There has been a lot of talk about the famous Bumbo seat since its recall this past summer.
Although the recall was addressing the safety of an unsupervised child siting in the Bumbo on a high countertop, there are other concerns that should be addressed when it comes to baby seats.
By Dr. Sarah Chajka
One of the issues with the safety of baby seats has to do with the timing of when your child is put into the seat and how long they are left there, rather than the seats themselves. This is related to how babies need to progress through These stages allow for the proper development of the curves in the spine to form and the stability of muscles and ligaments to gain strength and support.
We know that “tummy time” is an important first stage of development for babies. The reason why it is so important, believe it or not, is connected to promoting the neurological development process. This process is accomplished by stimulation of the cerebellum. This part of the brain is responsible for the co-ordination of muscle including those muscles that provide postural support. Another one of the cerebellum’s functions is to act as the relay station for all sensory information coming in from the body and all motor information going to the body from the brain.
Tummy time forces the baby to lift their head, which fires their extensor muscles, and, in turn, helps develop the entire postural pathway and helps stimulate use and development of the cerebellum. Tummy time then leads to the baby rocking back and forth on all fours to improve their balance before they start to crawl. By this time most babies are sitting up and can usually do so with little assistance. Then they begin standing, walking, and even running wild!If these steps are missed or done out of order, the development of their spinal curves and postural muscles will be altered.
It is normal for a baby to sit with some level of support before they are old enough to sit on their own such as when mom will sit a baby up after feeding in order to burp them. The Bumbo could be said to be just another form of supported sitting, however, two down sides to the Bumbo have been observed. First, if used for too long or too regularly the supportive effect of the Bumbo may delay a baby’s ability to sit unaided because it does all the work for them. Secondly, human spines don’t like being held in a fixed position for extended periods of time on a regular basis. This is why office workers stuck at a desk all day often get into trouble with their spines and chronic postural strains.
Wait until your baby can sit up and support their head on their own before using the Bumbo.
Furthermore, parents should keep the duration that a child is left in a Bumbo short, such as a few minutes at a time, similar in duration to carrying or burping. This way you can still have the convenience of propping your child up from time to time, but minimise the risk of problems.
Dr. Sarah Chajka believes that Chiropractic care is beneficial to all. Her upbringing in an active family and years of discipline through sport and dance have reinforced this as well as witnessing the transforming effect of chiropractic treatment on all ages. While working at the Health Centre of Milton she has further developed her interest in preventative health and healing and has taken extra courses in order to give specialized attention to pregnancy and paediatrics. For more information visit the clinic website at www.healthcentreofmilton.ca
Dr. Sarah Chajka, BKinHons, DC, Webster Certified
420 Main St E. Unit 102 &103
Milton Ontario, L9T 1P9