The Importance of Physical Activity for Children, Baby Exercise Tips


Our next guest is here with some sage advice
for new parents. Get your babies out of the stroller and get them to exercise. Author
Janet Doman, says it could make them smarter. She is the Director for the Institutes for
the Achievement of Human Potential. Her new book is called How Smart is your Baby? and
Janet Doman is here with us now, a pleasure to meet you. A pleasure to be here. You know
I’ve heard about all the baby einstein tapes and whatever and its just everywhere for making
your baby smarter. How does exercise help making your baby smarter? You know exercise
may not be a big enough word. I need exercise. We all need exercise. but the baby really
needs opportunity to gain the abiity to move and that’s a lot more important than exercise.
What do you mean gain the opportunity to move? We’re always waiting for those benchmarks,
sitting up, crawling, you know you’ve said an important thing we’re waiting for the benchmark,
but it’s really our job to make the benchmark happen by giving opportunity to the baby . when
you think about it, the baby nine months in utero, the baby is moving. he can kick, he
can push, he can even do little summsault, in utero but then when he’s born all of a
sudden hes up against gravity, hes in a big chubby body and hes got one gravity pushing
him down, hes got to learn almost immediately how do I move in this new environment. I’ve
been free for nine months i’ve been swimming all around having a great time and all of
a sudden he can’t move very well and we have to make an important choice, are we going
to help them move. are we going to put them in a kind of user friendly environment where
he can move? and use all that he learned in utero or are we going to bundle him up are
we going to put him in a wheelchair, put him in a baby carriage, put him in a carseat,
so that all day long he can’t move it turns out that if we do that to him, and that’s
very much the modern practice to bundle the baby up from the neck down he’s swaddled so
he can’t move, when we do that he loses the abilities that he had in utero to move. and
he puts on weight very rapidly so by the time hes two or three months he cant move at all.
he thinks the only way I move is if the big ones pick me up and move me. but if right
from the birth we give them a chance he’ll crawl in the first 24 hours. Well I know you were talking about the swaddling
that’s the first thing you really learn from the nurses in the hospital. How to swaddle
the baby. How do we give the baby the opportunity to experience almost right after birth. What
do we do? Its not like uh you first of all you don’t swaddle him. we get out of his way.
you dont pile on heavy clothes we put him in as little clothing as possible. much better
to make a warm environment that’s good for the baby get the baby down on a warm smooth
floor or a little matt or a little cushioned area, but has to be smooth not carpeted because
that will be too much friction for him to move if we do that right from birth, he will
begin to use his arms and legs on his belly to move forward he has to make a thousand
experiments to figure out how can I move. how does this make a child smarter where are
the statistics on this? well movement is critical to all of life. and if you want to develop
your vision you need to move through space to the degree he moves through space he has
to look where hes going, he has to use two eyes together and that’s very important in
getting depth perception, so movement and when he crawls he starts to look where hes
going then he starts to push himself up to creep he has to calculate where am i in space
or I’m going to hit that chair. So movement really develops like vision much more rapidly
it also helps his respiration. a new born baby cannot breathe very well. all mothers
know this, mothers are very attentive to this and they’re correct to be because breathing
is critical to life. the baby who has time on the floor to move develops much deeper
more regular breathing more rapidly. he sleeps better he even eats better as he gets to be
8 or 9 months old he’ll start to eat a little earlier than the baby who doesn’t move. Janet
we’re running out of time but it also reinforces the importance of the parent rather than a
gadget or an expensive toy being the most important first teacher to the baby absolutely
Mother is the best teacher that the baby will ever have in his whole life. no one will ever
compare to mother she doesn’t need the wheelchairs the gadgets the gizmos, the walkers the jumpers.
one mother, one baby, and the floor, as much time as possible, bundle your baby up only
when you absolutely have to . otherwise set them free and we’re not excluding dads but
mom is the primary care giver in the babys first especially in those first couple of
months and years. very much so. Janet Doman, again the author of How Smart is Your Baby,
thank you ,, a pleasure.

4 thoughts on “The Importance of Physical Activity for Children, Baby Exercise Tips

  1. Yep. And do that whole pick-the-baby-up-and-swing-him-around stuff that people have done with their babies since forever.

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