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#1 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my dd is 5 months and we just broke-out the exersaucer someone second-handed to us. she seems to love it and it's great to have something to keep her happy when i'm doing something that i can't do while wearing her(cleaning the bathroom, cooking, etc.) my guess, however, is that along with most other "modern" baby devices that there is a reason she should not use this! any thoughts?
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#2 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 08:59 PM
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Visit the container-free Tribe, plenty of information there.
Basically, it causes the baby not to form attachments with humans and can cause delays in motor skills.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=322652
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#3 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 08:59 PM
 
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i used one for my son, and i felt he actually benefitted from it.

i think that with baby swings, bouncey seats, etc, anything you feel comfortable using with your child, as long as its not used to take the place of YOU, then its ok.

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#4 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 09:00 PM
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as long as its not used to take the place of YOU, then its ok.
If you use one, then it IS ALWAYS taking the place of YOU.
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#5 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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mamaintheboonies- thanks for the link. i love this site but sometimes i feel it is an AP competition! i guess i was thinking of physical reason againist the exersaucer. we are pretty low container here but i guess i'm okay with a few minutes in the exersaucer so i can cook dinner from a philosophical point of view. is it really so different then putting her on the floor with toys?
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#6 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 09:24 PM
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is it really so different then putting her on the floor with toys?
Yes, because on the floor she is able to naturally explore her surroundings as human babies are supposed to be able to do.
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#7 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 10:01 PM
 
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We have one, our daughter loves it. We didn't put her in it till she sat well, pulled up, and had total head and neck control. She plays in it while I cook or clean or whatever so she can see me, I can see her, and we can "talk" while I work. I can't do those things while she crawls around on the floor, I can't do those things while carrying her or wearing her (which she HAAAAATES and always has). So yeah, we have one and she loves it and I think it's been good for both of us.
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#8 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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I never had one. Even as a single mom, I never had the need....I just babyproofed, and he was always able to play on his own when I was busy....

The reason my chiro doesn't like them is because they put the baby in a standing position before they are ready....but, if your child is able to stand with support, and it's not for extended periods, I don't think it would be really bad....

I had a "baby gym", which was just a fabric square, with 2 "arms" bent over and crossed at the middle. For the first 4 months, he would play there when I was busy. Once he sat up, at 4 months, I would put pillows beside and behind him, and give him lots of toys around him. When he started moving, at about 5 months, I babyproofed, put toys all over the place, and "rescued" him when he got stuck! lol Once he was crawling, at 6 months, I started teaching him to stay out of the kitchen. I put toys where I wanted him to be, and he could crawl down the hallway.

Mind you, I'm not the most ambitious cook, but I did make all my own babyfood, and I did eat myself, so I spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen...I just was able to find other ways of amusing him rather than using an Exersaucer....by no means am I against them, for me, it was mainly just that I didn't have the room to store one! lol But, now that I know I can make it without one (on my OWN, no less!) I don't think I would ever get one...no point messing with my baby's spine unnecessarily.

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#9 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 10:23 PM
 
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I dont want one in my house-but my mother-in-law just bought one for Harvest. I told her to leave it at her place and use it occasionally if she babysits him-which is not often. I dont think it will cause much harm if he is in it like once a month while she babysits.
This being said, I really dont think they are great developmentally for babes. It is my opinion that they should either be with you (in arms or baby carrier) or exploring the natural world they are in. If I need to go to the bathroom or cut up vegetables I lay Harvest on the ground with a few plain toys and let him "play" or explore.

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#10 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 10:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
Visit the container-free Tribe, plenty of information there.
Basically, it causes the baby not to form attachments with humans and can cause delays in motor skills.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=322652
I understand the argument for container-free parenting, but can you please give links or cites to the assertion that "it causes the baby not to form attachments with humans and can cause delays in motor skills"?
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#11 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 10:55 PM
 
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I think they're fine when used judiciously. I don't own one but I don't see the problem with using an entertainment-container occasionally. We have a jolly jumper, for example. J liked it for about thirty seconds when she was 4-5 months old...once she started crawling she didn't want to be restrained in any way. It would weird me out a little bit if I saw a baby in an exersaucer all day, but twenty minutes while you do some household task that might not be safe for baby isn't going to hurt anyone or destroy the attachment you've built.
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#12 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 10:57 PM
 
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I haven't read the container free baby tribe thread, so forgive me if I'm repeating what was said there.

I worked as a pediatric physical therapist before my son was born, so this an area near and dear to my heart.

Saucers, jumpers, walkers, etc. do nothing to enhance development, and can actually delay the achievement of milestones by several weeks. Essentially, to give a quick summary, standing in a saucer is not the same as actively standing while say holding onto a couch. The muscles work in a different pattern that is less desirable. This has been backed up by EMG studies, where they read the electrical output of different muscles and look at the patterns in which they are activated. Babies in saucers tend to be pitched forward onto their toes, which isn't a normal posture and can theoretically lead to tip toe walking down the road (an abnormal gait pattern). Their abdominal muscles aren't activeley engaged like they would be while actively standing. Their gluteal (butt) muscles aren't engaged the same way they would be while standing on their own. This allows them to stand with a sway-backed posture that isn't particularly healthy.

There have been excellent twin studies showing that even in typically-developing kids, the twin that used a walker walked on average 6 weeks later than the non walker using twin. Most therapists would say this can be applied to saucer use as well. Studies have shown saucers to delay sitting, crawling and walking milestones. Many parents will say their child used a saucer and walked early, but that isn't really a fair assessment, as their child may have walked even earlier if they *didn't* use one.

In a typically developing kid, it is less of a concern than a child at risk of delays (preemies, low muscle tone, etc.) However, not all parents know if their child is delayed or at risk of delays either.

The recommendation of most pediatric PTs I've known is to limit their use entirely if you can. If you insist on using one, don't use it for more than 20 mins a day, and be aware of how fast that time adds up (10 mins while you shower, 10 mins during a phone call, 30 mins while you make dinner, 10 mins while you clean up, 5 mins while you go to the bathroom...). It adds up more quickly than people realize. Also if the child shows any signs of fatigue (slouching over, slumping, leaning to one side) they should be removed before 20 mins total, and hopefully beforehand.

I know mamas need to shower and do things around the house...I can sympathize, believe me. Just keep in mind saucers are all marketing, and there is no real benefit to be had from your child using them. The manufacturers make parents feel like they really enhance development, when the opposite is true. The best "tool" for helping a child develop motor skills is floor time...supervised tummy time, just playing on the floor w/ your baby. If you need to contain them for safety, a playpen still allows them to practice their motor skills without getting into trouble if you are in the shower and can't supervise, for example.

Slings are wonderful
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#13 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 10:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lilcrunchie View Post
I haven't read the container free baby tribe thread, so forgive me if I'm repeating what was said there.

I worked as a pediatric physical therapist before my son was born, so this an area near and dear to my heart.

Saucers, jumpers, walkers, etc. do nothing to enhance development, and can actually delay the achievement of milestones by several weeks. Essentially, to give a quick summary, standing in a saucer is not the same as actively standing while say holding onto a couch. The muscles work in a different pattern that is less desirable. This has been backed up by EMG studies, where they read the electrical output of different muscles and look at the patterns in which they are activated. Babies in saucers tend to be pitched forward onto their toes, which isn't a normal posture and can theoretically lead to tip toe walking down the road (an abnormal gait pattern). Their abdominal muscles aren't activeley engaged like they would be while actively standing. Their gluteal (butt) muscles aren't engaged the same way they would be while standing on their own. This allows them to stand with a sway-backed posture that isn't particularly healthy.

There have been excellent twin studies showing that even in typically-developing kids, the twin that used a walker walked on average 6 weeks later than the non walker using twin. Most therapists would say this can be applied to saucer use as well. Studies have shown saucers to delay sitting, crawling and walking milestones. Many parents will say their child used a saucer and walked early, but that isn't really a fair assessment, as their child may have walked even earlier if they *didn't* use one.

In a typically developing kid, it is less of a concern than a child at risk of delays (preemies, low muscle tone, etc.) However, not all parents know if their child is delayed or at risk of delays either.

The recommendation of most pediatric PTs I've known is to limit their use entirely if you can. If you insist on using one, don't use it for more than 20 mins a day, and be aware of how fast that time adds up (10 mins while you shower, 10 mins during a phone call, 30 mins while you make dinner, 10 mins while you clean up, 5 mins while you go to the bathroom...). It adds up more quickly than people realize. Also if the child shows any signs of fatigue (slouching over, slumping, leaning to one side) they should be removed before 20 mins total, and hopefully beforehand.

I know mamas need to shower and do things around the house...I can sympathize, believe me. Just keep in mind saucers are all marketing, and there is no real benefit to be had from your child using them. The manufacturers make parents feel like they really enhance development, when the opposite is true. The best "tool" for helping a child develop motor skills is floor time...supervised tummy time, just playing on the floor w/ your baby. If you need to contain them for safety, a playpen still allows them to practice their motor skills without getting into trouble if you are in the shower and can't supervise, for example.

Slings are wonderful
Wow thanks! Great info.

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#14 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 11:12 PM
 
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If someone would come over and hold DD while I babyproof, or babyproof while I held DD, I'd never use the thing. As it is, she sits in it while I make dinner, and as soon as she makes the slightest gesture that she wants me to take her out, I do. Between DP's amassing of computer parts and our extensive rearranging of our house that is taking forEVER, only two rooms are safe . I don't agree with putting babies in containers as a rule, either, but those ideas were generated in situations where mothers actually had other humans around helping out.

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#15 of 23 Old 12-05-2006, 11:13 PM
 
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I know that all babies develop at different speeds...but I found it quite interesting that the two babies in my playgroup who reached physical milestones very early (my son and a little girl), were babies who never used Exersaucers, and only used bouncy seats on very rare occasions.....hm.....coincidence??

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#16 of 23 Old 12-06-2006, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i love mdc. as i'm reading this info (esp. the PT info) i turned to my dh and said, "don't think the exersaucer is a great idea, don't think we should use it." he agreed. thanks for the great dialogue. funny, i feel so anti-playpen but the argument that it is better then the saucer (at least from a physical standpoint) makes alot of sense.

sorry, but i'm not giving up my bouncy seat--i'd next shower again!
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#17 of 23 Old 12-06-2006, 10:15 PM
 
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I containerized my DS in a bouncey seat while I showered He often fell asleep with the bathroom fan running and the sound of the water. Bouncey seats IMO are less of an evil (in small doses of course) than a saucer or jumper where you are putting a child upright that isn't developmentally ready to spend much time upright, kwim? Obviously spending a ton of time in a bouncey seat isn't great either since they are missing out on floor/tummy time, and it can put them at risk of plagiocephaly (flattening of the back of the head which also happens w/ babies that spend a lot of time in swings and carseat buckets). But a few mins while you shower IMO from a therapist's standpoint isn't too bad

Oh, one other thing, saucers also block visual input. Babies need to see where their feet are in space to gain body awareness, and saucers block that important visual input. I forgot to include that in my above ramblings :

hth!
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#18 of 23 Old 12-06-2006, 10:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lilcrunchie View Post
I haven't read the container free baby tribe thread, so forgive me if I'm repeating what was said there.

I worked as a pediatric physical therapist before my son was born, so this an area near and dear to my heart.

Saucers, jumpers, walkers, etc. do nothing to enhance development, and can actually delay the achievement of milestones by several weeks. Essentially, to give a quick summary, standing in a saucer is not the same as actively standing while say holding onto a couch. The muscles work in a different pattern that is less desirable. This has been backed up by EMG studies, where they read the electrical output of different muscles and look at the patterns in which they are activated. Babies in saucers tend to be pitched forward onto their toes, which isn't a normal posture and can theoretically lead to tip toe walking down the road (an abnormal gait pattern). Their abdominal muscles aren't activeley engaged like they would be while actively standing. Their gluteal (butt) muscles aren't engaged the same way they would be while standing on their own. This allows them to stand with a sway-backed posture that isn't particularly healthy.

There have been excellent twin studies showing that even in typically-developing kids, the twin that used a walker walked on average 6 weeks later than the non walker using twin. Most therapists would say this can be applied to saucer use as well. Studies have shown saucers to delay sitting, crawling and walking milestones. Many parents will say their child used a saucer and walked early, but that isn't really a fair assessment, as their child may have walked even earlier if they *didn't* use one.

In a typically developing kid, it is less of a concern than a child at risk of delays (preemies, low muscle tone, etc.) However, not all parents know if their child is delayed or at risk of delays either.

The recommendation of most pediatric PTs I've known is to limit their use entirely if you can. If you insist on using one, don't use it for more than 20 mins a day, and be aware of how fast that time adds up (10 mins while you shower, 10 mins during a phone call, 30 mins while you make dinner, 10 mins while you clean up, 5 mins while you go to the bathroom...). It adds up more quickly than people realize. Also if the child shows any signs of fatigue (slouching over, slumping, leaning to one side) they should be removed before 20 mins total, and hopefully beforehand.

I know mamas need to shower and do things around the house...I can sympathize, believe me. Just keep in mind saucers are all marketing, and there is no real benefit to be had from your child using them. The manufacturers make parents feel like they really enhance development, when the opposite is true. The best "tool" for helping a child develop motor skills is floor time...supervised tummy time, just playing on the floor w/ your baby. If you need to contain them for safety, a playpen still allows them to practice their motor skills without getting into trouble if you are in the shower and can't supervise, for example.

Slings are wonderful
This is so much more informative and convincing than other judgemental, authoritarian, APer-than-thou posts in this thread.

Thanks for this excellent info.

Edited to add:

Lilcruchie,

what about doorway jumpers? We got one at our shower (ds is still too little for it). I don't even plan to use it to "get things done"--just thought we might put him in it now and then for a few minutes for fun, since some babies just go NUTS in these things and have such a ball. Are there similar concerns with these as with the saucers?
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#19 of 23 Old 12-06-2006, 11:24 PM
 
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wow! OP here. thank you all so much. i also especially appreciated lilcrunchie's information. and I was also thinking about how I wouldn't like playpens, but now that seems like a much better option for when I need to shower and cook
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#20 of 23 Old 12-06-2006, 11:47 PM
 
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oops! i thought I was the OP-- but just found my post back a page or so. didn't mean to co-opt the post anyway, the rest of it still stands
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#21 of 23 Old 12-07-2006, 01:48 AM
 
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I have one, and it's been used since about 4 months (when she could sit on her own) occassionaly. We hardly ever use it. I put her in today for about 5 minutes while I ate my dinner, because it kept her occupied and not whining to eat off my plate.
I think they are fine in moderation, just like many other things.

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#22 of 23 Old 12-08-2006, 08:55 PM
 
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I did not read the prior posts, so I'm not sure if someone mentioned this....

For what it is worth, our son's OT mentioned that in her 7 years of working with kids, she only recommended the exersaucer 1 time because the baby needed to strenghten his legs. All other times she recommends that they don't spend more the 10 minutes 2 times a day in it. She says to put the baby only for a saftey need such as going to the bathroom and ensuring the baby is safe.
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#23 of 23 Old 12-08-2006, 09:26 PM
 
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I may sound like a crabby, old lady :-), but I am a little concerned sometimes at threads like these. Ideally, I know it is preferable to hold your child most of the time. However, in most mom's real lives, this just isn't possible. I had three babies in 3 1/2 years. No way was a baby being held most of the time. I had to change diapers, chase toddlers, clean up messes, fix meals, put little ones down for naps, do laundry, on and on. If a mom can't feel comfortable putting her baby down in a "container" every so often, I'm afraid she will go crazy! I switched mine between walkers (or exersaucers), playpens, blanket time, bouncy seats, laps, arms, whatever worked for all of us. Luckily, with three little ones, they entertained each other quite well and were perfectly happy watching each other and interacting as they got older. They all got lots of love, cuddles, hugs, etc. They are older now - no development problems, no detachment problems, no problems at all. I think each mom should do what is best for HER and not feel bad if they need to put a wee one in an excersaucer, bouncy seat, etc. for a bit each day to cook, shower, tend to other children and whatever they need to do in their day. I would hate for them to feel guilty and think they can't set the baby down or the baby will be developmentally delayed! Oh, and sometimes "containers" can be the safest, especially if you have pets and young children running around - a babe on a blanket could be run over. I'm not saying, stick every baby somewhere all the time, just a mama needs to do what she has do without people making her feel guilty.
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