We’ve all shopped for our little ones online and in stores, only to discover that there’s a lot to choose from! If the item is made for a baby it must be great for a baby, right? The unfortunate reality is that some baby items just aren’t needed and can even do more harm than good to your little one’s development. These popular baby items are worth talking about when aiming to give the best to your little ones.
Dangers in Baby Equipment
Jumpers, walkers, and floor seats, we’re looking at you. Floor seats and jumpers in particular have a way of causing muscle tightness. If we take the jumper, for example, you’ll notice how your little one is up on their toes. As a result, calf muscles tighten. Additionally, floor seats and jumpers can really add unnecessary pressure to the hips and put your child into a position that isn’t the norm for a growing human body. As for walkers, this baby item is known to cause preventable injuries. Walkers, as well as the seats already mentioned, do not help your baby in the development department. Babies are exceptionally skilled at practicing and learning how to crawl, stand, and walk all without the help of any special device. If you do want to buy something special and fun for your little one, try play gyms or activity centers. These products allow your child to move how they’re meant to while still keeping things fun and interesting.
To Sippy Cup or Not to Sippy Cup
A refreshing drink needn’t come from a sippy cup. In fact, sippy cups are known to make juice and milk stick to teeth longer, thus increasing the risk for tooth decay AKA dreaded cavities. Not only are cavities of concern, but the sippy cup design puts limits on mouth and tongue movement, which can affect how swallowing develops. What can a parent do then? Around 9 months, your baby should be ready to tackle a straw and move away from the bottle. The secret sauce is simply using a cup with a straw instead. Straw cups are excellent alternatives to sippy cups, and they’re also a low-mess option.
Little Steps and Baby Shoes
Baby shoes can be so adorable, but when it comes to shoes, their only function is to protect feet from rough surfaces such as when playing around outside. Shoes ultimately will not encourage or help your baby walk or run. The best thing to do, whenever possible, is to go shoeless, which will help your little one improve strength, coordination, and balance. When your kiddo is really crushing it with running and walking, it’s time to choose shoes that will help them take on those challenging surfaces. Avoid shoes that are too hard and feel inflexible. A shoe like that can really place limits on the foot’s ability to move. Instead, choose flexible, skid-resistant, and lightweight baby shoes when shopping for baby shoes. Unfortunately, shoes that fit this description may not be of the classiest of all styles, but selecting comfort over fashion will go a long way for your baby’s development and happiness while at play.
Final Thoughts on Baby Items
It’s true that a lot of these baby items look fun, but in terms of your child’s development, simplicity can be the best thing you ever gift for your child. When your little is growing and learning in their early years, you’ll definitely want to capitalize on plenty of tummy time to help your kiddo strengthen their muscles and practice moving. Tummy time is also an excellent alternative to any equipment you may consider buying. Additionally, try to keep your kiddo out of seats for long periods of time. Seats in general tend to constrict movement during a time destined for tons of movement. When you do use seats, be conscientious about seats with head support as these place a lot of pressure on the back of the skull. Plagiocephaly could result if your child spends a lot of time in chairs. The moral of the story? Movement without the addition of an item is oftentimes the best kind of movement!
We have the best of the best equipment and toys for little ones. If you feel your kiddo could benefit from physical therapy, contact our team today.