…and walkers and exercise saucers are too.
I know a lot of people out there love using those seats because they’re convenient, but having studied the development of children those seats still make me cringe inwardly.
Placing children in those seats interferes with their natural progression of skills, such as sitting up on their own and learning to actively control and strengthen certain muscle groups in their body.
They are practically placed in one position, unable to move their joints or build pelvic stability.
It also puts them into an unnatural position in general, including their hips, head and arms.
Physical therapists point out in which way these seats are unhealthy for a baby:
“The position actually teaches babies incorrect postural alignment, with a rounded back and the head leaning forward”, says Mary Weck, clinical coordinator of physical therapy at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
Though many parents say their children look happy in the Bumbo, Weck says babies can be equally happy in many other positions. Here’s how Weck assesses statements found on bumbo.com:
Bumbo says: “The seat stabilizes the child into slight hip flexion, placing the pelvis in a slight anterior pelvic tilt which facilitates lumbar extension.”
Weck says: “Actually, it does the exact opposite. It puts the baby’s pelvis in a posterior tilt, which facilitates lumbar flexion, not extension. That puts the baby’s chest behind the pelvis. Then the head has to come too far forward. It’s no longer positioned directly above the chest.”
Bumbo says: “The chair allows a child the pelvic stability needed to get the hands into the midline for play.”
Weck says: “Children don’t need a chair to get their hands in that position. At the age they’re using the Bumbo, they are able to do that in a variety of positions anyway.”
Bumbo says: “Upright positioning facilitates an improved visual field of the environment, improved respirations and breath control and assists a baby who needs to be upright after feeding due to reflux.”
Weck says: “Studies show tummy time is good at stabilizing the visual field of the environment. Research also shows respirations and reflux are better when the infant is prone rather than upright, as long as the baby is in the proper prone position. One reason the chairs tip over is that babies need to move. This chair holds them from getting the vestibular motion they need to give them control of their eyes and other sensory issues. All the benefits you get from moving are inhibited in a chair.”
There are actually more articles on this topic and I highly suggest you look it up yourself because education and knowledge are the key to a happy and healthy child!