14 Nov The Importance of Crawling
The activity of crawling is a major gross motor milestone for a baby. This is where parents will start to experience headaches as the mobility they gained through crawling is used to play and explore the world excitingly. Usually the initiation of crawling starts after 6 months, so watch out for hazardous objects! However, this milestone is not only for mobility and exploration. It has more major, rounded roles in the entire development of a toddler and here are some of them:
- Muscle and joint development
This is perhaps the most obvious benefit. Crawling engages the core and neck muscles, as well as upper and lower limbs. As they do the activity, the structures are strengthened when they bear their weight on the ground and move the limbs to move around. Weight-bearing activities are also significant to cement bone density for the development of strong bones.
- Improve coordination
Hand-feet coordination: The activity involves reciprocal movements of the arms and legs thus teaches them to coordinate the right and left sides
Hand-eye coordination: crawling enhances simultaneous movement of the hands with eye movements. The use of the hands for a particular task usually involves vision for it to be done effectively as our hands follow our eyes movement
- Postural control
As it engages the necessary muscles, babies slowly develop their control of posture to hold the body steady. This is an important phase as it prepares them to stand and walk properly later. Without a stable posture, maintaining a stable upright posture is difficult.
- Understanding of the world
They will crawl onto different surfaces, into different spaces and try playing various types of toys and games. All of these enrich their senses and thoughts about how the world works thus developing their brain.
There are a lot more benefits and importance of this gross motor skill, so it is something not to be missed. Expose them to a lot of tummy time while playing to encourage crawling. Be sensitive with the timeline of milestones development to make sure they develop accordingly.