Children are born to move. It means that it is not reasonable to restrict their desire to move, force them to sit and leave them in bouncers or safety seats for too long. On the contrary, it rather has a negative effect on your child’s development. Being in restrictive positions increases the risk for adiposity and hinders motor development. Restricting positions are being in prams, strollers or strapped on a caregiver or sitting in high chairs, carry cots or safety seats for too long.
The more the child is able to move freely and the less the child sits or is in restrictive positions:
the lesser the risk for adiposity is,
the faster he/she obtains his/her motor milestones,
the better the child’s cognitive and psychosocial health is.
According to the World Health Organization the balance between physical activities and sitting in different age groups should be as following:
Children under 1 year:
should be physically active several times a day in a variety of ways
those who are not mobile yet, should have at least 30 minutes of tummy time daily, spread throughout the day while awake
should not be in restrictive positions (in prams/strollers, high chairs, strapped on a caregiver, carry cots) more than an hour at a time
screen time is not recommended;
Children 1-2 years of age:
should be physically active at least 180 minutes a day, more is better should not be in restrictive positions (in prams/strollers, high chairs, strapped on a caregiver, carry cots, safety seats) more than an hour at a time seated screen time should not be longer than an hour a day but less is better;
Children 3-4 years of age:
should be physically active at least 180 minutes a day of which 60 minutes should be moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (heart rate and breathing increases).
should not be in restrictive positions (in prams/strollers, high chairs, safety seats) more than an hour at a time
long periods of sedentary time are not recommended
sedentary screen time should not be longer than an hour daily, less is better.
In conclusion, use your assistive devices only purposefully and during reasonable periods of time, enable your child to move freely, make stops during your drives, enable your baby to have tummy time and do not use high chairs for screen time.