Crawling emerges when a child is around 6 months old and is an exhibited pattern of coordination and a preparatory skill needed for walking.
Did you know that some pediatricians do not to consider a toddler’s ability to crawl as not one of the major gross motor milestones?? This is because:
- Not all babies crawl because all children develop different and may skip certain milestones.
- Babies can become mobile by scooting on their bottoms, rolling around, or going straight to standing with support, cruising around on the furniture, and then go straight into walking.
Benefits of Crawling:
- Helps the child gain an understanding of spatial awareness and the physical world around them
- Crawling helps a baby begin to build self-confidence as they make physical risks and begin to make some of their first decisions
- Helps develop the muscles in the head, neck, arms, back, and legs
- Works on prone extension, shoulder stability, and lower body support
- Works on balance and core strength
- Activates the brain stem which promotes self-regulation
- Helps support the development of gross and fine motor skills
- Promotes bilateral integration, hand-eye coordination skills, and helps allow for reciprocal patterns of upper and lower body which is a prerequisite for walking, running, etc.
- Vital for cognitive development
- Helps encourage the skills of crossing the midline of the body and visual integration of the body
- It allows the child’s hands and legs to receive pressure and proprioceptive input from the floor helping them gain a sense of body awareness and appropriate gradation of force
Skipping this milestone can affect a child’s ability to hold silverware or a pencil in their school years because weight-bearing occurs when a baby crawls. This is an underlying skill which is crucial in helping to develop hand musculature that forms the arches of the hand and provides a constant stretch to the ligaments in the wrist and hands that are needed for fine motor skills.