Monday, September 8, 2008

Awkward Stage, Part Two

Gwen really wants to be upright these days. If she is in somebody's lap (and not busy eating), she wants to sit up or even stand up. She fusses when she's laid on her blanket or playmat, because she is sick of that view. She wants to be like the Big People, dammit!

She is more into her activity chair for this reason, though even that doesn't hold her attention forever (she wants us interacting with her most of the time, not sitting at the table eating dinner, how BORING).
The problem is, of course, that the more she sits in her activity chair (and her Bumbo, which I just bought today secondhand for $20, woot), the less opportunity she has to develop the muscles to sit up on her own. I'm *so* understanding the RIE-inspired philosophy that babies shouldn't use equipment that puts them in positions they can't maintain themselves!!


sarapants said...

Wouldn't you say that in the bumbo chair, she's using/developing a lot of the muscles in her upper body? It only supports the lower part of her torso, leaving her utterly responsible for her chest, neck and head. As well, the bumbo leaves her hands free to roam to her mouth, letting her chew on toys, etc. which is tres tres important for speech development, as well as getting her ready for eating solid foods.

Anonymous said...

I would disagree that in the bumbo chair she's developing the same muscular structure and strength as would be required to get into a sitting position on her own and maintain it. Some muscles will work less and others perhaps more. But it's not just about musculature, also ligament structure, balance, and personal boundaries regarding safety in movement.

Infants generally work on a three-point balance system, keeping three points on the floor, and moving various appendages either opposite or in cooperation with the torso to achieve motion and balance until they begin to stand, and the range of positions they take on are plenty challenging on their own. I imagine how strong I would be if I did yoga and pilates for 12 hours a day.... and I am amazed by infants! I should lend you my picture book of infant development positions and movements. (I have an idea for an exercise that would be cool to try out on you next time we get together, if you like! It's baby yoga & photography!)

Gwen is a smart little girl to want you to be with her, and lucky that you have a balanced approach with her. She'll learn to sit in a month or two, and then the awkwardness will be all forgotten!


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