Babies and toddlers are fascinating little humans. They are like cute creatures with insatiable curiosity. But if you are a parent, you surely know that they do some unimaginable and explicable things. One of these is standing on their head.
What does it mean when a baby stands on their head, then? Do they want to see things between their legs upside down?
Babies Stand on Their Head Due to Neurological Reasons
According to experts, the reasons behind such a befuddling behavior among babies are in fact mainly neurologically involved.
Learning and brain development occur in verbal and nonverbal children as they interact with their surrounding environment.
Being upside down is how children learn about their bodies better as well as the sensations that take place in this particular position.
This builds better awareness of the body, including muscle memory and sensory. This will also help inform the movement of the child in the future. This means that there is something heavier and more serious behind something that may look like nothing but just silly play.
Standing on Their Head Stimulates a Baby’s Vestibular System
Playing or standing upside down has also been revealed to stimulate a baby’s vestibular system, the specific part of the sensory system of the body that establishes where the body is in relation to the environment.
The vestibular systems and brains of children are undergoing a training process, which includes having an interaction with their environment and developing motor and sensory connections within the brain.
It has been revealed that the vestibular system is essential for motor movement, balance, as well as orientation, and cognition. The positioning of the head of a child, combined with the sensation of standing upside down, can help develop the necessary postural muscles for balance.
This also assists the brain in forging strong connections that will help the muscles in holding the head upright. It also offers neural feedback about the movement of a child in relation to the environment or the world around him.
Benefits of Standing on Their Head for Babies
However, it is not just about strengthening and stimulation. Parents are also encouraged to know that standing on their heads can actually have some sort of calming effect on kids. Even if it may seem as if they are just getting riled up or goofing off, the exact opposite may be true.
Some children seek this particular position when engaging in active play, while some kids also find it calming for those times when they want to rest and wind down.
It is also worthy to note that during the last several months or weeks of gestation, the position of the baby in the birth canal is upside down. Some babies enjoy mimicking this position in the hopes of finding some sense of comfort and peace.
Out of the numerous sensory experiences that naturally occur during toddlerhood, running, jumping, rolling on the ground, and hanging upside down are specifically activating stimulation of the brain.
As far as a neurodevelopmental perspective is concerned, the action of hanging upside down even for just a short time can support the strength of the core body that can lead to mastery of gross motor skills.
From an emotional point of view, standing on the head has a calming effect that can reduce tantrum behaviors and dysregulated movements.
Cognitively speaking, experimentation supports the development of cause-and-effect relationships, stress management, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Professionals also point that that standing upside down can strengthen the ability of a child to see the world around them from alternative perspectives and angles that will be beneficial for their intelligence in the long run.
This can help the toddler to think of other aspects of visual referencing and apply their acquired knowledge to decipher new information. Seeing the world upside down will reinforce constancy even if the world is seen from another angle.
Considering all these benefits, maybe adults can take cues from babies and start spending more time standing on their heads.
What Does It Mean When Babies Bend Over and Look Through Their Legs?
In most cultures, when babies bend over, this signals that something will come or happen in the future. Some people just shrug these off as nothing but superstitions. But others swear that these claims are true.
It doesn’t matter if you believe these or not. It wouldn’t hurt to take some extra precautions when you start noticing your baby bending over and looking between his legs.
Similar to other superstitions about pregnancy, there is no science to back this claim up. There is an old wives’ tale that when a baby bends forward then looks through his legs, or when he does what is called in yoga as the downward-facing dog, he is predicting an upcoming pregnancy, or he is wanting or looking for another sibling.
Experts, however, state that babies bend over and look between their legs as a way of developing their depth perception and experiencing a different and unique upside-down view and perception of the world.
This means that you should avoid believing the old wives’ tale. While there is no way that you can predict what the future may hold for you, most of the time, babies only bend over and look over their legs to expand their world and not necessarily expand their family.
When to Worry about Babies Standing on Their Head
It can be quite concerning if you see your baby doing something new for the first time. Many parents are often left wondering why their baby has suddenly picked up a new behavior, while others wonder if they should contact their doctor.
More often than, there is no need for you to worry about anything. However, there are some cases when it is best to seek medical advice. First is one you notice an odd-looking bump or curve on your baby’s spine when he bends over. The second one is if your baby is in pain before or while bending over as this can mean that something is wrong with their back.