Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Freely moving babies - we need your help!

Dear All,

This will be a slightly unusual post, as I have a favour to ask of you. ANd hopefully, you will agree, you will e-mail me, you will forward this to whoever else you think can participate in this, and we will all learn and share the knowledge we gain from this. So this is what it's all about:

A few days ago a friend of mine expressed her concern about her daughter's motor development. She said she was a bit worried that her little girl didn't sit up on her own until she was almost 10 months old. I thought about this, and realised that our son sat up about the same time. Only, we were not too worried.

There is very little information about the age, or rather age range, for when babies who are allowed to move freely achieve certain milestones - rolling, crawling, sitting up, standing, walking. The study done by Emmi Pikler, who observed 722 babies over time, shows that overall the age in which 'Pikler babies' achieved these milestones, was not much different from the other babies.

Still, we worry. That's what we do, we are parents, after all ;)

So, I thought about gathering information that would let us see what the age range is (after all, what are the chances of all babies reaching the milestones at exactly the same age?). And here is where I am asking for your help:

If you are raising your child allowing them to move freely, and if your child reached each of these milestones on their own (that is, without sitting them up, teaching them to walk etc.), please share with us. If you have any date recorded for the age when your child reached any of the milestones, please e-mail us and tell us about it.

If you are willing to participate in this, please send us and e-mail to: with the following information:

1. What week of pregnancy was your baby born in?
2. What age did s/he learn to do the following for the first time:
(i) roll to the side
(ii) roll to their tummy
(iii) crawl
(iv) sit up
(v) stand up unsupported
(vi) take first step unsupported

We hope to get as many parents involved as we can. If you know anyone who can help, please forward it to them. We will be grateful for any information you can share with us, even if you remember only one or two of these (we actually have absolutely no idea how old our son was when he started crawling. We know it was around Christmas :)

After we get a reasonable number of responses, we will share our results. We will have your e-mail addresses, so all of you will get an e-mail from us, telling you what we have found out.

And, of course, if you have any questions, please e-mail us as well!

Looking forward to hear from You,

Ania, Pawel & Antek @ Every Moment Is Right

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

You just sit back and watch...

Some time ago I went to a yoga workshop with a teacher who started the class by saying something like this: 'So, I could make you do all of these really difficult poses. I could put you all into headstands. Or I could just stand there and repeat: harder, harder, harder, more, more, more...and you would all do it. But then at the end of the class would you understand any of what's just happened to your body?'

I also once went to a dance class where the teacher was making us do a whole lot of really cool stuff. Really showy, difficult stuff. Right from the start. I never went back. Sure, it was kind of fun. But I really like understanding what's going on with my body. That's just me.

People interested in movement (at least people I talk to) spend a lot of time trying to unlearn things they have acquired throughout their lives. I'm trying really hard to unlearn a number of habits that my body developed over the years. I'm working on sitting, standing and walking comfortably and with awareness (some thought on 'undoing' from a wonderful Alexander teacher here). And I remember that a lot of times wen I was talking to people about movement, the advice you often hear is: look at the children. So I do.

I look at my son how he is learning to feel comfortable in his body. I look how he is developing all the amazing skills, necessary for him to roll over, crawl, sit up, pull himself up... I wait (im)patientkly for the first step he will take (when, oh when?!). I watch all this, but I bite my nails and almost never interfere.

I remember the learning to crawl phase - it was long. It lasted and lasted and lasted, and we really could not wait for him to finally get it (yes, we know all about the being here and now and enjoying the moment, but...). He would get on all fours, move his pelvis back and forth, back and forth, back and forth... look at the toy in front of him he was trying to get to, then fall down and complain. Back up. Back to all fours. And the pelvis... oh dear.

When he finally got it, he was the happiest person on the planet, and so were we.

We could have helped out. We could have followed the advice we hear all too often: come on, help him out. If you show him he'll get there faster. Look, he's struggling...

Yes, he's struggling. But if you think struggling is all bad, have a look at this great post from Janet Lansbury!

So here is how I see it: imagine you're doing a crossword (sudoku, solving a problem - whatever it is that you do). Imagine you have gone through all those moves, words, you have looked them up. You've tried all combinations. In fact, this is a hard one, you've been working on it for days. You KNOW success is near. Sure, you are frustrated, but you KNOW it will feel so good when you finally do it. You're almost there. There is just one word missing. It's on the tip of your tongue, you almost have it...when a helpful friend creeps behind you and whispers the word you have been trying to figure out.

How does this make you feel?