Updated: May 31
WRITTEN BY SALLY HILLS-DAVIS, CHILDRENS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST AND KIRSTY BROCKLEHURST, CHILDRENS PHYSIOTHERAPIST. FOUNDERS OF THE PRACTICAL CHILD.
Travel systems – Prams, buggies, pushchairs, whatever you like to call them, have improved no end over the years. There are now all-terrain buggies, jogging buggies, lightweight buggies and rear and forward-facing buggies as well as the three in one travel system. The range is so extensive, I often wonder how on earth people choose!
Today, I am going to discuss the travel system. Many of these have a base with the ability to interchange the pushchair, carry cot and car seat. This can be a great product to buy, with the benefit that if the baby is asleep, you do not have to wake them up to move them. In addition to this, rather than having to take additional equipment like a baby bouncer, you already have a car seat/carrycot, that they can stay in! Read on……..
These travel systems are great; however, they do have a downside! It can be really too easy to keep your child in one position for long periods, without really thinking about it. It is so easy to go from school drop off (for a sibling), with the car seat attachment on the buggy base, back home (baby still asleep), wakes up, fed, changed, out in the car, (so back in car seat) drive to the shops, place the car seat into the trolley, do the shopping, back in the car and then home. Some times life happens and yes sometimes we really need to do this. The issue is that in doing this, our babies haven’t been able to freely wiggle and move, they have been sat too long, with their spine curved and the shoulders brought forward.
Ways to give your child opportunities to move
·Try and leave the carrycot part on the pram, until your baby has full head control, so that they can lay down in the pram, allowing them time to wiggle and move
·If you are using the car seat on the buggy, give your child regular breaks and longer time out of the seat, when undertaking activities such as feeding or changing nappies
·Take a blanket out with you, so you can lay your baby on the floor at friends and families houses
· Lay your baby on your chest if you are out sitting down, rather than leaving them in the car seat for long periods