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Babies: BABY POSTURE

ebs
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Babies: BABY POSTURE

I recently bought your 8 Steps to a Pain Free Back for myself. I was concerned that my back would be a major problem when we had a first child. I really enjoyed the book and it has helped me to reduce the number of lower back spasm incidents greatly. While reading the book I also appreciated the points/photos about encouraging good posture in infants/toddlers. I have used those ideas in the way I hold him throughout the day. However, our son is now just over 1 year and I'm starting to notice that when he is sitting on the floor reading books/playing with toys or in the bathtub that he sits with his back with a distinctive arc to it. I know that neither my wife nor I are perfect when it comes to our sitting or standing posture around the house. Do you find that children will start to mimic their parents' posture by the age of 1? Also, is there anything more (besides improving our own posture) that you suggest to improve the chances of children developing good sitting/standing posture?

Thank you for any advice/guidance you can provide.

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I think your child is too young for that to be the major influence on his posture when he sits on the floor. You need to plant his pelvis well for him to sit well. Look at the main photo in the front of the stacksitting chapter to get a hint on this. Also, be sure your child's carseat / stroller aren't "teaching" him bad habits.

I'm so glad to reach these ideas to you and your child. Spread the notions to your peer parents - we really need to clean up this show for the coming generations!
pcalk
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I am 35 weeks pregnant and want to be sure that the things we buy/are gifted are good options for us and our baby.  Are there specific brands that you recommend?  I still want to get a sling/Moby, a stroller, and another car seat.  Also, is the Amby Baby a good choice, in your opinion?
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Check the Baby Furniture board http://gokhalewellness.com/forum
The brands and models have changed a great deal (unfortunately for the worse) since I raised my babies. In general you want furniture that supports a J-spine in your baby, not an S-spine or a C-spine (fetal shape).
tim.lundeen
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How do you tell whether a baby carrier or furniture support a J-spine vs C- or S-?
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Furniture that supports a J spine will have space for the bottom to be back (to angle back slightly) and then be pretty straight above that. C-shape is the most commonly found - baby will look like his or her tail is curled under him/her, and the torso will likely look a bit shortened, or collapsed. S-shaped baby furniture is less common - this would involve having a lumbar support type of shape in the low back, thus forcing the chest to stick out.

If you have C-shaped (or S-shaped, but, once again, most furniture is C-shaped) baby furniture, you can often use some flannels or blankets to modify the contours to create more of a J shape - just like you can with adult furniture.
tim.lundeen
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Very helpful, thanks. I've padded our car seat to make room for his bottom and diaper.
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When modifying car seats you want to be very careful because of safety concerns. Be sure you aren't adding padding that would make your baby vulnerable in an accident. You want to purchase another car seat if you are not sure about this.
Jenya
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I was able to observe an 8 month old baby's posture while playing on the floor, and noticed that when he pulled himself into a seated posture, he had a distinctive "C" shape to his spine: tucked pelvis, rounded back, and forward neck/head.  I wonder if there is a certain age developmentally at which a baby will have ideal posture, and if there is a period of "premature" sitting when they may not have the muscle development to support a straight spine?  I know his mother is aware of his posture and would like to do what she can to support her son. 
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I suspect this isn't so much a result of premature sitting as of being carried poorly. I've noticed the tucking tendency very, very early in babies who are carried in a tucked position. The younger kids are, the more quickly their pelvises can be "reset" - just a few minutes in a baby. You just have to hold them with their pelvis anteverted (it will take a firm hold) till the muscles give into the new position. With older children (I have had dismayed parents bring in their five year olds with pretty determined tucks) it is like breaking a horse. I find games to play and different ways to hang on to their pelvises while they run around doing their thing.
Thalin
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Esther, will you make a post or video on babywearing?

I am about to give birth (remember? I suspected I was pregnant at your class in Bonn) and I would like to carry my baby. They offer wonderful classes here in Italy but I want to make sure posture is correct. I see a lot of babies carried in a very tight C shape. Should you wrap the sling so that the butt "sticks out" in a frog position?

 

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