

Get your babies out of the buckets!  

This is my plea, whatever you do, get your babies out of the buckets!  By "buckets" I am referring to:  

  • car seats
  • swings
  • reclined bouncers
  • any resting device that places your child on the back at an incline

Overuse.  That is the issue.

This equipment is super easy for transportation, provides a safe spot for your child to rest or explore, and even allows you the freedom to take that quick shower. The problem is:

  • Parents are overusing this equipment 

Babies are placed in the car seat, clicked into the stroller, then set in a swing at home resulting in a baby staying in the same position throughout the course of an entire day.  When a baby is spending majority of the day in these "bucket" positions, developmental problems occur.

Basic Problems

Babies who are frequently placed in bucket positions have difficulty moving their heads, necks, and limbs.  These children have to work hard against gravity to turn their heads or reach for toys.  Often, the child’s muscles fatigue causing the head and neck to fall to one side.  Imagine the last time you fell asleep in a recliner only to wake up with the side of your neck cramping, Ouch!  As fully developed adults, we have the strength to change our head position and move against gravity.  Our infants do not.  

Bucket positions decrease a child's interaction with the environment limiting the visual field as well as head, arm, and leg movements.  These movement impairments:

  • slow brain development

  • decrease limb coordination

  • delay postural stability

  • may contribute to skeletal issues such a plagiocephaly.

Simple Solution:

child moving

child moving

Take them out!  After that long car ride, use a wrap or carrier, place them in a stroller without the car seat, or put them on the floor.  Find a safe spot in the house, throw down a few cause and effect toys, and let your baby play!  I have some great tips on floor mats and mirrors that I love for tummy time which I will share soon.  Stay tuned!

For more ideas on changing your baby’s position, click here: Contact US!

Boost Babies, LLC offers wellness classes and pediatric physical therapy to help your kids grow and develop over the lifespan.