Tuesday, March 30, 2010

To walker or not to walker?

Noelie is now 10 months old. She has cut 2 teeth without too many problems. We were lucky enough not to have sleepless nights. There has been the odd unsettled moment, her face showing pain. But nothing that a bit of Nurofen hasn't solved.

She is very vocal, talking to herself, talking to her teddies, talking to us. She has mastered the baba, mama and dada and some other as yet unidentified sounds. People also comment quite often on her appetite. She has never refused anything that was presented to her. She loves food (although I know that she will develop that terrible fear of vegetables soon enough). You can not eat in front of her without her following your food from the plate to your mouth, which can be quite unnerving.

She is overall a very good humoured and pleasant baby. She can play by herself, keep herself occupied for a while. She loves her big sister and loves playing with her.

So what's the problem, I hear you ask. Well it's not a problem as such. It's just that I am at a loss as to what to do. If you put her sitting down, she can remain sitted unaided for a very long time. But, she can't sit up by herself yet. She hasn't yet grasped the concept of using her arms to sit herself up. She rolls from her front to her back and vice versa but she doesn't crawl or bum around which leads her to be extremely frustrated as she wants to move, she wants to go around and follow us. She loves to stand up (assisted of course). She even manages to stand up for a few seconds on her own while holding onto the sofa. But my problem is, she can't get to the sofa. She is forever sitting down stretching forward and sideways. She rolls herself, ends up on her belly and tries to crawl but ends up pushing herself backwards rather than forward. Which, you guessed, leads to more frustration as she pushes herself away from the object she wants to get.

I have always hated walkers. Marie didn't have one. I just don't think that they are 'good' for babies. I think that they don't help them with walking at all. I find them quite dangerous (although we don't have stairs, I am thinking of the fingers caught between walls and walkers etc). Canada has taken to ban the things altogether over safety issues, so I can't be that wrong about them, can I?

And here is my dilemna. Noelie wants to move around. She gets incredibly frustrated at not being able to. I have left her to try and figure out how to crawl (as bad as it sounds), I have encouraged her to try and reach for something in front of her. I have shown her how to crawl, I have tried to put her arms and legs in the right position. But nothing seems to work and there is only so much wingeing I can take. When up my arms, she just twists and turns trying to direct me towards where she wants to go, arching her back to the point where she actually nearly breaks mine. I hear you all say: she will figure it out, they all do. But she's been stuck at this stage for a few weeks now. She seems to want to skip the whole buming around/crawling stage and just stand up and walk. And here I am now thinking that, as much as I don't like the things, maybe, just maybe, a walker could be the answer.

I have twisted and turned the idea in my head and I know, deep down (and as bad as it sounds), that all I'm looking for is something that would keep her occupied for a bit while I go about my business because as we all know, babies tend to pick the most awkward times to want attention (we all know that, don't we?). Something that would take away her frustration of not being mobile. And then, I just feel guilty for thinking that way, for wanting to find something that will gets us through that hurdle, for wanting to give in to her frustration. Because I believe that I would not be helping her work out how to do it by herself, because I would be going back on something that I have said a few times, that I don't like walkers, that they do not help babies in finding their own feet and supporting their own weight. And probably because I want to go about my business, sometimes, with minimum disruption.

It goes without saying that I wouldn't leave her in a walker all day, of course and then I think is it worth buying something like that if she is going to use it for a few months only and only for a limited time during the day?

Did you use a walker? What did you think of it? Am I making too much of a deal over a silly thing like a walker?
Even better, did you notice any difference between a child using a walker and one not using it?

Let me know!

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