As counter-intuitive as seeing your child hanging upside down can seem, it is essential for children to move in different dimensions for healthy development of their brains, muscles and complex balance mechanisms. That’s why they like doing it so much!
Most children will also enjoy exploring their orientation schema at some point – hanging upside down is a way of seeing the world from different viewpoints and provides them with information they’ll need later on in all sorts of subjects.
Some tips for safe upside down play:
- lay your baby flat on your legs so they are fully supported and gently move your legs up and down
- encourage crawling on all fours (like an ape) as this straightens the spine and lets their heads ‘dangle’
- play games that require their head to be below their waist such as wheel-barrows
- cartwheels, handstands and somersaults are all great upside down activities
- be brave and trust that your child will usually take the appropriate risks