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When to introduce assistive motor development devices?

Online since 10.04.2018 • Filed under Feature • From Seventeen - April to June 2018 page(s) 12
When to introduce assistive motor development devices?

During the first year, babies’ muscles and bones strengthen. They learn how to use their bodies to move and manipulate their environments.

If babies are constantly held and carried, they will lose valuable opportunities to gain and fine-tune skills. Lesego Mashishi-Matlala, Huggies® expert in occupational therapy sheds some light on assistive devices for babies’ motor development.

Each stage of motor development offers a new dimension of exploration and propels your baby to the next stage of motor development. The natural progression of gross motor developmental phase is neck control, rolling, sitting, standing with support, standing without support and, from 12 to 18 months, walking independently. It is important to ensure that your little one’s environment offers stimulation of all senses and encourages exploration. You may ask if it’s a bad thing to introduce toy mobility aids or assistive devices such as a supported baby chair to help achieve their developmental phase of walking. The answer is that it’s important to strike a balance and to introduce these devices at the correct time. Babies should naturally lead their way through their motor developmental phases. This allows brain development, language development, and spatial awareness to develop naturally. It also helps babies learn how to interact with their environments to get their desired outcome through movement.

A lot of brain development and information processing occurs between the development phase of sitting and walking. This is when a baby begins to learn how to crawl and pull themselves up into a standing position. During this transition, there are more benefits in allowing your baby to master their movements on their own rather than introducing assistive devices or toys. First, you need to allow your baby to develop adequate upper body control, and to achieve some controlled body movements. Do not deprive your baby of opportunities for self-initiated or selfproduced mobility. Assistive devices, such as sitting aids and walkers, should be introduced once baby has shown the initiative and attempted to get into the desired motor position. This ensures the information has been processed and your baby is working out bilateral symmetry, crossing of the midline, and is mastering controlled purposeful movements that are ultimately followed by the alternating coordinated movements needed for walking and running.

What is imperative during this stage is to ensure babies’ levels of comfort. This is achieved by ensuring your baby is adequately fed and is fitted with a good quality nappy such as Huggies® Pants or Huggies®

Gold. Huggies® Pants has an all-round soft and stretchy waistband and double leg elastics that gently surround and hug babies’ legs to prevent leaks. Huggies® Gold nappies have a stretchy waistband and fasteners to provide a snug and comfy fit. It also has a DryTouch TM liner that absorbs wetness in seconds for ultimate skin protection. For more information, visit www.huggies.co.za.

Seventeen - April to June 2018

Seventeen - April to June 2018

This article was featured on page 12 of Babys and Beyond Seventeen - April to June 2018 .

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