Teaching My 6 Week Old Baby To Sleep In Bassinet Movement and Infants

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Movement and Infants

Besides the fact that they were built to do so, there is a

many reasons why babies need to move. the truth is,

although their mobility skills are extreme

limited compared to even those of a toddler, movement

experiences may be more important for infants than for

children of any other age group. And it’s not all about

or motor development.

Thanks to new insights in brain research, we now know that

early movement experiences are considered essential to the

neural stimulation (the “use-it-or-lose-it” principle).

involved in the preservation or pruning of brain cells ) needed

for healthy brain development.

Not long ago, neuroscientists believed that the structure of

human brain was genetically determined at birth. They now

be aware that although the main “circuits” are “pre-wired”

(for such functions as breathing and the heartbeat), the

experiences that fill the days of every child are what actually

determine the ultimate design of the brain and the nature and

extent of that child’s adult abilities.

A baby’s brain, it turns out, is full of brains

cells (neurons) at birth. (Actually, a one-pound fetus

already has 100 billion of them!) Over time, each of those

brain cells can form up to 15,000 connections

(synapses) with other brain cells. And it is during the

first three years of life which most of these connections are

done Synapses not used often enough are removed. On the

on the other hand, those synapses that were activated by

repeated early experiences tend to become permanent. And it

it seems that physical activity and play during early

childhood has an essential role in the sensory and physiological

a stimulus that results in more synapses.

Neurophysiologist Carla Hannaford, in her excellent book,

Smart Moves: Why Learning Isn’t All in Your Head, states:

“Physical movement, from earliest childhood and throughout our

lives, plays an important role in the creation of a nerve cell

networks that are actually the essence of learning.”

She then continues to tell how movement, because it

activates the neural wiring throughout the body, makes the

whole body — not just the brain — the instrument of

learning

Gross and fine motor skills are learned through repetition

also — and because it is practiced and because

repetition sets patterns in the brain. Although it

it was not clearly determined that such early movements as

kicking, swinging the arms, and shaking on hands and knees are

“practice” for later, more advanced motor skills, is

believed that they were indeed part of a process of

neurological maturation necessary for motor control

skills In other words, these spontaneous actions are being prepared

the child – physically and neurologically – to later perform

more complex, voluntary actions.

Then, after the child performs voluntary actions (for

for example, rolling, crawling and walking), the circle

completes itself, because these skills provide both glucose (the

the main source of energy of the brain) and blood flow (“food”) to

the brain, probably increasing neuronal

relationships

According to Rebecca Anne Bailey and Elsie Carter Burton,

authors of The Dynamic Self: Activities to Enhance Infant

Development, whenever babies move any part of their body,

there is the potential for two different types of

learning to occur: learning to move and moving to learn.

However, recent evidence suggests that babies spend

more than 60 waking hours per week in matters – highchairs,

carriers, car seats, and the like!

The reasons for this trend are various. Part of the problem

is that more and more babies are being placed in childcare

centers where there may not be enough space to leave babies

wanders the floor. Or, due to the number of babies enrolled,

there may be little opportunity for caregivers to spend

one-on-one time with each baby. This means, in the morning,

a baby is typically fed, dressed, and then carried to the

car where she is put in a car seat. She is then

taken to the nursery, where she can spend a lot

of her time in crib or playground. At the end of the day,

she is picked up, put back in the car seat and carried

back into the house where she is fed, bathed and laid

a bed

Even when parents are at home with baby, they seem to be busier

than ever these days. Who has time to get on the floor and

sneak out with a kid? Furthermore, with today’s emphasis

being productive, playing with a baby would seem almost a

guilty pleasure! And if the baby seems happy and safe in a

a seat placed conveniently in front of the TV, in a box

hung in a doorway, or cruising around in a walker, so

what is the harm? It’s a win/win situation, right?

In fact, it is not. Being locked up (as one colleague says:

“container”) affects a baby’s personality; they need

to be held It can also have important consequences for the

motor – and cognitive – development of a child.

Other trends in today’s society having an impact on babies.

opportunities to move are the inclination to limit,

rather than encouraging, freedom of movement and the misguidance

belief that early academic instruction will result

gorgeous babies (In 1999, 770,000 copies of children’s software –

“lapware” – were sold!)

People are meant to move and play. The inclination – the

need – is fixed in them. Babies, in fact, spend almost

half their waking time – 40% – doing things like kicking,

jumping, and waving his arms. And while it can appear all

this activity is just to move, it is important

realize that a baby is never “just moving” or “just playing”.

Each action extends the child’s development in some way.

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