Let’s talk about crawling and why it is an important milestone.
I hear more from moms who have gone to their pediatrician or their doctor telling them that it’s okay if their babies didn’t crawl. Taking crawling out as a milestone is just plain wrong. If your baby skips that stage, it’s not fine.
So, crawling on hands and knees usually happens around between seven to nine months, sometimes 10 months on the later ends for babies.
If you are more of an auditory learner, you can watch my video about this topic HERE, but if you prefer to read, keep going!
Crawling Is Needed For Physical Development
Crawling builds core strength and shoulder stability. Both hip alignment and motor skills are improved in crawling. You are getting strength through your arms and shoulders. You are also developing your core stability in the front and back.
There’s a lot of development that happens just from that position of being on your hands and knees for a few months of this strengthening.
Bilateral and balance coordination are other great benefits from crawling on hands and knees. This position also helps develop the lumbar curve (in the low back), which is the last curve to develop in your spinal curvature. Remember, babies are born with a very C shaped spine initially and they need to go through all these developmental movement patterns and milestones in order to form the remaining curves in their spine, to shape it into more of an ‘S’ curve that we have as adults. And this ‘S’ curve shape is so very important in order to manage the downward force of gravity and pressure through our body as we move into more of the upright positions needed for walking and running.
So, getting into that hands and knees position for crawling is one of the ways that that lumbar curve in the low back.
Pre Crawling & Crawling Mini Milestones
Crawling on hands and knees doesn’t usually happen until about 7-10 months of age, but remember sometimes it is early and sometimes a little later. Some of the things I like to encourage mamas to look for are pre-crawling mini milestones. Things like your baby pushing themselves backwards with their hands, or turning in a 360 circle on the floor, and then eventually doing a weird looking army crawl to move themselves forwards. These are all pre-crawling skills. After this comes the getting into hands and knees – often with some rocking before they actually start moving in this position.
And this rocking in the hands and knees position is very important too, because that’s going to help your baby integrate their primitive reflexes, specifically the symmetric tonic neck reflex.
If primitive reflexes are not integrated fully, that can lead to various things, like difficulties sitting upright in a chair for prolonged periods, handwriting difficulties, clumsiness, reduced attention, inability to focus, and even sensory sensitivities.
Crawling Is Important
Regardless of what your pediatrician or doctor says, crawling is important. You want your babies to crawl. You want your children to crawl. It is something that you really want to encourage, I know that once your baby starts to walk, if they haven’t crawled yet, it’s so hard to get them on the ground.
If they don’t crawl, you want to get them on the floor or climbing on the playground structures so that they are going to get the different inputs: the core strengthening, the arm strengthening, the bilateral coordination, and the visual tracking from near to far. Crawling through a tunnel, up the stairs, up the slide and even climbing up the ladders at the park are all great ways to get some of the same activation through the core, arms, legs, and the visual tracking as well.
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