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Should Your Child Be Sitting In The “W” Pose?

The "W" pose is a common pose for babies and toddlers to adopt. 
 

While it may make us squirm by how awkward and inhuman it looks, is it actually bad for your children? Well it’s a running debate with no real right or wrong answer, so we, at eumom, are here to give you the facts and professional opinions and let you decide for yourself.

For The "W" Position:

Today Parents recently asked Dr Eduardo Novais and Dr Jennifer Weiss their opinion on the "W" position and both came back with positive reports.

They explained that one reason why it's common for children to sit in that position is because lots of babies are born with their thighbones turned in, a condition known as femoral anteversion. It self-corrects for most toddlers as they grow, but until their bodies develop, it may be more natural and more comfortable for them to sit in a W.

Dr Weiss continued by saying "I have no problem with a child "W" sitting. They're not going to change the shape of their legs. They're not going to change their alignment by sitting like that. They're just responding to their natural anatomy.

Both doctors concluded by saying that if your child wants to sit in a "W" position, you should allow them to and that "there are plenty of other things to worry about" at that stage in your toddler's development. Both doctors want to assure parents that a child cannot dislocate his hip by sitting this way.

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Against the "W" Position:

Jaime Ruffing, a physical therapist, released an article on day2dayparenting.com expressing his concern for the babies and toddlers who sit in the "W" position. One of many ominous articles against the "W" that can be found on the internet, Ruffing says "When a child “W” sits, it puts his hip joints into extreme internal rotation.

This tightens the muscles on the inside and stretches the muscles on the outside of the hips." He goes on to explain that since everything is connected, what happens at the hips directly affects the joints at the knees and ankles. This rotation can lead to a knock-kneed position and can hinder the development of balance and coordination.

Ruffing encourages parents to make sure their children sit and play in other positions. He explains that while out of the "W" sitting position you should use toys to get them to reach up, out to the sides, or to reach forward and return to an upright position.

He is referring to the necessity of developing your child’s core muscle strength. It is common argument from the "Against "W" Positions" side that the "W" sitting position doesn’t allow the baby to strengthen its core muscles which of course can lead to problems when learning to crawl and to walk.

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So what do you think? Are you a believer that the "W' position is harmless or do you think that it could be detrimental to your toddler's development? Let us know, we'd love to hear your opinion.

Expert Opinion:

Our baby development expert, Fiona O'Farrell says,"The most important thing for babies and toddlers is that they do not spend long periods sitting in any one position.

Babies and toddlers should be encouraged to be active, exploring their surroundings. It is inevitable that they will spend time sitting in the W position. I would advise parents to become concerned if this is the main, or only, position your child can adopt or maintain.

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About the Author

Fiona O’Farrell is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, specialising in baby development, premature babies and is an experienced sleep consultant, validated by the department of health. For information on workshops and sleep consultations visit fionaofarrell.ie or Facebook. Call Fiona on 0879144323

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