Infant “Container Syndrome”

I love Dr. Sears.  When my oldest son was a couple of months old I found a copy of his The Baby Book and felt like I had found a kindred spirit in parenting.  I remember reading a part in his book about how unnatural it was for us to put our babies in carriers, swings and strollers. He spoke of babies cuddled by plastic rather than loving arms.  He also talked about how these devices tend to contain a baby and restrict their movement, thus leading to delays in their natural development.

Surprise, surprise, it turns out that he was right.  Why do we always have to wait for evidence (ie screwed up human beings) to accept good advice?  I’m just saying.

And for what it’s worth, I generally gave my kids lots of “tummy time” and my oldest and youngest walked at 9 and 10 months respectively.   Then again, that may make you want to pull out the bouncy seat after all 🙂

6 thoughts on “Infant “Container Syndrome”

  1. Hello Rebecca. I am enjoying your blog.

    I too read Dr. Sears’ book when my kids were babies. I loved his “Attachment Parenting” take on raising young ‘uns. My babies grew up and are now well adjusted, kind hearted, fun-loving, hardworking young adults. And, they love the Lord Jesus!

    Several years ago, I spoke with a young woman who told me she was in the habit of spanking her 8 month old in the middle of the night when the baby would wake up crying and “refuse” to go back to sleep. I gently tried to point her in the direction of Dr. Sears’ book, but she would have none of it.
    That made me want to cry!

    Keep up the good work on your blog.

  2. We started doing foster care four or five months ago. (It is a blur.)

    One of the children we got was 14 months old. He couldn’t walk and wasn’t a great crawler. It appears he spent much of the first year of his life in a crib.

    The good news is after a couple months with us he is now close to walking. Any day now!

  3. Hmm . . . my kids spent pretty much all their waking hours being held/slung or on tummies on the floor, and neither of them walked until past 14 months. They’re still both rather slow on gross motor skills–except their motor mouths. 🙂 So some differences are just natural.

    I was amazed to see a baby advertisement recently for a product that is supposed to hold and rotate the baby just like a walking parent. So why bother to have a baby at all?

  4. I am an early childhood special education teacher who has often pondered the reasons for the sharp rise in autism and sensory integration issues. I have come to believe that the “containers” we use which limit movement and sensory input as well as reduce social interaction, by removing babies from “face-to-face” time, may play a role in development of these disorders. Combined with the overuse of “screen time” at very young ages, we are training our babies brains in ways that never have been done before.

  5. As a young adult with sensory integration disorders who was homeschooled K-12, I feel the need to chip in and say…sometime your kid will have sensory/autistic issues anyway.

    My mom was very into attachment parenting, and we didn’t have a TV ’til I was 11 and didn’t have a computer ’til I was 8. And I still have sensory integration issues. So, if you’re a parent struggling with whether you “did something wrong,” try not to beat yourself up too much!

    Homeschooling was great for me though, it really taught be how to manage my own issues, and I consider myself a pretty happy, well adjusted adult by now, and I’m in a mainstream university PhD program with no problems.

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