Can’t put my baby down
Help! My baby won’t let me put him/her down! Sound familiar? That clever little bean of yours is doing what’s he/she is naturally designed to do.
You see, a developed spine has four curves (cervical, lumbar, thoracic and sacral). A side view means it looks a little like an ‘S’ shape…although more of a wiggle if you ask me. (https://mayfieldclinic.com/pe-anatspine.htm)
These slight curves assist with balance and flexibility, and also help to absorb stresses placed on our back such as the impact of each step we take.
Babies are not born with spines shaped like this, instead they only develop the primary thoracic and sacral curves meaning they appear more like a long ‘C’ shape. This is why babies look curled up. The secondary curves begin to develop when they lift their heads, sit up and crawl. http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/s/spine-problems/symptoms-and-causes. It’s not until after your child’s first birthday, when he walks unsupported, that the ‘S’ shape will fully develop.
Newborn babies do not naturally lie flat. Research shows that “prolonged immobilization on a firm mattress or a flat bed (as in a stroller),” [and] “the constant influence of gravity flattens the body surface against the mattress producing positional disorders and infants with decreased muscle tone (Short, 1996)”.
Lying your baby down in a horizontal position for long periods, is discouraged. Additionally, it can negatively influence the development of a baby’s hip joints (Kirkilionis, 2002).
So, what are you telling me Kia? I hear you…I have one article saying don’t stay curled up in a car seat, and another saying don’t lie flat too long.
What it means, is that moving around and offering different positions, will not only help promote good health, but also likely keep your baby happy! And we know a certain carrying aid that promotes a position that allows for the natural curves of the spine, don’t we?
Not only do slings hold babies supportive of the spine, but being held upright allows your baby to move, develop and use muscle control to stay upright, get comfortable and look around.
And, let’s not forget to mention that carrying babies with the aid of a correctly fitted sling, can aid OUR postures too. I mean, birth did some incredible things to our bodies…but ouch!
Kirkilionis, E. (2002). Carrying an Infant: More than the Possibility of Child Transport. Kosel.