So, let's just shake it off and move on. Hope everyone can find their center again, and then resume learning and growing. I've been craving reminders of why I've raised my babies the way I have, and it's nice to get them here....somewhere...anywhere...!
About that jumperoo. Actually, my babies are early walkers, etc, too. They hold their heads up from birth (all but ds, lol. He was a good month old.) and are just really sturdy. But, that doesn't change my feeling about jumperoos. They are still jarring, potentially, and the hanging isn't good. I've been reading several books about pain free back care, and realizing how important good posture, and encouraging proper development from the beginning, truly is.
And, this is probably going to get me flamed, but just eat the meat and spit out the bones...
It's not the immediate damage that I'm concerned about, it's the muscle and structure overall.
And, about that last book. I'm NOT somebody going to spend hours and hours doing all that stuff. But, I will say his books (that I read long, long ago for a friend) have very much influenced my parenting/homeschool methods. Not that I try to crack my kids' heads open and pour stuff in, but that I am watching their development very differently than I would have otherwise seen. I have far more respect for what they are doing, how and why. I am aware that his work was based on a now-considered outdated theory, but yet, some of his work is now used everyday in therapy situations.
For example, have you ever seen a baby trying to crawl for the first time? He says that we make it hard for them, and often slow down their development accidentally. We put them on a blanket, on a thick carpet, and they aren't strong enough to move, and give up for a time. Or, we put them somewhere too slippery, and with socks. So, it takes them a long time to overcome. Ideally, the baby should be put on a surface that is neither too squishy nor too slippery, with bare knees, elbows, and toes, but a covered belly. This allows the baby to move with the least amount of effort, and allows them to learn to crawl so much easier, and with much less frustration.
The point, for me, again, is not to create some super person, but to respect their needs of learning, and to facilitate that as much as I can. I don't want to frustrate them, or make things harder than they have to be. It's long debated, but many feel that crawling, for example, is very needed for proper eye and brain development, especially in the role of teaming and motor planning. That's not to say that many kids who spend very little time crawling turn out just fine. But, those who don't turn out just fine, are helped by programs of crawling to retrain the brain.
So, if I can potentially preempt issues with their back, help eye and brain development, and aid them in learning without frustration, I'm all for it. To me, it is respect for their person, and for where they are. The general mindset has carried over to how I relate to them in general, and how I "school" my children.
And, I think that's why people who have chosen some more "natural" (isn't THAT an inflammatory term?) ways of doing things are so set on it. It's not so much because one way is potentially more healthy, or more dangerous, but because we are focusing on a whole child mindset, and very much on respect of children. We don't want to bag, box, and market them because it's easy for us, or because that's what people do in America. Again, all things in moderation, and all things as a means to an end. Have I ever used or done things that I don't feel are ideal because it was what needed to happen? Sure, but it's not the direction I'm driving. It's not because I feel superior because my kids eat whole foods or whatever. Or that I feel judged that they don't. It's that I'm working very hard to create an environment of respect for my children, not of ease for me.
And, furthermore, I believe that the way we treat babies and small children, and the products and experiences to which they are exposed, effect their view of the world for the rest of their lives. Those early years are so important, and I am seizing every opportunity to form their views of other people, politics, religion, and the rest of the world. One of the main reasons that my children are not in preschool, or other formal programs (or school) is because I want them to have total freedom of thought. The very methods of schooling today promote ideas of communism, among other things. So, from infancy, I am protecting them from things that I believe will rob them of that freedom of thought, and working my hardest to help their bodies be strong and free in all ways.
So, in a longish nutshell, that's why I am who I am, and why I am where I am. Nutso? Hard to explain and understand? Maybe. But, there it is. :)