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Why is Crawling so Important?

Crawling is more than just a way for your child to get around and get into everything! 

Crawling is important for many aspects of your child's development:

  • Physical development of muscles, joints, and spinal curves
  • Motor skills, coordination, and balance
  • Neurological development - building connections between the brain’s left and right hemispheres and information crossing the body’s midline
  • Vision and depth perception
  • Builds self-confidence as your baby challenges their limits and learns to overcome failure while exploring their environment

Crawling usually occurs between six and 10 months of age. What’s most important is the order or sequence of motor milestones (rolling to sitting to crawling to walking). The brain expects certain experiences to happen in a certain order for development to occur optimally.

Tips to encourage proper crawling:

  • Ensure adequate tummy time.
  • Limit time in walkers, exersaucers, and other holding devices.
  • Have a safe space on the floor to play and explore.
  • Use a carpeted surface for more grip. If on a slippery floor, like hardwood, have your baby clothed in their diaper only.
  • Model crawling by doing it yourself with your baby.
  • Use a toy tunnel or large open box to encourage them onto all fours and move through it.
  • When your baby is on their back, move their opposite arm and leg and touch hand and foot together at midline. Alternate sides 10 times.

If your little one has a unique way of crawling (like scooting on their bum, having one leg tucked under, or army crawling after nine months) or showing signs that they are skipping crawling altogether, there is often a reason why, and I encourage you to have your child checked by a chiropractor.

If your child is already walking but had a unique way of crawling or didn’t crawl for long, they can always gain the physical and neurological benefits now by going backward and practicing crawling. Adults, too! Crawling is a great rehabilitative exercise for your core and brain.

Dr. Vandertogt is a mom and chiropractor at The Wellness Studio in Calgary: 1603, 20 Avenue NW, with special interest in pregnancy, postpartum, and pediatrics. For more information, call 403-228-5433, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit thewellnessstudio.ca. Follow her on Instagram @dr.laura.vandertogt for more great information for your little ones! 

 

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