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What Does the Term “Container Baby” Mean?

Have you heard the term “container baby” recently and wondered what that meant? This term comes from babies who spend most of their day or a considerable amount of time per day in equipment such as swings, bouncers, car seat, etc. With our technology-centered and fast paced world, equipment seems like a good, entertaining option to put your baby in so you can finish cleaning the house, cook, or take care of your other children. Equipment can be acceptable for short amounts of time; however, it can hinder their development when they are in it for extended periods during the day.

What are the Effects of Spending A lot of Time in a Container?

When a baby spends most of their day or a considerable amount of time per day in equipment it may lead to:

  • Decreased muscle tone because a baby does not have to use their own muscles to support themselves and therefore leads to decreased muscle strength and developmental delays.
  • Torticollis, which is the shortening/tightness of the muscles on one side of the neck. If a baby is always positioned in the same way in equipment, they may always look to one side of their body and develop torticollis.
  • Plagiocephaly, which is flatness on the back or side of the head. When a baby is left in equipment for extended periods of time it creates a lot of pressure on the back and/or side of their head and may change the bony alignment of their head.
  • Delay in developmental milestones since they do not have the opportunity to practice and build the strength needed to perform skills such as rolling, sitting without support, crawling, walking, etc.

What Can I Do Instead?

It is important to recognize that not all equipment is bad and when used for short periods of time it may not have negative effects on your baby.  There are times during the day that you may need to finish a project or chores, during that time consider using:

  • Equipment that will entertain your baby and has decreased negative effects:
    • Tummy Time Mat – Relieves pressure off the back of their head and strengthens their neck and upper body.
    • Pack N’ Play – Encourages different positions, such as on their tummy, back, side, and sitting, in a safe space. It also relieves pressure off the back of their head and helps to build overall body strength.
  • A swing or bouncer seat only for 30 minutes or less a day.
  • Transportation equipment:
    • Infant carrier wrap or sling – There are many benefits to using these rather than a car seat when you need to transport your baby outside of the car, such as going into a store, a doctor appointment, etc. The benefits include:
      • Relieving pressure off the back and side of their head;
      • The baby can experience loving touch;
      • Requires the baby to use their trunk and neck muscles.
    • Car Seat – **Must use if traveling in a car** – If a car seat is being used for activities other than traveling in the car, such as in the grocery store, while on a walk, etc. or is being used inside the house as a place to sleep or to be entertained, this may lead to decreased muscle tone, torticollis and flattening on the back and/side of their head.

By limiting time in equipment, a baby can have more active movement, it improves overall body strength, it provides them an opportunity to explore their environment, it fosters the development of age appropriate milestones and they can experience loving touch.

-Kelly Raines, PT, DPT

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Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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