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Is it bad for children to look behind or up?

(22 Posts)
Purl1Knit1 Mon 08-Jun-15 13:18:15

DS has recently started putting his head back to see what's behind him when he's lying down. He also twists his head round quite far if he's sitting up, again to see what's there. MIL says this is a really bad thing to do, and if someone stands behind him (thereby making him look) she goes absolutely nuts, really shouting at them!

I looked it up and can't find much that says anything about it online, so I'm wondering whether is really true, or whether it's one of those old wives' tales (MIL LOVES an old wives' tale; always believes them).

Anyone know?

Purl1Knit1 Mon 08-Jun-15 13:18:45

DS is 10 months, by the way.

Passmethecrisps Mon 08-Jun-15 13:20:15

Never heard of this before. My dd was a nosy bugger and was always looking around

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Mon 08-Jun-15 13:20:31

Um, seriously? She thinks children should face forward at all times and not look around them? I amazed you took her seriously for even a second. Pure nonsense.

Proudmummytodc2 Mon 08-Jun-15 13:21:12

When I had my 1st baby I got told off by my mum for doing that she said she was always told that it's bad for savvy too look up to see you like that but I think this may be a old wives tale but I didn't take the chance with either of them so always asked people not to make them do it

Proudmummytodc2 Mon 08-Jun-15 13:21:55

By that I mean when baby lying down yelling eyes up to strain to see behind them j take it u meant the same?

ThumbWitchesAbroad Mon 08-Jun-15 13:24:19

I don't know whether or not it's actually bad for them for a short period of time, but it would make me wince anyway as I have a bad neck and have done since I was 3, so doing that would actually hurt me if I did it for more than a few seconds.

So I probably stopped DSs from doing it too, purely as a reaction to my own feelings about it rather than any knowledge that it would actually harm them. So long as they're free to move their heads and they don't get "stuck" and cry, then I can't really see the issue.

JessiePinkman Mon 08-Jun-15 13:28:51

How totally odd never heard of that???
He curious, that's good surely & how would you stop him?

Purl1Knit1 Mon 08-Jun-15 14:55:49

To clarify what I mean, it's when, say, he's lying across my knee and wants to see what's on the sofa behind his head, so he tilts his head back - if he was standing, the equivalent position would be looking straight up at the sky.

She also freaks out if he twists his head round to look behind him (well, not totally beings - obviously he can't do 180 degrees, but maybe 120 degrees or so!).

She'll actually start shouting at anyone who stands behind him, and shout at me for letting him look! It's a bit embarrassing!

JessiePinkman Mon 08-Jun-15 14:59:53

Well that hasn't made it any less odd, surely the human neck is destined to turn? Maybe I'm wrong but I would just tell her to get a grip tbh

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Mon 08-Jun-15 15:02:56

?? Never heard this before and sounds like an old wives tale me. If you've looked it up and can't find anything then that's probably your answer, if it was so bad then surely people would be warned of the dangers?! Everyone looks up/round to see things surely?

SurlyCue Mon 08-Jun-15 15:06:02

I have heard of this (i still think its an old wives tale) but i think the concern is the strain on the eyes not the neck. When babies are lying and tilt their heads back to look behind they also move their eyes up too and i have heard this is "bad" for them. Not sure why or if true. I assumed it was rubbish.

Mrsjayy Mon 08-Jun-15 15:11:14

What does she think will happen she sounds really upset by it and panicking of course its ridiculous but your mum is obviously stressed by it tell her to stop shouting atpeople after you have asked her what she thinks will happen. My mum used to freak out at handstands or hanging upside down you get water on the brain apparently hmm

squizita Mon 08-Jun-15 15:55:21

Utter nonsense. My baby has done this in front of yoga and physio professionals who either didn't notice or said "someone's feeling left out" jokingly. smile If it hurt, the baby would move back.
If it were dangerous MN and/or the nhs would have told you by now.

PerspicaciaTick Mon 08-Jun-15 16:06:23

What "bad" thing does she think will happen?
What happens when she looks over her shoulder? Does her head fall off?
Very odd - especially to the point of yelling at people.

Roseybee10 Mon 08-Jun-15 17:06:26

Wow that sounds a bit nuts!!!
I would Imagine it's key for their development!!

longlistofexlovers Mon 08-Jun-15 17:23:07

Your MIL is being completely reasonable, I am shocked and appaulled at all the posters above me.

Didn't you know that children's knees should bend, their fingers should be rigid at all times, and their necks need to stay completely still. They'll fall off from overuse if they move!

longlistofexlovers Mon 08-Jun-15 17:23:35

Appalled, even! So shocked I cannot spell!

MiscellaneousAssortment Mon 08-Jun-15 18:31:17

Babies aren't built with some awful flaw that means their bodies can do damage to themselves in that way.

Ask her what she thinks will happen and where she got the idea from. Explain that no one has ever heard of this and it's not in any baby books or advice, which it would be if it were true. Perhaps startakimg it clear you don't like her extreme reaction by laughing (in a friendly way) each time she freaks out and say "oh there's mil again, with her old wives tale" or similiar. Refusing to take offense so it doesn't turn into an argument but also refusing to take it seriously too.

Perhaps ask your HV if you see them regularly/ soon, not because it might be right, but how to reassure someone so taken in by silly stories. Then you can say a medic says no, and see if that convinces her.

Tinkerisdead Mon 08-Jun-15 18:36:59

My mum used to freak at this too, standing at a baby's head so they are upside down to you. She used to say it strains their eye muscles.

squizita Mon 08-Jun-15 18:49:24

At yoga we hang them upside down and their instinct is to arch back and give a cheeky grin to the baby in front! grin grin Not only harmless (on big soft mats, with a trained supervisor ) but apparently good for the core.

Purl1Knit1 Mon 08-Jun-15 22:09:44

Good, glad I don't have to worry about this! he does it all the time! will think up a way to get MIL to relax!

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