Heart Parenting
& Montessori

To educate the heart and mind of the child

International Parenting Association
A 'Montessori' family



Babies have genius potential. A child's
gift of genius is developed through
much nurturing in the home.

Wonderful Child Brain


Playpens hinder development
Some parents may believe that it is unsanitary or unsafe to let a baby crawl or creep on a floor, so they keep the baby in a playpen where it cannot crawl or creep. Or perhaps they have not baby-proofed their house adequately or they are afraid that the baby will get hurt if it is allowed freedom of movement. The tragedy here is that these children do not develop normally beyond Stage I (reflexive response) in any other stage of brain development, since progress in each stage is cumulative and is based upon development in all of the previous stages. Children that are hindered when it comes to crawling and creeping will become neurologically dysorganized to some degree depending upon the severity of the interference.

Back and hip problems occur later in life
The child who is in a playpen most of the time must learn to walk without having had the proper physical exercise and necessary development of the nervous system. These children do not have the muscular strength or the neurological development that comes with having done much necessary crawling and creeping. Back and hip problems occur later in life if not earlier. You will find that children may have any number of serious developmental conditions that range from slight, or difficult to detect, to very obvious. Developmental conditions that are not obvious to others are still serious. For example, the individual that is not able to type, or enter data in this information age, without making numerous errors is at a disadvantage even though the dysorganization may not be very noticeable to others.

Military spine
There is a condition of the spinal column where the natural curvature straightens in the lower area and eventually vertebrae may even fuse together. The common name for this is military spine. It occurs because the spine was too weak to hold the body weight of a walking child, too weak from the lack of normal exercise that can only be gained by crawling and creeping. A life of back problems is a life of pain and distress.

Hip problems can occur when a child is denied the opportunity to crawl because hip sockets are formed by a grinding action caused by the movement that takes place when the baby is crawling and creeping. Many people develop hip problems as they age.

A Pandora's Box of maladies
Neurological dysorganization, decreased manual dexterity, impaired balance and problems with vision, reading and speech may emerge when children are not allowed to develop naturally and are confined to a playpen. Stifling the development of mobility will impair development in the 5 other areas of brain development involving seeing, hearing, sensation, language and manual dexterity. A child will, comparatively speaking, minimally develop the natural talent and grace he is potentially endowed with when he is prevented from crawling and creeping. In extreme cases where psychotic parents or caretakers chained children to bedposts or locked them in closets, the children became idiots and only grew to half their normal size.

Infant Seats cause back problems
Many parents use infant seats besides playpens. Glenn Doman says car seats are the only infant seats parents should use on an infant. (And this, of course, only when the infant is traveling in a car.) Infant seats weaken the spine and can cause a condition called scoliosis, which is an abnormal spinal curvature. Doman sights the fact that Americans have a lot of back problems. Infant swings and buggies can create the same problem as infant seats—a bad back, which is the fate of many an adult.

A baby is able to sit up on its own, automatically, when its spine is strong enough to take the weight of a sitting posture. Nevertheless, parents sometimes think that a baby has an emotional or mental need to sit up where he can observe things from a higher vantage point, rather than always being down on the floor. If you will pick up your baby as often as you can, this should suffice. It is far better to allow the baby to cultivate the desire to sit up, independently, and to let him accomplish it for himself, which is strengthening rather than debilitating.

Baby Backpack Carriers have caused brain damage and can be fatal
Baby backpack carriers are dangerous and can be fatal. Doman reports that children come to The Institutes brain-damaged because of falling out of this type of baby carrier. Children can be such wiggle worms and they are unaware of danger. Do not trust them in a backpack carrier at any age. An infant should be carried in a snuggle-pack, up front where you can see the child and attend to him. An older baby can be carried in a hip-sling.

Walkers can be lethal!
Walkers are in the same category as backpack carriers in that they harm or hinder development. Furthermore, they are dangerous and have proven fatal in some cases. The American Medical Association does not recommend them and has advised against them. Walkers do keep children out of a parent’s hair, I guess, but they are not safe. Most people are not aware that many children have died in walkers. Glenn Doman has been speaking out against walkers for decades.

Children are not better walkers because they are kept in walkers. If anything, the opposite is true. This is yet another way to keep a baby from crawling and creeping by forcing the child to walk while depriving him of the normal developmental processes, including the vital brain development that can only take place in connection with body development that occurs through the specific physical exercise of crawling and creeping.

Walkers interfere with the formation of balance.
In addition, if you use a walker you will be interfering with the formation of your child's balance mechanism, and the child will not be able to acquire superior balance. In fact, holding a baby’s hand or helping the baby with balance will interfere with this precision mechanism.

The necessary foundational work to develop balance is eliminated when parents intervene, as the mechanism for balance compensates and adjusts to being supported. Well-meaning parents often hold their baby's hands or arms and encourage the baby to take steps. In this manner it is the parents who are balancing the child instead of the child learning to balance himself. This kind of adult intervention is very detrimental to the child, yet it seems so natural for a parent to want to help the child to accomplish the wonderful miracle of walking and to help him to do so sooner. The best way to help the child is to let the child take those first steps unaided and to refrain from holding the child’s hand until he has become surefooted.

If you want your child to have superior balance and a well-developed body and brain, then eliminate dangerous infant devices and strive to provide opportunity and encouragement for crawling and creeping.

RETURN TO Wonderful Child Brain


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