Parenting Pointers: Exploration and Safety with Toddlers and Babies
Over 3.5 million babies were born in 2020, a year of lockdowns and COVID closures. After being stuck inside their first year of life, many of them are exploring what the world has to offer for the first time. But Coronavirus restrictions have created a new level of helicopter parents that quickly bonded very closely with their babies and aren’t prepared for them to crawl or walk their way into the post-pandemic world where they can easily get injured. As places begin to open back up, it’s time for parents to let cooped up kids run free outside – even if it means they’ll fall.
I had a chance to interview Sandra Aris, owner of Sandra Aris Inc, about a new way (padded pants) to help keep babies safe.
- Why can it be hard for parents and caregivers to let their very young ones take risks without hovering?
It is so hard for everyone, myself included to let little ones take risks. We are worried about them getting hurt, feeling pain and we always think of the worst case scenario. We all want the very best for young ones, and most of all we don't want them to get hurt. It is in our DNA to protect them, it's a natural instinct now with today's technologies and innovation we are able to do the same in smarter ways. For example, our resilience gets stronger the more we fall and stand back up again. As parents and caregivers we can protect yet enable activity, learning and development.
- Why is it important for kids to move and explore even if there's a risk of injury?
Letting kids move to their maximum at a young age is crucial. It enables the full development of motor skills. All the crawling, standing and walking allows the creation of connections in the brain. The faster those connections happen the more they get developed. The Harvard research and other research centers are establishing relations between early learning and later success in life. At a young age the brain learns extremely quickly and the objective is to allow each and every little one to learn to the maximum of its own capabilities.
- How do these new pants help kids experience more freedom and parents and caregivers breathe a little easier?
If you were going to rollerblade for the first time tomorrow you would get a helmet, wrist and knee protections. All because you don't want to get hurt but also because each fall will be less painful and you can try longer and harder. You will learn faster and more comfortably. Your experience will be positive, fun and encouraging. What our pants do is exactly the same thing but for babies and toddler learning to crawl and walk. We want them to be comfortable, feel less pain and reach their maximum development potential while having fun.
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