Sitting up unassisted vs GETTING into sitting up unassisted (long - Dr. Appt Warning) - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-05-2007, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure what to make of a Doctors appointment we just had. Normally, I consider myself well educated enough to make my own decisions but I'm a little on the fence about this one, as I can see arguments from both sides.

I took DD2 for her 6 month visit (a shock in itself since I usually skip them : unless I have a concern). A while ago, I felt a little knot on her spine - nothing that felt too odd - my mommy radar said it was a development thing. As she grew, it started disappearing and now it probably couldn't be felt by anyone who didnt know it was there before.

DD2 started sitting up unassisted about 3 weeks ago. I would pull her up and she would play and she loved it. I can sit her on my bed and she'll play and reach for her toys and actually be pretty self-sufficient for a while - laughing and playing on her own while I fold laundry, etc. When she gets too tired, she falls backwards and laughs. Yeah, shes a cutie. Sometimes she will reach forward to come back up again.

Fast forward to today. I had her sitting up on the doctors table when the doctor came in. Right away (before i mentioned the knot on her spine) the doctor told us that if she can't get into the sitting position on her own, not to HAVE her in the sitting position. Except for when she's eating - we are NOT to pull her up like this. I've seen various warnings from various camps not to PROP baby up (aka the awesome Bumbo debates on this forum ) and I've always been in the camp that says 'when they are ready to sit up, they'll sit up' no-bumbo no-propping camp. Now I am confused because I ALWAYS sat my babies up and failed to extend that philosphy over into that practice. I mean, she CAN sit up and she loves to sit up. And sitting up doesn't use the same muscles to get to sitting up, so.....or does it?

So i mention the knot of her spine and the doctor nods and says thats exactly why she believes you DONT sit up a baby until they can get to that position on their own. To add to my confusion, my first DD sat up when she was 5 months old, but never pulled or pushed into that position on her own until she was 10 or 11 months old (she never rolled either - and she's fine - actually, she's a pretty athletic 2.5 year old - you should see her with a soccer ball....but i digress....)

Sorry for the essay - but my mind is a little blown. I went into this appoint prepared to argue about why her vaccination record is a little bit empty and was a little bit blindsided by the news that i was harming my daughter by sitting her up. I guess i have a few questions. I know theres a couple chiros on this board so i would LOVE to hear from them as well as other opinions.

1) the doctors warning about sitting a baby up (NOT propping - just pulling them to sit): BS or valid?
2) Heeding the doctors advice in light of the fact that DD seems to love being pulled up: Would you or wouldn't you?
3) Anyone know what this is called - the little knot or bump on the spine that seems to not be permanent but caused by undue vertical compression on the spine? Anyone ever hear about it being caused by having a baby sit up before they can GET to sitting?

Thanks for any insight
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:45 PM
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Huh??? That would be news to me!!! And to all the (crunchy AP) baby books I've read! Hope some physical therapist mama comes along to post the low down on this, but I'd say what an odd ped!
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:50 PM
 
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how odd.. My DH (whose a chiro) has never said anything like that while DS learned to sit. Very rarely does he get into a sitting position on his own and he's 10 months now!
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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I'm fairly certain that as long as there have been mothers and babies, mamas have been pulling their babies up to sit...also, so many indiginous people's baby carriers involve the baby being held in a sitting position. How could it be bad for them?

If the knot on the spine DECREASED as your dd got older and you started pulling her into a sitting position, how could it possibly be caused by sitting???

Mommy to DD 5-07
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:02 PM
 
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Total BS.

-Angela
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If the knot on the spine DECREASED as your dd got older and you started pulling her into a sitting position, how could it possibly be caused by sitting???
Thats what i was wondering too. I did leave a part of the story out: I don't actually speak well enough German, and the doctor doesn't speak english. So i had an 'assistant' there with me, who the doctor was telling this all to. So with the translating going on, I didn't have a chance to ask but by that point I was just thinking 'huh. She's unrelenting about this, so I want to get home as fast i can so I can look this up online'.

The other part of the story is that we did have a bumbo given to us. I never had much use for it, but my husband used to use it until i told him to stop - he takes care of her every morning while I get my beauty rest.: Not really part of this topic, but I have to wonder if thats what caused the knot. I also wore her for a great deal of time in her first 4 months. I wouldn't think that would be it, but now I'm second guessing ALL my choices.
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:09 PM
 
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As a former Early Interventionist and mommy to 3 that seems extremely crazy to me! I do know that sitting and getting to sit are 2 different things though. They really do use different muscles and body control, however!...they kinda need to know the sitting route before getting to the getting into sitting route.

If she is happy and loves to sit, LET HER SIT... she is learning so many other things while doing it and will continue to develop all those muscles and skills needed to get to sitting, and pulling up and standing...they all build. Can't walk till you stand kinda thing...


Good luck!
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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This sounds a little crazy to me. DD was a 28 weeker, so all her developmental milestones are different, but she enjoyed being propped up, and her therapists encouraged me to help her do so. She never learned to sit up on her own until she started crawling and could back herself up into sitting position. I don't think I would have been encouraged to prop her if it was bad for her. Of course, I didn't do this to her for long periods, but it doesn't sound like that is what you are doing.
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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ut of 4 kids, only ds sat him self up when he learned to sit alone, all the others i put sitting, ds also learned to crawl same day as sitting up exactly at 6 months, dd2 sat up at 4 months ( me putting her into sitting) and crawled at months, dd3 is 6 months and sitting when i put her that way like you.. i see no harm, my 9 and 6 year olds have no damage from doing this as an infant so i see way it harms a baby, except maybe the bumped head once in a while when they throw them selfs back or foward!

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Old 11-05-2007, 07:12 PM
 
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i'm a pediatric PT and a mama and this doctor is full of it.

pediatricians get little to no education about motor milestone acquisition and it's quite pathetic that they know squat about it.

it is NOT good to place them in a passive sitting position (aka bumbo seat :...i've contributed to multiple threads about why so you can search for those if you want the nitty gritty). but pulling them up to sit and being actively supported and interacted with is not only a-ok, it helps their development.

i am intrigued about this knot in her spine that you mentioned, though. that is not a typical thing. where on her back is it?
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:14 PM
 
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How would a baby learn to balance and work up those sitting muscles if you didn't set them up to begin with?
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:16 PM
 
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I read somewhere that babies in other cultures often sit much earlier than they do in North America. The moms encourage the babies to sit so that they can sit them down in the field or wherever while they work. I think it was Laurie Boucke's Infant Potty Training book. She says that the expectations a society places on babies seems to have a lot more to do with what a baby is capable of and when than whether a baby can actually physically do something or not. I'm no expert (though I've read other sites regarding similar type of things because my DD loves to have us hold her in a standing position), but I would say there is no problem with it.

Lindsay - DD1, born posterior and chin up at home, Aug 2007
DD2, born at home in the water, March 2010
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:22 PM
 
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Hmmm... I'm not sure what to make of her comments. On one hand, I'm delighted to hear a traditional MD talk about honoring developmental stages. (Perhaps I'm putting words into her mouth, but it did sound like it from your description). It's amazing the amount of developmental injuries that occur when a baby is put into positions that his or her body isn't ready for. There are all sorts of reasons for this, but the biggest being that our joints, ligaments and muscles develop along a set pattern, and if we bypass that pattern, we put stresses on the tissues that weren't ever meant to be there, and can cause everything from stress fractures instability later in life.

That said, I'm not sure that if she can sit up unassisted, those same issues really apply. As several pp's have said, the bigger issue is the passive sitting positions that are assumed when baby is in a supported sitting position.

I have no idea what the bump is in her spine - where is it located, and what does it feel like?

(I'll add at the end of this post that I'm a chiropractor, and I specialize in working with pregnant women and infants/children)
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
i'm a pediatric PT and a mama and this doctor is full of it.

pediatricians get little to no education about motor milestone acquisition and it's quite pathetic that they know squat about it.

it is NOT good to place them in a passive sitting position (aka bumbo seat :...i've contributed to multiple threads about why so you can search for those if you want the nitty gritty). but pulling them up to sit and being actively supported and interacted with is not only a-ok, it helps their development.

i am intrigued about this knot in her spine that you mentioned, though. that is not a typical thing. where on her back is it?
I did search for 'bumbo' 'spine' etc and saw your posts. I actually was going to pm you privately but opted to post instead in case you weren't around. Its been bugging me all day, so I'm really happy you are online to answer.

I'll try to explain where the knot is but I'm not really well-verse when it comes to the spine (i took INvertebrate zoology in school. ). Its not quite in the middle of her spine, but middle lower - where the maximum curvature would be when a newborns spine is in a classic 'reversed C'. It seems to me that its disappearing as her spine becomes lordotic. I hope i got that right. I wish i could find a diagram.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:29 AM
 
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ita that the dr is full of it. but i see why you got a little freaked -- i do the same all the time with dd...
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:05 AM
 
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It's great that doctors are also nutritionists, breastfeeding experts, parenting advisors and now -- physical therapists as well! My, my, what the medical profession can do these days. AMAZING.

ETA -- I have never, ever heard anything like this. If someone with qualifications comes around and corrects me that's fine, but your ped. doesn't sound like she knows why she's saying what she's saying.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jamiew View Post
How would a baby learn to balance and work up those sitting muscles if you didn't set them up to begin with?
:
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:45 PM
 
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Like all the others, I have NEVER heard this!
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:09 PM
 
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kidspiration and Mindi22,

I hold 3mo ds on my lap sitting up all the time. Is that ok or should I stop.

I started doing that so I could keep him upright a while after eating without having to stand up.

Also, I have been letting him stand up supported. If his legs are underneath him, he can push his weight up and hold it maybe 10 seconds. I just have to keep him from falling over.

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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kidspiration and Mindi22,

I hold 3mo ds on my lap sitting up all the time. Is that ok or should I stop.
I think its fine if you are holding them in a position where they are cradled. Also, since its you and not an inanimate object, you have the capability for smalls shifts and adjustments that something like a Bumbo wouldn't have. The problem with things like a bumbo, or even a bjorn-type carrier, is that there is undue vertical load on an immature spine - maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong, thats just how i understood it.

The ped yesterdays thoughts were that them sitting up unsupported before they are able to get to that position themselves through pushing up or pulling up, is that it makes the spine TOO rounded when its trying to shift from a reverse C newborn rounded back, to a C shaped lordotic back. According to my husbands translations this morning, that is.
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:07 PM
 
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I hold 3mo ds on my lap sitting up all the time. Is that ok or should I stop.

I started doing that so I could keep him upright a while after eating without having to stand up.

Also, I have been letting him stand up supported. If his legs are underneath him, he can push his weight up and hold it maybe 10 seconds. I just have to keep him from falling over.
Ditto to both of those. DD loves standing. She gets a huge grin on her face. Sometimes she will be on her back and start lifting her upper body (looks like she's trying to do a sit up.) If we grab her hands she will pull herself into a stand. I've talked to my midwives and also done some reading and I'm pretty sure it's fine, as long as she's not being forced. We take her lead both in putting her into positions and when she stops.

As for sitting, I think the problem with the Bumbo is that it holds babies in one position. When she's sitting on your lap she can move around and still be supported.

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DD2, born at home in the water, March 2010
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:11 PM
 
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I'll echo what others have said- your baby is fine and the doctor doesn't know what he or she is talking about.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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