Watching your baby reach different stages of development is an exciting part of watching them grow.
Parents will go out of their way to encourage these moments, but did you know that some baby products can also help children grow and develop?
From using slings and carriers to harness the power of ‘carrying’ to high chairs that help babies learn about feeding, we’re looking at how they can help.
The fourth trimester – baby carriers and slings
Research shows that “fourth trimester” ‘carrying’ – a term coined by Dr. Harvey Karp to describe the first three months after birth – helps your baby transition smoothly from the familiarity of the womb into the ‘world real”.
It provides benefits of security, peace and bonding through physical proximity to the person wearing them.
The physical effects of babywearing range from temperature and heart regulation to developmental factors such as sleep regulation and speech development.
Plus, carrying your baby in a carrier or sling allows you to have your hands free for other tasks such as caring for other children, exercising, and even doing housework.
Before transporting your baby in a baby carrier or sling, be sure to follow the instructions so that it is fitted correctly and your baby feels secure in it.
Want to know which baby carrier we found the strongest, most comfortable and most durable? Browse all our.
Healthy hip and spine development – elongated car seats and stroller seats
Ideally, newborns and very young babies should be kept in a horizontal position as much as possible, but especially while sleeping. This is because it allows them to breathe optimally and also puts less pressure on their hips and spine, allowing them to develop properly.
A standard infant car seat has a seat angle of 40-45 degrees, which means newborns should only be held in the seat for short periods of time before taking a break.
Research has found that a significant number of preterm and full-term babies have reduced oxygen desaturation after sitting in a typical car seat for just 20 minutes.
To keep your baby healthy and to ensure that the hips and spine develop as they should, you can opt for an elongated car seat or a stroller with an elongated seat.
An elongated car seat is a seat that can be reclined to an almost flat position, which means you don’t have the same time limit to keep your child in the seat as you would with a standard car seat. .
Likewise, a stroller with a seat that can be reclined to a nearly flat position (more than 150 degrees), or that comes with a carrycot attachment, will allow you and your baby to use the stroller from birth. will be able to sleep peacefully without having to be moved to a flat surface too soon.
When checking ourselect the “Suitable from birth” filters to ensure you can use it with your newborn baby.
Read our article on this type of seat and discover the brands that offer it as an option.
Eye contact and communication – reversible stroller seat
A study by researchers at the University of Dundee found that when their babies were in a pushchair with a parent-facing seat, they were twice as likely to sleep as if they were in a pushchair seat facing the world. .
The research also found that when babies faced their parents in their stroller, parents were twice as likely to talk to their babies and babies were more likely to laugh.
This suggests that carrying your toddler in a stroller facing you can give you a fantastic opportunity to make eye contact and communicate with them in a variety of ways, helping to bond and improve communication.
Discover the technical specifications of our– they will indicate if the direction of the seating unit is both facing the world and facing the parents – a according to a Who? parent survey.
Sleep and turn over safely – firm crib mattress
Newborns tend to sleep more than they’re awake – between eight a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. – so the right crib mattress will help them grow and develop.
A 2017 review published in the journal Nature and Science of Sleep found that infant sleep plays a vital role in cognition and physical growth.
Not only that, but there’s evidence that the right type of crib mattress surface can help keep them safe: sleeping on a surface that’s too soft is associated with a significantly increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ( SIDS).
A sagging mattress won’t provide the support your baby needs and could even put them at risk of suffocation if they end up face down in a sagging area.also.
When you buy a mattress, it should always feel firm when you press on it and should spring back immediately after you remove your hand.
A firm mattress will also provide the right base for your baby to push against as they learn to roll over and even push on their stomach – a key developmental milestone. Remember to always lay your baby on his back.
Read our guide to find out.
Weaning and self-feeding – supportive high chair
Mealtimes are an important part of an infant’s development, helping them develop social, emotional and communication skills.
When your baby is six months old and can sit up unaided, you can startallowing them to venture into the exciting world of food.
A high chair should be ergonomic and supportive so she can sit up safely (even if she can sit up unassisted, she can still be a little wobbly) and be strapped in an upright position rather than slouched (which can pose a choking hazard) .
Sitting in a high chair with access to a tray or table will also help him swallow properly, grasp and become familiar with food handling and eventually learn how to feed from a.
Crawl and walk – sturdy stair gate
An inevitable part of your baby’s development is crawling, crawling (walking while holding onto walls or surfaces) and walking, so it makes sense to prepare your home for this.
The RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) reports that around 36,000 children under the age of five attend A&E services each year after an accidental fall down the stairs and around 42,000 following an accident in the kitchen , which shows how vital it is to install a stair gate.
Install one on the stairs, steps, through the kitchen door, or anywhere else you feel a curious child might be tempted to wander, and make sure it’s sturdy and can withstand the bumps and rattles of a determined baby or toddler.
Who? testing verifies the strength and durability of all stair gates we test and we have found some that fall off door frames far too soon. Read ourto make sure you don’t miss out and learn more about which?.