All over the world, there are a plethora of patients in doctor’s rooms, complaining of gnawing pains in the back and neck. Pains that simply won’t go away. In more instances than not, the diagnosis is pretty straightforward. It’s our sedentary lifestyles that have led to us sitting for hours on end in front of screens. To be more specific – sitting in the ‘wrong posture’.
One must know that maintaining good posture is a habit. If we can inculcate this habit in our babies, they will probably have none of that worrisome back and neck pain, in the future. What’s more, good posture also evokes a confident state of mind!
Are you ready to encourage good postures for your baby, be it during sitting, sleeping or even feeding? Sit back (Straight up, of course!) and enjoy the read.
Correct Baby Sitting Posture
Many parents notice their children sitting in a ‘W’ position once they have begun to hold their body straight for support. This entails them sitting on their hips and bending their knees, moving their legs outwards.
There has been a lot of debate over the years concerning this position, with some experts saying it will only weaken those hip and leg muscles. However, it is generally not something to be overly concerned about, as it is something that resolves itself as the child gets stronger and more stable.
Here are some alternatives for the W-position baby sitting posture.
- Squatting. No easy feat for adults, squatting is not difficult for children, as their muscular strength is on the rise. Bonus: This position helps develop core strength, and even strong legs.
- Kneeling. Another great alternative to the W-position, and not hard to do.
- The cross-legged position. The best sitting position, this one might take some time to achieve.
Correct Baby Sleeping Posture
You might sleep curled on your side, or even face down with one leg dangling off the side of the bed. Babies don’t have that luxury!
Firstly, a look at some sleeping postures that must be avoided at all costs.
On the stomach
Babies who sleep on their stomachs might obstruct their airways, thereby hindering breathing. One most disturbing fact is that 49% of infants that die in their sleep, are discovered on their tummies.
On their side
Babies that sleep on their side, are more likely than ever to roll on their stomachs. And we have just discovered how dangerous that tummy-sleeping position can be!
Correct sleeping posture for baby
Of course, you must be anxious to know the correct position for the baby to sleep in. The answer is pretty straightforward: ‘On the back’.
The thing is, when your baby is placed in this golden sleeping position, they can not only breathe easier, but they are far less likely to choke on spit-up than when placed in other sleeping positions. Bonus: There is a good amount of research that shows that babies that sleep on their backs are less prone to things like fevers and ear infections.
Correct Posture for Feeding Baby
It’s important to take care of your little one’s posture when feeding them, too.
You can begin by placing your baby on one side, towards your breasts. You want to make sure that your baby’s whole body is facing your chest, with their ear, shoulder and hip in a straight line.
The following points describe how to hold your baby in the Cradle Hold Position, which is highly recommended for feeding babies. If you’re looking for the correct posture for feeding a baby, this one’s it.
- Position your baby so that their head rests in the bend of your elbow, on the side you will be breastfeeding in. The hand on that side should go on to support the rest of the body.
- Cupping your breast with the other hand, place your thumb above your nipple at the spot where your baby’s nose will touch your breast.
- Ensure your index finger finds itself at the spot where your baby’s chin will make contact with the breast. Gently compress the breast so that the nipple points slightly towards the baby’s nose. Now, your baby is ready to latch!
Correct Baby Posture while Walking
Walking is perhaps the milestone that parents look forward most to, where it comes to their developing babies. Here are some issues that are commonly seen in children who are learning to walk.
Incorrect Walking Postures in Children
Bow Legs. A condition where the lower legs seem to have a curve to them. Nearly all babies have some degree of bow leggedness.
Pigeon-toes. This can include in-toeing and out-toeing, referring to when the feet turn inwards and outwards, respectively. It usually happens because of a rotation in the upper or lower leg bones.
You should know that it is extremely rare for children to need any sort of intervention, to resolve walking issues like the above. They generally go away with the passage of time. The art of walking, that requires shifting the weight to one foot and moving the other foot in perfect sync, will take a bit of time to perfect.
Correct Posture for Standing Baby
Before they learn to walk, they have to learn how to stand.
Incorrect Standing Postures
Slouching is the most common standing posture in little children, and must be avoided at all costs. Similarly, standing in the ‘Soldier Position’ (with arched back and stiff neck) will also have the same negative effects as Slouching.
Correct Standing Posture
When they are standing, the proper posture for a child involves making sure that the weight is equally distributed on both feet placed hip-width apart.
The spine should be neutral and relaxed, in sync with its normal curvature. Ideally, they should stand tall, their neck straight.
At EuroKids we believe that Postural Stability is one of the building blocks of gross motor development. We encourage you to follow all the tips in this article, to get your baby to achieve Postural Stability, thereby finding the freedom to move and become independent.