Movement is at the very core of how children develop intellectually, emotionally, socially, and of course, physically. Here at Moving Smart we foster children's naturally move-to-learn style while helping parents and teachers understand the comprehensive benefits of all that wiggling!
While I was admiring his new room, we talked about moving Caitlin into her first "big girl bed. It has to do with their relationship with space, which is managed by the Proprioceptive Sense. As she moves through different size spaces and learns to negotiate objects and obstacles around her, she is learning to map her own body - to know her own size and shape. With enough practice, that "body map" will become intuitive, even to the point of "knowing" where she is while she's sleeping.
Here's how it works Now, for adults, a familiar space such as your own bed has been carefully mapped by your proprioceptive sensors, so you are able to sleep without having to worry about falling out.
You "know" how wide your bed is, how much space you have in your bed, and how much space your body takes up which allows you to toss, turn, and roll over while staying within the edges of the bed -- even in a new bed! But children's proprioceptive senses are still immature.
And that's not only because of their age. Remember, they are always growing and changing shape too! So mapping their body and refining their understanding of space is a constant, daily developmental need. If you're interested, try this little trick as you continue to read. It will give you a taste of how little ones feel navigating the world with an under-developed sense of space Place your left thumb in the air above your head so you can't see it.
These beds can either be self-inflatable or use a pump. While the National Childbirth Trust is in favour of newborns sleeping in their mothers' beds, under a strict set of guidelines, the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths remains against it.
Put your right arm out to the side. Lift your right arm over your head and touch your index finger to your thumb. Chances are, it took you several attempts to find your thumb, even though you felt quite sure you "knew" where it was! Now imagine navigating your entire day without a complete understanding of your own body or the space that's around you! That's what little ones are trying to work out all the time. So back to the original question.
When are little ones ready for big kid beds? Certainly, only you will know best for your individual child, but here are a few ideas that can help prepare your little one for whenever the big bed day comes Chances are, they're doing this naturally all the time.
Climbing under tables, through tunnels, into cupboards, cardboard boxes, and pretty much anything else that looks like a fun place to hide is a great way to help build their own body map! Be sure to supervise this, and it's even better if you have two adults on either side of the bed for this one Start by having your child crawl around the bed, touching and exploring the edges.
Do this both on top of and under the covers. Play some more, having her wiggle and then roll around, again, both on top of and under the covers. Have her crawl around the perimeter of the bed so she gets a feel for the size and scope how the bed changes the dimensions of her room. And don't forget to explore under the bed too! After you've explored for a while, have her close her eyes and roll towards you, being sure to be there if she rolls too far. Soon you'll see that her proprioceptive senses will adjust, her big girl bed will fit her to a tee, no matter how much she tosses and turns!
Posted by Gill Connell.
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