This December will be dedicated to offering ideas on the great and not-so-great gifts for infants birth to 12 months! Check back often!
We start with my favorite find for our 3rd child, wishing of course we had found it for #s 1 and 2! It’s the Lily Pad playmat by Nook. It is portable, washable and is PERFECT for tummy time! The cushion is made of breathable air cells, so there is always good air flow around your baby’s precious nose and mouth no matter what his head position. It is firm enough for baby to push into and work to pick his head up, YET cushy enough to soften the inevitable head bob face plant, even when placed directly on hardwood floor!
Enjoy this find and Happy Tummy Time!
Just as there are products out there that truly help our babies discover new ways to move, become aware of what their bodies can do, and encourage active development of pathways to increase the body-brain connection, there are also products that do all this hard work for them.
Product manufacturers create new items every year that make the hard work of developing seemingly easier and more fun, but often with unintended consequences. We don’t want our babies to be passive participants in the hard work of creating foundations for their own independence.
The Wingbo, pictured here, is an example of a product that seems to solve the problem of tummy time blues. However, the swing carriage is plastic and is the same every time you put your baby in it, offering no variety, the very hallmark of movement and movement development. Though it adds the element of whole body movement through space that your baby otherwise would not get, it does not encourage absolutely essential components of being on the tummy, which are:
1) getting active elongation/stretching of the hip flexors (hips are encouraged to be flexed),
2) active connection of the upper body and lower body through lateral weight shifting (upper body is wedged in a hard plastic container inhibiting active abdominal contraction), and
3) free exploration of movement on all planes of motion: front/back, side to side, and rotation (movement from legs and swing is primarily frontal).
All of these essential items are accomplished by simply placing baby down on a play mat surface, holding baby across your chest or lap on their tummy, or carrying them in a tummy down position.
So, please consider saving your money with this product and opt for a great playmat where your baby can do her own independent exploration of movement. If you have this product, no need to stop using it, but please have your baby enjoy it in small doses!