"It's a pity that so many of the 'givens' of modern child rearing (playpens, jumpers, baby seats) serve to distance parents and their children and insulate the child from life-giving touch...James Prescott documented statistical evidence that the presence or absence of touch is not only the distinguishing factor between a healthy and well-adjusted individual or a violent one...He apparently developed the means to predict, with 80 percent accuracy, whether a culture would be violent or nonviolent simply by looking at whether the infant was carried on the body of its mother or caretaker; when he added in whether or not adolescent sexual activity was permitted or punished, his system was 100 percent accurate." (43)
Some of the people that say these things are bad, say they're bad for physical reasons. I believe this is true if you leave the child in the contraption for too long. But those that advocate for them say five minutes at a time can be a good thing. And I'm sure five minutes at a time would not make a person violent. But I know myself. I'm a multi-tasker. If Acorn let me leave him in the seat for an hour, and I got a bunch of stuff done, I would probably do it (often). I know if I had the crutch I would use it; better not to have it. I get done what I can with him in some sort of carrier. Lately he really likes riding on my back when nothing else will make him happy. If I have to, I put him down in his room and leave him. His fussing will ensure that he's not in this situation for too long.
At the horse play night, I thought I was doing really well with the smile and nod routine as the ladies kept telling me I needed a doorway jumper. I wasn't arguing, I just wasn't agreeing with them. One woman exclaimed exasperatedly, "Baby walkers aren't bad for babies! They help them learn to walk!" They finally dropped it when I told them we didn't have door frames on the main level of the house. I wondered out loud later that night to my husband how on earth people learned to walk before we had baby walkers. "Baby walkers do not lead to early walking; in fact, many physicians now believe that infant walkers may adversely affect muscle development and coordination and lead to a delay in walking...Time spent in walkers also takes time away from opportunities to creep and crawl and can affect coordination and balance." (73)
Here's one more on this topic:
"You can have all the benefits of positive interaction with your baby without spending the money simply by enjoying being with your child and rolling around on the floor together. If you are doing something because it feels good in the moment...then you are interacting positively. But if you are doing it for results...then you are out of the present moment and have fallen prey to the media hype that tells us we should help our children progress faster.
Understanding how your baby develops can help you to have realistic expectations and to provide toys and a physical environment that are developmentally appropriate." (94 - 95)
Acorn especially loves his movement mirror. Also, I just don't want extra stuff kicking around the house for us to trip over. We already have 3 dogs!
It's kind of funny that I'm using quotes from this book, because as I've read further into it, she has what I would call, some wacky ideas. But again, to each his own. One example is that if you need your child to calm down, dress them in red or orange, and their attitude will be reflect the complementary colors, green and blue - calm. There were some neat ideas in this book, like wet-on-wet watercolor painting, and bee's wax modeling, but overall I was disappointed. Many of the "things to do" with your child were very obvious, but maybe I just had an exceptional childhood, and these things are not obvious to most. Also, since the title says "from birth," I was hoping there would be more things to do with an infant. But I guess you're just supposed to do what comes naturally. It's all new to them; you don't need to do anything extra.