Will 2023 be the Year of the Baby? I’m hoping, yes.
Perhaps this will be the year that babies are finally acknowledged as uniquely capable, full-fledged people. Maybe parents and caregivers will realize that babies are born knowing something about their development and typically developing babies can be trusted to demonstrate readiness for developmental milestones by “doing them”.
If we believe in babies, then we give them opportunities to show us what they’re working on, and they’ll do the rest. This begins with allowing infants plenty of time to move their bodies freely and naturally and trusting them to direct their motor development.
So, I’m rolling in the New Year by sharing some inspiration. In the following video, a 4-month-old infant demonstrates a wide array of movements and positions on her way to tummy time, none of which would be possible if she were propped up to sit, contained in a walker, seat or carrier, or placed on her tummy. She is determined, but relaxed, engaged, content, a joyful explorer stopping to gaze at things that catch her eye, examine her hands and taste her thumb. Tummy time is just another interesting discovery, self-chosen and stress-free. Nothing could be more natural. This certainly bodes well for a lifelong love of learning…
I wish doctors had enough time to be able to observe how a baby is moving naturally, to share these observations with parents, and to point out to the parents how competent a baby is at any stage of development. This might help the parents to observe and appreciate what the child is capable of doing and to stop worrying and pushing toward the next milestone, for which the baby may not yet be ready. –Magda Gerber
In the New Year (and always), may the time you’re blessed to spend with babies be joyful and inspiring. Cheers!
(Thank you to Sarah, Nathan and Juliet for this beautiful video!)