You have a new baby on the way and you are wondering what you need to buy before baby arrives. Whether you are at the store, online, or talking to other parents there is a lot of information on baby equipment. Who would have thought you needed so many things for a baby?
Car seats, cribs, and high chairs are important pieces of infant equipment that you need to keep your baby safe for transportation, sleeping, and eating. Other infant equipment, such as swings, exersaucers, and bouncy chairs, are useful when you need to get chores done or you have a fussy baby. Used in moderation (fifteen minutes) these pieces of equipment are okay; the concern is overuse. If a baby spends a lot of time in their favourite piece of infant equipment or throughout the day goes from one piece to another they can be at risk of delayed development and developing baby flathead. There is also risk associated with poor posture in the equipment and decreased exploration of their environment.
What can you do with your baby when they are awake? Free your baby – give them lots of opportunities to wiggle, squirm and move on their backs, on their tummy and side-lying in a safe, baby friendly play area. Floor time, especially supervised awake tummy time lets your baby move around freely, exercise their muscles, and practice skills that lead to rolling, sitting up, crawling, and walking. Floor time allows your baby to explore their surroundings and use sensory information that helps with muscle and brain development. If you don’t have carpet, a small area rug or foam square tiles placed on the floor can cushion the area for your baby to play on.