Did you know that there is such as thing as “Container Baby Syndrome”? Simply put, it’s when babies spend too much time in “containers” which can cause a variety of movement, behavior, and other difficulties as a result.
And no- I’m not talking about Tupperware type containers- that would be kinda weird- lol. I’m talking about the various devices that parents may “shuffle” their baby from throughout the day. Think car seats, ExerSaucers, bouncy seats, baby swings, strollers, nursing cushions…the list goes on!!
In an article on the American Academy of Pediatrics Blog, (see full post on my website for the link to the article) the author informs us that on average, babies spend up to 6 hours a day in one of these “containers”!!
6 hours a day.
Let that sink in for a moment.
6 hours every day in some kind of container.
And honestly? I think 6 hours is on the low side- although I haven’t actually conducted research on it- I’ll admit.
From a brain and body perspective, that’s 6 hours a day when babies aren’t on the floor, exploring their environment. 6 hours a day when babies aren’t developing the muscle tone and coordination needed for gross motor tasks such as rolling, sitting up, and crawling. 6 hours a day where their BRAINS are not getting the stimulation it needs to grow in the way that links up the different parts.
Is it any wonder that in our modern society, with all its gadgets and gizmos for babies, that we have SO many children that need help later in life? SO many that need to come to Brain FUNdamentals because they can’t sit still, focus, have anxiety or learning challenges?
SO many children that didn’t get the MOVEMENT opportunities they needed as babies to work through their primitive reflexes. SO many children that have poor posture and low muscle tone. SO many children that have no idea where their body is in space?!?
Now, let me set one thing straight. I am not a doctor- I’ve said that before. But what I HAVE learned through my own training and research (and is the consistent message everywhere in my circles) is that BABIES NEED MOVEMENT. It’s not all they need, and there can certainly be other factors involved, but the first year of life is CRITICAL for body and brain development, and overuse of “containers” can easily hinder that development.
Am I saying don’t use a car seat or stroller? No, of course not- but be mindful. Awareness is the first step, right?
Has the baby been in the car seat for longer than needed? (ie- you’re not in the car anymore?) Are you using devices or containers that position the baby in a way that they can’t get into by themselves- like using a nursing cushion for example? If you have to put a cushion behind a baby to help them stay sitting up, then they AREN’T READY to sit up! Simple as that. Let them figure it out for themselves. Let them do a baby “workout” to build the muscle tone and coordination needed to be able to sit up on their own. Trust me- you’re not doing them any favors by “helping”. And please know- if you DO have concerns about your child’s development, I encourage you to consult a trusted doctor, Physical Therapist, or Occupational Therapist. You might even want to ask them if they are familiar with “Container Baby Syndrome”.
Ok. So you’ve heard my message. What else can you do about it?
Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell new mothers and grandmothers.
Let them know that babies don’t need the “next generation” of ExerSaucer, or the latest gadget that holds them in a position they can’t get in and out of by themselves. They need movement. And plenty of it.
And honestly? I hope I DON’T need to see your child at Brain FUNdamentals in 6, 7, or 8 years from now because hopefully, it will mean that your child is doing just fine and doesn’t need the support.
Isn’t that really what we all want?