Study: Diapers hinder walking

By Tara Evans, Producer, tevans@wkmg.com
Published On: Jan 25 2013 01:46:07 PM EST

A new study says that while necessary, diapers actually create a challenge for babies learning to walk.

The research was recently published in the journal Developmental Science.

Unfortunately, most American babies wear diapers, whether it be of the disposable or cloth variety.

Researchers compared 60 babies who were either naked, wearing a thin, disposable diaper or a thick cloth diaper as they walked. Half of them were 13-month-old babies just learning to walk, and the other half were 19-month-old more experienced walkers.

It turns out the naked babies win by a large margin-only ten of the 13-month-olds fell. Of that age group, 21 wearing cloth diapers fell, and 17 wearing disposable diapers did.

As for the 19-month-olds, only four who were either naked or wearing thin, disposable diapers fell, and eight wearing cloth diapers fell.

Both age groups seemed to take wider and shorter steps while wearing diapers than when they went without.

Granted, diapers serve a useful purpose, and there likely is not much of a way to avoid using them, but researchers do believe walking naked would speed up walking development.

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