Moving Away from Positioning Devices in 2017

Obviously, no baby is going to spend 100% of their time playing on the floor or a mat/blanket. At some point you need to cook or shower and you need a place for the baby where they’re safe Blog-Positioning Devices-Main-Landscapefrom the toddler, the dog, or somewhere you know they won’t roll away. This is the time to use the exersaucer, sling seat, or bumbo seat; but try to limit the time spent in these devices to 20-30 minutes per day, collectively.

Here’s why you should consider moving away from positioning devices…

The biggest problem with these devices is children are placed in them well before they have the proper trunk and/or head control to really utilize them properly. With an exersaucer, most babies are also unable to place their feet flat on the bottom but are still pushing up into standing. This can increase extension tone, decrease ankle range of motion/muscle shortening, and can possibly be linked to future toe walking.

With a bumbo or sling seat, the baby is not placed in optimal sitting alignment causing poor sitting posture. While these appear to provide great support and make 4 month old babies look like they can sit independently, the truth is the device isn’t allowing your baby to utilize their core muscles to actively sit.

The bottom line is, if the positioning device is doing all the work, what is your child learning to do?

The best place for your child to play and spend the majority of their time is on the floor or on a blanket/mat. This allows them the opportunity to properly explore their environments and practice typical movement patterns like reaching for their feet, rolling to their side, rolling over, spending time in prone, pivoting, and creeping/crawling.

NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Deerfield, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Mequon! If you have any questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140!


Jamie Katz

Jamie Katz

Jamie Katz is a physical therapist with an enthusiasm for working with the pediatric population and has both personal and clinical experience in the field. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Jamie’s younger brother has Autism and was the inspiration for her journey to become a pediatric physical therapist. She completed a majority of her clinical rotations in the pediatric field including acute care PT at VCU Children’s Hospital and outpatient PT at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Virginia Beach, VA. Upon graduation in May 2014, Jamie worked for 7 months at Rehabilitation Associates in Virginia Beach, VA where she treated children in the outpatient and early intervention settings. She began working for North Shore Pediatric Therapy in January 2015. Throughout her pediatric career she has had experience with a wide range of diagnoses, including but not limited to: Torticollis, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dravet’s Syndrome, Aicardi Syndrome and lack of normal physiological development such as poor core strength, balance, motor planning or coordination.

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