Why is crawling such a big deal? What if my child doesn’t seem interested in crawling? These are all common questions that are brought up by parents. Crawling is much more than just a means of mobility. It provides a child with some important strengthening, coordination, and cognitive benefits that will help them much later than the baby and toddler years.
Why is crawling so important?
Crawling is an essential skill for any infant! Crawling helps to develop shoulder and core stability, which provides the foundation for more advanced gross and fine motor skills such as walking, jumping, and handwriting. The opposing arm and leg movements provide the groundwork for your child’s brain and body development in coordination, body awareness, eye-hand coordination, vestibular sense, motor planning, and visual perception. Encouraging your baby to crawl before they walk is a great way to help support their development!
What if my child isn’t crawling?
If your child is 10 months or older and never crawled on hands and knees they may benefit from physical therapy! There are plenty of ways to help encourage your child to crawl. For instance, you can help hold your child on hands and knees while playing with a toy on an elevated surface such as a step stool. This helps your child bring their gaze up and motivates them to get their body up from resting on the floor. A physical therapist can help you determine why your child may not be crawling and develop a plan to improve those skills to move them towards crawling.
My child never crawled as a baby, now what?
If your child never crawled as a baby, it’s not too late! Crawling can be a fun activity to introduce or practice at any age. They can continue to reap the benefits of the position and movement even beyond the typical “crawling” age. You can get on the floor with your child to demonstrate. Pretend to be an animal and crawl around the house. Making a bridge with pillows, furniture or blankets to crawl under or using a tunnel to crawl through makes it a fun game!
Questions or concerns?
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s motor skills, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-332-9439.
Amy Sauers PT DPT c/NDT
Butcher, K., VandenBerg, A., & Dodds, T. (2021, March 17). Why crawl? MSU Extension. Retrieved January 18, 2022, from https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/why_crawl
Why crawling is important for your baby. Nationwide Children’s Hospital. (n.d.). Retrieved January 18, 2022, from https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2016/11/why-crawling-is-important-for-your-baby
You can encourage your baby to crawl: Track baby milestones. Pathways.org. (2021, August 5). Retrieved January 18, 2022, from https://pathways.org/baby-move-5-ways-encourage-crawling/
Photo Credit: pixabay