Thoughts on Baby Swings: Are they Good for the Baby?

Asleep in the Baby Sling
Yesterday I had a parent ask me a very interesting question that I had to think about for a bit.  The question was about baby swings.  It was about the hypnotic sound they make and were there any references regarding the use of baby swings.  Well honestly I don’t know of any references regarding baby swings particularly but I do have some data that could correlate and a person could think with, that will help  a person decide how and when to use them.

There is a quote by L. Ron Hubbard that has to do with television actually –  but there is a point in the quote about being pinned in one place and having information flowed into you.  It is this:

“The influence of TV, for instance, on the general crime rate around the world has been embarked upon many times, but the program material is what is being blamed, not that the child is being pinned motionless, and that is what’s happening. I don’t care if you showed them Little Orphan Annie sighing over the dog …. And if this was all there was on TV and the child still sat in front of TV at an active time of life when they should be moving, you’ll get a higher crime rate. It’s inevitable. All you’ve got to introduce is motionlessness; you’ll get aberration.”  – LRH  (Excerpt from lecture of 23 June 1961,  Question & Answer Period-CCH)

Now what, pray tell, does this have to do with a baby swing?

If a baby is put into a swing for a short time to help them fall asleep that is one thing.  But if a parent is using a baby swing for long periods of time to keep the child quiet while they clean or do other things then you can see the child would be pinned in one place totally at effect to only receive communication in with little space and range of motion to stretch, move around, cause.

More data that is well known information regarding physical development and how a body grows has to do with floor time.  It is important to give a baby ample floor time. Floor time would be defined as putting the baby on a palate, on their belly, on the floor where they can stretch and arch and exercise those muscles neck, abdomen, back and soon their legs and arms.  Right there you can see that yes, baby might whine or cry a bit at first but encouraged they will soon be doing the above and taking daily wins.  If you then put a small, favorite toy just slightly out of their reach, they will strive to reach it and again when they do they will be having wins. Some people have even made a slant board (a board with a slight slant) putting the baby on it to aid them in attaining their target toy.

This is all good for teaching them to be causative and to their mental well being.  But added benefit to that is that it develops muscles that they will be using to walk upright eventually, balances the hemispheres of the brain which hones their coordination skills and balance.  Children who have been allowed to do this and to crawl and creep frequently during the day as babies have even been found to be in the higher I.Q. Bracket.

To pin a child down for long periods of time at such a developmental stage of life  results in the child learning to be less causative, less active and to become more and more of a spectator to life.  Those who are spectators of life are learning to watch life rather than to live their life.  Later in life this  leads to depression, weight problems, a condition where they only act if you tell them what to do instead of when given a job looking to see what they could do next and doing it, constant boredom and as Mr Hubbard mentioned above eventually it could lead to criminality.

As you can see this is data that can also be applied to stroller time as well.  So how could a parent utilize Swing time and stroller time effectively?  Well, if baby likes the swing then maybe you can use it just before nap time to put the baby to sleep.  Or for a very short time during the day as long as you have a sufficient amount of tummy time during the day.  The stroller should be used when going out of course but also to take your baby for a daily walk while pointing out the different things in the world to him/her.

I am happy to share this information with you.  It is one that has not been looked at very much and once I thought about it I realized was very important.

I, and everyone at Mace-Kingsley Family Center have the wish to have all children on the planet, active, causative, well thinking, thriving individuals.  They are our future leaders, mothers, fathers, teachers and innovators.  Let’s give them the best possible start.

Wishing you all abounding joy,

Diane DiGregorio Norgard
Mace-Kingsley Family Center
727-442-3922

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