Motor development should become a new parent’s buzzword throughout their child’s early life as it is crucial for a baby’s physical strength, movement, and cognitive development.
Today some research has shown that it is not safe for babies to sleep on their tummies.
Yet tummy time is essential to help babies strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles and improve motor skills needed to roll over, sit up, crawl and walk.
Parents should, therefore, encourage tummy time from as early as the baby’s first day home from the hospital.
Initially, tummy time can be over the mom’s legs and on the floor as the baby matures. However, the baby should always be awake and supervised.
If the baby does not enjoy this time, try to persevere and make it fun by singing, making eye contact, or placing colourful toys in front of the baby.
Today, although walking rings and entertainers are beautiful with musical toys and pusher functions, they don’t aid or assist with motor development.
According to occupational therapists, they are to be avoided at all costs.
The downside of walking rings:
• They place extra pressure on a child’s legs when they might not be developmentally ready or strong enough to stand.
• They encourage children to toe-walk, which causes the Achilles tendon at the back of the legs to shorten and impacts walking in the older child.
• Doctors have reported severe head injuries when walking rings have fallen downstairs, hooked, and tipped on carpets or furniture.
• Children cannot explore their environment as their little arms are too short to touch the world around them physically. It hampers their cognitive development.
Even though walking rings seem to help your child walk, they can delay motor and cognitive learning developmental milestones.
Instead, encourage your child to crawl through tummy time, pull themselves up on furniture, cruise, and walk.