Parents universally accept baby crawling as THE one milestone all infants must master.
But despite this widespread acceptance, few realize why it is so important. And how to make sure their baby benefits most learning this skill.
Through crawling babies learn and discover spatial concepts like under, over, in and out.
This skill also gives babies vital sensory stimulation through their hands and knees which is vital for gross and fine muscle development.
In short, they learn skills necessary to stand, walk and write correctly.
Research shows that many children who never crawled properly often struggle with poor balance.
Some of them struggle to ride a bicycle. Others are simply clumsy. And then there are also the ones who often fall and injure themselves.
Many variations of baby movement exist.
But the important question is: do all these different ways of crawling give the same benefit?
Do variation of movement or locomotion like bear walking, bum shuffling, commando style crawling, ordinary crawling and sometimes forward rolling all give the same development benefit?
The answer in short is no.
Not all movement “styles” give the same development benefit as “traditional” crawling.
Traditional or normal crawling alternatively uses both arms and knees – straight arms and on knees – to move forward or sometimes even backwards.
Moving backwards is often found when babies are just learning to crawl. This is a normal development pattern. And nothing to worry about.
The biggest benefits your baby get from ordinary baby crawling comes from two things
Firstly, learning to simultaneously bear weight on both arms and legs, and…
Secondly, learning to alternatively use opposing arms and legs to move forward stimulates both brain halves.
Learning to bear weight on arms and legs develops and improves equilibrium and balance.
Babies without this experience almost always struggle with these skills later on. This lack is often obvious in below-average sporting abilities.
Commando style crawling as well as bum shuffling and even rolling forward (we’re specifically only talking about rolling to get from one point to another) do not give the same weight bearing stimulation.
But there’s a third more important thing about learning to crawl.
The ability to use both legs and arms to crawl normally is more often than not a good indication that a baby is still developing normally.
Stated a little differently
There’s usually a deeper, more important reason that needs further attention should a baby fail to master normal crawling.
It is often due to some physical inability or development delay.
And it’s easy for professionals to treat and overcome such inablity once it is identified.
But, at what stage should you consult a pediatrician or therapist?
A golden rule of thumb is to do so if your baby is 12 months or older and still doesn’t crawl.
Perhaps one of the most frequently noted reasons that babies fail in getting a complete development experience is failing to properly master normal baby crawling.
One of the biggest advantages any parent can give their child is to closely measure and monitor development. And one of the most important measurements is their baby’s ability to crawl correctly… at the right age.