At first glance, you may think that something is missing from The Sunshine House Infant classroom. Look around and you will not see lots of swings, bouncy seats, jumpers, or other such devices. That is because we know that doctors and scientists agree that in order for your baby to develop optimally, he or she needs to move.
There are many benefits to being out of a device and on the floor (even while very young) to move and explore.
Learning: Babies learn through their bodies and their senses. When they are strapped into a device, this learning is limited. By using their bodies to move through the world, they are learning all about it. Movement is essential to brain development.
Physical Development: Children learn to control their bodies from the inside out — that is from their trunk, neck, and head to their fingers and toes. Being restrained limits how much a child can use and refine his core muscles. Limiting movement for extended periods of time can slow down motor development.
Physical Health: As children spend more time on their backs and strapped in devices, they are putting more pressure on the back of their heads. This can lead to a condition called plagiocephaly. There are times when this pressure cannot and should not be avoided, for example, while in a car seat or back-to-sleep. However, during other times, babies should be placed in positions that avoid pressure on the backs of their heads as much as possible.
We also know that inactivity is one of the leading causes of childhood obesity. With the rising rate of this health problem, it is never too early to raise and encourage “movers” instead of “couch potatoes.”
Emotional Wellbeing: Children who are confident, able to solve problems and think critically do better in school (and in life). These traits start to develop as a baby navigates the world and finds success in doing so. Sitting and watching the world go by decreases a baby’s motivation and their development of these key learning indicators.
We know that you want the best for your baby, so do we. That is why we design classrooms around what research tells us is best for the development of the brain and body. Moving babies are happy babies. And happy babies are what we all want to see.