Oh, the containers. The wonderful “things” in which we put our babies. The choices are limitless. Go to any local baby store, and it can be a bit overwhelming. Forty-nine types of swings. Sixty-four different bouncer seats. Car seat carriers that snap right into the stroller? Wow – what a perfect set up! Bumbo seats. Nap nannys in delicious fabrics. Sixteen selections of Exersaucers. A large variety (40 to be exact) of walkers and jumpers. Get the picture?
The question is “why?” Why have we decided that babies need to be in a container to be happy? Why did we make the switch from a big palette on the floor to six different containers around the house? Why do we break our backs while carrying the carrier with the baby in it – everywhere? Why did it become the “thing” to sleep our babies in a container?
This can be a little bit of a sensitive subject, but the fact is our babies need human touch. Our babies need warmth from a caregiver. Our babies need to learn how their bodies move in space. Our babies need to work against gravity and physically explore their surroundings without boundaries. Our babies cannot get these things while being in containers.
If you are “addicted” to your containers – it is okay. There is hope for you. Start small. Baby steps (no pun intended). Gradually cut the time your baby spends in a container. Use it only when you really need to. Take your baby out of the car seat when you’re not in the car. Use an incline for sleeping only if your baby has reflux. Grab a big, wonderfully soft comforter and throw it on the floor for your baby to lie on when awake. Work on that tummy time. Put toys around the baby to encourage visual tracking, reaching, moving to an object and spatial awareness.
One of the best ways to stimulate your baby is to “wear” them. There is a good variety of baby carriers, and there is bound to be one that fits your body type. When the baby is young, they face you and get some serious snuggle time. When they are older, they face out and learn all about the world around them. All this while soaking in the warmth of your body, feeling the way a body moves, hearing sounds around them and moving against gravity. An added bonus – you get a good workout! So go out and get a Baby Bjorn or any other type of baby carrier and “wear” your baby. Without a doubt, you will get as much satisfaction out of it as your baby does.
Studies show that American babies are the least touched of any other country. Let’s change that. Good luck.