How to Teach Your Baby to Be Physically Superb: The Gentle Revolution Hardcover – 30 Jan 2006
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The early development of mobility in newborns is a vital part of their future ability to learn and grow to full potential. We may be wasting our children's most important years by preventing them from physically exploring their world and maximising their mobility development when they are young, the time that it is easiest for them to do so. In "How To Teach Your Baby To Be Physically Superb", Glenn Doman, founder of The Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential, along with Douglas Doman and Bruce Hagy, guides you in maximising your child's physical capabilities. They clearly explain each stage of mobility and show how to create an environment that will help your baby more easily achieve that stage. Full-colour charts, photographs, illustrations and detailed, yet easy-to-follow instructions are included to help you in creating an effective home programme. From learning the simple, but vital stage of crawling to the beginnings of the sophisticated skills of the gymnast, this athletic team is a baby's most important one.
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Top Customer Reviews
Detailed, clear instructions with theory to back it up, whilst being very easy to follow and initiate at home without having to buy anything.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is a guide to how parents can encourage and maximise the opportunities for babies to develop physically (from birth to pre-school). The underlying premise here is that not only is a baby a latent genius intellectually, but also physically.
The book shows how babies have to progress one step at a time, from crawling, to creeping, to balancing, to brachiating (ie swinging), to standing, to walking, to running. Various exercises are suggested for each stage to help development along. The key is that the development of each motor skill corresponds to the development of a specific part of the brain that manage such activity (medulla, pons, cortex, etc). Each activity is a prerequisite and foundation for the succeeding one. Mr Doman asserts that physical development will stimulate and maximise mental development. If you're looking for scientific research and citations for his assertions, you won't find much, as he says that most of the conclusions and practices were developed in-house at his Institutes.
The exercises (and instructions for making various equipment) are well described, with many photographs of joyful children doing them. Like his other books, Mr Doman's joy with his work and with children clearly shines through, and reading his book is an uplifting experience.
More controversially, he is an advocate of the baby spending more time on its tummy in order to develop the ability to crawl & creep. An increased risk of SIDS? He is also very negative on strollers and playpens that restrict mobility (and by implication, physical and mental development of the baby). To an extent, one will have to choose the extent to which one wants to integrate his recommendations into busy lives.
Personally, my conclusion is that what he says makes sense, and I will certainly try his recommendations after the birth of my first child.
The author splits the development of the brain and the body to seven stages depending on age, and gives methods and joyful exercises for a baby to be physically superb.
I followed much of the book for about 2 months when my baby was 4 months old but didn't notice any positive difference in her. We did the exercises and it happened that one of my friends has a crawling track and she lent it to us. The track was torture for my little girl. All she did was cry when placed on it and subsequently would cry even just catching sight of it. The exercises are not difficult, but I won't say she enjoyed them. Maybe if we started the program at birth she may have liked the crawling track. My daughter rolled over at 5 months, sat up at 5 months and then belly crawled at 6 months. She walked at 12 months.
In hindsight, I feel a little silly and selfish for putting my daughter through the program. So what if she walked at 9 months? Will that go on her resume? Doman's children may all have been physically superb as children, but did any of them become Olympians or important people? I'd be interested to know. I respect Doman for his work with children with special needs (I have one myself), but for a typically developing child without any delays, I think they'd be more happy with a few more cuddles and a walk in the park.
I got this book when my baby was 5.5 months. At that time, he had gotten quite large-- while he could hold up his head, he could not crawl. Convinced after reading about the importance mobility plays in intelligence and later sports ability, I started doing the exercises and putting him on his stomach for the minimum suggested 4 hours per day. Though he really hated it, after 2 weeks, he was a lot stronger and could sit up, and began working on balance skills. At 6.5 months, he started propelling himself backwards, and the day before he turned 8 months he began crawling (which, they call creeping in this book, and Dr. Sears calls cross-crawling).
Basically, this book made me aware of how to be involved and how to help my baby achieve certain results. It's more than just "put your baby on the floor,"-- I would recommend this book for anyone who cares about promoting physical development in their baby-- and especially people with larger babies who have been told not to worry about their baby's lack of mobility and that eventually s/he will catch up.