Watching your baby crawling for the first time is an exciting time for all parents!
Many parents know that this activity is one of the major stages of infant development.
Here are some typical questions parents ask about crawling in my CranioSacral Therapy clinic.
Most babies learn to crawl between the ages of 6 and 10 months. They crawl when they've mastered the necessary skills needed to crawl. These skills are about developing neurological skills and physical strength.
Babies start to crawl by learning to balance on their hands and knees. Then they work out how to move forward and backward by pushing off with his knees.
Crawling stimulates optimum baby development. This allows your baby to grow stronger while improving visual skills and physical abilities. Crawling helps your baby to:
Most babies begin crawling naturally and instinctively. But for some crawling proves difficult.
Let’s look at some common reasons why your baby may experience a delay when learning to crawl. The two important elements in helping baby to crawl are:
In the early months of your baby’s life they start to strengthen their neck muscles. Some babies need help with this as they have experienced neck strain (infant torticollis) during the birth process or in utero. If they have been born by Vacuum or Cesarean Section they may also need help in releasing restrictions along the spine and head.
I have noticed that babies who have poor head control find lying on their stomach uncomfortable. But lying on their stomachs is important as it encourages the use of their arms and legs. This strengthens the muscles and prepares for future walking. If baby has problems with head control or lying on their tummy this then causes a delay in crawling.
There are a number of things that you can do to help Baby crawl correctly. These include:
Some babies I see in my craniosacral clinic do a “bum shuffle” and use their hands to move forward instead of an “all fours crawl”. By freeing up restrictions along the spine I have seen babies begin to crawl correctly.
Another problem I sometimes see is where a baby uses only one leg in crawling. Again a craniosacral treatment will assist the baby to crawl by checking hip and spine mobility.
If your baby is crawling backwards you can encourage him to move forwards by placing him with the wall to his back and placing interesting toys in front of him – but just out of reach!
Around 9 or 10 months, he'll learn to go from a crawling position back into a sitting position.
Soon you will notice that baby is progressing onto "cross-crawling" (moving one arm and the opposite leg together when he moves forward) rather than using an arm and a leg from the same side.
Your baby has now mastered an important developmental milestone and is well on his way to walking!
SPECIAL NOTE: If you are concerned that your infant is not progressing through these developmental stages please consult your doctor or health nurse for further advice.