So my 3.5 month old daughter has a pretty bad flat spot. We noticed it at 6 weeks and have been aggressively repositioning, using noggin nest, doing tons of tummy time, and it almost looks worse. She also has asymmetry in her face. I see a helmet in her future, but I would like to avoid it.
I said I would never get a bumbo, jumperoo, or exersaucer, but I'm thinking something where she can sit up would help. Also, I wear her in a few different wraps when I can but she doesn't like it for long.
So, what should I get? Are there developmental reasons NOT to get any of these types of seats?
I was in your shoes when my son was that age... He had a flat spot that caused his face to look asymetricalm and one of his eyes always looked more squinty. It really concerned me. His pediatrician said to just watch it, and of course do lots of tummy time and all that, but he always HATED being on his tummy.
We did get a jumperoo, but I didn't want him to stay in it for more than a couple minutes once a day, so I really don't think it made much of a difference overall. (He loved it though!) I considered getting a bumbo, but he's pretty big and I figured he would outgrow it quickly.
The good news is that his flat spot DID improve without us having to do very much! He is 10 months old now and it is barely noticeable. His face looks much more symetrical now too. I'm sure this doesn't happen in every case, but my pediatrician gave me the impression that some doctors turn to the helmets way too quickly, when most cases would resolve themselves without intervention, simply because they eventually start moving around more and spending less time on the flat spot.
Mommy to a sweet baby boy 4.22.2012 Expecting a September surprise 9.22.2012!
Using a bumbo seat or exersaucer too early or for too long can cause problems. Babies develop back strength and normal alignment of their spine with tummy time. Moving them from their backs, then to bouncy seats and swings, to an upright sitting position before they have developed the back strength causes excessive slumping in the equipment. When babies slump and hang in these contraptions, the muscles can't hold their back and neck straight. torticollis can get worse, and the rest of the spine curves. If it continues, gross motor development and structural alignment problems become more of a problem. It is hard for babies to develop trunk strength strapped in any piece of equipment. I think on the floor on a blanket is best. You may want to look into physical therapy if your baby has neck tightness and has trouble turning his head.
Ok...but 20 min a day isn't the same as hours and hours, and most likely will not cause a problem.
Sitting up and getting up off his back helped my sons head shape so much. I credit the bumbo (which he would tolerate for maybe 10 min before I'd take him out) and the jumperoo (same deal -- maybe 20 min). We also have a high chair seat that attaches to a chair, the kind that doesn't allow him to lean back and rest his head on it. Helped so so much.
I say before you throw all the equipment out as bad, try it and see what baby will tolerate. At young ages they don't stay in one place long. Before you know it they'll be sitting unassisted and crisis averted.
Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn ('08) and Finnley Dax ('11) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!
Babywearing is lovely, but definitely considering using a Bumbo or another option. Bumbos allow babies to have face time with you and can really be a lot of fun if you want your baby close while you are cooking, etc.
I also found that the Bumbo seat with a tray is really useful at the 4 mo age. At that age, my LO wasn't really holding toys reliably, but if we put one on the tray for him, he could poke it and hit it around.
My SIL introduced me to the Merry Muscles, as well. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it! They have been around for quite a while. While expensive, they were designed differently than those $20 jumperoos that WalMart carries.
If you get to the point (9 months or so) where your LO's head still has a flat spot and you see a specialist, get a second opinion before you decide to do anything. Helmets can be useful, but so can doing nothing.
We struggled with the whole decision ourselves when LO was about 8 months old..... luckily, we had a neurosurgeon who was not overzealous about the helmet. He reassured us that it was pretty likely his head would be round and just fine by 2 years old. I was not confident about going without the helmet, but now at 2 years old, the neuro was right. His head is beautiful.
Good luck :-)
I agree, 10-20 mins is probably fine and I did not mean to imply that all equipment needs to be thrown away. I would just use caution putting a 3 month old in a bumbo, especially if he has not had much tummy time. I think any piece of equipment used for longer periods is not a good idea. 20 years ago we did not have all of this fancy equipment. Babies were put on the floor on a blanket or held. Carseats did not clip out of the car to the stroller. Babies were not lugged around in a heavy carrier. I agree with back to sleep to prevent SIDS, I just think during the day moms should be aware of all of the time spent any contraption.
Find a practitioner who does cranial-sacral therapy/adjustment.
DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.