A new study has revealed that strapping babies into car seats and buggies for too long hampers the development of their core strength and balance, making everyday tasks a challenge.
The research at Glasgow University found that babies unable to crawl at nine months were likelier to fall behind in cognitive development, such as reasoning and language skills, the Daily Express reported.
Researcher Theresa Campbell said that they work with hundreds of teachers and they are reporting that children do not exhibit the same levels of physical competence as in the past, such as the ability to sit still without fidgeting, to sit upright at tables, tie their own shoelaces, button jackets and hold pencils.
Researchers linked the risk to children's buggies and car seats, which hold babies in pear-shaped padding so that the body is not required to take its own weight or move around.
Time spent in the seats means less time crawling on the floor, so-called 'tummy time', which is important for developing shoulder, back, stomach and arm muscles.
New physical education programmes devised at Glasgow are being piloted in primary schools to tackle the problem. A campaign encouraging parents to restrict the time babies spend in car seats has also been launched.
Jane Leavey, who is spearheading the BabyBwell campaign, said that they miss out on important things like tummy time and skin-to-skin contact and this can result in poor sensory and motor skills.