A study found strapping toddlers in one position hampers the development of their core strength and balance, making everyday tasks a challenge.
The research at Glasgow University, backed up by work at the Institute of Education in London, tracked 15,000 children up to the age of five. It found babies unable to crawl at nine months were more likely to fall behind in cognitive development, such as reasoning and language skills.
Researchers linked the risk to children’s buggies and car seats, which hold babies in pear-shaped padding so that the body is not required to take its own weight or move around.
Theresa Campbell, senior physical education lecturer at Glasgow said, “we work with hundreds of teachers and they are reporting that children do not exhibit the same levels of physical competence as in the past, such as the ability to sit still without fidgeting, to sit upright at tables, tie their own shoelaces, button jackets and hold pencils.”
Time spent in the seats means less time crawling on the floor, so-called “tummy time”, which is important for developing shoulder, back, stomach and arm muscles.