"Wow, you've grown again." We all remember the rellies who lovingly pinched our cheeks as children and said the same sentence to us every time we saw them. Even though it was funny/rather annoying at the time, have you thought about the number of times others do it to your child today? Although, thinking about it, we still catch ourselves thinking the same thing every now and then or even hear the words coming out of our own mouths when we haven't seen our friends' children for a while! During the first years of life, humans develop faster than at any other time. In the first four years alone, half of the entire development takes place. Wow!
Every child has its own individual time
The course of development for a child is fixed and always goes in roughly the same order. However, each child is unique when it comes to when it goes through which developmental phase. For example, motor development, each child develops at its own pace. One walks at 12 months, another only at one and a half years. The same applies to the first sounds they make, the first words and so on, so you can already see, it doesn’t make sense to compare your child but rather emphasise the abilities of your own child.
From co-regulation to self-regulation
The basic ability to regulate also plays an important role in early childhood development. In the first three months, the focus is more on physical adaptation processes such as food intake and digestion, temperature regulation, waking and sleeping. From the 3rd month onwards, the waking and sleeping rhythm stabilises and your baby learns to regulate its attention better and engages more and more in social interaction. In the second half of life, the baby begins to move around in a self-directed way. However, no matter how your child develops: babies are dependent on the care and support of you as parents/caregivers for a long time.
The challenge for a parent or caregiver is to respond as appropriately as possible to your child's individual needs, to support his or her development and to identify where your baby's self-regulating abilities may not yet be sufficient and need to be supported by you. This is called co-regulation. This is what you as parents have a kind of superpower for: intuitive parenting. This means that these behaviours do not have to be learned, but are used naturally in everyday interactions. Examples of this are using language, responding to eye contact with facial expressions and learning the optimal distance (25 centimetres) between infant and parent eye contact to allow you to respond to your child's needs and reassurances in a unique way. Through the recognition of the child's signals and an appropriate response from the parents, the baby can increasingly learn to react so it learns by interacting with you which feeling has to be answered in what way and thus moves from co-regulation and more into self-regulation. A large oversupply of stimuli from outside should also be avoided so that your child can understand and respond to the individual feelings in a developmentally appropriate way.
The right amount of external stimulation
Now you are probably wondering what all this has to do with our baby bouncer? It's simple: nowadays there is a wide range of baby products, especially electronic ones, and recommendations on how to soothe your baby as quickly as possible. And there are certainly a lot of things that seem to work well at first, but later tend to have the opposite effect. A large overabundance of stimuli (lots of movement, excessive amounts of driving to calm baby down, .....) from the outside should be avoided so that your child can better identify the individual feelings and learn to react to them itself.
In reality every baby product used should support this development marathon, especially in the first year of life. It is always advisable to offer your baby a mix of different options in order to optimally support its development. For example, carrying your baby, with or without a carrier, sleeping in the supine position in a side or family bed, breastfeeding and feeding in your arms, playing on the floor (also in the prone position every day) and nursing time on the changing table are good opportunities for closeness and interaction.
But what can you do as parents if you want to put your baby down during the day? The simple solution: an ergonomic baby bouncer, like our Ergobaby Evolve 3-in-1 Bouncer. This can be individually adjusted to the rapid development and grows with your baby, so that your baby is ergonomically supported at all times. At the same time, however, the bouncer has a rocking function that can be regulated by the older baby's own movements. The newborn baby thus experiences age-appropriate, cuddly and safe support when he or she cannot be directly with mummy or daddy, while the older baby learns to use his or her own movements more and more in order to become more and more self-regulated. The absence of electronic components and the independence from electricity make it possible for you to take the baby bouncer with you everywhere, simplify your everyday life and prevent overstimulation of your child. From a midwife's point of view, movement impulses from a baby bouncer, should only be done manually by the parents and later to let the child decide for itself as baby learns to regulate itself more and more on its own - of course in the presence of mum or dad without being over stimulated. Because sometimes less is simply more. And with your attentive nature and the appropriate, supportive baby products in your everyday life, you will quickly succeed in finding the right balance.